Friday, December 30, 2011

Try To Remember..........

                                  The Obamas Caucus Night 2008
As the Republican Party decides whether self-immolation is the route to political victory in 2012 with the Iowa Caucuses only days away, I was reminded of what it was like four years ago.  Four years ago on December 31, 2007, the Dem Moines Register published its final poll prior to the Caucus.  Most polls showed a three-way tie between Edwards, Clinton and Obama.  Then came the Register's poll which finally showed a decisive lead for Barack Obama at 32%, with Clinton at 25% and Edwards at 24%. (The results would be 38% for Obama; 30% Edwards, 29% Clinton).

It was at that moment when Obama supporters no longer feared the same fate as Dean in 2004. Of course we still feared it was an outlier  but the Obama movement was real.  A few days later, Iowa helped change the face of American politics with Obama's big win in the caucuses. 

I remember vividly the excitement of that New Year's Eve when the poll was published and discussed by many of us on Daily Kos.  Those of us who endorsed Obama early in 2007 did so for the simple reason that of the main Democratic candidates he was the only one with a clear and forthright record of opposition to the Iraq War.  That was why so many of us gave him money, volunteered in his campaign and manned the Internets for his candidacy.  

Many of us had just as fervently  supported Howard Dean in 2004, but the Iowa campaign had been run in a dismal fashion.  The Democrats settled on Senator Kerry who was for the war before he was against it or something like that.  Bush won in 2004 handing many of us a most bitter defeat.  It was one thing to steal the election in 2000,  but no one even when the Supreme Court was handing him the presidency knew then  just what a miserable failure he would be.  By Novemeber 2004, it was obvious to myself and millions of others the evil of Bush/Cheney.  

That's why Obama's caucus win in 2008 was the most exhilarating evening I've ever felt in politics. I thought that the people finally got it--we needed a decisive break from Bush and his war and the Clinton era that preceded it.   

I was one of the few diehards who did not get misty eyed that November night in 2008, feeling more relief than joy.  The joy had come once on Iowa caucus night.  After that, it was a long hard slog. 
I knew on election night that the task of fundamental change was monumental.  And though the President has outraged many of us Progressives, his inherent decency and the indecency of his opposition unites us.  More importantly, as I have told friends over and over, we cannot judge President Obama by any other standard than the standard of other Presidents.  I cannot judge him by the standard of my own Congressman Rep. Jerrold Nadler. 

By that standard,  that makes him the best president of my lifetime.  Obviously better than all the Republicans and better than Johnson (Vietnam), Carter (Carter), and Clinton (the best Republican President of my lifetime).   Of course, the corporate and military empire of the United States is still one of the main impediments to a re-structuring of domestic and world priorities, but politics is the art of the possible.  Right now, Obama is the most possible progressive tendency in the United States Government.  But there's a part of me deep down thinks Ron Paul's critique of  the alliance between big business, big government and big military would  be the best path--if he weren't such a crank.

So to Iowa Caucus goers, I say vote your hearts!  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  That means the most principled non-crazy right-winger who loves fetuses and hates queers more than anyone else.  Yes, vote Santorum!  Early and often!  Let's make 2012 a clear choice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment