The Case For Obama – Please

A reader writes:

At some point, can you lay out on your blog a comprehensive, substantive, issues-based argument for Obama? Thus far, you have touted him as the embodiment of a "new kind of politics," and I honestly do not know what you mean, beyond his platitudes. I also, for the life of me, am still having trouble understanding how a conservative like yourself would rally around a liberal like Obama? I could see you liking a more conservative Democrat, but Obama?

This is all reading very vague and squishy to me. We, regular readers of your blog, are somehow supposed to take it on faith that Obama "represents" change. But you have never really laid out a cogent — again, issues-based — argument for the man. You seem merely to be recycling his platitudes.

I mean, people who support Hillary or Edwards can spell out, in clear and comprehensive terms, why they like those candidates and their positions. With Obama, all we seem to get is mush, which is a HUGE reason why he is sinking in the polls and doing little more than drawing nice crowds.

The next issue of the Atlantic. The cover-story.

Ron Paul and Barack Obama

Larison doesn’t see any overlap:

Sure, superficially Obama and Paul might seem to offer some similar themes, and both did oppose the Iraq war, but Obama is essentially an interventionist at home and abroad and Paul is diametrically opposed to both.  One invokes JFK, the other invokes Robert Taft.  Obama thinks everything on earth is tied to our national security; Paul thinks that there are very few things overseas that are tied to our national security.

That’s fair enough. What both do share, though, is a sense of being outside the establishment of their respective parties. They both sound as if they are saying things they actually believe and have thought about at some length. I wonder if Obama can keep this up, given what national politics does to people. But those of us happy to see both parties shaken up by insurgents wish them both well.

Obama and the Black Vote

One reason he has not wrapped up the black vote is because of readers like this one:

Obama will not be the Democratic Nominee, so this is probably a moot point. Too many of us do not believe America will elect him. That’s why he’s stuck in the polls, despite being so good in so many ways, despite his fundraising.  Or as some of the cynics among us note: "Yeah, America loves white liberals so much, let’s give ’em a Black liberal."

The "Bradley effect" is for the late Tom Bradley, former mayor of LA and two-time Dem. Governor nominee. And Black. Going into the 1982 election, he led in the polls, only to lose by less than 1%. It has been traced to white voters who said they would vote for Bradley, only once they were in the voting booth, pulled the lever for the white guy, the inferior George Deukmejian. (One can ruminate how different America might have been had Colin Powell decided to run in ’96 …)

You would gain tremendous insight by talking to some Black, middle age folks.  You will gain insight as to why this group favors (rightly or wrongly), Hillary.  And they will tell you that (1) Obama is not ready; (2) He will be assassinated if he gets within striking distance of the White House. Middle-age Blacks know a thing or two about how America really is. One does not hear these insights from younger white folks.

Many African-Americans simply do not believe that a black man will ever be allowed to be president. They’re sticking with Clinton because she’s the strongest non-black Democrat. And so racism perpetuates itself through the fears and alienation of its victims. Call it the audacity of hopelessness. And Clinton needs it.