Aug 22, 2008


Regardless of my personal feelings about the guy, James Carville proved to be a pretty savvy political operative during the campaigns of Bill Clinton and he hits a resonate note with me in his latest CNN piece of advice for Barack Obama

Maybe it's because I am a pissed off liberal/progressive but trying to set that aside I think it makes sense. Barack seems to come off like a detached intellectual who has this rather touchy feely message of "HOPE" and "CHANGE" in an environment where showing some toughness is necessary

There is no question that Obama has the superior chops on the economy but the McSame campaign is currently running an ad that is so absurd and just plain wrong it should really inspire outrage and anger.

This ad is so totally wrong and stupid it deserves anger and outrage in response. Obama will lower taxes on the folks who are suffering because of higher food and fuel costs - those in McSame's tax bracket feel no pain over these increased costs. It's McSame who is out of touch with Americans because he is the one with the 7,8, ... 11 houses and the $273,000 yearly housekeeping expense. Barack should show some anger and outrage on our behalf if not his own. Get mad for the average Americans who are being misled by the total bullshit represented by this ad. Get mad because this ad means McSame thinks American's are idiots who can't see through the utter banality of the lies this ad represents.

Carville lays out the Obama advantage on the Economy.
Quite simply, he needs to create a more compelling narrative on change, use history as a context for the economy, and get mad about something.

First and foremost, Obama must bring a narrative to his position as a change agent. You can't simply seek change for change's sake.

The argument must be made that this is an election with two choices: the change-seeking good guys or the status quo-clinging bad guys. The campaign needs to brand every negative attack by the Republicans as just another desperate attempt of the status quo clinging to power.[...]

McCain keeps trying to claim he's a "change Republican." I don't really know what that means, but Obama and his team must continue to highlight the "McSame" that he offers: more of the same failed Iraq policy, more of the same tax breaks for oil and drug companies, more of the same Swift-boat-style tactics, more of the same on education and healthcare. And he certainly offers more of the same failed Bush economic policy.
McSame has said
"Even if the economy is the, quote, number one issue, the real issue will remain America's security," [McCain] said. "If it's not the most important issue in the minds of many voters, America's security will remain the number one issue with me. And if they choose to say, 'Look, I do not need this guy because he's not as good on home loan mortgages,' or whatever it is, I understand that. I will accept that verdict. I am running because of the transcendent challenge of the twenty-first century, which is radical Islamic extremism, as you know."
That's why he has a liar and fool named Phil Gramm as his economic advisor. The same guy who calls us average Americans in danger of losing our modest single houses a nation of whiners. All of us can't make millions deregulating the mortgage industry and lobbying for the thieves who wrecked FannieMae and FreddieMac. Why shouldn't we be outraged and angry about the train wreck we've experienced with this Republican administration that made Gramm and his Republican buddies filthy rich at our expense?

Obama has an economic plan that will work for our near future but he also has the historical advantage of Democratic administrations that have done vastly better than the Republicans.
Use history as a guideline. He should start by reading "Unequal Democracy," by Princeton academic Larry Bartels. The non-partisan and non-political Bartels points out devastatingly after an exhaustive study of Democratic and Republican presidents that the Democrats built a better economy and a more just society.

The campaign needs to say that, since 1900, Democratic presidents have not only "won" but dominated on every economic front: GDP growth, employment, deficit and income equality. Need more? How about a better performing stock market and a more fiscally-responsible spending. [...] historically Democratic presidencies have produced better economies. And with the economy still in the forefront, it's a no-brainer for Obama to talk about the historical supremacy of economies under Democratic presidents.
Barack and the rest of us Democrats should be outraged that Republican's seem to get away with murder saying that the Democrats are bad for business and the economy. IT IS A HUGE LIE and the evidence is graphic
Republicans are fiscally irresponsible and anything but Conservative. Barack will lower taxes for all of us who have paid an unfair share while corporations and the ultra rich got all the breaks. We have been saddled with a huge debt while the oil companies and the super rich have made record profits and the gap between the ultra rich top 5% and the rest of us has grown.

Our candidate needs to articulate our rage
And my last piece of advice to Obama and his team is to just get mad about something. Obama's campaign seems so intent on branding him as a "cool and calm" leader.

Voters want to see a sense of urgency and outrage in their president: Outrage over our dependence on foreign oil; our increased cost of living, health care and education; declining incomes; outrage over an endless war and an idiotic foreign policy; and our country's loss of prestige over the last 7½ years. To put it bluntly, Obama needs to get outraged over something other than "attacks on his patriotism."
Barack has shown that he can be cool and restrained in the face of outrageous behavior but can he summon up some righteous indignation and serious toughness on our behalf? We've been treated like crap by the Republican party of Bush =McSame for 8 long years and we have every right to be angry about the damage done to our country and our lives and our children's future. Barack Obama offered to fight this campaign on the high ground leaving the outrage in the box and debating the merits of his ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect. John McSame has shown that he and his party are incapable of civil respect and rational honest debate. This isn't the way we wanted it. But now the situation is clear to everyone and it's time to take off the gloves and deck these lying scumbags with some serious punches thrown in righteous anger and contempt.

We need someone who will fight for us when all efforts at diplomatic reasoned honest debate have been ignored. That's what Mr. Carville thinks and he actually has to live with Mary Matalin without murdering her in her sleep. I'm not sure how he does it. Maybe she chains him to a bed in another room at night so his subconscious doesn't sleepwalk in a dream of destruction. As much as I hate to admit it I think he has a point.

This is one reason I love the idea of a Biden on the ticket because I think Biden is capable of delivering clear righteous blows that expose the total lack of integrity in Republican politics.

I'm mad as hell and I don't want Obama to take it anymore.
How about you?
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