Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What Say You Obama?

Barack Obama is trying to move our political discourse to a higher level. I honestly consider that goal very favorably. If there were any way possible that Obama could lead us to a less heated place in our national politics there is no doubt that this nation would owe him a great debt of gratitude.

If you sense a certain holding back with my enthusiasm for Baracks approach, let me affirm your perception. While I would love to be able to jump on and ride the Barack bandwagon to a better place, I am unwilling to join the cause with another principled Democrat trying to take the high road to the White House. After watching national campaigns from the 88 smearing of Michael Dukakis through the swiftboating of Kerry in 04, I am convinced that we need a hard hitting fighter who will not take the crap being thrown at him from the right during the campaign.

Barack Obama has been handed his chance to respond to a viscious attack from the right, and if he wants to appeal to the wizened old lefties who think like I do, he will take this chance to come back fast and hard with a response and do so immediately.

Yesterday Osama Bin Laden released an audio tape in which he exorted Muslims to join the fight against the West in Iraq. Here is what Mitt Romney said of this in Greenville North Carolina earlier today:
"Actually, just look at what Osam, uh, Barack Obama, said just yesterday. Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield. That is the central place, he said. Come join us under one banner."
This is a continuation of a pattern by the right wing freaks "mistaking" or flat out associating Obama and Osama. Frankly, I'm outraged by it, and I'm not particularly beholden to Obama as a supporter. What I am is sick and tired of the unfounded smears and lies spread by the right to chew up Democrats. So Obama could score major points for those who, like me, are worried about backing another non responsive Democrat only to see him/her be eaten alive by Republicans. He can score those points by immediately slamming Romney back and doing it hard. He should not rely upon a statement from his campaign spokesperson to do this. Obama needs to give it right back to Romney and it needs to be in this news cycle if possible or the next at the very latest. The response also needs to come directly from Barack, and he needs to get some fire in his belly about this, pure and simple. If he can't muster up a half decent response to this slander right here and now, what does that tell us about him if he wins the nomination?

[Update: Here is Obama's initial response: "I don't pay too much attention to Mitt Romney."

I am underwhelmed. If ever there was a chance for a Democratic leader to show some vim and vigor, this was it. I'll back Obama to the hilt if he wins the nomination, but the more he tries to take the high road to victory, the less likely it is that he will go anywhere but down in flames.

Maybe this is just a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans spend most of their time attacking Hillary, Obama, and anyone else to the left of Mussolini. The Democratic candidates spend an obligatory minute or two popping off on how bad Bush is, and then they go to their 12 point plans for better government with enlightened leadership. My perception is that the negativity is far heavier from the right to the left than from the left to the right. Obama had a golden opportunity to slam around one of the Republican front runners, and he just let it go by dismissing Romney as inconsequential. I'm frankly dissapointed. ]

Obama lost my vote when he started triangulating and talking about "faith". There is some question where he stands on gay marriage now as well.

I'm no Hillary fan either.

I'd vote Kucinich at this point.

Of course if Hillary or Obama get the nomination, I'll vote for them over any of the damn Republicans that are running.

Edwards is alright too.

But they do need to be able to fight because it's only going to get meaner and nastier as we approach Nov '08 and if the Dems won't get in their and scrap they could end up losing.

Everyone says it's a shoe-in that the next Prez will be a Dem. I'm not so sure.

I'm not convinced Hillary can win.

I think the right wants a Hillary candidacy so they can unload a tiday war of the Starr Report, White Water, Vince Foster, and Monica Lewinksy.
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