The Blogosphere vs. Barack Obama, Or Who Wanted To Win Anyways?

I’ve written a lot on the attacks on Obama from Paul Krugman and several liberal bloggers, including here, here, here, and here. The hatred showed towards Obama is even further surpassed by their disdain for bipartisanship, as I discussed here and here. Ben Smith notices this phenomenon with regards to Obama and makes two points which I totally agree with:

1) This is “not going to move a whole lot of caucus-goers” and

2) “Some of the bloggers are arguing that a win in Iowa that’s based on independent and/or GOP support would in some way be less valid; though I suspect that the storyline that he’s bringing new people in and appealing to the center will actually be a pretty powerful case outside the most partisan circles.”

In a related story, The Fix writes:

Some will argue that the netroots are outside the mainstream, even outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party’s base. But this latest tension, coming on the heels of Obama’s attacks on independent expenditure groups funded by such Democratic base stalwarts as unions, raises questions about whether or not Obama is seeking to run as someone independent of the Democrat’s traditional constituency and interest groups altogether — and whether he’s going to have to, no matter what.

It is not as if Obama’s support is entirely out of the mainstream base. Smith’s assessment is more likely as Obama expands the Democratic party’s bas as opposed to running totally independently of them. However, some showing some degree of independence from traditional Democratic special interests will also help Obama among independent voters.

Ben Smith notes the similarities between some of the attacks on Obama and earlier attacks on “Clintonism.” While analogies can no doubt be made, there are hopefully important differences, which is why Obama polls so much better among voters who are interested in change. I through in “hopefully” because I can’t disagree with those, including those married to Hillary Clinton, who argue that voting for Obama is a gamble. I’m not entirely sure how much Obama is for real and how much he has developed a pose for political benefit. By default Obama appears to be the best alternative of the three who appear to have a chance to win. Besides, even if consideration of other views was started as a political ploy, as long as he is dong so, and this is reflected in his policy positions, this is of value. In Obama I see policies based upon liberal values which also recognize the views of others, as opposed to “Clintonism” which too often turned into compromise on principles for political gain.

Smith also mentions Obama’s “apparent shots at Al Gore and John Kerry.” I didn’t see Obama’s comments as a shot at them at all. Obama pointed out the need for Democrats to move beyond the opposition from half the country which Gore and Kerry experienced. The opposition from half the country is a simple statement of fact, and the need to do better than this is rather obvious. What is important is that of the three front runners, only Obama shows a chance of actually bringing in the support of many independents, and even some Republicans, to accomplish this. I find it simply amazing that so many liberal bloggers would see Obama’s popularity among independents as a bad thing. That’s one reason why their track record in picking winners has not been all that good, and why they are “not going to move a whole lot of caucus-goers.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment