Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A little hating on Barack Obama

I've been puzzled all year about Democrats' insane love for Obama. Yes, he is a great public speaker and a totally charming man. But I haven't seen much from him to indicate he's putting those attributes to work in the service of anything yet. I'm not ready to condemn the guy, I'm just not totally on board either.

I was going to write something long and researched about this, but then I discovered that Thersites at VichyDems already did it here and here.

Here's what's good about Barack Obama: despite his relative youth and political inexperience, he is in the first ranks when it comes to political astututeness. He understands the game, plays all the angles with a skill approaching genius. The last political operator we saw with Obama's skill was an Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton. Hell, Obama may even be better than Bill Clinton.

Here's what's bad about Barack Obama: at an age and place in his career where he should still be known for idealism, he instead is known for political astuteness. He has mastered the game instead of the ideals, applies his genius to playing the angles instead of changing the world for the better. The last political operator we saw with Obama's skill was an Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton. Hell, Obama may even be worse than Bill Clinton.

Thersites also links to this analysis at the Huffington Post:

Barack Obama is widely considered the front-runner for the VP slot should Hillary Clinton capture the nomination in '08. His recent endorsement of right-winger Joe Lieberman in the presence of liberal challenger Ned Lamont was a calculated slap - not only toward the liberal blogosphere, which has warmly endorse Lamont, but toward the great numbers of mainline Democrats who have been alienated by Lieberman's zealous support for the stumbling war effort.

Obama may have been paying Lieberman off for some favors, but he was also sending a message to the Party's insiders that says "I'm one of you." He's been doing that since he voted to confirm Condi Rice. In addition, he was sending a message to the commentariat that he's not "crashing the gate." He was signaling instead that he's an insider politician who - never fear, Mr. Russert et al - will play the game the ways it's always been played.

So what's the deal? Are Democrats just so desperate to win that they fall for any pretty new face? Or am I cutting Obama a raw deal?

Tags: Obama, politics


  • At 1:08 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Oh I was just planning on writing something about how overrated Obama is, that's funny (and I wrote something on Daily Kos about it that got a lot of kudos, so we're not alone).

    I wonder if there's an Obama backlash in the air. That would be cool.

    Btw, "a great public speaker"? Have you been drinking the Flav-R-Aid? (heh, sorry bad intentional misuse of a cliche) His speeches are the vacuous doublespeak of Clinton-era Gore, "bridges to the 21st century" and all. Bleurgh.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    How about a mediocre speaker among stutterers?

  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    How about a typical smarmy, opportunistic pol?

  • At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fun and constructive to see this discussion growing! Katherine of Move To The Left has a post up now about Obama, and I've stoked the fire by putting all the threads in one place and inviting further discussion (with a link to you, of course!).

    How do you solve a problem like Obama? on VichyDems

  • At 10:22 PM, Blogger Swordsandlace said…

    Hi there. I just read an article about Mr. Obama in Time Magazine about his views on politics and religion. I don't know how many secularists out there are voting for him, but he seems to be able to get away with doing what no conservative preacher can get away with, and that is saying the following:

    "Secularists are wrong when they tell believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

    I also just watched the entire presentation he gave on his website. There is NO way a conservative could get away with this and not suffer backlash, yet I see very little out there.

    My point is that the left is very lenient when it is one of their own doing the very thing they want to bash the right of doing.

    This presentation by Barack Obama is very articulate and warrants a lot of discussion and debate.



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