Posted by: John | March 6, 2008

What now for Obama?

I’ve been on record as saying that if I was a primary voter I’d be voting and supporting Obama.

Why? He has both the best chance of beating McCain and he represents a different style of politics. What’s interesting is the

way he frames answers in quasi-religious terms.

His campaign has reached a fork in the road – does he now go smartly `negative` (Hillary if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen) or stay above the fray and take more poundings?

Hillary has taken a doubleedged approach – while she was showing a sense of humour on Saturday Night Live her

attack dogs were out with their emails and dodgy quotes.

What is this doing to the Democratic Party – what is it doing for the Liberal cause?

I’m deeply disturbed.



  1. You make the all too common error that the Democrats are promoting the liberal cause. They aren’t.

    Look at their anti-trade rhetoric for instance and their support for coercive trade unions. That is completely opposed to the liberal cause of economic freedom (as opposed as Republican support for corporate vested interests).

    Like the Republicans they support a big state interfering in peoples lives.

    The majority of the Democrats ceased to be liberal when Roosevelt adopted interventionist, almost fascist and out right socialist methods. Since then the liberal flag has lacked any consistent carrier. Some Democrats have carried it, some Republicans have, but none with any consistency. Aspects of the old conservative movement were liberal (the modern conservative movement is far from liberal).

    The US political scene is polarised between conservatives who want the state in the bedroom but not in your pocket (although they’re moving towards both) and so-called liberals who want the state in your pocket but not in your bedroom (although Clinton and others lean towards the government in your private actions too).

    The liberal looks to government to keep out of your pocket and out of your bedroom.

  2. Well I think you’re aware that we have different views on what Liberalism mean – and to be fair it’s in its infancy in the US.

    The point is that the US is behind us politically and Obama is the best chance we’ve got in actually getting a Democrat in the White House.

  3. Obama has spoken many times of ‘change coming from the bottom up’ which is not to say he’s a liberal, but he does have a visionary impulse and he’s inclusive as well as being high minded.

    Anyone who would like to join other UK residents in supporting Obama come to Brits for Barack on Facebook. Membership is now rising to 500. There are Labour as well as Lib Dem members there, plus others who are inspired by Obama but have no UK political affiliations.

    Look forward to seeing you there, Rosemary

  4. Tristan, I agree that the Democrats’ position on trade is silly pandering. That said, I think that Obama – with his emphasis on building ground-up, people-powered networks to take direct action to effect change – is the most liberal candidate we’ve had for decades.

    He has said that he believes in the free market and the power of the individual. I suspect that the trade issue is just a political reality – I simply don’t think it’s possible to be a Democrat and be for NAFTA in the present climate. But that’s one of the problems with having a polarised political system rather than a pluralised one. 😉

    Likewise a Democrat can’t get elected without union support… although with the advent of online fundraising the unions are becoming less and less important every year.

    But still, if it’s a choice between protectionism and 100 more years in Iraq – protectionism or bomb bomb bomb, bombing Iran – protectionism or four more years of old, rich, white men running the world – give me protectionism…

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