No Adlai Stevenson

Obamamississippiemmanueldunandgetty

Here's one (always stupid but nonetheless tenacious) meme that must now surely die out. Obama was billed by some - on Fox right and Clinton left - as a lofty, saintly, principled figure who would bring the party crashing to its usual "eggheads-and-African-Americans" defeat because of his super liberal squeamishness. Yeah, right. Most black male 46 year-olds manage to get to be the favorite for the presidency by acting like Gandhi.

But Obama's post-primary pivot to neutralize all the usual GOP attacks - and reintroduce himself to Middle America - has been more than usually pronounced. He can live with FISA telecom immunity; he's flexible on troop withdrawal from Iraq; he's happy with executing child rapists; he doesn't need public financing; he'll out-patriot the Right; he's touting his support for welfare reform; he'll expand Bush's faith-based programs; and he's okay with the Supreme Court's view of the Second Amendment. Oh, and he'll reduce taxes on the middle class, while hiking them for the rich or successful or whatever you'll let me call them.

Does this sound like a man who's happy to lose an election rather than compromise on a few political stands?  He knows that the pent-up desire among Democrats to win this election gives him more lee-way with the base than he might otherwise have. And he's using that as effectively as he can.

It's been clear for a long time: A man who beat the Clintons is as ruthless as they are. Just smarter, and less susceptible to losing his grip on the core principles he still believes in.

(Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty.)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

Just In