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Obama transcendentalism? December 15, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Politics.
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Michael Tomasky of the Guaridan has a fascinating Op-Ed regarding actions Obama should take to truly show his post partisanship.  It is a interesting read, and I urge you to look at it.

At the heart of the matter is this basic question:  Will Barack Obama become a transcendant political figure ala Ronald Reagan or Franklin D. Roosevelt, or will he be a speed bump on the road of history like G.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter?

Tomasky’s Op-Ed is one of many, including some on my blog, that show Obama the way.

Why was Reagan a transcendant political figure?  Simple.  He succeeded exceedingly well.  But it is more than that.  You could argue that Bill Clinton succeeded, but his reach historically now seems limited.  The difference was that Reagan captured the middle; the moderates; the heart of America.

Don’t believe me?  Obama won 13% of Republicans this time around; Reagan in 1984 won almost 30% of Democrats.  30%!.  That shows an appeal like no other.

Mr. Obama  has the opportunity to have such an appeal.  Like Mr. Tomasky says, Obama is a liberal, but a reasonable one.  He has yet to show that the is an idealogue, and much more a pragmatist.  Additionally, he understands that political bitterness that has tarnished the last two administrations is hurtful to the country as a whole, and also accomplishes nothing.

Tomasky provides certain actions he would suggest to Obama to win the hearts of the middle:  visit Olklahoma (the one state Obama won no county in);  visit the CIA which has been beaten up in the current administration; and third, get as much Republican support as possible for his early policy initiatives.

The first two are window dressing.  The third, however, is the key.  How many Republicans can Mr. Obama convince to join him on his New Deal?  Reagan was the good portion of Democrats when he passed his tax initiative early in 1981.  Can Obama do the same?  It is a big question.  This kind of convincing is more personal nuance than political force.  Reagan had it.  FDR had it.  Does Mr. Obama?

The potential is there.  There is potential for greatness that was lacking with Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43.  There is the chance that Mr. Obama could become the transcendant figure of the first quarter of this century.  But amazingly, he needs to pathetic Republican party to get there.  It will take a leap of faith from him, because he will have to put trust in the opposite side to become that figure.

Does Mr. Obama have it in him?



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