Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Obama can Cure us of Our Funk


This from Gary Kamiya writing at Salon.
Yet as anyone who spends too much time reading political blogs knows, anger can itself become a toxin, self-perpetuating and self-destructive. It must be expressed -- but then it must be overcome. To fall into a state of permanent anger, of righteous indignation, is to become the very enemy you are fighting. This is the error that George W. Bush made when he launched his Manichean "war on terror," and turned America into a country far more like its fundamentalist enemies than it had ever been before.

Barack Obama's unique appeal is that he allows voters -- Democrats, independents and fed-up Republicans alike -- to simultaneously express their anger and transcend it. As a political outsider, as a black man, as someone who was opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning, Obama is the antithesis of both Bushism and the mainstream Bush-lite Democratic stance on Iraq. Yet Obama's entire message is one of reconciliation and unity, the belief that even the most implacable foes can come together.
I think he might be selling Obama a little too highly. For one thing, Edwards critique of the Bush Administration has been more comprehensive than Obama's, even if Edwards did vote for the Iraq War Resolution.

I'm also not sure how willing the left wing, including myself, is willing to put aside their anger toward the right. Those guys have screwed up the country pretty damn good, while calling us un-American and treasonous at the same time. It'd be nice to believe in a country where the right wing and the left wing can have passionate disagreements without hating each other, but that seems more and more like a fairy tale.

And if it is to be war with the Right Wing, I'd rather win.

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