You know the old saying "The Devil is in the details"? That's why politicians like to stay as general as they can - so they don't get tied down to the pesky things when their house o' cards collapses. But Barack Obama has been soooo general, so loosey-goosey, that his managers decided he had better let people know that all his high-flown rhetoric had, like, some connection to real life. That (and his loss in Rob's home state of PA) has led to some Clinton-esque changes in BO's campaign style in Indiana. Can't say as how I'm all that impressed, tho.
[I]n a noteworthy shift, the Illinois senator is trying to reach working-class and middle-class voters by arguing more explicitly that the reform ideas driving his campaign can address the economic troubles that threaten their way of life. Supplanting lobbyist influence with citizen activism, uniting the country beyond petty partisan gamesmanship and bringing more candor to government, he argues, are not just abstract goals, but concrete steps that can level the playing field and lead to a more equitable distribution of the nation's wealth.
"When we push back the special interests, when we unify the country, when we speak honestly with the American people about our challenges, there's nothing we can't accomplish, nothing we can't do," he said here. "When we unify the country, we will change our economy."
Sounds good, don't it? But that first part - "When we push back the special interests, when we unify the country"? that part? - I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I mean, this from the guy who just recently - a couple of goddamn months ago, fer chrissake - did a backflip and three rollovers to accomodate the "special interests" who wanted Panama as a haven for extortion and tax evasion, and a Peru that was safe from trade unions. BO was so far from "push[ing] back" those "special interests" that he was more or less break-dancing as part of Special Interests Puppet Day.
What gets me about Obama is just that: his marvelous rhetoric is backed up by its appalling opposite action. What precisely does he want me to "unify" around? An even freer hand for corporations already run amucK? I mean, name one thing - not words, not a proposal, an actual vote, say - that shows BO "push back" even one "special interest". Just one. Please.
And yet this is the kind of stuff he's saying he'll do:
He gave as an example his plan to broadcast on C-SPAN the meetings he would hold with industry representatives and congressional leaders to push health-care reform. "If you see a member of Congress who's carrying water for the drug companies instead of carrying your water, you'll be able to hold them accountable," he said in Anderson.
He's going to broadcast corporate meetings? on CSPAN? about healthcare? Whoo. That's entertainment. Won't want to miss that.
But nothing about regulating the virtually unregulated Big Pharma? Nothing about negotiating to get the lowest possible drug prices? What? Do we have to do all the work? Is he going to get tough with anybody? (see previous post)
See, the reason this is important is that the Democratic nominee will almost certainly win the election and be our next president. McCain is going gangbusters with the 30% of Dead-Enders but can't get arrested outside the Yacht Club. And Democratic registrations are soaring.
Like hundreds of others, their quests led them to the Wake County voter services office this month to register as Democrats for the first time. The line of newcomers that snaked across the checkered tile floor was emblematic of those that have formed across the country this year: black voters, young voters, lifelong Republicans switching parties -- all registering in record numbers, and all aligning as Democrats.
Elections Director Cherie Poucher waited for them behind a counter with a jar of pens and a 10-inch stack of registration forms. She had hired 10 people from a temp agency to help handle the rush on this final day of North Carolina voter registration. Now, as she watched four more people file through the door, Poucher wished she had hired more.
"In 20 years," she said, "I've never seen anything quite like it."
So it matters if BO is a fraud - at the moment he's got the numbers on his side and will likely be the nominee. If he's the nominee, he'll most likely win.
Why am I obsessing over this, anyway? Obama, Hillary - we're getting the DLC again no matter what.
Still, it helps to be prepared if you understand there's a major dichotomy between BO's words and actions. You won't be quite as disappointed if you know upfront he's a fraud.