Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama at the Dean Dome
(No) Gas Tax Pandering

Saw Obama at the Dean Dome last night. It was a huge turnout, and the crowd was energetic even though most people had been waiting since before 7, and he didn't get there until about 10:30.

I won't go on about how inspiring that guy is; by this point I guess most people either see it or they don't.

One of the most admirable and encouraging parts of his speech (according to me anyway) was his resistance to gas-tax pandering. I wondered in a recent post when we'd get a candidate who would tell the truth about the real price of gasoline--and, though he didn't do that, he resisted the urge to follow McCain and Clinton down the path of pandering. As he pointed out, suspending the gas tax for the summer is not a serious solution. Among other things, it would only save the average person about $25. That's not the most important point to make, but it's a legitimate one.

I was pretty depressed yesterday about the way this presidential campaign is going in general. The very vicious divisiveness that Obama hopes to mitigate is already nearing a fever pitch. And the Reverend Wright himself now seems almost to be actively working against his former parishioner. But I came out of the Dean Dome a little more buoyant. Obama's opponents, of course, like to pretend that it's all about the words, but this is just a deflationary rhetorical tactic. Obama is an inspiring candidate because of his ideas. That he's adept at speaking about them is just icing on the cake.

It's too bad that the Democratic race has gone the way it has, but I guess it's almost inevitable. The less inspirational candidate always has a motive to make things mean, thus demoralizing idealistic voters and depressing turnout. So I think it's important that we, as my good friend and mentor the Rev would say (though we disagree about this race) put our game faces on.

O.k. that's all I got. Gotta get back to work, then go do the early voting thing and try to work in some time for canvassing.

Fire it up, people! This is no time to be wimpy!


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