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Thursday, January 31, 2008

From Edwards to.... Obama

Everybody here knows already how proudly and resolutely I supported the Presidential candidacy of John Edwards right up to the end. Eric and I were looking forward to voting in the California Primary for a candidate we could actually feel a real enthusiasm for.

I ambivalently support Obama now, only because of the joyful progressive energy of so many of his supporters. They, I feel, are far more reliably progressive than he is. Eric is ambivalently supporting Clinton now, mostly because he believes she has more real fight in her than Obama has (he also happens to have met and liked her personally). Neither of us are exactly thrilled about where find ourselves (although we are of course thrilled at the history making prospect of a woman or a person of color in the White House), and both of us were very cheerful in our support of Edwards in a way that seems now as remote as Mars.

In a democracy, we the people must matter more than our "leaders" do, we must be the change we want to see in the world.

There is no denying that "Obama" is a name to conjure with, that he mobilizes a creative and constructive public spirit, one which is unique and which, I hope, will be uniquely capable of world-changing, world-opening, and world-building in the devastated demoralized aftermath of the Bush torturers, killers, lawbreakers, and thieves.

I hope Obama will be more a conduit through which the work and will of the progressive people inspired by him is expressed, rather than assuming upon victory the station of a facile "unifying" version of the Unitary Executive, breaking bread with executives and breaking our hopeful hungry hearts yet again.

I can only hope that Obama's America will induce Obama to grow to be better than Obama is on his own -- all too eager as he seems to be now to extend his open hand rather than the halting hand we need and demand to the homophobes, social security privatizers, Israeli warhawks, libertopian "idea" men, and other fraudsters and marauders among us. The strength of Obama's supporters must teach and compel Obama to be stronger in his righteous defense of our rights than he seems to be now.

I hope Edwards' strength will be on hand to help in this... Frankly, I hope there was a deal in the background of Edwards' premature relinquishment of his candidacy that would make him quite near at hand in an Obama Presidency indeed.

6 comments:

De Thezier said...

Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote one of the best "candidacy obituaries" for John Edwards.

Edwards' Withdrawl is America's Loss
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
January 30, 2008.

Edwards did something that no one else did: He made poverty no longer a dirty word in the mouths of many.

http://alternet.org/columnists/story/75479/

De Thezier said...

Dale said:

Frankly, I hope there was a deal in the background of Edwards' premature relinquishment of his candidacy that would make him quite near at hand in an Obama Presidency indeed.

This is pure wishful thinking on my part but imagine if the deal was that Obama must nonimate Edwards as his first Attorney General in order to get his endorsement!

But since this would probably scare the living daylights out of the American Establishment, it will never happen...

Dale Carrico said...

[I]magine if the deal was that Obama must nonimate Edwards as his first Attorney General in order to get his endorsement! But since this would probably scare the living daylights out of the American Establishment, it will never happen...

I daresay that would scare them less the Vice Presidency I had in mind...

De Thezier said...

Dale said:

I daresay that would scare them less the Vice Presidency I had in mind...

1. I doubt Edward would like to run as the Democrat vice-presidential candidate again as much as I doubt Obama would tolerate Edward using his bully pulpit to spout populist rhetoric that would force him off his moderate centrist script.

2. Despite the reign of Darth Cheney, the U.S. vice-president is supposed to be a mostly minor role.

3. A zealous U.S. Attorney-General could drag the entire the Republican establishment into court! Edwards is ready of that role from Day One. Think about it.

Kyle Parry said...

I've been following your support of Edwards, both as a reader and as an outspoken supporter (insofar as I have an audience). I've made the same move myself to Obama, if only because when we get Obama we don't get an incumbent Cabinet (or I assume so) and because of as you say the strangely exciting world-changing possibilities his name has come to signify. Connected to the latter, I wonder why with Obama I retain the hope that all his centrist, moderate slant, so painful, is only a clever ruse... That when he is in a position to be drunk with power, he might decenter and run this country on inspired progressivism. Like our good friend FDR of old...

De Thezier said...

Kyle wrote:

I wonder why with Obama I retain the hope that all his centrist, moderate slant, so painful, is only a clever ruse... That when he is in a position to be drunk with power, he might decenter and run this country on inspired progressivism. Like our good friend FDR of old...

My similar hope was tempered with the reality check I got from the Center for Public Integrity's The Buying of the President 2008 website:

http://www.buyingofthepresident.org/index.php/the_candidates/barack_obama/