Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Best Way For Obama To Go Negative: Go Positive

The WP, via CNN, reports that there is now a discussion in the Obama camp as to whether he should go negative in Indiana.

Simply going negative would be a critical error, opening Obama to charges that he would be contradicting the very messages that have inspired his efforts and undergirded his campaign. This is a gap that the Clinton team would surely leap through. He would be further drawn into the swirling chaos that the old politics has created--as the Clinton camp would sure wish-- further enveloping and distracting voters from the fundamental messages of his campaign.

The best way for Obama to go negative is to go positive--clearly, strongly, and powerfully contrasting the method of "kitchen sink" politics, where any statement or position--even statements that are diametrically opposed; any claim, no matter how false; and any trivial distraction can be used simply in the effort to win at any cost, with the genuine effort to move the nation into a more substantive and honest politics--and into an Administration that will be grounded in these principles, rather than the very same methods and distortions that we can so easily see having been employed over the past seven years.

He should relentlessly tie the former method to the politics of the past--and to indicate the consequences for the nation that these politics have wrought--in the loss of national stature, Constitutional and moral authority, economic stability, and our most important treasure, the lives of our sons and daughters to a cause borne of such distortions.


"We have had enough of the negative campaigning of the past. We have seen what it has done to us over the past years--the "kitchen sink" politics of distortion and falsehood, of being willing to make any claim--no matter how true, false, inconsistent or contradictory--to put forward one's personal agenda, has threatened to take this great nation down the drain--financially, in terms of our standing in the world; in terms of our most important and basic treasure--the lives of our sons and daughters--the very future of this nation.

Do we want the same result? The same candidates, using the same old tactics, leading to the same outcomes of the all-too-recent past? Those who will do or say anything to be elected--and then will do or say anything afterward to justify their mistakes?

I say: We need a change from the politics of the past. We need someone who will say enough of the politics of the kitchen sink, of trivia and distortion. It's time to drain the sink. It's time for someone who , instead of fighting to divide the nation in pursuit of victory, will fight for you by saying: We will not play the same old games. That's the old politics. That's the politics that led us into Iraq, that left Osama Bin Ladin free, that led to violations of the Constitution that we solemnly pledge to uphold for this nation, and that has led us to be faced each day with the loss of promise that each new American life represents.

We can be seduced by politics of tactics, of fear. We've seen it before. And we've seen what happens after.

Will you join me in putting this era of old politics behind us, into a new future where you, your country, and the needs of your family and your future come first? Where we step beyond the tactics, distortion, and trivia of the moment, that too often have led to a long and difficult future for our nation, into to a time when the genuine needs of our nation and our country matter most?

Change is never easy. But when it is difficult, it is what we most often need. Will you join me in saying "No" to the kitchen sink politics of the past, to putting the era of old politics, of trivia and tactics, sniping and distortion, behind us? In saying "Yes" to a new and honest future, dedicated to the real needs of the American people, and not to the trivial battles that have divided and distracted this country for so long? To the real changes that this country has needed for the past 7 years, rather than to a continuation of the politics of the past? Will you join me? Can you join me? Let me hear it:

Yes we can (etc.)"

This should help to lead voters away from the churning pool of chaos and incitement, the distracting, impulsive song of the Clinton camp that, in its vague insinuations, pulls people to the seeming attraction and safety of the old--and will to help lead them towards an era where we can leave this ill-thought trivia behind for a considered, honest and principled statesmanship.