09 February 2008

The lies we tell ourselves

On Crooks and Liars' blog round-up today, David Seaton's News Links purports to examine the somewhat fawning praise heaped lately upon the person of Barack Obama by certain commentators on the right. It soon devolves, however, into the sort of recitation of talking points the Clinton campaign would pay bloggers to flood comment boards with.

Seaton refers to recent op-eds by conservatives by George Will, Peggy Noonan and David Brooks and assesses them as a false-flag operation by Republicans to get Obama nominated, because

To me, it's perfectly obvious that the right wing is licking their chops in anticipation at facing Obama. ...

It is this simple: in recent decades the Clintons are the only Democrats that win elections against Republicans... They don't want to ever face them again, no more complicated than that.

He has it precisely backwards. The Clintons have a record of winning elections against Republican lightweights, thanks not to their political prowess but to a man named Ross H. Perot. If 51% isn't a mandate, neither is 49% or 43%.

Yes, Obama won his Senate race against a nobody from nowhere, but even if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, Obama's ability to run so strong against her given all her natural advantages shows just how weak a candidate she is and will be.

Hillary wouldn't have stood a chance in her first Senate race if not for Rudy Giuliani's bum prostate. As for her landslide re-election, quick: name her opponent. Incidentally, she won with 70% in the 2006 general election, yet in last week's closed New York Democratic presidential primary she garnered only 57% of the vote. In her true home state of Illinois she got whomped by a margin of 30 points.

Barack Obama, whether you vote for him or not (I did) has attracted the support of millions of people with the simple message that a little empathy would go a long way toward civilizing our politics and actually reforming our government. The brilliant part is how Obama has forced Clinton to campaign on just the opposite tack: That the system is irrevocably broken and we need a president who can manage the chaos.

Against the not-outlandish optimism that the respective interests of Republicans and Democrats are not so divergent as to be intractable, Clinton sounds ridiculous and anachronistic when she touts her "35 years" of fighting against "those people" as a credential for the job she's seeking. Some of "those people" are our friends and neighbors and we get along great even though we disagree on politics.

Clinton partisans can not begin to understand how a Democrat could say something positive or even neutral about a Republican, and the reverse throws them for just as big a loop. They misinterpret the straightforward statement that Obama is a formidable candidate against any Republican -- he has outperformed Clinton in nearly every single general election matchup poll taken to date -- as some clumsy reverse psychology scheme to trick the Democrats into nomination the weaker candidate.


Beverly said...

I followed you hear from the article. I also, couldn't disagree more. I think its funny how Karl Rove has a God-live reverence in the Dem Party. We need to punk him, and their dirty tricks, by showing that the Dem party has backbone to standup for their BEST candidate not their FAVORED.

Also, Obama's words are seeming more and more deep to me when he talks about people being afraid of change and of being to cynical. Have you noticed after he won 5 straight contests and a grammy the naysayers/haters are out in full swing!

One last point, has anyone thought that the right might actually be JEALOUS of Obama? That they might wish they had a great candidate like that instead of fuddy-duddy old man McCain? Your thoughts?

Brendan said...

It just strikes me that Hillary backers thought they were getting behind a sure winner and they're afraid, not jealous, that they backed the wrong horse.