Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One reason to like Obama (kinda)

....he's dangerous as hell in the general. The Republican candidates didn't have an answer for him in the debate on Saturday night, Andrew Sullivan has quotes from nervous and nameless Republican operatives, and independents are asking for his ballot like crazy in Iowa and New Hampshire, two must-wins.

Obama looks good for the general election. I'd give him a 65% chance (50% if the California theft referendum goes through) because of what we're seeing so far. As a nominee, he'll probably have a good path to the nomination, maybe even better than Hillary. Mind you, Obama is a breath of fresh air, a great thing the 6 weeks he's received any real attention but perhaps growing stale over 10 months. And in any case, the modern Republican party has perfected race-baiting above all its other skills.

But of course, I have my idea about what would happen next. Obama will not and cannot deliver on his treacly puffery anymore than Deval Patrick has been able to. Shockingly, the debt will remain high, the Israelis and Palestinians will still be angry, and gas will still be expensive. Our problems won't be hoped away. The voters he brings in will walk away dillusioned and disappointed. They may not go back to the Republican Party, and a certain number will drop out of politics altogether.

So I guess in the long run, an Obama presidency would be good for the Democratic Party. And I firmly believe that it would be bad for the country. In that way, he's very much "our Ronald Reagan." Unlike many Republicans (and not a few Democrats), I don't want to make that trade.

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