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Monday, January 07, 2008

Reaching out 

This is what worries me about Obama: You're Not Really Thinking of Going On O'Reilly, Are You?
[O'Reilly's] objective is a vilification of the Left and Progressives since from day one and he brings on a brigade of cronies to back that up on every show. Add his history of sexual harassment, blaming rape victims for their molestation, and multitudes of lies and attacks on any who disagree with him, and you'll realize that Bill O'Reilly's goal is not to illicit information. It's to divide the nation, diminish the truth to an almost unrecognizable state and sell himself (and Factor Gear). Why in the world would you want to play into the hands of one who would only be using you to further his partisan profitability?
Why don't you just meet him at Sylvia's?
I know Obama is a supremely confident person, and, particularly if he can sweep enough Democrats into the Senate and House with him, then there is great potential for him to get some progressive changes done, like health care. And he can certainly make an effective difference in American government with the hundreds of well-qualified progressives who will steam into Washington with him and start cleaning up the messes that Bush has made.
But the older I get, the less I am charmed by charisma and good speeches.
I worry that Obama thinks he can carry all before him with the force of his personality. I worry that he thinks he can reform the US political system by being a charismatic leader. I worry that he thinks the neocons and the Religious Right will listen to him if he just talks intelligently enough. I worry that he can be persuaded to put all his plans on hold until he has made peace with Lieberman and the Republicans. Ain't gonna happen.
What Digby says:
When people say they want change it's not because they are tired of "partisan bickering" (which basically consists of derisive Republican laughter.) They're sick of a government that does exactly the opposite of what they want it to do. And they aren't picky about how it gets done. If it can be done with gentle persuasion, that's great. But if it takes a fight, they're all right with that too.
This is the central difference between the beltway CW as expressed by the Bloomer party and the village gasbags. The elders believe that nothing can get done without "moving to the middle" which currently means, even in the best interpretation, somewhere between the center right and the far right. And even that is incredibly optimistic. The truth is that Republicans out of power believe in total obstruction. They are perfectly happy to block all progressive legislation because they know they will suffer no consequences for it from the mild mannered Democrats and the bipartisan zombies.
Obama has to be willing to fight. For eight full years. And I'm not sure if he is.

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