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The Crux Of The Matter


Here's an email that helped me understand better what's going on:

If you are correct and President Obama didn't do a single thing wrong his entire first year in office why did he have to schlepp off to the most liberal state in the country, that he won by 25.8 points to campaign against a state senator whom nobody had ever heard of before 2 weeks ago? Why are independents and moderates in Massachusetts voting against the Democratic Party knowing that a Democratic defeat may doom Senator Kennedy's life long dream of health care reform forever and damage this president so badly? Given his popularity when he came into office and overwhelming majorities in both the Senate and the House why hasn't he gotten more accomplished?

If Brown wins which meme will you be pushing? Martha Coakley was a horrible candidate, the American people just don't understand President Obama, it's all the fault of the Republicans and Fox News, or this election, much like New Jersey and Virginia had nothing to do with President Obama? 

Congratulations on the green card Andrew. Once you are squared away you need to get out of your bubble and get into the country and I don't mean this "Real America" bullshit pushed by people like Palin. When you lived in Boston did you ever go to Fenway and watch a Red Sox game? Ever eat at the Border Cafe in Cambridge or eat ice cream in the tea cup in JP Licks? Watch the Head of The Charles from Eliot Bridge? Boston Duck Tour? Newbury Comics? Ever been in a Southie neighborhood bar? When you are in NY have you ever been to Rucker Park or carved you name in a booth in John's Pizza on Bleeker Street? On the micro level Its a big beautiful messy optimistic country that you should wade into as de Tocqueville did.

I've been to almost every state in the US and tend to hang out in exactly the kinds of places my reader cites (with the exception of ballparks) but this email is unanswerable. It is almost pure populism. I am guilty of elitism - even though I'm an immigrant who was not born with any spoon in my mouth - because I support the constructive change Obama is trying to bring to the US.

You will note that my column was about the substantive progress Obama has made this past year in a deeply polarized political climate with some vast and intractable problems in the middle of the worst recession in a very long time. It was not an assessment of the politics of it all, which seems to be my reader's only criterion of success (maybe he should join the MSM elite which echoes everything he says). You will also note that my reader does not counter my arguments on this matter, or show why I am wrong in my assessment. I wish he would. Then we could have a debate. He just assumes I am out of touch. He echoes the pure feeling, removed from any actual substance, that Peggy Noonan's recent columns evoke.

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

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