Thursday, 11 September 2008

Barack Obama's changed...

To make us choose the lesser of two evils is to try to get us to forget that the lesser of two evils is still -- (an) evil...
We must learn from the superb methods and tactics of the Obama campaign, as from the Dean campaign before it -- I have consistently blogged along those lines, below. But what I have also started to blog about more recently is that, in terms of policy content, Barack Obama has changed, and is now a lot less appealing to a Green than he was before. His foreign policy, his gun policy, most crucially perhaps his oil-drilling policy -- this is hardly an agenda that I for one can embrace.
To think strategically, one has to stop the rot. One has to stop running to the Right. One has to resolutely resist the allure of being a 'New Democrat' or a 'New Labour'-supporter. One has to start to reclaim the political spectrum. One has to work to _shift_ the political agenda. One has to lead.
These are the key lessons of Westen and Lakoff. Obama is, I believe, making a big mistake in not seizing the moral high ground (literally) of setting out strong positions that will appeal in their own right to many millions of Americans on these issues. On gun control, on looking militarily 'strong' and 'realistic' in relation to Afghanistan and in his backing for Israel, on drilling for more oil, he now looks SIMPLY LIKE A PALER VERSION (SIC.) OF MCCAIN. This is fatal. He seems inauthentic -- why not just vote for the real thing?...
The Green Party, in the U.S. and in the U.K., actually believes in something. It rarely seems that the LibDems or New Labour do, any more, beyond managerialism and staying in power. It seemed like Obama did, but now one isn't so sure. If Obama wants the backing of folk like me, he needs to recapture that sense of self-belief and bold strategic agenda-setting and values-activation. The kind of leadership he exhibited on tax, and on race, last year and earlier this year.
We have a lot to learn from Obama on political organising; and I am not pretending that the Greens have yet learnt nearly as much from Lakoff and Drew Westen as we should have done. But t least we are headed in the right direction. One has to draw a line in the sand, and see that some things (e.g. not continuing to fuel the climate crisis, not caving in to gun-crazy nuts who have made it to the Supreme judicial bench under the Republicans, not being supine in one's caving to the hard-line-Zionist policy lobby) are sacred, and cannot be conceded without a fatal loss of momentum to one's opponents.

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: Barack Obama's changed... 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. Barack Obama's changed... 27. 28.

29.
To make us choose the lesser of two evils is to try to get us to forget that the lesser of two evils is still -- (an) evil...
We must learn from the superb methods and tactics of the Obama campaign, as from the Dean campaign before it -- I have consistently blogged along those lines, below. But what I have also started to blog about more recently is that, in terms of policy content, Barack Obama has changed, and is now a lot less appealing to a Green than he was before. His foreign policy, his gun policy, most crucially perhaps his oil-drilling policy -- this is hardly an agenda that I for one can embrace.
To think strategically, one has to stop the rot. One has to stop running to the Right. One has to resolutely resist the allure of being a 'New Democrat' or a 'New Labour'-supporter. One has to start to reclaim the political spectrum. One has to work to _shift_ the political agenda. One has to lead.
These are the key lessons of Westen and Lakoff. Obama is, I believe, making a big mistake in not seizing the moral high ground (literally) of setting out strong positions that will appeal in their own right to many millions of Americans on these issues. On gun control, on looking militarily 'strong' and 'realistic' in relation to Afghanistan and in his backing for Israel, on drilling for more oil, he now looks SIMPLY LIKE A PALER VERSION (SIC.) OF MCCAIN. This is fatal. He seems inauthentic -- why not just vote for the real thing?...
The Green Party, in the U.S. and in the U.K., actually believes in something. It rarely seems that the LibDems or New Labour do, any more, beyond managerialism and staying in power. It seemed like Obama did, but now one isn't so sure. If Obama wants the backing of folk like me, he needs to recapture that sense of self-belief and bold strategic agenda-setting and values-activation. The kind of leadership he exhibited on tax, and on race, last year and earlier this year.
We have a lot to learn from Obama on political organising; and I am not pretending that the Greens have yet learnt nearly as much from Lakoff and Drew Westen as we should have done. But t least we are headed in the right direction. One has to draw a line in the sand, and see that some things (e.g. not continuing to fuel the climate crisis, not caving in to gun-crazy nuts who have made it to the Supreme judicial bench under the Republicans, not being supine in one's caving to the hard-line-Zionist policy lobby) are sacred, and cannot be conceded without a fatal loss of momentum to one's opponents.
30. 31. 32.