Barack Obama: A Candidate for the 1960s

If you want to understand why Barack Obama has been unable to further his climb in this year’s Presidential field since the initial burst of excitement that followed his entry into the race, look no further than his statement over the weekend to ABC news on why he doesn’t wear a flag-pin on the campaign trail (h/t Greg Pollowitz)…

You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin,” Obama said. “Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.
“Instead,” he said, “I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”
This sums up, as well as anything, how there’s very little new or exciting or different at Senator Obama’s core; his positions are derived from the jumble of ideas that define garden-variety liberalism. In this specific case, we have…
  • Sincere but misguided doubts about the value of patriotism: When in doubt, why does Senator Obama err towards hiding displays of patriotism, instead of showing them?
  • The taint of elitism: Is Senator Obama taking the position that all Americans should discard their flag pins and displays, or is his position closer to saying that simple symbols of patriotism are suitable for simpletons in the population, but not for members of the ruling class (like him).
  • And of course, the general incoherence: How would wearing a pin actually detract from the patriotic ideas that the Senator wants to express? As John O’Sullivan asked over at National Review Online, would Senator Obama also refuse to wear an AIDS ribbon “on the grounds that it’s a substitute for true charity”?
The political problem this creates for Senator Obama in seeking the Democratic nomination is that if Democratic voters decide they want a return to 60s-style liberalism, they already have two candidates to choose from in Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. And for a general election, the problem for Senator Obama is that his retread liberalism doesn’t have nearly the appeal to the center that he believes it does.

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rhody
rhody
14 years ago

Why does the mainstream media have such a squicky reputation today? For blowing this kind of silly story way out of proportion.
This dubious story was brought to you by the “liberal” MSM.

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