Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why Obama Can’t “Close the Deal”

There’s been a lot of talk this morning about why Barak Obama can’t make this nomination his. There is valid concern that even though Obama leads in delegates, he wins some races and loses some races, and this doesn’t bode well for a race against McCain.

Nobody that I have heard has been able to pronounce a plausible reason for this apparent weakness in his campaign. Some point to Hillary as being such a strong candidate. They suggest that both candidates are great candidates, and that people are just torn between two greats. Give me a break. Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be little better than McCain in her tactics and rhetoric. Yes, she comes off as intelligent and experienced. But she’s down to saber rattling to get hawk votes, and that is simply deplorable. While I think there are probably some moderate Democrats who approve of the hawk talk, this is likely to disaffect even more Democrats. And her continued determination to turn all things Obama into questions of patriotism, and questions about his character (a tactic very absent from Obama’s own campaign), shows a despicable side that Democrats have come to associate with Karl Rove. That certainly isn’t what is causing the vote to turn as often as not to her over Obama.

So what is the reason? I’m afraid that the answer is simple and that it’s insidious. America is racist. I’m not saying that all Americans are racist (I’m not, and many of us are not). But America herself is racist. We have racist institutions and a racist economy. Our schools reflect our racism. Our prisons reflect our racism. It’s reflected in the service industries and in the food processing industries. Unfortunately, racism is a steaming cancer at the core of our nation. I sympathize with Reverend Wright’s sentiments. Not because I hate America, but because America refuses to face up to this fact. We put window dressing all around the ugly outbreaks of this disease, and we pretend we have solved our racism. We even argue that affirmative action is no longer necessary (if it ever was) because racial inequality has been eradicated.

Barak Obama tried to address this a month ago when the Reverend Wright “story” broke. I put “story” in quotation marks because it wasn’t a story. It was a deliberately placed distraction. And it was itself, a play of that famous “race card.”

The Republican Party may openly underwrite racism, but it’s not a phenomenon limited to conservatives. I listen to liberal pundits on the radio fairly regularly, and the folks that call in to those shows are by and large liberal themselves. Yet I have heard them time and time again say that Obama shouldn’t run because “America isn’t ready to elect a black man President,” or even, “America will never elect a black man President.” I am beginning to worry that this may be true. But to state that as a reason for Obama not to run, is racist itself. Yet I’m sure those folks wouldn’t consider themselves racist. As I said, it is insidious. This morning on the Bill Press radio show, a caller actually suggested that Obama ought to accept Hillary's offer to "ride in the back of the bus." He was referring, of course, to Hillary's offer of the Veep position to Obama, but the expression was clearly racist. Bill Press not only did not chastise the caller for the expression, he repeated it himself!

Barak Obama is so much more a candidate than any I have had the opportunity to vote for in my lifetime. With regard to the state of American politics, this man is more honest than any viable Presidential candidate I have ever seen. Instead of fighting as dirty as Hillary, he attempts to raise the discussion. But Clinton and the media insist on pulling it back down into the dirt. And it’s not merely to destroy Obama, but much more importantly, it’s to destroy the vision. American politics as usual, and the corporate interests it serves, cannot afford to tolerate a vision of hope. They cannot allow people to control their own destinies. They have us all by the short hairs and that suits them just fine. Hillary is totally sold out to that reality, as surely as John McCain is. Obama is the only hope we have going. And any time his populist message begins to raise his numbers above the fray, all that is needed is a subtle reminder to our dark hearts that he is after all, black.


Anonymous said...

Well, the 6 week epic battle of Pennsylvania has finished, and I think Barack did respectable. There were some mis steps, and some self inflicted to be sure, but overall, I think those issues are not a big deal in the long term. What I did see more than anything from Barack was leadership, in spite of the Repubican tactics from Hillary, who is doing John McCains job for him, I saw him take the high road as much as possible. Perhaps if he had used all the ammo he has to throw at Hillary, he could have won the state, lord knows that she is getting a soft ride from Barack, with her untruths, and all the baggage she herself says she has that a whole Union Local's worth of Baggage Handlers couldn't carry in one trip. If Barack had used every available negative attack on Hillary, he could claim as she does that this is just really a good thing, a public service to toughen her up for the Republicans. Barack is trying to live up to his goal of a new kind of politics, but this doesn't mean that he will be able to not "play the game", unfortuantely. If he always takes the high road, Hillary and probably the media as well will deamonize him for being "weak", when in reality it is a sign of strength. This is because to try to go too negative on a fellow Democrat, even though you are running against them for the nomination, is bad for the party. This man, Barack Obama, has withstood the attacks from both John McCain and Hillary, it is like a tag team match, and Hillary is truthfully the dirtiest fighter of the two so far. When I saw the Hillary add with Bin Laden featured, I knew she has gone too far, but it wasn't the first time I felt this way as she has a pattern of this since she realized that the nomination wasn't hers for the taking, just for showing up and being a Clinton. I'm proud that the person I support shares the sense of honor I have and hasn't dropped to that low level to win at any cost. The truth is that Hillary is not a Democrat anymore, not when she uses Bin Laden as an attack add, not when she continually praises John McCain and derides Barack, and not when she says that Fox News is the most fair and balanced and Bill Clinton goes on Rush Limbaugh's show for an interview. I think Barack has in mind the good of the Party, the good of the nation, and the fact that when he is the nominee, he will need Hillary's supporters. The man can see the big picture, and that is what a good leader does, these are his leadership skills on display. His actions show his concerns for her supporters, the party, and the Nation, while Hillary, sadly, has only her self interest in being President as her motivation. His actions speak louder than her words. She may possibly divide the party to the point of no repair, because if she can't be the nominee, which I am sure she is smart enough to realize is the case, she wants to try and damage Barack so he can't win and she can run again in 2012. She knows how to play the old style politics and she knows exactly what she is doing. I have more faith in the American people that this will not work this time, in this election. It is only going to get worse, because her tactics have worked in the past and we will see more of them. As long as she is rewarded for this, this will continue. Indiana HAS TO TAKE A STAND AND VOTE AGAINST this type of slash and burn scorched Earth Politics. What I see in the man, Barack Obama, is character, and I know when he is up against John McCain in the General Election, he will take it to him, he is from Chicago, and trust me, he does know how to do it. When he speaks from his heart and convictions he has a powerful message that the American people will respond to. The question is, do we reward Hillary for her agressive Republican style negative tactics or do we reward Barack for his big picture restraint on Hillary that he has displayed for the sake of the Democratic Party and for the good of the Nation? We need to remember our Hoosier Values, and the only candidate who stands for them not only in his words but in his actions is Barack Obama.

Yar said...

Anonymous, thank you for your in-depth comments. I agree with pretty much all you said. I wish you had left your name.

Beth said...

Gosh I hate anonymous posters!!!!! Anyway, I'm not too worried at this point. The thing that troubles me more than the Dem nominating process is that over 80% of the country thinks we're on the wrong track yet McCain is polling at approx 48%. How can that be? There is plenty to run against John McCain on. There's plenty of time to hit him and hit him hard - the question is does Obama have to stomach to do that - so far he hasn't had the stomach to fight down and dirty against Hillary. After the Wright interview - he needs to stand up and take Wright down. Overall I agree with you that American's don't consider character - unless it involves sex and gays - however, one thing they do consider is their pocketbooks - and things are so bad now across the country that I hope THAT will be enough.