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)

2 comments:

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.