All my liberal friends think the proverbial right-wing noise machine is going to go after Barack Obama in an even more demagogic and irresponsible manner than they went after the Clintons, and I’d have to say that the early evidence suggests they’re right. But not that conservatives care what I think, it seems to me that this is actually a substantial mistake. Crazy stuff about how Obama’s a ”marxist” a former ”street organizer”, a Muslim, and most of all blackity black black black mostly seems to me to obscure attention from a much more plausible campaign strategy. Every liberal I know is really excited about Obama because Obama’s a very charismatic, politically savvy guy who’s also got a substantially more liberal record that the successful Democratic nominees of the recent past.
Not “substantially more liberal” in the sense of “secretly worships Mao,” but in the sense of “like many people, but unlike most Americans, found Bill Clinton too moderate for his tastes.” Go read Chris Hayes’ case for Obama in The Nation and you’ll find an argument that was very convincing to me. But then again, I’m the kind of guy who reads Nation articles, I’m not the median voter. The liberal contention is that given the current state of the country, and given a charismatic candidate, the median voter is prepared to vote for a more liberal candidate than he’s been voting for over the past few decades. But that’s hardly an airtight case, and the GOP has their own well-liked nominee and one who, for good measure, is actually somewhat less conservative than the people the Republicans have been nominating recently.
They’ll probably lose one way or the other, but I think they’d be better off giving the convincing argument their best shot rather than opting for what seems like a flailing strategy of desperation.