Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Good-Faith Advice For the Democratic Nominee

John Judis explains that "Change We Can Believe In" is a little more intricate than it appears. First you get people to believe what you need them to believe; then you make the changes you want: "Obama cannot run as a Huey Long-style red meat populist. That’s not who he is, anyway. And in making promises, he has to be careful to avoid endorsing programs that could be interpreted as irresponsible acts of tax-and-spend liberalism. He can propose a detailed plan for national health insurance once he is elected. For the moment, he should avoid anything that appears to require new taxes, or that appears to send a lot of money to inner-cities." There will be lots of time for irresponsible tax-and-spend liberalism after the election.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I have been catching up on the speeches today. Someone said in a thread below that Michelle Obama's speech was disappointing because of its sentimentality, (which is a free and probably poor summary.) However, I am impressed at stress on family values and sentimentality and even religiosity in all of the speeches I have heard. It's morning in America again, again.

I love the cut-taxes-rhetoric and to play that well, Democrats can't discuss the messy details of their glorious promised government programs. I wonder how "don't tax, but spend" liberalism will work for the electorate.

I was fascinated that Judis raised this matter, "Obama's inexperience is undoubtedly a handicap against John McCain, but what Bai misses is the connection: Obama's race reinforces whatever doubts voters might have about his ability to govern. As several psychological experiments have shown, white voters asked to compare white and black candidates of equal accomplishment will tend to view the black candidate as being less competent....Worries about race reinforce worries about taxing and spending." Do black voters have no problem a less competent candidate? Or is this why the subject of Obama's competence (based on what?) is so hammered in those speeches?

In that article, the following made me laugh aloud: "I didn't think so last spring, but I realize now that Obama would have been better off had he chosen Hillary Clinton. Of course, he might have faced a nightmare in January 2009 with Bill and Hillary in the White House, but at least he would have been more assured of making it there." and while I think he's right about the nightmare, I don't see the assurance.

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