2010/02/06

Heartening news

[I wrote this for the Organizing For America/MyBarackObama website - Rich]

I was extremely heartened to see this in Daily Kos:

Charles Blow:
Since the State of the Union address, the president has been bounding about, displaying a new sense of vigor and confidence and a fighter’s spirit. He almost looks like the president people thought that he would be — a paladin, not a pacifist.
Why? Simple. Doing it Rahm's way didn't work, so now he's doing it his way.

I've never been impressed with Clintonian centrism. I've always felt that being successful on your own terms is vastly more useful to America and vastly more appreciated by voters than trying to slice ever-thinner slices of baloney and trying to target ever-more precisely that elusive middle-of-the-road voter's opinions. Centrism has proven over and over again to be an utter failure. The V-Chip was a much-appreciated centrist issue, a bloodless, technocratic, passion-free solution that President Clinton was happy to use. It was a good-enough campaign issue for 1996, when Clinton was up against Senator Bob Dole, a guy even my Republican father felt was simply too old for the job and a Right-wing vote that was split with Ross Perot. It was a fair-weather solution that was appropriate for good, sunny, trouble-free times.


Of course, it was obvious at the time that Clinton had no coattails and that for a politician to declare "I'm a loyal Clintonian" meant nothing of substance to voters. I noticed at the time that no one ever followed the collapse of Hillary Clinton's health care plan by trying to appeal to what she tried to do. There was no glory to recall, no battle-cry to revive. When the plan was defeated, it simply sunk without a trace. I felt that 2002 saw the complete and utter collapse of the DLC strategy. It's quite rare for an out-of-office party to actually lose seats in a mid-term election, but the DLC managed that highly unusual feat. I simply can't imagine why the DLC or its centrist strategy has had any credibility since then.


Apparently, the loss in Massachusetts has jolted the Obama Administration to realize anew the sheer folly and bankruptcy of trying to appeal to some mythical centrist voter that no one can ever locate precisely anyway. Obviously, Massachusetts would never have been a loss had the Democratic Party still been using Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy. Rahm Emanuel clearly thought Dean's ideas were no longer relevant. I'm happy to see the Obama Administration learn from its mistakes and that Emanuel simply does not have the better strategy.


As a proud DFH blogger, I strongly urge the whole Obama Administration to keep going on their new path. Whack the Republican obstructionists at every opportunity. Don't play the victim, but keep pointing out to the voters where the problems in Washington are and that you're trying your best to overcome the obstacles that Republicans keep throwing in your way. Getting all 60 of the Senators in the Democratic Caucus to vote for everything in the health care bill was an awful idea as getting those last few votes from Senators Joe Liebeman and Ben Nelson resulted in tearing the guts out of the bill and leaving just the really unpopular parts behind.


And remember, above all else keep this constantly in mind, the press corps is not your friend. These are a bunch of silly, vapid, go-along-to-get-along, mindless fashion victims who know nothing outside The Village, outside their Versailles-on-the-Potomac. Sure, go ahead and "consult" them, do what you must to stroke their egos, but please don't let yourselves be fooled into thinking they have any worthwhile insights to impart.

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