Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Digby says

Digby over at Hullabaloo says:

This convinces me that the central problem for the campaign is that nobody knows what Obama stands for. It's a perennial problem for Democrats, but I think it may be an even bigger problem this time. The hope and change theme was galvanizing in the beginning but it isn't enough to sustain full campaign. What was once inspiring has become a fog.

As for whether the campaign is comparable to other great movements in American history, it is obvious to me that it is not. That's not to say a progressive movement doesn't exist, but the Obama campaign is a slightly unorthodox political campaign (more orthodox by the day) with an historic candidate, which isn't the same thing. They may merge at some point, depending on how Obama chooses to govern, but at this point, I think the 21st century progressive movement (such as it is) will work outside the administration and on the edges of the Democratic party for some time. The institutional torpor of the party and the internalization of the belief that conservatism is a default setting of the American political soul means that it's going to take more time than I had hoped. If the professionals can't make a strong and creative case for progressive rule after the spectacular Republican meltdown during the Bush years, then it's clear they have a long way to go.

Any Democrat would be at least marginally better than John McCain and Republican hegemony so I'm not particularly moved by the question of whether we are being led by a savior or a disappointment at this point. I just want to ensure that we don't have another psycho running things. I am interested in whether this nascent progressive movement can actually coalesce into something meaningful by gathering enough political power and cultural heft to actually do something. At this point I have no earthly idea if that will happen but I'm fascinated by the prospect.

I have long argued that BHO was allowed to get through the primaries with the least amount of detail on policy of any of the candidates, and it is now coming back to haunt his campaign. I agree with Digby that he is better than McSame, but I worry that an Obama administration will stiff arm core liberal values.

This has been the latest edition of "what Digby says"...


dave3544 said...

At the risk of incurring your wrath, Obama was never the progressive candidate (Kucinich was). He was better than the alternative.

Lips Dexter said...

sane people have ceased overinflating obama's promise for all sorts of different reasons at this point - or so i hope.

i was more confused/intrigued by digby's evocation of an (actually-existing) "Progressive Movement," making effective political action beyond the confines of partisan contexts and "local" everything. i feel like Rip Van Lips, or something...Are we talking about MoveOn, here? did i really miss something by not checking out certain Spearhead albums?

what's that? i'd like to see this Progressive Movement. were i to see it, i would surely feed it cakes (and then immediately rename it.)