It’s funny how a wave of Obama-scepticism have broken out across the blogosphere just at the moment he looks like pulling ahead of the Clintons. John Redwood has today modified his earlier enthusiasm of a month ago. Philip Oppenheim has today decided that Obama’s rhetoric is all bullshit and that he’s going to be another Tony Blair. There seems to be a general trend of backtracking going on.
Obama’s claiming to break the mould of politics as we know, but as soon as he gets into power, the sceptics say, he’ll be just as beholden to the vast state bureaucracies as all previous incumbents.
Wooo up Fellas!
Obama offers things that Blair never did. Admittedly he sounds at times like Blair in 1997. Blair phrased all his appeal to the electorate on the fact that he would bring about a fairer, and more open society but he emphasised above all the sleaze of the Major government. It was all based on colouring in the Conservatives, with little to explain how he was going to be better than them.
Obama is actually stating the positives quite clearly that he wants to manage the USA better. I don’t remember Blair having a list of specific positive objectives other than general waffle such as ‘education, education, education’ and ‘being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’.
Obama, on the other hand has the following – He wants to get government borrowing down, limit lobbyist influence in Washington, end corruption, open up government and reestablish honesty in decision-taking, spend on infrastructure, improve education, boost research, set about long term energy independence for America, end oil dependence and promote environmental improvement – simplify the tax code, and boost the country’s competitiveness.
Get government borrowing down?
Simplify the tax code?
Spend on infrastructure?
Blair had never even heard of such topics. He was fronting a Party which didn’t believe in any such thing.
Obama’s rhetoric tallies with the managerial approach to the economy and society, as in his policies. His acceptance speech at Iowa still lingers –
“You said the time had come to tell the lobbyists who think their money and their influence speak louder than our voice that they don’t own the government, we do; and we are here to take it back”
“The time has come for a President who will be honest about the choices and challenges we face; who will listen to you and learn from you even when we disagree; who wont just tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to know…”.
Just think what it would be like to get a politician with Blair’s presentational skills combined with a genuine interest in long-term results – not Blair-like narcissism, and a couldn’t care even about a month ahead as long as this week’s media sounded good. Cynicism in Britain after many years of seeing how propaganda has destroyed our communities and way of life is understandable. But it is misplaced.
It doesn’t matter which way you look at Obama. He stacks up in a way Blair never did.
One of the greatest things that has happened in the last five years is the explosion of the blogosphere. At one time and especially at the time that Bush, Blair or Clinton won power, the MSM controlled the narrative, and rationed information. But today, any negative aspects of a politician standing for office have a fair higher chance of coming out, as do any good things. They can be and must be more like themselves and less a distortion of the truth, or they will be easily rumbled.
They don’t need to act any more. The media cannot be bought to create a political winner by giving them a false image so easily.
An age of truth and clarity is emerging from the period of sickening media distortion that consigned the West to fighting in Iraq, and permitting ludicrous levels of dangerous lending to establish. Only in a world where the media had become subservient to government without enough democratic feedback could so many wrong decisions have been taken. As the world sinks deeper and deeper into crisis, it is worth remembering that almost all the messes currently being suffered were entirely preventable. That’s the measure of how low the standard of government has sunk.
Our societies can do better, and must do better. Believe in Obama or believe in nothing. The world as to change. If it doesn’t the consequences are too serious to contemplate.