06 September 2012

The Democrats raise the stakes

By highlighting issues they usually de-emphasize, the Democrats are sharpening the contrast between themselves and the Republicans -- and raising the already-high stakes in the election.

By featuring Cecile Richards and Sandra Fluke, they turned the spotlight on the social issues where the right wing's theocratic totalitarianism is most dangerous, but where liberals have often seemed hesitant or embarrassed about making any strong defense of individual freedom.  By featuring Elizabeth Warren, they turned the spotlight on the greatest single threat to this country, the issue Warren has made her own -- skyrocketing inequality and the growing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the financial parasite class.

By choosing speakers associated with the solid left on these issues, the party may have risked alienating some centrist voters, but it also signals the base that it will actually stand for things it has preferred to fudge or de-emphasize in the past.  This will, of course, raise expectations if the party does win.

Bill Clinton's speech has been criticized for being too long, but I think this misses the point.  Remember, not many people are watching the conventions on TV to hear the speech as delivered.  What Clinton did was to provide a point-by-point rebuttal to the various major lies and distortions which form the basis of the Republicans' case, and to confront head-on the Congressional Republican obstructionism that has stymied Obama's efforts to revive the economy.  These are things that desperately needed to be said, and they have now been said by a figure who remains broadly popular and credible nationally.  Clinton provided an arsenal of quotes which can be deployed both defensively and offensively, across TV and the internet, on many fronts against the enemy.

Obama Diary blog has several videos.  Andrew Sullivan live-blogged day one and day two and has reader and blogger reactions to day one, and a round-up of reactions to Clinton.  See also Liberal Values on day one and day two, Politics Plus on Michelle Obama, Progressive Eruptions on Clinton, and more from The Reaction and PM Carpenter.  Rank-and-file Republicans comment on day one and day two.


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

President did a great job. He point by point shot down everything the GOP lied about in their convention and, as a GOP analyst noted, probably elected Mr. Obama to a second term.

06 September, 2012 08:26  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

The Dems still do not emphasize fully and clearly that this country was on the edge of the abyss of unprecedented financial collapse. Why they keep tossing softballs to the Republicans frustrates me.

There is a reason that neither former president Bushs were in attendance. Democrats really need to hold the Republicans feet to the fire on this issue of "are you better off".

06 September, 2012 17:43  
Anonymous Bacopa said...

I loved Clinton's speech. Very information dense, but explained in a simple way. Thought Biden and Obama did a great job too.

Others have pointed out eh RNC made little mention of our veterans, and Romney didn't mention the war or veterans one single time in his speech. I think then DNC covered this plenty.

The RNC was pretty much "The Sheriff's a N-(CLANG)". I am sure you can find the relevant Blazing Saddles clip on Youtube.

But let's not rest on our laurels. VOTE!

Loved the Castro brothers on Tuesday too. It's pretty clear the Dems are investing in Texas to make it the Incredible Hulk of swing states in 2016. Smart planning.

06 September, 2012 20:51  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

"By choosing speakers associated with the solid left on these issues, the party may have risked alienating some centrist voters . . . "

After turning down a New Democrat/Democratic Leadership Council side road in the 1990's, Democrats opened themselves up to charges of being little different or better than pro-corporate, sold-out Republicans.

Obama has a pattern of running enticingly to the left of where he is and of where he evidently has any intention of going.

I strongly believe it's past time for Democrats to aggressively pursue independents and disaffected moderate Republicans by making it clear, "Here's why we're liberals, and why you should be too." The long unfilled need to win hearts and minds has helped give us 35 years of Republican and Republican-lite domination, and look where that has gotten us.

Camouflage and trying to be all things to all people doesn't fool anyone. Excellent, confident, proactive advocacy for good, fair and helpful things can win people over, especially younger people.

". . . but it also signals the base that it will actually stand for things it has preferred to fudge or de-emphasize in the past."

Amen to that, but let's hope it's not a false signal.

Dense as he was, if there was one thing George W. Bush understood, it was the importance of dancing with the ones what brung him. As bright as Obama is, he has yet to show he gets that point. He tried to finesse some things that wouldn't finesse. It cost him and Democrats dearly in 2010, and the fallout could do him and the rest of us in a few weeks from now.

IMO, that risk is far greater than scaring away some moderate independents.

08 September, 2012 18:39  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home