The Obama Backlash

The Obama Backlash


There are some highly critical Obama posts at Stubborn Facts (here and here). One at Centerfield here and a whole host at PoliGazette (a concise one here).

The general theme? Obama is a fraud, nothing more than a generic liberal with rhetorical chops. He won’t actually unify anybody. He has no way to pay for his “solutions.” He’s just an inexperienced joe who is flying high thanks to the endless adoration of the media.

All this is coming from writers who are reasonable people and not prone to spout off party-line arguments or twist logic just so “their side” can look good. Their critiques do make me worry that I’m a sucker for preferring Obama to Clinton and believing, even with reservations, that he has the capacity to bridge some of the divides in this nation.

Part of this backlash is probably just contrarianism for the sake of balancing out the recent rush of Obama love. But a lot of it is pretty earnest and some of the writers seem quite concerned that Obama proponents are falling into a potentially dangerous trap. Maybe so. But their aversion is based on no more evidence than my attraction. It’s all a matter of perception.

Really, I’m an Obama admirer more than a supporter (McCain would get my vote if the election occurred today), but I’m going to let Obama and not his critics drive my judgments. I’d rather be audacious enough to believe there are still great men who can achieve great deeds than be so calculatingly cynical as to reject even the hope of greatness.

  • Justin Gardner

    See this post I just wrote. In particular I take Michael to task for being so anti-Obama while not offering much weighty explanation.

  • TerenceC

    Great post – you summed up my sentiments exactly. How many people in the “entrenched” political gamesmanship going on look at Clinton or McCain as a meal ticket. They have a vested interest in continuing the games – they have mortgages, college costs, etc. Obama, Edwards, Paul, even Romney to some small degree would force a wholesale change in the business as usual crowd – and it scares the heck out of them. Unfortunately the average American is afraid of change – they are against war, they are against entrenched special interest, they are against free trade vs fair trade, they agree on so many things but politics won’t let them admit it. If you look at popular opinion now we see conservative, pro war, pro corporatist’s seemingly in the lead in the Dem and Rep primaries it sickens me. Real change is possible and needed – but the American people have to accept blame for so many of the things that have gone wrong in the past. It isn’t just Bush, or just Clinton – it’s them and their unwillingness to allow real change to occurr. I have seen so much failure in politics since the 1960’s – by and large it stems from Congress not living up to their constitutional rights – but every one of those people is put there by the voters – no one else. The anti-Obama people are also the anti-change people. They have side lined this countries social progress so much in the last 40 plus years – we should all just stop listening to them. Vote for real change, vote for real meaning and inspiration in your politics – vote for Obama – vote for Paul – vote for someone new because lord knows the ones we’ve put in there the last 40 years have sold us out economically, taken away some of our rights, helped to water down the education system, raised taxes, should I go on? Real change is needed, badly, and the REP and DEM front runners are not those people.

  • Polimom

    I think that one reason people are having some trouble with Obama is that he isn’t fitting a mold. The view of him from the radical left, and some of the true “progressives” , is somewhat enlightening, and rather different than some might suppose. (I put a post up today about it)

    FWIW — I see Obama as essentially a pragmatic liberal, with a fair amount of Classical Liberalism thrown in. The way the Democratic candidates have swung to the left behind Edwards’ campaign, though, is making Obama hard to read. Now that Edwards is out, I’m watching Obama to see if he shifts left into that gap. If he does, I’m probably going to pull back in my support.

  • Tully

    *Now that Edwards is out, I’m watching Obama to see if he shifts left into that gap.*

    Er, how much room does he really have in which to shift?

    Having gone to see him speak this week, I can say he’s a very smooth fellow, lotta natural charisma, and could indeed be unifying. He’s been an effective liberal Senator for his constituents during his short time in office, and has shown some ability to reach across the aisle on issues where partisanship is not a major factor.

    What he can’t do is possibly deliver on the truckloads of snake oil he’s selling on the stump, or even on more than a few small bottles thereof.