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What Matt said


Damn straight:

In Iowa, Obama beat Clinton by 16 points among those who consider themselves as 'very liberal'.  In New Hampshire, they were even.  And now in Nevada, Clinton simply destroyed Obama within that block by 16 points.  In other words, while it's not entirely clear who 'won' Nevada, whatever that means, had Obama run even with Clinton among those who describe themselves as 'very liberal', he would have soundly defeated her at the caucuses outright instead of having to play delegate games.

Both Edwards and Clinton dog whistled hard on Obama's Reagan remarks.  Many readers and friends simply don't believe me that the stuff he said about Reagan was bad.  Here's what it sounds like to people who lived through that period, which is still a majority of the voting universe.  Digby helpfully wrote this in a frame of reference many will understand.  Imagine George W. Bush in 2000 saying this.

We're still having the same arguments. It's all around regulations and smaller government and it's all ... even when you discuss traditional values the frame of reference is all around abortion. Well, that's not my frame of reference. My frame of reference is "what works." When I first came out against abortion, my first line was I don't oppose all abortions, specifically, to make clear that this is not a theocratic, you know, snake-handling prayer vigil kind of approach."

I think Lyndon Johnson changed the trajectory of the country in a way that JFK did not and Nixon did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of racism and anti-communism and government refusing to raise taxes to care for the poor and the elderly, I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was, we want a return to that sense of community and compassion that had been missing."

Have I mentioned lately that Digby is a Goddess?

Bush would have lost the nomination right then and there.  Conservatives simply do not run away from their past, they create narratives that reinforce it as a tradition worth belonging to.  What Obama did when lauding Reagan as an answer to the 'excesses of the 1960s' (which you can very well see is a conservative meme by doing a quick Google book search) was attack and insult the liberal traditions of feminism, civil rights, environmentalism, consumer rights, and peace movement work from that time. 

And he got torched by the older liberals who lived through Saint Ronnie's time and don't remember it as such an optimistic time when a dynamic man reigned in government and brought back entrepreneurship (which is not in fact true).

The right creates and protects their icons and history jealously, just as they tear down our traditions and heroes or appropriate them for their own usage by claiming that our best people were in fact conservative (hence JFK becomes a strong national security Democrat who cut taxes).  The past matters.

We have been fighting Ronald Reagan's psychologically diseased followers and predecessors since, well, since they called themselves the Confederacy and fought for slavery.  And we will keep fighting them if we are to retain a republic.  That's why the self-identified very liberal Democrats swung away from Obama and took Nevada from him.  Because he very self-consciously explained that he is not part of that fight, and they want a leader who is.


There's still time for Obama to put things right, but I don't think he can. If he'd wanted to, he wouldn't have kept pushing the Unity bullshit for his MLK speech.

NOTE Via Sideshow.

UPDATE Paul Rosenberg has another brilliant take on what Obama could have said about Reagan, but didn't.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell will now be campaigning with Obama in SC.

Caldwell runs a ministry that offers "freedom" from homosexuality, a "habitual sin."

I hate to be blunt but Obama is an outrageous hypocrite--on bigotry, no less. What's the point of supposedly opposing homophobia when you willingly embrace homophobes? At the very least, he undercuts his ability to tackle it head on.

He needs to be held accountable for this by the wider public or he'll continue being comfortable with these fools. I still remember his office releasing the following statement after McClurkin: "This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level."

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

you'll find we just lurv comments with juicy links like that one. they make me feel like a tranny lookin for a little civil rights protection from gay lobbying groups in the beltway, natch.

obama has chosen to look backward, and not forward, and accept the homophobia that we in the black community struggle with, even more than white people. there, i said it. it's an ugly fact, and as i've written before, part of a republican strategy to peel of part of the absolutely essentail af-am dem base. instead of being the new MLK this age really needs, brave and willing to chastise our community as well as inspire it, obama panders to our worst element. he is not worthy of King's mantle.

corretta reminds us, if people can't remember: king loved gays and counted us as partners in his struggle. obama would rather forget us, when he's not busy entertaining and hugging people who actively hate us.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

chicago dyke,

Thank you. Yes, I agree, it's awful to see him wrapping himself in the legacy of King when he embraces hate over compassion, fear over moral courage, and ambition over basic humanity. Obama is so comfortable with truly disturbing hypocrisy. To address MLK's church and "speak out" against homophobia when he knew full well that he'd be, in effect, exploiting the power of religion, to fuel true immorality, hate, fanning its flames solely for political gain is most depressing.

This fits in with his blatant, ugly pattern of dividing the left and appeasing the right. And yet he'll get away with it since the press is determined to keep the Obama myth alive.

Wouldn't it be something if Clinton decided to muster up some crazy amount of courage and call him on it--in SC no less? God, she'd catch some serious flak from OFB and the press! If only.

Submitted by lambert on

Everybody forget the check part at the beginning, and I'm betting Obama does too.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

If you check the Houston Chronicle article link you'll realize that it doesn't say that Caldwell will campaign in South Carolina, just that he'll campaign for him.

My apologies.