Sunday, February 11, 2007

Obama begins campaign

So, I suppose I'm one of those people who's pretty caught up in the whole Obama excitement, but I've got a good, simple reason: there's excitement.

If Obama doesn't jump through all the liberal/left's hoops and do everything the old way, that's fine. The other politicians have ditched progressives after the primaries, anyway. What he's got is a forward-looking sense of what America is about that is at the heart of what liberalism's about--and no one seems to have captured that like him in years.

(Photo courtesy of NY Times)


Jacob said...

"...other politicians have ditched progressives after the primaries, anyway."

Or in Obama's case, worked to defeat progressives in primaries.

Look, I want to be convinced that Barack Obama is going to be a great progressive force. I really do. But as of now, based on what he's done with his time in the Senate - he's just not. I don't need him to jump through hoops, but appealing to some sort of high-minded, above-the-fray "hope" is not how a progressive agenda gets advanced: taking strong stands on important issues and then actually fighting for them, is.

Manfred said...

The high-handed intervention described in your In These Times link is disturbing.

I agree that some grit needs to be added to the Obama campaign, by which I mean a willingness to engage hard-fighting activists like those sidelined in Illinois and, as The Nation post noted, a willingness to engage the fight itself, the FIGHT that is a part of change.

Still, I'm just judging things by how things are spun. And I like how Obama has spun things into a bigger liberal tradition.

And I liked the Abraham Lincoln nod--it's been a while since liberals have been able to root things in American history without looking wooden. American history is, after all, a story of the progress of American liberalism, the enlargening of the scope of rights, etc.

Myself, I prefer the liberal-and-left tradition. I like the rights plus the fight. I like the Joe Hill history.

I'll be a little more wary about Obama, but I don't want to wear him out yet with skepticism.