Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ways to Piss Me Off

Imagine - Ezra Klein @ The American Prospect

Klein has an amazing ability to piss me off about just the wrong kind of things to piss me off about. What makes matters worse is that he pisses me off about things that Matt Yglesias would recognize in a different and generally more correct way. In this instance, Klein attempts to take Yglesias to task in the third paragraph for saying that one could imagine Sen. Obama's ability to persuade as a useful tool to pass legislation. This, coming after a paragraph where Klein once again knocks Sen. Obama for not having a mandated health-care plan. It's the same problem I have with some of Sen. Obama's more fanatical supporters and some of Sen. Clinton's more fanatical supporters. The constant citation of Sen. Obama's oratory skill, either as a way of dismissing what Sen. Obama has to say or to show that he is covering a timid kind of politics, misses the fact that Sen. Obama is still a politician. He's not the Messiah for Christ-sake so stop treating him like one. That he has garnered unheard-of support from the youth of the Democratic party is something that Democrats should shout from the roof-tops, not bash as some sort of bait-and-switch technique. Even so, he is a politician and a pragmatic one at that. What Klein calls timid is more of a sign of Sen. Obama's ability to make the first steps in a good direction without overreaching too early.
One of the main problems I have with a great deal of politician's promises is that they offer too much without talking about how they might get these proposals passed. Presidents have a great deal of power in terms of what the nation talks about but they cannot, unless they act like President Bush has, ramrod policies down the throats of Congress. That Sen. Obama is promoting himself as a different kind of politician doesn't deny him being a politician, just one that's not going to offer you the sky and the moon to get elected. His policy positions are starting points, not end point, which is where I get so infuriated with political promises because when these end-step kind of policies are bandied about no one talks about how the policy will make it through Congress in any form similar to the one originally offered. Sen. Obama instead, has the guts to actually make policy proposals that those of other parties can get behind without making it seem like they are betraying their party. To call it 'timid' is to misunderstand the appeal of Sen. Obama in terms of policy. He gets enough of the legislative process to know how laws are passed and knows not to offer something that has a good chance of crashing and burning on the floors of Congress.

No comments: