Wednesday, January 30, 2008
There is a reason that Obama recently spoke of Reagan. Reagan understood that you win elections by drawing support from independents and the opposite side. He understood what unified the country so that he could lead it according to his vision. His vision was a radical conservative one, a vision devastating for the country and contradicted by his economic policies.
Obama understands the importance of values, connection, authenticity, trust, and identity.
But his vision is deeply progressive. He proposes to lead in a very different direction than Reagan. Crucially, he adds to that vision a streetwise pragmatism: his policies have to do more than look good on paper; they have to bring concrete material results to millions of struggling Americans in the lower and middle classes. They have to meet the criteria of a community organizer.
The Clintonian policy wonks don't seem to understand any of this. They have trivialized Reagan's political acumen as an illegitimate triumph of personality over policy. They confuse values with programs. They have underestimated authenticity and trust.
More at the link.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
It was twenty-six years ago that Ted Kotcheff’s First Blood introduced us to John Rambo, a deeply troubled Vietnam vet trying to make his way in an America that wanted nothing to do with him. For its time and in its own way, First Blood was quite revolutionary, giving us a grounded action movie that dared to poke the still-fresh wounds from our involvement in Vietnam. The film is probably most memorable for its climax, culminating in a heartbreakingly raw breakdown from Stallone’s emotionally-crippled Rambo.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.
We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.
Those words represent a powerful endorsement from Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK., whose backing puts another feather in the cap of Barack Obama. Watching Obama's soaring speech following his decisive win in the SC Democratic primary earlier this evening, it's hard not to see a little bit of what she's talking about:
One top of that, the Clintons sure haven't been doing themselves any favors with their own base, at least in my eyes, with their ever-escalating war of words with the Obama camp, utilizing, in the words of one former Clinton booster, "Rovian tactics" to snag a win even if it's in the worst way possible. It's still anybody's ballgame of course, but this LA Times op-ed echoes my concerns that the Clinton campaign might be doing far more damage to themselves and the party's standing than they realize.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
I know the posting has been a bit infrequent for the past month, but between the holidays and the generally crappy state of political news it's been hard to get too motivated. But I'll be ramping up soon with my takes on the unfolding primaries, as well as movie news and reviews, including a look at the return of a war-weary Vietnam vet to cinemas in a few short weeks...