TAKING A BREAK FROM MY "CULT"
Yes, it still makes me laugh to see the Clintonistas and the right-wing columnists join together to mock me and my fellow "Obamaniacs" as cultists. If that is a cult, it is a movement of moderate and progressive people who are simply sick and tired of living in a country where, to be a moderate or a progressive, you're supposed to be cynical, fearful of change, and essentially uninvolved in the process of political change (other than to whine and, on occasion, to vote). Nobody thinks Barack is the be-all-end-all of politics. He simply is the vehicle for gathering people together who remembered how right-wing talk radio singlehandedly killed the immigration bill, and would like to see moderates/progressives get off their butts and fight back. Whether it's a fight for health care, to minimize climate change, or to work for peace in the Middle East, we want to join together and DEMAND progress. In the past, progressive changes have only taken place when the leaders who supported such changes were backed by an outspoken citizenry. The top-down model advocated by the Clintons might get us a conservative welfare-reform package or a NAFTA, but not the kind of things that Hillary likes to promise to her Democratic voters. That's why the intelligent right-wingers hate Barack so much. They realize that, because he can lead a mass movement of active citizens, he might actually get something done.
But enough. This is supposed to be the calm before the storm, right? In two days, we will have "Super Tuesday" -- as opposed to Super, Duper Tuesday, which occurred last month. This Tuesday should either be the day that locks up the nomination for Barack, or emboldens the Clintons to fight all the way to the convention. (Yes, there is a scenario where she quits after the late primaries, but I'm thinking that if she soldiers on much past March 4th, she'll take her shots with the superdelegates ... ugh!) Maybe we who don't live in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island or Vermont can take a break from the festivities to think about something else ... at least for a couple of days. I know. Why not think about Oregon?
For those of you who have forgotten, we have a Senate race out there among two people who are trying to unseat the only incumbent Republican Senator on the West Coast. One of them, Jeff Merkley, is well ahead in the fundraising contest and has the most endorsements from party leaders. The other, Steve Novick, is ahead in the polls. Novick, my old friend from law school, is making that happen with the help of some advertisements conceived by the same braintrust that helped Russ Feingold storm through Wisconsin. They saw in Novick the kind of candidate who can truly inspire people -- with his intelligence, passion, courage, and above all else, his sense of humor.
I'm curious if you all have gone onto You Tube and checked out Novick's political ads and other videos. For example, have you seen the Fox News show that featured Novick's "beer" ad? What's quite amazing about Novick is that the guy is further to the left than I am -- if that's possible, right? -- and yet the right-wingers love him. Why? Because he doesn't take himself too seriously, and he has the kind of playful approach to politics that is so rare among liberals, who generally talk as if conservatives are evil people who should feel ashamed of themselves.
In the era of Obama, Novick is an altogether different politician than Barack. His rhetoric is sharp and pointed. He doesn't try to be everyone's friend. He speaks against the forces of conservatism with sharp political rhetoric, and yet they still don't mind him, because he spends the rest of his time making fun of himself. Novick is the kind of guy that you really can see yourself having a beer with, regardless of your political views, and you know that after he tosses a couple, he'll start speaking out against the wimpiness in his own party every bit as much as the wackos in the GOP.
Anyway, I'd rather not sing his praises any more today. I'd rather you discover him for yourselves. Just go to You Tube, search for Novick videos, and enjoy the shows. Then tell me what you think? Am I exaggerating, or is this just the kind of guy America needs to tell truth to power? I don't always agree with Steve, but I always trust that he's speaking from the heart and with the best interests of the "little guy" at heart. I've never, in fact, met a person more devoted to the interests of the working class than Steve Novick.