Saturday, March 10, 2007

David Obey vs the Anti-War Juggernaut

Thunder on the Left. There's a video out on YouTube and Fox of Rep. David Obey in a sometimes heated exchange with Tina Richards and another anti-war activist about Nancy Pelosi's current plan. Fox seriously overplays the heat of the exchange, but it is fun to watch.

A couple of points:

Needed: Good Guys on the Left. People on the left have always blamed corporate money on the ability of big business to beat liberal reformers in Congress. That's largely true, but one of the things that corporate money allows the business lobbies to do is hire extremely attractive personalities to promote business agendas--the happy warrior good-old-boy types, drinking and golf buddies, and prom queens who have a gift for making everybody comfortable around them. To the contrary, the do-gooder lobbies are often filled with abrasive, self-righteous people like these two anti-war lobbyists who have a tough time with anyone who disagrees with them. The liberal versions of Tom DeLay and Sean Hannity, these folks are often horribly ineffective at convincing people to take them seriously.

Moving the Debate to the Left. Those irritating people on the left are pretty effective right now. On election night last November, Nancy Pelosi and her team had no idea that they would be doing anything like setting deadlines to get out of Iraq. It's because of the people Obey called "idiot liberals" that Pelosi has been pushed into being more aggressive in opposing the Bush administration. Obey is irritated to no end that the anti-war left is pushing him to go much further than either the Congressional votes or public opinion will take him. However, the left deserves credit for pushing both the Congressional Democrats and public opinion a long way toward ending the war.

I See a Book in This: We on the anti-war left owe our moment in the sun to the monumental arrogance and incompetence of the Bush administration. Somebody should write a book entitled How to Annoy People and Win to celebrate the coming triumph of the anti-war movement.

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