Saturday, January 19, 2008

On Obama and Regan

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt... with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown, but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think... he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was [that] we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

Obama was literally correct - Regan(gag) DID effect change, and more so than Nixon with his malevolence, or even Clinton with his incrementalism. Obama did not come out and say that the change that Regan effected was necessarily * GOOD * mind you, he said it was of greater magnitude, and it was a change in direction. Correct, as far as it goes.

Regan's management style seems to be something that Obama admires, and wants to recreate.[hopefully for better and more humanitarian purposes than those of Regan] Obama is young enough[dob: Aug 14, 1961 - graduated univ 1983] that I think his personal experience and vision of American politics is truncated somewhere just before Regan, and that could be a huge problem going forward. He's never experienced the Democratic Party except as minority party has-beens. Plus, he cannot very well praise a Clinton presidency, so he's stuck with Regan as his only example of a vibrant president. Too bad Regan was the first to employ death squads, and torture as a political weapon[remember Iran- Contra?]. Not so good to invoke the disgust of a third of your party when you want their votes.

There are those who think his speeches are a breath of fresh air - optimistic and hopeful. I just remember Jimmy Carter. We've had one well meaning, intelligent president with vision and practical knowledge who was unable to implement his ideas as president in the face of rising corporate oligarchy. Even though JC went on to do much good, traveling the world as a diplomat, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, working for Habitats for Humanity, etc etc... The fact remains that he was totally obstructed as president, and lacked the ability to overcome that obstruction. That was with a Democratic majority in congress, too. He just didn't know the levers of power in DC, and refused to sully himself by diluting his desired programs.

See, if the corporations cannot buy the president, all they do is buy enough senators and congressmen to make sure their stranglehold on our society is not threatened. We desperately need someone who sees DC politics with a clear eye, not rose colored glasses. Reaching across the aisle in this political environment only nets a "Go fuck yourself" from Rethugglikkin's these days.

At this point, we do not have the luxury to afford another JC presidency right now. Justice and the Rule of Law demand a fighter in our corner. Both Ms Clinton and John Edwards are more scrappy than Mr Obama.

Neither of them are using Republican talking points either.

Cast your ballot for the person you think is best. Me - I'll be voting for Edwards on Feb 5th.


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