Saturday, July 5, 2008

I've Been Away

I've been away for the last three weeks. I took a course at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota and decided to take a vacation from politics. I didn't have television or radio, and St. John's is a very rural campus, so I was far away from dailies. My only political activities were to keep track of the electoral college estimates and occasionally go and recommend a diary at MyDD.

I get a lot of email related to politics, and I occasionally looked at it to see what people were thinking. It seems that the Senator from Illinois has done what I would have hoped the nominee of the Democratic Party would do: he has reached for the center. I congratulate him. He rises in my estimation. The United States is slightly more conservative than it is liberal, and in a democracy, that is enough. I hate FISA. I think the faith-based grant program betrays the country's foundational principles. I think the death penalty is an abomination. NAFTA clearly has hurt American workers. I disagree with Obama on every one of these positions, and I applaud him for taking them.

Politics is a very dirty business. I will turn 50 in November, and I have seen more than my fair share of Democratic losses. The most successful Democrat of my adult lifetime, Bill Clinton, demonstrated that for a Democrat to win in this country, she or he has to reach toward the center. That is what Obama is doing, and in doing so, he is proving to me that he is the best politician we have nominated in a long time.

To my dissatisfied fellow progressives, let me assure you that victory is a lot sweeter than purity. Half a loaf of bread is better than starvation.


Post a Comment