Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tough Times

Marvelous piece from D. Aristophanes at Sadly, No about the latest Obama-"gaffe" and the matching Clinton/McCain attacks about it, and I'm not going to quote it.

These are great words from an incredibly intelligent writer about where things stand in the Democratic nomination - a process, if nothing else, that has unearthed an extraordinary amount of buried dirt in our party and our country. This is without doubt a good thing, despite all the pain we thought we could save for later. Can you even remember all we had not yet discussed1 via this race in, say, November?

Read the whole thing. And it's not just Clinton criticism (though that is provided in plenty). It's a smart, thoughtful look at keeping our eyes on the prize. For example:
And in my opinion, Obama should immediately stop equating the Bill Clinton administration with the Bush cabal, anytime, under any circumstances, ever.
Fair enough (and oops about not quoting it). His primary position is that he's above these kind of things, so he should stay there. The pertinent quote from Obama:
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
Lead rather with your clear discussions and elucidations about how to recognize the failings of our country and how to repair it. This crap seems cheap, unbecoming, and...I'm afraid, we can start to describe it as Clintonesque.

And (again breaking my original promise about not quoting) I'll close with Obama's response, which is a fine example of confident clarity. I especially like how he comfortably reclaims the word that has become the shorthand for this issue, "bitter":
“No, I’m in touch,” Mr. Obama said. “I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania, I know what’s going on in Indiana, I know what’s going on in Illinois. People are fed up, they’re angry, they’re frustrated, they’re bitter and they want to see a change in Washington. That’s why I’m running for president of the United States of America.”
I'm hoping that, somehow, incredibly, Obama will be able to pull an honest discussion out of this mess, dragging us out to a place we couldn't comfortably go yet, as he did with the race speech.

1. Yes. Despite all the bullshit that clogs our national neurons, it's fair to say that we do bumble along in some degree of national discussion. Some things are brought up, some folks react one way, some another, and we learn more about ourselves as a part of it, despite what sort of shoot-myself-in-the-head kind of consensuses "we" sometimes appear to reach.

No comments:

Post a Comment