Becoming Obamafied: The Opposite of Hate
By: Mark W Adams

Hate and love are passionate emotions that the proverbial fine line separates. A completely different reaction is apathy.

I admit I truly despise the likes of Rush Limbaugh. The thing is, he hates me too.

Well, maybe not me in particular, but he freely says that liberal Americans are his enemy. We are to be crushed, defeated, destroyed. Indeed, Rush's recent overtures to John McCain contains an exhortation to His Maverickness on the futility of reaching across the aisle.
LIMBAUGH: The important question for John McCain today is is he going to learn the right lesson from this and what is the lesson? The lesson is liberals are to be defeated. You cannot walk across the aisle with them; you cannot reach across the aisle. You cannot welcome their media members on your bus and get all cozy with them and expect eternal love from them. You are a Republican. Whether you are a conservative Republican or not, you are a Republican. And at some point the people you cozy up to, either to do legislation or to get cozy media stories are going to turn on you. They are snakes. And if the right lesson is not learned from this, uh then it will have proved to be of no value. It’s a great opportunity her for Sen. McCain to learn the right lesson, understand who his friends are and who his enemies are. And he’s had that backwards, for way too long.
Right back attcha Rushbo.

And therein lies the problem. The reaction Limbaugh gets from me -- loathing -- is exactly what he wants. He doesn't want me to love him, ever. In fact, he hopes to enrage folks like me so much we make mistakes, are blinded by the rage he inspires. At a minimum, he wants the battle to continue. The conflict between right and left, much of it a product of his own addled brain, remains his and his imitators raison d'entre.

My principle arguments in favor of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton from a culture warrior perspective, (all other factors being equal) have centered about who is best equipped to utterly decimate the worst of the wingnuts.

Clearly Clinton is "ready to lead" this fight right into the old gasbag's face. Obama's approach is completely different, doing exactly what Limbaugh cautions McCain against -- reaching across the aisle, finding common ground, fixing problems not finding enemies among our own people and throwing them up against a rhetorical wall.

We've seen this play before, a Clintonian triangulation strategy forced upon us by the nature of the dialog, the fighting words on all sides urged to ever stranger heights by the right wing noise machine. I started blogging by commenting on conservative blogs so no right wing smear was left unanswered, no lie left undebunked. I still think this is a worthwhile and sometimes entertaining passtime.

But that's a bloggers job, a media function (at least a media that actually, you know ... functions), trench warfare engaged in by shock troops, not the Commander in Chief, at least not how the two remaining Democratic prospects see the job. Obama states it up front, everybody gets a seat at the table. We know how the Clintons operate, they fight and fight hard -- but in the end the "enemy" was still left standing, just as strong and deranged as before.

Is this a battle that actually can be won? Is this really a battle that should be fought anymore -- at least at that level?

Fighting the Limbaughs and Hannities of the world is not opposing them. Ignoring them is a much more effective way of making them irrelevant. When it's put this way, Ann Coulter vowing to back Hillary over McCain makes sense. If it comes down to a choice between Barack and McCain, the haters are the ones who lose. They won't go away, and debunking will still be a necessary endeavor, but only at the fringes of our political discourse, no longer it's center-piece -- that is what they know will be their undoing.

Will an idealistic future come about with an Obama presidency? I have considerable doubts about that. But I doubt even more seriously we'll even move in that direction under Clinton; and if the vanity campaign of John McCain is successful I think it would tear this country apart even more.

Since John Edwards left the campaign, we lost the man truly committed to fighting the right wing and their corporate masters. Lacking such a champion, Clinton seemed the closest alternative. However, she is a flawed and vulnerable champion at best, showing scores of scars from previous battles that at best ended in a draw. Some would argue even worse. Regardless how you feel about her, the very qualities that often make her so endearing, her "human" side, are a perceived weakness to be exploited and mocked by Wingnutystan and undermine her ability to "win" the culture battles.

I'll say it again, as I have so often. I love her. I think she'd make an exceptional president. I'm just persuadable that we have even better choices right now.

Without the superior firepower I believed Edwards represented, it's quite possible the best way to proceed is to bypass the battle entirely. I'm having my doubts Hillary really would go all the way and that somewhere in the back of her Goldwater/Rockefeller Republican brain she believes conservatives somehow have a legitimate place in this nation. Much as I hate to admit it, maybe they do.

Obama represents a problem solving versus winning some "victory" approach, a rejection of the very idea that Limbaugh, et al. frame the world today -- us versus them. Fundamentally I have always agreed with this approach, and employed it in my professional life -- problem solving as opposed to beating an opponent. It works, and is a very effective negotiation technique. It's just not the game we play online.

I'm not completely on the Barack-o-wagon, nor do I think Hillary's candidacy is through as long as Texas and Ohio are in play. I worry a great deal about the fact that Obama has not won a single big state outside of Illinois. I think he is a phenomenal leader, but have doubts about his administrative abilities the job POTUS demands -- doubts I do not have about Senator Clinton.

But this nation is starved for true leadership, indeed the world is only holding it's collective breath until the current misleader is done. So for now, until next time I give it any thought, I've been Baracked.