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It's not a mask. It's reality. An adult has ideals, beliefs, emotions, etc. Some adults become very cynical and checkout of big decisions and are easily swayed here and there. Others stay wide-eyed and easily cheated. I think Obama is the rare breed that keeps his ideals, but can make pragmatic decisions knowing they may violate some of his ideals (locally) but help in the long term. All the while I think he is not cynical or strives not to be. He seems to truly see (or tries to) the best in everything and where things could go without losing sight of reality.

A few weeks ago I wouldn't have written the above, but I was sick at home and decided to read Dreams from My Father. If he could write that right out of law school (and with everything else he had seen and done before law school) and maintain some belief in the future and the possibility for improvement, then I think we can drop the cynicism and take him at his word.

Cynicism is for small minds anyway.

The problem with a lot of the outraged dkos types is they think they are realists while really they are sort of the wild-eyed idealist mixed with heavy cynicism. They expect perfection, consistency and idealism from their politicians (while themselves having these qualities in only small amounts, like most people -- and cynicism in great amounts). All the while, many don't seem to be realistic and able to realize there are trade-offs to be made and that must be made if any goals are to be achieved.

All this is to say -- I'm upset by the FISA bill (American, wrote my rep), but I realize there are bigger, more structural and more cultural issues that cause these things to happen and the "discourse" can't change over night. Anyone who demands this, and then when they don't get it, throw their hands up cynically, isn't being fair or realistic.

And while Obama's position on the bill disappoints me, I realize he is an adult, with his own ideas of what the trade-offs and risks are, and has judged this to be a workable and useful position. He still inspires me that democracy and civil society can work, for all its current flaws. Dragging the campaign down into in-fighting that disrupts the possibility of Obama winning is just as absurd as the Hillary Clinton supporters who said they would vote McCain.

As a side note, this labelling of the "netroots" as if they are a monolithic and ideologically uniform group is a bit silly. There are many different groups and many different reasons and even on dkos there isn't just one. The internet is though a great organizing force for those groups .. and also great for temporary alliances.

by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 09:31:44 PM EST
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I have to disagree here, and I say that as someone who'll defend Obama quite a bit.  This was bullshit.  Now, as a practical matter, Obama's support or opposition to the bill probably makes no difference, but that's not the point: Someone has to stand up and say, "No, assholes, you're all a bunch of fucking traitors."  That's what leaders do.  They don't send statements out spending three paragraphs bullshitting about this and that, leaving just a line or two to bullshit about fighting immunity.  No, they say, "No, assholes, you're all a bunch of fucking traitors."

He's led on other issues.  He was right on the gas tax, and, despite public support for McCain's position, he's stuck to the right position on the offshore drilling.  (And thank you, Jim Webb, for fucking us on the latter, by the way.  Did anybody not sell us out on something this week?)  Why couldn't he lead on this?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 12:20:56 AM EST
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