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The Atlantic/Andrew Sullivan: Goodbye to All That

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:26 AM
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The Atlantic/Andrew Sullivan: Goodbye to All That

Goodbye to All That

The logic behind the candidacy of Barack Obama is not, in the end, about Barack Obama. It has little to do with his policy proposals, which are very close to his Democratic rivals and which, with a few exceptions, exist firmly within the conventions of our politics. It has little to do with Obamas considerable skills as a conciliator, legislator, or even thinker. It has even less to do with his ideological pedigree or legal background or rhetorical skills. Yes, as the many profiles prove, he has considerable intelligence and not a little guile. But so do others, not least his formidably polished and practiced opponent Senator Hillary Clinton.

Obama, moreover, is no saint. He has flaws and tics: Often tired, sometimes crabby, intermittently solipsistic, hes a surprisingly uneven campaigner.

A soaring rhetorical flourish one day is undercut by a lackluster debate performance the next. He is certainly not without self-regard. He has more experience in public life than his opponents want to acknowledge, but he has not spent much time in Washington and has never run a business. His lean physique, close-cropped hair, and stick-out ears can give the impression of a slightly pushy undergraduate. You can see why many of his friends and admirers have urged him to wait his turn. He could be president in five or nine years timewhy the rush?

But he knows, and privately acknowledges, that the fundamental point of his candidacy is that it is happening now. In politics, timing matters. And the most persuasive case for Obama has less to do with him than with the moment he is meeting. The moment has been a long time coming, and it is the result of a confluence of events, from one traumatizing war in Southeast Asia to another in the most fractious country in the Middle East. The legacy is a cultural climate that stultifies our politics and corrupts our discourse.

Obamas candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take Americafinallypast the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directlyand uncomfortablyat you.

At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a warnot so much the war in Iraq, which now has a momentum that will propel the occupation into the next decadebut the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about warand about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obamaand Obama aloneoffers the possibility of a truce.

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Kingshakabobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:37 AM
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1. "Wrong-way Sullivan's" endorsement should be the kiss of death for just about everything.....
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:37 AM
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2. You're welcome to your opinion. nt
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Kingshakabobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Gee, thanks.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:15 AM
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3. I don't think electing Obama will stop the upcoming civil war
It's possible, but unlikely, and is the best bet of all the candidates, but I don't think electing anyone in particular will prevent what's coming. The ultra-rw and their media machine will attack him just as mercilessly as they would Hillary or Edwards or Gore, and our "representatives" will scrape and bow and cower just as they do now. Obama will be impeached just as surely as the sun will come up in the East tomorrow.

I also don't think that bringing the rift in the US to a head would be a bad thing. IMO it has to happen to purge the country of the cancer that is the current GOP. On the off chance that they win, the US will become a clone of Saudi Arabia - run by a few rich people as a religious-oriented fascist state. If we win, we'll go back to the promise and the envy of the rest of the world that we were up until Reagan was elected.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:48 PM
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5. shallow thinking, Sullivan
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 09:49 PM by grasswire
You are omitting a mountain in the middle of the living room that will skew everything into something totally unrecognizable soon. The war will soon not be about social culture, or Iraq or Vietnam. The war will be much more personal. It will be about getting enough something to keep your family warm this week and next, and getting food for the children, and how to keep from being noticed by those who would ask for your papers if you are on the lists.

Nothing any politician is talking about now will help you when that war arrives.

Pay attention, Sullivan. Soon nothing will be as it has been since the Great Depression. And we can thank those in the media who think that talking about the false horse race of an election for a year is a better use of the people's airwaves than any examination of real problems and real solutions.
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Joe Bacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 03:26 AM
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6. Wake me when Sullivan actually says something constructive!
It's a shame he never entered Monty Python's Twit of the Year competition. :evilgrin:
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wiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
7. Seems like Obama supporters don't even know when he's being played
by complete aholes like Novak. Now Sullivan? If it means transforming into anything Sullivan thinks is a good thing, any thinking adult would reject it. Who's next to endorse Obama? Britney Spears? He'd take it.
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