Obama's false Reagan analogy
by world dictator, Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 06:00:20 AM EST
I think Obama's comments about Reagan, both past and present, are interesting.
Reagan "transformed" politics in some ways but people seem to forget the context behind the 80's.
First, the US was fighting the cold war. It's a lot easier for opponents to rally around the president during times of war. There's no war for Obama to use to "rally" the moderates this time around. And the closest thing to a war, Iraq, does Obama no good. Either you want the troops to stay so you refuse to vote for Obama or you want the troops to come home in which case Obama does not stand out this issue. Sure he was against it all along, but "I was right" doesn't really get you very much traction particularly among so many people that were wrong. In many ways national security issues harm Obama, because many people, dem and rep, who do believe national security is important are much more likely to want an experienced candidate.
Second, Reagan was forced to deal with a democrat controlled congress. He had to appeal to the other party in order to get his agenda through. If Reagan had the opportunity to steam roll through a complete 100% full court press conservative mandate with a completely conservative congress he would have in a heart beat. Reagan did push through a lot of conservative policies but that leads us to the next point...
Third, and most importantly A LOT OF DEMOCRATS DURING THE EIGHTIES WERE VERY CONSERVATIVE. Thus it was easy for an appealing personality like Reagan to lure them to his side. Reagan used issues that would become famous in "Whats the Matter with Kansas" to appeal to specific blocs of democratic voters. Anti-Abortion,tough on crime stances, Strong on National security,etc. Obama just doesn't enough bipartisian issues to attract large swaths of Republican voters. He has change, sure, but everyone offers change. And while plaiying nice and unifying might be appealing to democrats, trust me, its not appealing to most republicans. We're not wired the same.
Furthermore, Reagan democrats in office were more likely to support these conservative issues too. (Think of a bunch of John Murtha's) There's just not enough moderate republicans in office anymore. Republicans don't get elected by being moderates. And the few "moderates" that exist vote with us on the isses they're going to agree with us on anyways.
With a democratically controlled congress what democrats need is a "Progressive Revolution", similar to the Republican revolution during the mid 90's. We need to create a platform, mixed with progressive policies and progressive policies that have appeal to certain conservatives, so the democratic party AS A WHOLE, can say if you vote for our candidates in November, whether it be the president, your congressman, or your Senator, this is what you will get.