took another shot at Obama
in his column today:
Well, I’d say that the great failure of the Clinton administration — more important even than its failure to achieve health care reform, though the two failures were closely related — was the fact that it didn’t change the narrative, a fact demonstrated by the way Republicans are still claiming to be the next Ronald Reagan.
Now progressives have been granted a second chance to argue that Reaganism is fundamentally wrong: once again, the vast majority of Americans think that the country is on the wrong track. But they won’t be able to make that argument if their political leaders, whatever they meant to convey, seem to be saying that Reagan had it right.
I must say, I'm inclined to agree with Krugman
on this. It truly mystifies me why Obama
is going so far out of his way to undermine the Democratic message.
Which brings me to the point of this post. Up till a few weeks ago, Edwards was my first choice for Democratic nominee and Obama
my second. Readers of this blog know that I have a fairly high discomfort level with Hillary, largely because she has failed over the last six years to speak out loudly against the excesses of the Bush administration or take any meaningful steps to lead a movement to stop Bush from stealing our government from us. Her vote for the war was only a symptom of the malady, as was her vote for Kyle-Lieberman.
However, in the past couple of weeks, as it's become progressively more clear that Edwards has next to no chance of getting the nomination, my fondness for Obama
as the alternative to Hillary has significantly cooled. Much of the reason for that cooling is Obama's
repeated use of Republican talking points to attack Hillary (and to a lesser degree Edwards). Frankly, I now find myself sitting on the fence, unsure who I am going to vote for on super Tuesday.
On the one hand, I think electing a (half) black president would do enormous good for this country, both at home and abroad. At home, it would be an inspiration to many who have been discouraged in the past, and it would tend to belie the myth peddled by those who want to point to racism as the reason why African-Americans are doomed by the whites to failure and need not even try to succeed. It would heal many, many wounds. Abroad, it would signal a complete change in how the rest of the world sees us. The myth that all Americans are racist pigs, ready to enslave their own as well as others around the world would be dispelled to some degree, and countries that have refused to talk to us in the past (largely because we've refused to talk to them on a one-on-one basis) would probably come to the table.
Those are powerful reasons to vote for Obama
. But, if the man is going to mouth Republican talking points and compromise on critical issues with the right wing nuts, the price is too high.
I also suspect that Obama
has a better chance of winning the general election than Hillary. He will get more crossover voters and certainly won't lose the base. Nevertheless, I suspect almost any Democrat could win in this climate.
Of course, electing a woman president would also strongly benefit the country, but I don't see that it would produce the kind of metamorphosis
that electing an African American would. And, with Hillary, we pretty much know what we'll get -- more of the Clinton administration's kind of policies. Let's face it. They were pretty good, but, as Krugman points out, they didn't change the paradigm. Maybe Obama can do that.
I just don't know.