Democratic Senator Barack Obama has released a new book. In it, he attempts to be the Democratic Party’s next Joe Lieberman. This is a bad thing. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
“We Democrats are just, well, confused,” Obama writes. He goes on. “Mainly, though, the Democratic Party has become the party of reaction. In reaction to a war that is ill-conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action.
“In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning.”
Many Democrats aren’t “suspicious of all military action.” We are suspicious of any military action proposed by Little Lord Pontchartrain because he is a fucking moron. At this point, if you are not suscpicious of any Bush Administration proposal, then you are missing circuits in your head.
Then there’s the strawman about “market principles.” Senator, we do not need another Democrat who publicly talks about what the Democrats should be doing–or even more useless, what the Democrats should be saying. What we need is political leadership that states what America needs and then explains how the Democrats are going to do what is necessary. Everything else is just yap.
By the way, Senator, other than playing into the pundits’ desire for Democratic public self-loathing–which makes you a candidate with ‘stature’ in the mainstream media, what have you done? I realize most people don’t vote directly on issues, but issues are vital in framing your image. All I see is a bunch of vacuous mush: what do you stand for?
That brings me to the last part about religion. First, there are religious Democrats. Thank you for offending us, because we clearly have no idea how to speak with moral clarity. All the lattes and Volvos have addled our brains…
Second, many of the religious voters who self-identify as ‘religious’ voters are not going to suddenly vote Democratic because you drop a few biblical references (let’s call this the ‘Sullivan fallacy’). As Sarah Robinson has documented at Orcinus, many of the self-identified religious are Right Wing Authoritarians (and many of the religious who are not already trend strongly towards the Democrats). You’re chasing the wind.
Third, why are you repeating Republican talking points? When someone says we need the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, tell them that we really need is the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. For love of the Intelligent Designer, stop buying into that Republican canard. Say that because your religion is important to you, you don’t think politicians ‘in Washington’ should decide what religion you should worship. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Another point about the religious gripes: it is ultimately content-free. It is religion which functions not as moral guide, but as fashion guide. A damn good reason to keep government out of religion is that religion should not just be another cultural identifier like NASCAR. This is the definition of inauthentic and phony. Stop it.
Senator, if you want my vote, stop attacking me, and start attacking the Republicans.
Over at Kos, Susan G writes:
Yes, I’m irritated. And yes, it seems every Democratic politician or strategist within six feet of a microphone can’t resist this tendency to talk about talking about the ideas that will win elections instead of actually offering up said ideas. In fact, we’d all be much better off if all this public hairshirting was confined to strategy sessions, from which would emerge – fully formed once public – some actual things called ideas. No need to announce you’re talking about talking about ideas. Really. Trust me on this.
The most irritating part of this account of Obama in Iowa comes at the end:
“Even those of us in public life get a certain cynicism,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of self-important leaders who are long on rhetoric and short on ideas.
“People still believe that in America the promise is limitless, but they aren’t sure their leaders do.”
I dunno. That last sentence sounds long on rhetoric, if you ask me. And since not one concrete idea was offered up – unless you count exhorting Democrats to get serious on national security – it sounds pretty short on ideas, as well.
Oh well, I guess he’s not as big of a jackass as Evan Bayh is…