Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama is ... right?

A semi-endorsement of Obama's remarks on American bitterness from my former boss, Fran Coombs:
While his political opponents quibble over his language, Barack Obama is absolutely right about one thing: Americans are in a bad mood these days. We're in a war that, no matter which side you're on, seems never-ending. The economy is the worst it's been in years with no end to bad news in sight. . . .
Young voters are just coming into that world, and job and economic security must seem like oxymorons to them.
Accordingly, in this election cycle, Mickey Mouse-gotcha politics isn't sticking like it has in recent years. Mr. Obama misspeaks. His minister is a racist. His wife says something many people don't like. So what? In years past, things like that could derail a candidacy. Not this time. . . .
Go read the whole thing, not just because Fran used to be my boss, but because it's an excellent analysis -- and that's a neutral, objective fact.


  1. I agree with your friend, Fran Coombs. As a, very, religious person and a conservative, I didn't take offense at Obama's analysis of why blue collar workers, losing their jobs or their good wages in today's economy, "cling" to such loyalties as guns and religion, as well as other "non-progressive" political prejudices. I don't think he was saying all these loyalties, particularly the religious one, are wrong, or invalid. I think he was asking, and answering to his San Francisco audience, the same question posed by Thomas Frank in his political essay, "What's Wrong with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America". Admittedly, Frank is an unabashed liberal who barely conceals his contempt for the subjects of his book, but the question is legitimate and has bemused Democrats for a long time - why would workers and farmers, who would benefit more from the largesse of having Democrats in charge of Congress and the White House, vote for Republicans on the basis of such issues as abortion, gay marriage, and school prayer? Why don't they share the same priorities of liberal Democrats like Barack Obama and his friends? Obama, because his religious loyalties are greater than his political interests (hence he wouldn't denounce Rev. Wright), understands exactly why Pennsylvania workers, abused by Republican economic policies, would be more inclined toward the conservatives who vote to protect their gun rights and religious liberty. In large part it's because Democrats like Bill Clinton have been pushing the same policy of economic globalization as the Republicans. So what reason does that give blue collar Joe to vote for Democrats? Barack Obama wants to emphasize that he can put more distance between himself and Bill Clinton than can Hillary.

  2. Why would the revolutionary committees in Post-revolutionary France, who loved the work of Madame Guillotine, and unleashed the Red Terror, suddenly do a volte-face and cling to Napoleon, first through martial law, then through the Dictatorship, and finally through the Empire?

    It's simple really; when the have- nots become the haves, when the hoi-polloi become the aristos, that's when Egalité and Fraternité go out with the garbage!

    Obama's analysis is pure Marxism: everything, but everything, life love, happiness, principles, religion can be explained by the economic situation. Where he is wrong is in believing this only applies to the have-nots. History shows that it also applies to the haves, and especially to the nouveau-haves!