Dec 18, 2007
A liberal with soul
Democrats have been searching for a savior since 2000, when their best hope to continue the Clinton legacy got beat by a man they strongly suspected was mildly retarded.
David Brooks makes a semi-convincing case in today's New York Times that the Democrats need look no further than Barack Obama: In the course of this struggle to discover who he is, Obama clearly learned from the strain of pessimistic optimism that stretches back from Martin Luther King Jr. to Abraham Lincoln. This is a worldview that detests anger as a motivating force, that distrusts easy dichotomies between the parties of good and evil, believing instead that the crucial dichotomy runs between the good and bad within each individual.
This is a long and elegant way of saying Obama has the constancy of character that will allow him to stand up to any Republican espousing core values or faith-based principles.
Perhaps Brooks is right. After all, who better to carry the torch of liberalism than a black man who has lived the prejudices the white liberal elite can only talk about? Maybe Obama would be liberalism's greatest legacy.
Besides, he's young and this country has overly concentrated its wealth and power in the hands of the old. Obama is a turning of the page.
Not sure whether the Dems in Iowa and New Hampshire will see it this way. After 2004, they may be averse to the kind of risk taking they need to embrace to throw a real challenge the GOP's way.