Like many of you, I have been disappointed that Obama has begun to not just move to the political "center" but has been rushing there in a headlong pursuit of some bizarro-world perfect political "positioning" for the masses. Now it seems that our presumptive candidate is becoming a John McCain-clone to woo those "centrist" voters into his camp. Seemingly though he’s not just uttering the words to woo them, but taking actions to prove that they count and that we, "the DFH Left" are worthy of naught but scorn and derision… witness the FISA bill and his retreat from his own position (and ours) at the speed of sound-bites.
The centrist consensus on many issues underscores an important dynamic in the 2008 political climate: At a time of growing frustration with gridlock and partisan bickering in Washington, politicians with a pragmatic, middle-course tack are thriving. In both parties, the more strident, ideological presidential candidates lost in the primaries.
I think that the tags of "strident" and "ideological" have been incorrectly applied by the media filter/MSM writers who misunderstand the passion of the electorate for some change, any change and now are probably not going to get it. We have been painting McCain as the continuation of the current inept, and even criminal proto-fascism brought to this country by the current republican mis-administration and slowly being repudiated by most of America (strident! ideological!). If Obama wants to be seen as rushing to embrace the same values and "ideas" of the modern-day republican party he’s going to see himself losing support among the very group that is his bulwark… the left who are hungry for a change.
Not voting for him is certainly a vote for McCain, so he knows that we (what Obama considers the DFH contigent) are not going to allow McCain to get a free pass into the White House to definitely continue the poor policies (foreign, economic, environmental, scientific… and the list goes on) of Preznit Utterly Incompetent. But it seems that Obama has begun in a very subtle way the marginalization of the left within his Democratic party (and make no mistake, he’s the new 800 lb gorilla in the room).
In the "finals" of the primary the reluctance of many folks to support Hillary Clinton was her connection to the DLC and her seemingly un-original approach to centrist governance that was the trademark of the first Clinton administration. It seems to me that we might have bought the famous southern "pig in a poke" with Obama… we’re gonna get a candidate who is not only going to run as a centrist but is now a proven liar (FISA, Barry, FISA) when it serves to move him politically away from progressive Democrats on the left.
So what "me-too" politics has Obama rushed in to in order to secure the political center?
The convergence is in large measure a result of McCain’s record of defying the GOP party line. But Obama too has been tacking to the center lately on a number of fronts, including trade, government wiretapping policy and the death penalty.
Yes, because Obama should definitely pick right up on that Death Penalty plank… goddamn, he’s going to be for an irrevocable punishment that has been statistically shown to be disproportionately applied to minorities in this country just to get more votes from the bed-wetting white voters who would cross the street if they saw him coming the opposite way wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt?
The media man-crush on McCain’s "Maverick-iness" has to be part of Obama’s centrist fantasy, he wants the imprimateur of being "free" of the left (DFH influence), and to be his own man. Even if he doesn’t want to dance with the ones whut brung him at any point in time after he’s become President. I don’t know how that’s going to work out for him in the long run… it might be the most brilliant political strategery ever, but it will never ever allow another candidate to so openly lie and make fools of all his or her followers once they become "the nominee".
Because when candidates open their mouths on day one of the silly season, I’ll just refuse to believe them or believe in them. Ever. HRC’s candidacy was crippled by her Iraq vote and refusal to apologize for it, and then her subsequent vote for Lieberman-Kyl. Obama now has FISA and for this election cycle we have no other choices (no St. Ralph, you are not a "real" choice).
Well, there’s always a floor-fight in Denver, and I really would not be sorry to see it. Edwards-Gore or Gore-Edwards anyone?