Thursday, January 03, 2008

On Krugman, Obama, and Partisan Politics

So Paul Krugman has gotten his panties in a twist over the last few weeks regarding Barack Obama's message of reconciliation and unity. He started by attacking Obama's health care plan ("he uses right-wing talking points!"), called Obama "naive", and then penned a three-page article in Slate saying the only way forward for progressives is to attack and snarl at Republicans and conservatives because their (progressives') moment is now.

While there is something to be said for a nationally renowned columnist and world-famous economist actually calling for more divisive and partisan politics, I will instead focus on another issue. Namely, uh, Barack Obama is black. Instead of me explaining this, I'll let a "black bourgeoisie" blog do so:
It has been disheartening to read 'Progressive' after 'Progressive' deride Barack Obama because they don't believe he'll be an attack dog like Hillary Clinton or Edwards. I don't know why it took me so long to vocalize this, but it came to me:

Barack Obama and no other Black candidate would EVER

and I mean EVER

campaign on a theme of 'attack dog', or anything remotely dealing with 'attacking' the opposition.


This doesn't mean that they roll over and play dead with the opposition. They will debate on the issues. They will be strong against their opponent. Being forceful without seeming nasty. They could never be the nasty, vengeful attack dog that Progressives seem to want. There is NO Black candidate that can to into an election with the strategy of "50%+1". It might TURN OUT that way, but there is no way that they can go into an election with that kind of strategy. Just won't work for them.

Look at the campaigns of Black candidates who have gone after something larger than a safe gerrymandered Congressional seat...what is their campaign focused around?
Reaching out to the ENTIRE community.

They have to, because they are Black. And, the ONLY way that, as a Black candidate, you will be able to WIN, is to appeal to a broad constituency. It's the ONLY way.

Barack Obama does it. (he won the Senate)
Harold Ford did it. (he lost the Senate)
Deval Patrick did it. (he won)
Adrian Fenty did it. (he won)
Douglas Wilder did it.(he won)
Tom Bradley did it. (he lost)
David Dinkins did it. (he won)
Harvey Gantt did it (he lost)
Roland Burris (Illinois) and Carl McCall (New York) did it. (both lost)
In the midst of one of the most racially polarizing campaigns in the history of this country, Harold Washington did it.

The MINUTE Barack Obama turns into that 'attack dog' that the Progressives are clamoring for, what will happen?

He will become THE ANGRY BLACK MAN.

He knows it.

I know it.

And, then, THERE will be ANOTHER excuse as to why they can't vote for Obama.

Obama understands that and is NOT going to fall into THAT trap.

That mode of campaign doesn't work with Black candidates. It's not an option for a Black candidate - not if they want to WIN. And make no mistake, Barack is running to WIN.

There you go, Krugman.

Anyway, my predictions for today: Edwards and Romney take Iowa. Let's see what happens.


Anonymous said...

'lets see what happens'

... you were wrong, thankfully.


Ahsan said...

for once, my deliberate reverse jinxing worked. thank god.