David Kirkpatrick

October 30, 2008

Reax to Obama’s infomercial

From Culture11. I’ve yet to add the site to my blogroll —┬ábut I bet I do. If you are looking for interesting, intelligent and forward-thinking (read: these bloggers understand Sarah Palin is the death of the GOP, not its savior) blogging from the right side of the aisle, you could do worse than visiting Culture11 every day.

Sure it’s fun to read the increasing crazy at the Corner and Ace of Spades and some of the other usual suspects, but in reality I much prefer to read good, conservative arguments and reasoned thought. You can get that at the Daily Dish, but the loony right wing has somehow decided Andrew Sullivan is, what? His gayness is out, but he’s a closet liberal? Hardly, but he is a principled conservative thinker from more a Tory standpoint than the evangelical nutjobs that currently hold the GOP hostage.

Back to Obama’s infomercial — here’s Freddie deBoer’s take from that link way up in the first sentence:

Three thoughts occur to me in response to Obama’s infomercial.

The first is that this production shows again the great folly of the McCain campaign’s decision to bet the election on “otherizing” Obama. I think anyone who watched, and wasn’t already in the tank against Obama, would be very hard pressed indeed to see this man as a radical, or a terrorist, or a socialist out to steal their money. I think that they would be very hard pressed to see him as someone who they couldn’t trust, or who they “just didn’t know about.” I think that they would find him reassuring. I think that they would find him refreshingly normal, refreshingly American. I think that they would see him as a decent, loving family man.

Of course, that’s not sufficient, for a Presidential candidate. It’s not enough to be decent, or a good husband and father. It’s not enough to be normal, or American. It’s not enough to be not a radical. But this is the bed that the McCain campaign has made: when they made the election about Barack Obama’s basic decency, about his normalcy, when they insisted that the reason to oppose him was because he represented some terrifying unknown, they set the bar for the Obama campaign incredibly low. It turns out that proving you’re not some terrorist-sympathizing socialist with a crazy foreign name isn’t that high of a hurdle to clear. And once cleared, the McCain campaign’s own rhetoric damages them. If what’s important is that whether or not Americans can trust him, the answer for most of us is clear: yes, we can. After claiming for six months or so that the appropriate question for a Presidential candidate is whether he is a trustworthy American, America appears poised to accept that question, and in the case of Barack Obama, answer in the affirmative.