Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

Why I Voted for Obama

“A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor they needed, or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning, or are not fulfilling the veterans’ benefits that these troops need when they come home, or are undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary?

“That is a debate I am very happy to have. We’ll see what the American people think is the true definition of patriotism.”

This was his response to Republican allegations that he lacks patriotism because he doesn’t wear the little American flag pin on his lapel everywhere he goes.  And that response uses precisely the strategy I’ve been waiting for someone to use for years.  Under identical circumstances, I’m fairly confident that Hillary would have responded by listing the patriotic things she’s voted for and how many GOP proposals she’s supported or championed, etc.  In other words, the same old tired Democratic capitulation to accusations from the right regardless of how absurd they are.  By responding to such stupidity the defender lends credence to the accusation and is automatically at a disadvantage.  Obama rejected the Republican framing of the flag pin issue entirely, as he should have, and turned the issue on its head, as it should have been.  I know it’s just election year politics but the mere suggestion that the flag pin somehow determines patriotism, especially when it’s leveled by the people who capitalized on public fears to send our military to fight an unnecessary war for an indefinite period of time with no planning beforehand, is nauseating.

I’m no Obamamaniac, but I recognize the power of an individual who draws millions of new young voters into the process.  A massive influx of idealistic, not-yet-disenchanted voters can provide the energy and momentum necessary to start changing the political dialog in this country.  Perhaps this will end up being the Bush administration’s biggest domestic legacy – infuriating so many people to the point that they finally decided enough is enough.