Michelle Obama: Barack "will deign to enter" politics
I hate to quote Modo (ick) but she's got a good quote* in her column today:
[Michelle Obama] told a group gathered at a nursing home in Grinnell on Monday that “Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics.”
Come on. "Deign"?
Politics is how citizens make decisions in a democracy. "Deign" to enter that process? WTF?
I don't want someone who stands above the fray preaching "unity" and teh Bipartisan because he doesn't want to get down and dirty!
Now, I'm playing with fire even linking to that C-Span video, because Michelle Obama is just as good as everyone says she is.
If you listen to the Obamas using your critical thinking skills, you'll notice two little words missing:
When I listen to the Obamas, I feel like I've gone to a doctor who's diagnosed my symptoms accurately, but doesn't even have a concept of disease, and ends up "deigning" to prescribe little colored magic pills that don't have any real medicine in them. There's no why. And if there's no why, there's really no how.
The disease in the body politic is not "partisanship," any more than the fever in the body is the virus--the why--that causes the fever. The fever is a symptom, and so is "partisanship."
The disease--the why--in the body politic is 30 years of dominance by the the Conservative Movement, which runs the country for the economic benefit of the very, very rich. Programs like universal health care aren't happening, not because people of good will aren't sitting together round a table, but because they are actively being prevented by the Conservative Movement because it's not in their interest. You can't take this on with a message of "unity," because you can't beat something with nothing.
The cure for the body politic--the how--is not little colored magic awesome "unity" pills or a feel good message. The cure is stronger progressive institutions -- an immune system, if you will -- that can take on, fight back against, and beat the institutions that prevent progressive change. But there's nothing in the Obama message about that.
Obama has to make the ask.
If Obama wants progressive mandate, he's got to to ask for a progressive mandate.
Of course, a strategy of appealing to low information voters by using Republican talking points, and appealing to Republicans by not holding their party accountable might get enough non-Democrats into the Iowa caucuses to pick a Democratic nominee; smart strategy. Maybe just down and dirty enough. Of course, I don't know how Iowa Democrats are going to feel about having their nominee chosen for them, but maybe that's what "deign" boils down to, eh?
NOTE The quote's unsourced, so for awhile I was concerned that Modo was, well, making shit up again. But I listened to the C-Span video. (C-Span gets the location wrong; the video clearly shows a nursing home, and not the "Mayflower Hotel.") It's at 32:55.
To me, this quote is a story, but it's not covered the Des Moines Register, this coverage of the event from the Arkansas Times, this coverage from TNR, this (on DU, by an Obama supporter), this, by an Arkansas blogger, or this (on Big Orange, by a member of Obama's fan base).