Commenters Metrico, Davebo and Dreuk challenge me on my support for Obama in the comment thread below.
I’ll make a comment and then a suggestion.
I’d like Obama to win; I’m anxious about his foreign policy, but not as anxious as I am about McCain’s because I’m confident that it won’t survive contact with reality (I said so here) – and Powers was probably fired as much for saying that was true as she was for calling Hillary a monster. I’m working on a post on McCain’s, and hope to get it out next week, work permitting.Of course, I have until I put the card into the slot on the Inkavote to make the decision, and lots could happen between now and November. Lots already has in this race.
But when I criticize Obama in my posts on Wright, I’m making a concrete suggestion on what he could do to win over voters like me who might be more anxious than I about him. I’m telling him how he could improve his game, and how – I think – he could make his election more certain.
Now I’ve had running battles on the blog for years with liberal voters who state, simply, that I’m a party of one, and that there’s no ‘voter cohort’ that thinks like me, and so on. I’ll suggest that if that were the case, both Hillary and Obama would be 10 – 15 points up on McCain at this point in the game. Hint: they aren’t.
So when I toss out the idea that Obama should make a more solid explanation of how he combines his ‘radical roots’ and his moderate expressions, it’s intended to help him win.
MDD, below, aren’t so interested in that. Because if they were, and they had a wobbly Obama voter in front of them, they’d be propping him up – offering responses to his concerns, pointing out facts that have been missed and doing everything they can to say, “Hey, Marc I get it that you’re concerned about this, and here’s why you shouldn’t be and should support Obama more solidly.” They’d reassure me, publicly lock me into a position, and maybe create the seeds of some arguments that might persuade others as well.
In fact they aren’t interested in that: they are interested in feeling smug and high-fiving each other over how wondeful and righteous they are. If they do it at my expense, I’m pretty much indifferent (although if bored, I might swipe back). But when they do that, they are carrying on a long trend in US left politics, which has resulted in – among other things, an effective electoral tie with a geriatric standard-bearer for a party that ought to be on it’s last legs for the next eight years.
I don’t know how often I have to post this quote, but I’m prepared to keep doing it until somebody starts to get it. From John Schaar:
“Finally, if political education is to effective it must grow from a spirit of humility on the part of the teachers, and they must overcome the tendencies toward self-righteousness and self-pity which set the tone of youth and student politics in the 1960’s. The teachers must acknowledge common origins and common burdens with the taught, stressing connection and membership, rather than distance and superiority. Only from these roots can trust and hopeful common action grow.”
And if you want to understand ‘the arc of my beliefs’, an earlier post that cited this offers a pretty good explanation: ‘Why does Brian Leiter Want to Kill Poor People?‘ It’s also all over www.armedliberal.com (look for ‘Skyboxes’) and this site.
Why do you want to kill poor people, Davebo?