26 February, 2008

Andrew Sullivan forces me, kicking and screaming, back to campaign blogging

And I'm wondering, why did I ever try to resist? Speaking of Obama's transformational appeal, Sullivan says

I've been watching more TV than usual. I'm struck at how many of my fellow pundits still haven't grasped what is going on out there. They keep using their old devices and tropes to describe something actually new. Last night, I watched Hannity say the word "black" pejoratively about half a dozen times in expressing his fear and loathing of the Obama phenomenon. It was like listening to Lou Dobbs talk about Hispanics. You could see he thinks this is going to work. When Kristol is reduced to actually saying "the politics of fear" rather than simply exploiting it, you realize that the Obama campaign has not just discombobulated Clinton. It has discombobulated the pundit class elsewhere. You even hear long-time defenders of the Bush Republicans talk darkly about big government - as if they didn't love it for the past seven years, as if they give a shit about the size of government outside election campaigns.

They didn't see it coming. They still have no clue what they're grappling with. By the time they do, it may well be over.

The whole expectations game, the whole conventional wisdom game, all the stale narratives of conservative versus liberal have clearly gotten a thorough ringing out by the Obama movement -- and it is nothing if not sheerly, gleefully entertaining to watch. But even though I support Obama -- indeed, find his campaign invigorating -- I cannot shake my skepticism that he is really something actually new. He may be successful in shifting the paradigm back towards progressive values, he may be able to build a lasting coalition, and he may encourage greater participation in the process. But is he really going to transform the very way politics works, the way Washington works? It seems more likely that he's just going to go about that politics in a way that is less disgusting and less cowardly. Let's call it "Obama Realism" -- and don't get me wrong, its plenty good enough for me. Or does that make me part of the fossilized vestige of cynics and doubters to be swept away by the new order?

Update: This is exactly why Obama is my candidate. When McCain goes straight to the tried and tested method of mocking Democrats on foreign policy, Obama doesn't pull any punches: "I've been paying attention, John McCain," he said. "John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq that's cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars...I intend to bring [it] to an end so that we can actually start going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan and in the hills of Pakistan like we should have been doing in the first place.That's the news, John McCain," Obama said.


spencer said...

I think there's something to be said for setting an example. Not just to other politicians, but to remind people that there is another way.

Cassady said...

What is the deal with John McCain and committment? He's criticizing Obama for NOT NEEDING to dip into public funds?

"I promise to spend your money"

I imagine Dana Carvey saying this in his Bush Sr. impersonation.

The second part of that article on McCain's attacks is interesting as well. And I mean interesting in the way a three-legged dog wearing a party hat and a saddle with a little cowboy monkey is interesting--you know, comical.

"God is going to destroy that army." That's right, the hand of God will descend from the heavens and explode every molecule of that army, simultaneously proving God's existence and contradicting everything humanity thought about God's infinite mercy and kindness. Absurdity to the max!!