On Monday Obama suggested that Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore were divisive.
In an argument about his electability, Obama compared himself favorably with Sen. Hillary Clinton who is viewed negatively by nearly half the country. Obama is viewed far more favorably by independents and Republicans.
Then he said, per ABC News' Sunlen Miller, "I don't want to go into the next election starting off with half the country already not wanting to vote for Democrats. We've done that in 2004 and 2000. 47 percent of the country on one side, 47 percent of the country on the other . . . We don't need another one of those elections."
OK, there are so many ways in which what Obama said is simply demonstrably false. Digby destroys the Republican talking point that Al Gore was "too divisive" in 2000. His favorability ratings in 2000 were well over 50%. And the excuses that he didn't specifically mention Gore or Kerry by name?? C'mon people, who do you think was running at the top of our ticket in those two years? Was the "next election" he was talking about the state board of equalization race or something? It's pretty damn obvious he was making indirect swipes at Gore and Kerry.
And if he really wants to talk about "electability" based on favorability ratings, Big Tent Democrat points out that Obama would actually making the case... for John Edwards. Check out the latest favorability ratings via Rasmussen:
Hillary Clinton 48 50
Barack Obama 43 51
John Edwards 49 42
And Molly Ivors minces no words at what the Obama campaign is doing.
Let me state the obvious: Dude, the people you are trying to appeal to are never going to vote for you. Despite what David Broder says, there's not really some mushy middle waiting to be addressed by you. If acting more like Republicans were really the key to victories, then why is Harry Reid not King of the Fucking Universe?
I'll tell you why: because it's a bullshit argument. People know that we're in a heap of trouble in this country. The planet is melting and our jobs are evaporating and we're in a stupid fucking war breaking young men we aren't bothering to help fix. It sucks. And sucking up to and adopting the framing of the people who brought us global warming and rewarded outsourcing and lied us into war and smeared vets who dare to speak out is pretty fucking useless, and no way to actually address any of these problems.
So, because of comments like this and other ones in recent days, even Markos is backing away from his previous decision to vote for Obama.
Not being blinded by candidate worship, it's easier to sniff out the bullshit. And you have to have your head stuck deep in the sand to deny that Obama is trying to close the deal by running to the Right of his opponents. And call me crazy, but that's not a trait I generally appreciate in Democrats, no matter how much it might set the punditocracy's hearts a flutter.
One of the things the Bush/Cheney team discovered after 2000 was that the "center" didn't really exist in this country anymore. It's mythical, propagated by the Beltway pundits who orgasm when they hear the word "compromise". People are either on one side or the other. Those who really aren't sure, are those that never bother to vote anyway. They're probably part of that 31% of Americans who don't even know Dick Cheney is the Vice President.
That's why they dropped the "compassionate conservative" pretense in 2004 and ran to the hard right, courting their base. Turn out the base and win, because that "center" no longer existed. Democrats who try to court that mythical center will generally lose. So please, Mr. Obama, drop the right-wing talking points and talk like a true progressive.