Thursday, August 4, 2011

History for Amnesiacs: How Obama became President.

Pres. Obama's honeymoon with conservatives lasted about 3 weeks past his inauguration, if I remember correctly. After that, conservatives started asking how we ended up with such a crappy person as president. He was a far-left liberal socialist illegitimate anti-American apologist foisted on them by idiot liberal Democrats.

The amnesia has only gotten deeper, with many people again wondering how this happened. This is a reminder.

In the Democratic nomination, the race was between Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama. John Edwards was a distant third, so most Democrats (including me) were going to choose between Hillary and Obama. Since  Bush had done such a crappy job on the Iraq war and financial crisis, it was obvious early on that the Democratic candidate was likely to win. If anyone doubts this point, I'll write another installment to help you remember.

I'm not absolutely sure how we chose Obama over Hillary. Partly he was the more inspiring speaker. Partly we sensed that the country didn't want alternating dynastic rule:  Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. Partly Obama gave some false dog whistles to the progressive Nader/Kucinich wing and they bought it. Maybe we favored the underdog versus the Clinton machine.

In my case, I honestly hoped for greater bipartisan cooperation, and thought Obama had the better chance at creating it. After all, the Republicans had been so thoroughly investigating Bill and Hillary for 16 years and sharpening their knives, I thought there would no peace if Hillary was in the White House.

Let's review:
  1. We had to choose between Hillary and Obama. 
  2. Hillary already had a huge target on her back. 
  3. So Democrats picked Obama. 
Conservatives, if you hate Obama so much, you can partly blame yourselves. Maybe you shouldn't have been so shitty to Bill and Hillary, because you helped make Obama the viable candidate he was.


Grandma said...

I realized from the first that Obama was a moderate from reading his books and listening carefully to his speeches. Hillary had problems managing her own campaign staff and campaign money. I felt she would be unable to manage her people if she became president. I didn't like the low blows against Obama. If the left of the Democrats thought he would be a very liberal president, it was wishful thinking on their part.

ModeratePoli said...

I agree that he campaigned as a moderate, but there were dog whistles to the left wing, as I mentioned. In particular, he stayed out of the Democratic Leadership Council (the moderate machine that propelled Bill Clinton) and he said that he supported healthcare for all. He also had support from well-known former near-radicals such as Tom Hayden and Bill Ayers. Furthermore, Obama never rebuffed his further-left supporters, but he didn't make any clear promises to them either.

I don't think this is unforgivable. It's got to be tough putting together enough votes to win an election. Someone is always going to be disappointed when it comes time to govern, when what you project onto the candidate doesn't come to pass.