the post march 4 blues

Most of the time, I blip back and forth between the times, politico, and Andrew Sullivan’s blog. The Times, I feel like it takes the lead on each story, sets the tone for just about everyone. Politico, and Ben Smith in particular, feels nice and nasty – downright nitty-gritty, ugly-ass politics. And Andrew Sullivan. Lordy. Lordy, lordy. Just the place to go for a Distraught Obamabot like me.

He loves obama so dearly – just like me – and so he just aggregates all the good news about Obama, and reassures me. I feel soothed reading andrew sullivan. Like how much Obama loves gay people. and how much he loves tellin’ it like it is. And how theres this village in Japan called Obama. and how theres this african beer called presidente, or something, and they call it “obama” now, they order an “obama”. Pretty heartwarming stuff no?

He offers Obama some advice on what to do next. Here’s my favorite, because it caught me by surprise:

3. Forget about the delegate math.
Stop claiming you’ve won already or that the Clintons cannot win. Remember that your job is to win the argument about the future of the US and the world. Make this campaign about your kind of politics rather than the Clinton-Bush style of politics. This race will not be decided by a delegate count. It will be decided by a collective decision about the better candidate some time in the next few months. Math is not an argument; it’s an analysis.

True true true. Although I didn’t realize it until I read that, I think that part of my malaise was – look, Clinton can’t win, but she’s going to drag us through this anyway? I wanted to already have won. But I think that it’s truly OK to have Obama go to all 50 states (plus territories, can you believe it Puerto Rico?) and make his case. It’s not like he’s losing time against McCain. He gets all kinda ink (and scratch) for continuing on, while McCain bbq’s.

But here’s a little bit about the some of the negativity on the campaign trail of late.

After March 4, the Times ran a story with the headline, “Political Memo: Lesson of Defeat: Obama Comes Out Punching” This has been the take in the last 2 days – Hillary showed that the attacks worked. He needs to give as good as he gets (because lord knows the republicans won’t play nice).

Yuck. That’s really not what Obama’s campaign is about. It’s not that he wasn’t going “negative” enough, its that he was allowing Hillary to control the story. She played classic underdog politics, just attack nonstop and hope something sticks. He shouldn’t have stopped giving those “inspirational speeches” everyone was on his case about. As if that was really a problem. (not that he really did, but he tried to change the story, and offer “policy” – as if anyone has ever really offered policy in the history of anything.)

David Brooks points out this flawed notion of “coming out punching” pretty well. Here’s a little taste. (and the full article here)

These attacks are supposed to show that Obama can’t be pushed around. But, of course, what it really suggests is that Obama’s big theory is bankrupt. You can’t really win with the new style of politics. Sooner or later, you have to play by the conventional rules.

I would just be crushed – crushed, I say – if Obama abandoned hope, yes we can, and change we can believe in for show me the tax returns and hillary-billary-boo.


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