Has anyone else had a conversation with another Obama supporter that includes the above sentence ? This conversation occurred with my best friend over the weekend as we discussed our mutual candidate. He has been supporting the man for longer than I, being too practical to support a firebrand like Kucinich.
Yet, based on “the moves” Barack has “been making” over the past few weeks, talking to him is like talking to a bottle of Prozac, a decided downer. Anyone who may have read what I write here would know what my predictable response was to such doom and gloom pronouncements based on an incomplete understanding of the candidate. I started to pick apart what it was that was worrying him about Obama’s recent statement and it came down to an incomplete understanding of the man and his positions, one fueled by a reliance on the corporate media for the underlying narrative.
My friend had read his book and looked at the website and had apparently watched speeches, yet he was unable to wrap his head around Barack’s recent policy positions. I asked which ones. He said, “All of them, but especially Iraq.” I asked which position he has changed, because as far back as I can find he has been advocating a slow, yet immediate, withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq at a pace of one to two brigades a month depending on actual conditions.
We were both in the military, so he knows as well as I do how big a pain in the ass it will be to get out of Iraq. If Obama can accomplish it and not leave a smoking ruin in the wake of our departure it will be a huge feat. If we leave a fully-functioning democracy, it will be a miracle of epic proportions.
I asked my friend if perhaps he was setting the bar too high for the man. That if we expect Barack to never change his mind or tactics based on new or evolving information that we are placing inhumane limits on him. What rational person doesn’t change their mind based on new or evolving facts? What person can’t even admit for the possibility? This was the gist of our conversation and it sort of ended without really making any headway on why the corporate media continues to misrepresent and twist Obama’s positions.
I also never really got a chance to explain why I think it is damaging for his supporters to use sentences like the one this blog is named after. It’s not about my friend or any number of independents and democrats already voting for him. It is about those would-be Obamicans. They will be the key players in our time with Barack at the helm of the nation. We need a governing majority to make possible the changes we need. We won’t get one if even Barack’s earliest supporters let CNN and MSNBC and Fox continue to drive the narrative.
That’s the next conversation I am looking forward to having with my friend. He is a smart and savvy guy. I am hoping I can make him see the benefit of overwhelming confidence in our candidate as the formula for winning over the vast majority of reasonable conservatives that exist in this country. We need to quite treating the republican faithful like the entire group are Bush dead-enders.
It is clear from the primary numbers that the game has changed.