Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Obama Piece in New Yorker

clipped from
In his view of history, in his respect for tradition, in his skepticism that the world can be changed any way but very, very slowly, Obama is deeply conservative. There are moments when he sounds almost Burkean. He distrusts abstractions, generalizations, extrapolations, projections. It’s not just that he thinks revolutions are unlikely: he values continuity and stability for their own sake, sometimes even more than he values change for the good.

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Really fascinating article on Obama in New Yorker--long piece. By Larissa MacFarquhar.

Some of the highlights:

--his cross-over appeal among Republicans
--his strong dose of realism in foreign policy while not succumbing to a temptation to isolation
--realizing that in a globalized world security is a broad net
--his way (genuinely) of hearing, asking questions, and respecting the other side of a debate
--his identification with Lincoln

He is in a way a phenomenon. Whether he wins or not, this campaign has left a lasting legacy on America. And the longer it goes the impression will be deeper.

He has made gaffes. Made on this week on Kansas (where he has roots). His weakest link is having no post-pullout idea on Iraq. He things the timetables/benchmarks will force a political solution. But as David Brooks is fond of saying: if hundreds of thousands dead, 4 million refugees, civil war is not incentive to force a political solution, who cares about a Senate resolution or the American army/American funds.

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