Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Obama Haters

I find it ironic that the the far-left and the far-right hate Obama for the same reason. They worry that if Obama is elected president he'll move the country to the left. And he will.

While it's easy to see why this bothers the right, you might think that the far-left would be pleased with the prospect. But many are not because they believe in revolution, not evolution. In their world anybody who makes things better, short of the true revolution, is a threat. A threat because revolution can only occur when the people are made to suffer.

Perhaps the oddest manifestation of this logic is the bizarre love affair some on the far-left suddenly have with Hillary Clinton. You can see this quite clearly on The Proletariat, a Madison area Green/Socialist blog. If you check it out don't bother leaving any critical comments; they'll probably just be deleted.

The Proletariat is a guy who would never vote for Clinton, yet he waxes poetic about what he sees as the unfair way she's been treated by Obama, the media, and the DNC. His real goal, of course, is simply to damage the Democratic nominee, whoever it may be, and Clinton is just a convenient club with which to whack Obama.

Intellectually honest? Not so much. But I guess anything goes in support of the revolution!


krshorewood said...

With The Proletariat it's not hard to see how he is in the groove. Eight/four years ago many were screaming for his candidate Ralph Nader to get out of the race. Fast forward to today and people are screaming for Hillary to get out of the race.

No wonder he feels comfortable, only this time many of the same folks who were wanting Nader to drop out are not many of the same folks who want Hillary to press on -- to where?

Russell Wallace said...

Now that Hillary is back on the ranch I wonder how The Proletariat is feeling today?

The Clintons may have big egos, but they aren't stupid. Despite losing to Obama they have too much invested in the Democratic Party to burn their bridges. The speculation about an independent run has always just been a fantasy of the Obama haters.

Russell Wallace said...

I see that The Proletariat isn't exactly pleased with my post. Good.

Since he always deletes the comments I leave on his blog, I'm putting my response here as well:


Ouch! Looks like I hit a nerve. You'll probably just dump this comment, as you've done to all my others, but for what it's worth here's my response.

Obama isn't perfect. No candidate is. I disagree with some of his positions, and I think Hillary is better on issues like health care. But Obama's voting record in the Senate is consistently more liberal than Hillary's.

While you can pick and choose individual issues to slant things any way you want, if you examine overall Senate liberal-conservative rankings you won't find one (or at least I haven't) that places Hillary to the left of Obama.

The other big reason that I support Obama is that he inspires and motivates people, particularly young people, to become politically active in a way that no other politician on the left has been able to do in my adult lifetime.

The key to long-term ideological change in a democracy is citizen involvement. Ronald Reagan succeeded not because of his intellectual or policy firepower, but because he inspired a generation of young people who are now running this county. I see the same potential in Obama, but with an ideology much more to my liking.

shannon said...

I would be really curious as to where this "liberal" record is? Some evidence please.

For the record I began disliking Clinton and only warmed up to her through her progressive stances on economic issues.

I vote on economic issues and there Obama is a rabid, neo liberal, right out of the Friedmanite Chicago economics school.

Now, if you a product of the egghead upper middle class that may be fine with you, but if you're a member of the "bitter class", then that's a heavy price to pay.

Yes, I would dislike Obama if Hillary was in the race or not. He is a rightist on the economic front, much like Bill Clinton I would ad. Over time Hillary won me over by her more aggressive populist leanings. Read through the surveys even in Iowa and she was more aggressive than Edwards.

The fact than Obama central economic adviser is Goosleby is shameful. He is a senior DNC fellow that is very much out of the Freidman school. Obama has relied on him since before his US Senate run. This is the guy who stated free trade has had no ill effects on American workers. And Obama's perplexed that the working class is bitter.

What I can never forgive Obama for is voting against a 30% interest rate cap. This is a pure vote of conscience. It was not the entire bill where they may have been complexities. It was an up or down vote, and payback pure and simple to the banking industry. If you want to defend that as progressive so be it, explain that to the poor mother losing a good chunk of her check by a payday loan store, or one of the troops who loses 25% of his check.

Russell Wallace said...

OK, you asked for it. But you'll have to hit the links yourself, I'm not going to transcribe everything for you.

1. National Journal rankings.

2. Optimal Classification (OC) rankings. OC is a purely mathematical technique to rank voting bodies. I'm not going to go into the details, but OC is absolutely the best and most accurate way to rank members if you have enough data (votes) to work with:

110th Senate.

109th Senate.

3. Interest group ratings as compiled by Project Vote Smart. These are grades rather than rankings:



Project Vote Smart also compiles vote histories for every candidate, so it's a real treasure trove of information.

That should keep you entertained for a while...