Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lambert on Obama, Krugman, the Conservative Movement...

Pretty much everything, really.

I'll drill it down, though. Obama's followers are pissed off at Paul Krugman's criticism of their chosen candidate. Yet Krugman has a point: Obama's rhetoric of national reconciliation runs smack into the reality of the conservative movement, which has spent something like 30 years injecting billionaire-friendly anti-New Deal policies into the national discourse through thoroughgoing partisanship. "Reconciliation" between the public position on issues and the CM position on issues may well be impossible, and Obama naive about its likelihood. In order to do what he needs to do, Obama may need to fight, instead of reconcile.

Yes, it's not as popular as "gee, aren't we all Americans!" But because politics is driving economics, and American politics in the modern era is dominated by the CM, successful progressivism may require a bit of confrontation. Attempts at "reconciliation" will just be exploited to attack progressives and inject more CM positions into the discourse. The sons and daughters of the Lewis Powell memo aren't interested.

(Of course, Hillary sort of has this problem as well, but nobody really believes she'll be conciliatory with the CM. She can't be. She's Hillary Clinton. They, er, kind of don't like her.)

And then there's this problem:

And here I have to say that this passage—

… there’s no shortage of anger and bluster …

—grotesquely trivializes the experience of any aware citizen under Bush’s rule. Is it wrong to be “angry” that the Bush administration has turned us into a nation of torturers? Is it wrong to be “angry” that the Republicans took us to war under false pretenses? Is it “bluster” to say that Cheney’s claim to be the Fourth Branch of government is absurd? Is it “bluster” to demand our Fourth Amendment rights back?

And who might these angry blusterers be?

Surely not those “principled” Republicans, since Obama wants to “reach out” to them. Surely not Reid and Pelosi; they’ve been nice as nice, going off to the slaughter like lambs. Surely not Rahm Emmanuel or Chuck Schumer! And surely not Kristol, Broder, Brooks, or Sullivan!

Could the angry blusterers be …. Progressives? Harshing the mellow with their demands for accountability and the restoration of Constitutional government?

Do we really need the kind of politics that tells us to lay back and enjoy it?
This is it, isn't it? Too many progressives and independents and non-political types are being swayed by the relatively calm demeanor that a lot of CM operatives have on television, and the discomfort they feel at the (entirely justified) anger by, well, pretty much everybody in America who pays attention and has a liberal bone in their body. They want somebody who can make them feel better about being American, and let them feel like, heh, "the long national nightmare is over".

Sorry, but this ain't a nightmare, it's a battleground. Progressives need to pick their asses up and retake some lost territory. And Obama's followers need to listen carefully to what Krugman's saying, even if he is viciously attacking their Chosen One. To be blunt, that man's got a lot more liberal/progressive cred than Obama. A LOT more. "Audacity" in spades. Ignore him at your peril.

(Edit: my apologies to lambert from corrente for mixing him up with Tim Lambert. Both are fine writers but not, in fact, the same guy.)

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