February 11th, 2008



I'll be voting for Obama Tuesday in the Virginia Democratic primary. Partly 'cause Marsha was excited about him; partly because Hilzoy noticed back in 2006 how often Senator Obama turns up, sponsoring or co-sponsoring really good legislation on some topic that isn't wildly sexy, but does matter, and still supports him.

Kinda feels odd, given the "Don't vote, it only encourages them" position of my twenties that's still sort of a default; and certainly, as Patrick Nielsen Hayden says, Obama, for all his idealism, is well inside the “centrist” consensus on how America ought to conduct itself in the world. He was against the Iraq war from the start, and that means a lot to me, but he’s also not someone who’s going to make the kinds of radical changes to American foreign policy that I would make on Day One if I were in charge. He’s not an insurgent; he’s the standardbearer for a faction of the country’s political elite.

But (maybe because I'm 56!) I've come to believe that radicals need reformers to keep us honest as much as reformers need radicals. And Obama does seem to be generating among his supporters a sense that things can be different; and that sense of possibility is crucial to radical change.

Of course, either Obama or Clinton would be infinitely better than the Republican in the short term, and a historic change for this country.