Sunday, June 1, 2008

Brer Barack

Bellows at HuffPo makes a strong case for the DNC and the Obama campaign walking into Brer Hillary's briar patch trap. No doubt tar babies were on his mind. But I'm not buying it, at least not the full account. Sure, his predictions seem accurate, but most of us paying attention expected the same thing. Given that all of what happened today was predictable by Bellows's measures, then I am confident the Obama camp had considered this also.

Bellows tries to push the point that Obama should have conceded everything, allowing Clinton to have her way, then being left with the option to appeal. Or said another way, Hillary can become the pretend winner while Obama could become the hopeless whiner.

Two words: FUCK THAT.

Obama played his hand well, as we could expect a good card player to do. He did grant a concession on Florida, and he stood his ground on Michigan. He showed be can be magnanimous without being a fool. By staying strong and not belittling himself to being the "sour grapes" guy, he doesn't become Al Gore in 1999. He knows better. Because the Democrats abandoned Gore back then, and they'd abandon Obama too, the same way they are going to (rightly) abandon Clinton. You see, Democrats present themselves as champions of the underdog, but in the end the party as a whole is weak at its very core. (If you need proof, I will refer you to the past two years since they've controlled the legislature and have accomplished little more than continued acquiescence to Bush and the Republicans.) Dems pretend to support the little guys while they bow to corporate lobbyists, but Obama knows this. The reason why Obama is reaching out beyond the party is because he knows the party is weak, and that the party cannot govern. Obama has gone straight to the people, because the people - when motivated and energized - can control the government.

There's a reason Obama encouraged supporters to avoid the RBC sessions, and it dovetails nicely with the campaign strategy that has been in play all along. Give Clinton enough rope and she'll hang herself. Take Indiana for example. (This same strategy is working on McCain now). Hillary actually walked into his trap. The weak showing of her supporters this weekend demonstrates the limits of her appeal. Imagine what Denver will be like if Obama says to his supporters, "I need you in Denver!" compared with Clinton's same rallying cry. Now imagine many thousands of young and hungry and invigorated Obama supporters contrasting with the paltry numbers of old and tired and bitter Hillary supporters. That very act will reshape the party forever, and make Blue Dogs quiver in their boots.

As with everything past its prime, things break down in places you least expect them to. If Clinton was betting on the RBC being her briar patch, she might have benefited by considering first that she might not be able to squirm her way out of her latest of so many prickly situations, and that there might actually be a smarter, leaner, and more crafty rabbit who led her into his own favorite briars.

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