Friday, August 29, 2008

Defining the Presidency and Vice Presidency downward

I have tried to warn my party about the danger of nominating Barack Obama under the current circumstances.
He was the least qualified among the major the contenders.
His base supported him because of identity politics.
The media shielded him from many legitimate criticisms.---Now as Obama engages in his first REAL nationial campaign of his life, he finds himself against John McCain who is actually trying to win and Republicans don't have to worry about hurt "feelings" from their strategy or attack.
The choice of Palin was brilliant. I thought it would be a woman (Hutchinson of Texas) for the very reason it turned out to be Palin.
Obama and his crew won by leveraging the black vote, irrespective of issues.
If each democratic primary voter chose their candidate based on the issues, then Obama wouldn't have gotten 90% of the black vote, and Hillary wouldn't have gotten the lion share of the older white women vote. There really wasn't any serious issue debate in the Democratic Campaign. It was a circus about identity politics. The subtext of Jesse Jackson Jr., Michael E. Dyson, John Lewis, John Kerry, and others either overtly or in more subtle ways alluding to Obama's race was/is bad both morally and politically.
I pleaded with Obama (and supporters) to reject the support on that basis, and now it will come back to harm him.
Gov. Sarah Palin is making a cynical appeal to women, BECAUSE SHE'S A REAL WOMAN!
Never mind the issues.She's a 5 time mother.
Never mind the politics.She's a spouse and a working woman.
What should concern us as a nation is:
SARAH PALIN is totally unqualifed to be President or Vice President of the United States.
Democrats will try to make a rational case as to how being a woman with a right-wing agenda doesn't help women, but the problem is we've spent months voting/not voting based essentially on women vs blacks vs men vs whites. The Obama team did the math and realized that if they combined the black vote with the young voters and elite liberals, they couldn't be stopped, and superdelegates wouldn't move against the first black candidate with a chance to win. The Denver convention showed why the Obama camp was correct.
But now we have harmed our country by lowering the standard for POTUS. The republicans have nominated someone who doesn't pass the laugh test.
Before 2008, Democrats would have said this loudly and clearly, but now we have to redouble our efforts and find a sensitive way to criticize Palin while not harming Obama with the same shot.
By the way, I judge Palin as I do every other aspirant:
She has not assumed power or elected to an important position (governor in this case), done a great job and been re-affirmed (re-elected) by the people. She has not been tested in a real way.
Now just as many blacks support Obama because he's black. Even though many of them are very conservative and disagree with Obama on many issues.
Gov. Palin is seeking similar support from women, white women especially, and has the various "cards" to play:
mother of child with disabilitymother of son in Iraqworking woman "not afraid of the good ole boys"reform against her own party.
The truth of each assertion doesn't matter, just like Obama's real position on Iraq or various issues doesn't matter to many of his supporters.
Republicans have now ruined their party's principles to win an election. They used to stand for merit and now that is clearly another tenet that has been abandoned.
They chose their VP based on factors other than merit.
If you listen to her speech, she sounded like a Democrat. She's a working mom, part of a Union family, and celebrating the anniversary of women suffage.
I know she is right-wing, but she is the "new" right-wing that asks for Left-Wing votes based on Identity politics.
It would be nice if we as democrats would have rejected this in the primary.
But no one wanted to listen.
---Before the conventions this election was a dead heat with a slight lean towards Obama. After the conventions I expect much the same, except if Palin doesn't mess up, the lean towards Obama will be less so.
Going forward, Democrats should get ready for a big battle in the fall by advancing issues that matter to people:
-judges on the Supreme Court-Universal Healthcare-better foreign policy-cleaner environment
and stop talking about "history". This is code for "vote for the black guy" so America can move beyond race.
The Republicans found their answer this morning, "vote for the white woman".
They aren't exactly equal in that Palin in running for VP, but it gives enough energy on the margins to make a difference.
Especially in light of what happened to HRC, it might work.
Learn the lesson today and quickly.
Craig Farmer
btw. this wouldn't be a bad time for Joe Biden to drop out of the race, and let HRC take her rightful position.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

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