So many of you are upset that I pulled back my credit card last night, making a last minute decision to hold back on a $2,300 contribution to Obama. Let me explain further:
First of all, obviously Obama is a great candidate who is running a great 50-state race. That much cannot be denied. But he's had a rough couple of weeks.
First, he reversed course and capitulated on FISA, not just turning back on the Constitution, but on the whole concept of "leadership". Personally, I like to see presidents who 1) lead, and 2) uphold their promises to protect the Constitution.
Then, he took his not-so-veiled swipe at MoveOn in his "patriotism" speech.
Finally, he reinforced right-wing and media talking points that Wes Clark had somehow impugned McCain's military service when, in reality, Clark had done no such thing.
All of a sudden, there was a lot of cowering when, just days ago, we got to read this:
When Mr. Wenner asked how Mr. Obama might respond to harsh attacks from Republicans, suggesting that Democrats have "cowered" in the past, Mr. Obama replied, "Yeah, I don’t do cowering."
Could've fooled me, and maybe he is. Maybe what looks like cowering to me is really part of that "moving to the center" stuff everyone keeps talking about. But there is a line between "moving to the center" and stabbing your allies in the back out of fear of being criticized. And, of late, he's been doing a lot of unecessary stabbing, betraying his claims of being a new kind of politician. Not that I ever bought it, but Obama is now clearly not looking much different than every other Democratic politician who has ever turned his or her back on the base in order to prove centrist bona fides. That's not an indictment, just an observation.
Now I know there's a contingent around here that things Obama can do no wrong, and he must never be criticized, and if you do, well fuck you! I respect the sentiment, but will respectfully disagree. We're allowed to do that here. But fair notice -- I will never pull a Rush Limbaugh and carry water for anyone. Not for the Democratic Congress, and not for our future Democratic president. When anyone does something I don't care for, I will say so. I've never pulled my punches before, so why start now?
Obama will be fine without my contribution, and he may even still get it before this thing is said and done, but it would be at a time when he has done something positive. That's called rewarding good behavior. And if that opportunity fails to arise because Obama goes on a Sister Souljah'ing rampage, then no worries. Chances are good that the DNC would get the money instead. But at this time, I simply have no desire to reward bad behavior. Some of you don't care about his behavior, or don't think it's bad behavior, or whatever. I didn't ask any of you to follow suit, and don't care whether you do or not. I didn't pull him from the Orange to Blue list. I'm not going to start praising Nader or Barr. I'll still vote for him. Yadda, yadda, yadda. At the end of the day, I'm pretty irrelevant in the whole affair. Obama is going to raise a ton of dough and win this thing whether I send him money or not.
Ultimately, he's currently saying that he doesn't need people like me to win this thing, and he's right. He doesn't. If they've got polling or whatnot that says that this is his best path to victory, so much the better. I want him to win big. But when the Obama campaign makes those calculations, they have to realize that they're going to necessarily lose some intensity of support. It's not all upside. And for me, that is reflected in a lack of interest in making that contribution.
That's it. No need to freak out. It is what it is. Others will happily pick up the slack. We're headed toward a massive Democratic wave, and what I decide to do with my money means next to nothing, no matter how much hyperventilating may happen on this site's comments and diaries about it all.
And if for some crazy hard-to-see reason my money actually is important to the Obama campaign, then they can adjust their behavior to get it.