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Knippenberg on Schramm on Obama

Let me second Peter’s comments (or will people only understand if I say "mega-dittoes"?). And call attention to this column by card-carrying Townhall conservative Carol Platt Liebau, which Hugh Hewitt says is "worth reading very closely and storing away."

Discussions - 11 Comments

Reading Liebau’s article, I learn that Obama is intelligent, colorblind, a deeply committed liberal, self-confident, listens, and has a sense of humor.

All well and good, but I’m inclined to think that everyone running for the Democratic nomination is a committed liberal, and the very act of running shows plenty of self confidence. I’m even willing to believe that HRC and Edwards are fairly intelligent and colorblind and have a sense of humor.

So I come away still wondering what all the fuss is about, and still suspecting that if Obama was white nobody would ever have heard of him. There was a similar boomlet for Condi Rice a year or two ago.

Why is a "conservative" blog bending over backwards to promote a left-wing Democratic presidential candidate -- or any Democratic presidential candidate?

Obama represents the first approachable black candidate for president. Each one prior to now -- Jackson, Sharpton, Chisholm -- had significant inhibitors to acceptance by mainstream America. We speak of Obama being colorblind ... to me, he’s the first black candidate I don’t first think of as "black." That, I think, is the X factor.

Why do you seem to think that any discussion of the man that doesn’t denounce him as a communist pig is promoting him? Can’t conservatives discuss the candidates of the opposing party without denouncing them as hellspawn? Just because Peter and Joseph find the guy to be somewhat interesting doesn’t mean they want to vote for him or endorse him. It just means that he’s bears watching because we may have to face him in the general election.

Personally, I fear an Obama nomination far more than I do a Hillary nomination. Hillary is unlikely to be all that inspiring. She is like a Democratic Bob Dole. She is being backed primarily because the Dems see it as being her turn. Obama appears to be gifted enough that he might be able to inspire people. That’s what makes him interesting and worthy of discussion... even at a right-leaning blog.

Yes, an Obama nomination is absolutely to be feared. But his ability to inspire people is a bad thing, not a good thing. NLT should be clear that it’s a bad thing. To the extent it talks about this snake-oil salesman, it should focus on the fraudulent nature of the crap he is selling. There’s no need to make a monster of him. Just cut him down to size.
Right now, it’s building Obama up by discussing him respectfully, as if he has something real to say and deserves our admiration. Neither is true.

True Right,

While I almost always vote Republican, I’d like to think that my analysis and commentary (here and elsewhere) is something other than mere partisan hackery, which is pretty close to what you’re calling upon me to do.

An analysis can be not-partisan but still gullible, trivial, and irrelevant to the interests of the majority of those who read this site.
And your off-again, on-again, please-impress-me courtship of Obama is not only unenlightening and enabling, it is downright weird. By the same token, analysis can be partisan and still intelligent and worth reading, not "hackery." If such things need to be explained to you, maybe you’re wasting your time trying to be a blogger.

John: the long and the short of it is this, the man can speak and when he speaks he seems to be saying something that is--at least on the face of it--reflective and interesting and above all, not "canned." He stands out not only because he’s a good-looking, young, smart, energetic, and likable guy but above all because when he speaks he does not sound like the typical politician. He seems to be appealing to something higher and nobler than his rivals. A case can be made that he is not really in the end any different from his rivals--and I’m fairly sure that’s true. But if our purpose is clarity and understanding--as true partisanship requires--then we must ask ourselves what it is that is making this man so appealing. Joe and Peter and Peter L. have done a pretty good job of doing that in my view. I don’t like what the facts suggest any more than you do. But don’t kill the messenger.

We can’t beat Obama without understanding him. And it seems just silly to me to suggest that because he is, at bottom, every bit as much a liberal and a politician as HRC and Edwards are, there can’t be any more to him. Obviously, there is something more. People really like him--including alot of people who could be persuaded not to like him. You can’t persuade those folks until you understand why they like him.

I don’t know that this is as complicated or mysterious as some are making it out to be. The Clinton name is mud among a large part of the prgressive left, so there is an opening for someone to exploit. Obama is essentially the creature, even the creation, of the university based wing of the Democratic party. That is a powerful faction for him to have on his side.

Here is a link to a good discussion of Obama and the general state of the Democrats. "At the very least, the candidates at CPAC felt an obligation —inherent when one presumes oneself fit for the White House— to both explain their opinions and to defend them. As near as any observer can tell, that standard has not been applied to any of the Democratic candidates. On the left, it is but theater."


Let them nominate an Hussein Obama, and let us pick a John McCain or a Rudy Giuliani, and let’s just who wins come November, 2008.

America isn’t going to pick an Hussein Obama over accomplished, seasoned and brave men like Giuliani or McCain. Just isn’t going to happen.

Next to them, or even a Romney or a Gingrich for that matter, next to any of those four men, the track record of an Obama looks EMBARASSINGLY thin.

Julie, you wrote "we can’t beat Obama without understanding him." I wouldn’t stretch that point.

I remember at school once, I had a problem getting my mind around a rather subtle point. That didn’t occur too often, but it occurred on this one narrow and nuanced point. And another student, a hard lib by the by, heard me say as once. So he attempted to explain it to me. But on this occasion, I was proving just too damn dense. And in a mix of exasperation and frustration, he said to me, "You don’t need to understand it, you just need to be able to write about it." And he was right, and I went on to get an A in that exam, and was ranked second in that subject that semester, in a class of almost 200. I did actually fully grasp the point in a couple of days, BUT ONLY after the single exam.

We don’t need to fully understand Obama. All we need is to properly position him, and position him with people unacceptable to the wider electorate.

Hardball politics is about positioning. I’ll give it to ya short and sweet, find a dirtball, and position your political opponent in bed with that dirtball. Libs do that all the time with Republicans, positioning them with "big oil," "big pharmaceuticals" and "big insurance." They’re past masters at the art of positioning.

But they’ve some awfully strange bedfellows of their own, Hollywood for instance, and the hardcore left, in academia.

Republicans should be looking for opportunities to force Obama to vote. For every single vote, every single yea or nay, yes or no, completely binary, one way or the other, is him REVEALING his true inner inclinations. And they are UNIFORMLY left of center. Given enough time, Obama will reveal himself, and in that revelation, he’ll destroy whatever chances he might have for the White House. THAT’S WHY he has to win now, for if not in ’08, he’ll just garner FOUR MORE YEARS OF votes, four more years worth of political baggage that he won’t ever get away from.

The Senate isn’t just the killing fields of legislation, but the killing fields of Presidential ambitions. And that’s for a reason, and that’s because of the votes.

Kennedy got out fast. He was the last man to emerge straight from the Senate. And that was in an era prior to Conservative talk radio and the blogosphere. Obama either has to take the nomination now, OR LEAVE THE SENATE for the Illinois Governor’s mansion. But if he wants to go up, then he has to get out of the Senate.

Hillary KNOWS that too.

Obama will be easy to portray as a wholly orthodox lefty, complete with Harvard left credentials. He didn’t get to be Editor of the Harvard Law Review by being a Conservative, that’s for damn sure.

For him to take the nomination away from Hillary, it’ll require VAST amounts of negative campaigning, back and forth between the candidates and the respective camps. Even if he emerges victorious, HE WON’T EMERGE as Saint George. There won’t be any halo around him by then.

Hillary is the far more dangerous candidate. For she can adopt different guises. She’s the "titanic intellect" and the "towering pillar of strength." But if you hit her, if you take her on, then she assumes the guise of little orphan Annie, and you’re being mean to her. Ask Rick Lazio. He absolutely took her apart in the NY Senate debates. I watched them, ALL of them. It wasn’t even close.

And what did she do, when the falsehoods were out in the open, when it was clear the "callow youth" Lazio took her to cleaners, what did she do? Like some sci-fi creature, she became a shape-shifter, and morphed into the fading wallflower. AND IT WORKED.

And it might work again.

I just watched Bob Casey pretend to be his father, assume the mantle of pro-life champion of his father, and beat Santorum. It was instructive, most instructive.

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