[Marxism] Fidel Castro: The McCain Tour and the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. Fourth Fleet

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 2 07:08:26 MDT 2008

Walter Lippmann wrote:
> (Some seem to think that Obama is the main danger and
> endless denunciations of Obama must be prioritized.
> That approach isn't held universally today, however.)

Nobody thinks that Obama is the "main danger", whatever that means. 
McCain is clearly worse than Obama, just as George W. Bush was worse 
than John Kerry, and so on and so forth. There have been frequent 
reminders both during the primary and now after the primary that Obama 
is a typical DP candidate for president despite all the rhetoric about 
"change". Furthermore, this view is becoming fairly generalized not just 
among the unrepentant Marxists.

Arianna Huffington
Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losers
Posted June 30, 2008 | 03:14 PM (EST)

Last Friday afternoon, the guests taking part in Sunday's roundtable 
discussion on This Week had a pre-show call with George Stephanopoulos. 
One of the topics he raised was Obama's perceived move to the center, 
and what it means. Thus began my weekend obsession. If you were within 
shouting distance of me, odds are we talked about it. I talked about it 
over lunch with HuffPost's DC team, over dinner with friends, with the 
doorman at the hotel, and the driver on the way to the airport.

As part of this process, I looked at the Obama campaign not through the 
prism of my own progressive views and beliefs but through the prism of a 
cold-eyed campaign strategist who has no principles except winning. From 
that point of view, and taking nothing else into consideration, I can 
unequivocally say: the Obama campaign is making a very serious mistake. 
Tacking to the center is a losing strategy. And don't let the latest 
head-to-head poll numbers lull you the way they lulled Hillary Clinton 
in December.

Running to the middle in an attempt to attract undecided swing voters 
didn't work for Al Gore in 2000. It didn't work for John Kerry in 2004. 
And it didn't work when Mark Penn (obsessed with his "microtrends" and 
missing the megatrend) convinced Hillary Clinton to do it in 2008.

Fixating on -- and pandering to -- this fickle crowd is all about 
messaging tailored to avoid offending rather than to inspire and 
galvanize. And isn't galvanizing the electorate to demand fundamental 
change the raison d'etre of the Obama campaign in the first place? This 
is how David Axelrod put it at the end of February, contrasting the 
tired Washington model of "I'll do these things for you" with Obama's 
"Let's do these things together":

     "This has been the premise of Barack's politics all his life, going 
back to his days as a community organizer," Axelrod told me. "He has 
really lived and breathed it, which is why it comes across so 
authentically. Of course, the time also has to be right for the man and 
the moment to come together. And, after all the country has been through 
over the last seven years, the times are definitely right for the 
message that the only way to get real change is to activate the American 
people to demand it."

Watering down that brand is the political equivalent of New Coke. Call 
it Obama Zero.

In 2004, the Kerry campaign's obsession with undecided voters -- voters 
so easily swayed that 46 percent of them found credible the Swift 
Boaters' charges that Kerry might have faked his war wounds to earn a 
Purple Heart -- allowed the race to devolve from a referendum on the 
future of the country into a petty squabble over whether Kerry had bled 
enough to warrant his medals.

Throughout the primary, Obama referred to himself as an "unlikely 
candidate." Which he certainly was -- and still is. And one of the 
things that turned him from "unlikely" upstart to presidential 
frontrunner is his ability to expand the electorate by convincing 
unlikely voters -- some of the 83 million eligible voters who didn't 
turn out in 2004 -- to engage in the system.

So why start playing to the political fence sitters -- staking out newly 
nuanced positions on FISA, gun control laws, expansion of the death 
penalty, and NAFTA?

In an interview with Nina Easton in Fortune Magazine, Obama was asked 
about having called NAFTA "a big mistake" and "devastating." Obama's 
reply: "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and 

Overheated? So when he was campaigning in the Midwest, many parts of 
which have been, yes, devastated by economic changes since the passage 
of NAFTA, and he pledged to make use of a six-month opt-out clause in 
the trade agreement, that was "overheated?" Or was that one "amplified?"

Because if that's the case, it would be helpful going forward if Obama 
would let us know which of his powerful rhetoric is "overheated" and/or 
"amplified," so voters will know not to get their hopes too high.


More information about the Marxism mailing list