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It is in the prosecution of some single object, and in striving to reach its accomplishment by the combined application of his moral and physical energies, that the true happiness of man, in his full vigour and development, consists. Possession, it is true, crowns exertion with repose; but it is only in the illusions of fancy that it has power to charm our eyes. If we consider the position of man in the universe,—if we remember the constant tendency of his energies towards some definite activity, and recognize the influence of surrounding nature, which is ever provoking him to exertion, we shall be ready to acknowledge that repose and possession do not indeed exist but in imagination. - Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action) (1854 ed.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama: Never really a "liberal"

It seems there are a number of people who do not really believe that Obama is "liberal" or "progressive" but simply that he is more amenable to being influenced so:
  • Digby: The question for all progressives remains what it always has been, in my view, from before and during the primary season and beyond. To the extent the American two party system allows, assuming we can get the most liberal politician available elected to the white house, what do we plan to do to make him actually govern progressively?
  • Hayden: I first endorsed Obama because of the nature of the movement supporting him, not his particular stands on issues. The excitement among African-Americans and young people, the audacity of their hope, still holds the promise of a new era of social activism. The force of their rising expectations, I believe, could pressure a President Obama in a progressive direction and also energize a new wave of social movements.
  • Davidson: But the critical one is would you rather mobilize people to end this horrible war against an Obama White House or a McCain White House? We'll have to do one or the other, but its a no-brainer for me.
The argument then goes that positive change is more likely to be effected towards these goals than if McCain is in power. Ok, I guess I get it.

But, I thought Obama was "progressive" or a "change" to the current establishment. And by establishment I do not mean Bush but Washington (Digby again):
The rationale for his campaign is almost entirely based on the message of change...
But here is Lessig pointing out how much of an idiot I was for thinking so:
You can't read Obama's books, watch how he behaved in the Illinois Senate, and watched how he voted in the US Senate, and believe he is a Bernie Sanders liberal.
If this is so, I am less inclined to want to vote for him as I do not believe he will be that influence-able by me or "progressives" once in power. Too much Silber I guess:
As is true of Democrats generally, they both support an authoritarian-corporatist state at home and aggressive interventionism abroad.

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