5 Days To Go: Let's Talk Obama

I was going to post on yet another GOP outrage (Which one? You pick one. So many to choose from) confirming yet again why we must "Throw the Rubberstamp Republican Bums Out." But we can resume that series later. I have something more important to talk about . . . Barack Obama. (I'm joking.)

Sterling Newberry's harsh critique of Obama allows me to do something I have not done for quite some time - defend Barack Obama. Since I am not likely to get to do that much in the face of the seemingly endless Media worship of The Hope and Audacity Man, like George Washington Plunkett - 'I seen my opportunity and I am taking it.'

Stirling writes:

Having seen how Obama deals with people who are straying from his line, I will say that Hillary's faith in Obama stumbling is well placed. Obama's self-love does not, yet, or perhaps ever, encompass people who don't do what he wants them to do. Instead, he turns vicious, he turns nasty.

I've been on the receiving end, in general terms, of Obama's harshness, and to be honest, Obama is not particularly nasty in my opinion. Perhaps Stirling knows things I don't know, check that, Stirling DEFINITELY knows things I don't know, but this ultra-nasty Obama is something I have not seen anyway.

Stirling continues:

The problem with Obama isn't absence of experience, it isn't his personal style. It is only partially his egotism and surliness to his opponents. Instead it is his absolutely catastrophic diagnosis of what is wrong with the world. Every statesman, good or bad, has a theory about the world. A theory about what makes the world work, and what makes the world fall apart when it is not in place. Barak Obama has the world view that if all the little children play together in the sandbox, then everything will be fine, and if the don't it will be not fine. This isn't the world view of a successful president. On the contrary, it is the world view of someone morosely eager for affection, and, at the same time, addicted to control and a political life of ease.

Meh. I have had enough with leaders with theories of the world. Give me some leaders who pay attention to facts, look for policies that might work, and can actually think themselves out of a paperbag and I think I can live with the not having a theory of the world.

Stirling continues:

What Obama needs then, is to enunciate - not policy papers and positions, because that would be lethal to his "all things to all people" appeal, but a theory of government. He has failed to do so in two books and several major speeches, which is the surest sign that he doesn't have one, other than "well if we all pitch in, it has got to be better." That helps on the margins, but it doesn't change the system. If Obama doesn't know it, then he is hopeless. On the other hand, it is a good holding pattern while he formulates a more profound political idea. Absent this idea, he is merely a stalking horse for Hillary - tiring out the rest of the field chasing a candidate that can't be. With this idea he becomes a serious challenger to Hillary. Hillary is on the other side of pragmatic from Obama. Hillary began with the "we can all get along" theory, and had it pounded out of her. Instead, she is now the uberwonk of the Democratic field, even if she does not look like it.

I don't know if Hillary is the uberwonk or not, but I do know that the Clinton who is a REAL political genius is Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton said:

Clinton -- who regards Rove with a mixture of admiration and disdain as the most effective modern practitioner of polarizing politics -- said in an interview that he has become fixated on the problem of how Democrats can learn to fight more effectively against the kind of attack President Bush's top political aide leveled. Associates of the former president said he thinks that Democrats Al Gore in 2000 and Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) in 2004 lost the presidency because they could not effectively respond to a modern media culture that places new emphasis on politicians' personalities and provides new incentives for personal attack.

While the Foley and Allen episodes burned Republicans, Clinton said in an interview earlier this year that he thinks the proliferation of media outlets, as well as the breakdown of old restraints in both media and politics, on balance has favored Republicans. Without mentioning Gore or Kerry by name, he complained that many Democrats have allowed themselves to become unnerved and even paralyzed in response.

"All of this is a head game, you know. . . . All great contests are head games," Clinton said. "Our candidates have to get to a point where they don't allow other people to define them as either people or as political leaders. Our people have got to be more psychologically prepared for it, and there has to be more distance between them and these withering attacks."

And this is where Stirling and differ on Obama - Obama does not need a theory of the world - he needs a theory of politics that deals with the real political world of today. As I wrote:

Barack Obama is living in a different reality:
Democrats, for the most part, have taken the bait. At best, we may try to avoid the conversation about religious values altogether, fearful of offending anyone and claiming that - regardless of our personal beliefs - constitutional principles tie our hands. At worst, some liberals dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word "Christian" describes one's political opponents, not people of faith.

Obama the political consultant. What Dems should do is what Obama has been about. Not about electing Democrats. Predictably, Broder and Klein love him.

Me, I'll take Bill Clinton every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I do not have a problem with Obama's theory of governance. I have a problem with his theory of politics.

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