The Audacity Of Liberalism

I meant to post on this piece in the Times yesterday, which I think perfectly captured what, exactly, Obama brings to the table. Basically, the piece contrasts Obama's bipartisan pitch with the old Clinton "New Democratic" pitch. The Essence:

In many ways, the Obama campaign is challenging the fundamental political premise that has prevailed in Washington for more than a generation: that any majority coalition must be carefully centrist, if not center-right. Bill Clinton ran in 1992 as a candidate willing to break with liberal orthodoxy on many issues, including crime and welfare, and eager to move the party — which had lost five of the six previous presidential elections — to the middle. Mr. Clinton’s New Democrats assumed a certain level of conservatism among voters.

Mr. Obama and his allies are basing his campaign on a different bet: that the right-leaning political landscape Mr. Clinton confronted has changed. Several major Democratic strategists, and outside analysts as well, argue that the country has shifted to the left because of the Iraq war, the economy and seven-plus years of President Bush, and that it has become open to a new progressive majority.

This is basically the reason I'm an Obama supporter. I believe that the progressive agenda, unfreighted by empty identity politics, can actually work. We deserve a candidate who does not condescend to people, but at the same time is deft enough as a politician to communicate and not be boxed into anyone's caricature. Anyway, it's a good piece. Check it out.