Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Imagination Is At The Core Of Liberal Politics—The Specialist Should Work For The Generalist

Imagination and hope are at the core of liberal politics.

To work for a better future you need first to imagine that better future.

This is why I find the message and the campaign of Barack Obama to be of substance.

While I believe that Senator Obama is discussing specific issues, the bottom line is that policy experts can always be hired.

In politics, the specialist should work for the generalist. 

Politics is about policy. But it also about representation, choosing sides, and a vision of the future.

Senator Obama represents a future I want to be part of.

Don’t shy away from voting your hopes.

Don’t let people tell you that imagination lacks substance.

Hope and imagination are things we should never allow anybody to denigrate. They are among the best aspects of our humanity.

Here is the link to the Obama campaign.   

February 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

6 Comments »

  1. I agree 100%! Check out my post about the O Factor if you have a moment. My blog is generally devoted to marketing insight but this one aligns politics and marketing.

    http://papercutstar.wordpress.com/

    Have a great day!

    Comment by papercutstar | February 20, 2008

  2. Well and good, but can you name just one of his legislative accomplishments?

    (Chris Matthews is holding on line 1 for you. Sen. Kirk Watson holding on line 2.)

    Comment by PDiddie | February 21, 2008

  3. “just one of his legislative accomplishments?”

    how about just one of George W’s legislative accomplishments?

    Comment by Fred Thompson | February 21, 2008

  4. “…“just one of his legislative accomplishments?””

    Sigh, real cute.

    It’s more than one, but since you asked:

    – expanding Kidcare (health insurance for an additional 20,000 Illinois children);
    -welfare reform (a bipartisan bill passed in Republican controlled senate, generating major headlines);
    -earned income tax credit (tax relief for working poor families); and death penalty reform. (He supports the death penalty in exceptional circumstances, but wanted all interrogations to be videotaped. Initially viewed as a highly controversial proposal, Senator Obama listened to all sides of the debate, incorporated ideas from many individuals, and the result was a bill that passed the Senate 58-0, and was signed into law by a governor who originally opposed Senator Obama’s bill.)

    -campaign finance reform; and ethics reform. These were considered major accomplishments in Illinois. On the issue of campaign finance reform, he was handpicked to lead the Democrats’ senate efforts at campaign finance reform. (Senator Obama wanted to limit individual contributions, but nipped and tucked seeking consensus. Obama was pragmatic. The result was the most ambitious campaign finance reform in nearly 25 years, according to good government groups.)

    -opposing bills he believed were unconstitutional or poorly written, even if the vote could later be used in misleading 30 second commercials against him.
    -He opposed a bill to toughen penalties for violent crimes committed by gang activity, because the bill didn’t clearly define a gang member, and seemed targeted at Hispanics and Blacks. (This does not mean he is soft on crime.
    -He also voted for, or sponsored, over 100 bills to strengthen criminal penalties (e.g. against sex offenders, domestic violence, drug dealers)).
    -He opposed a bill that allowed home owners to use a gun in self defense in their homes. (He opposed that bill because it only applied to towns that already prohibited any private citizen from possessing a handgun. He opposed it because the law could lead to homeowners using guns in the street. He also wanted to defer to local governments.)
    -He also opposed a measure which proponents claimed was designed to protect “live babies born during abortion procedures.” (He felt the measure would define a fetus as a person and criminalize every abortion.)
    -His death penalty reform bill was also given little chance of being passed into law, yet was eventually passed by unanimous consent of the Senate. (Audacity of Hope, pp 58-59)

    -vocal opposition to war in Iraq in 2002. At the time, many Democrats with national ambition were supporting George W Bush’s posture on Iraq. At the time, Bush and the war still had public support.

    -ease with which Senator Obama works with Republicans is demonstrated, not only in Springfield, but both before and after.

    -There were several reasons he was elected President of Harvard Law Review: his grades (graduating magna cum laude); his writing ability; and his friendships with many of the conservatives on the Law Review who felt he would always consider their opinions.
    -in the U.S. Senate, his closest friend is Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), a conservative Republican. They entered the Senate at the same time, and they and their wives immediately hit it off and became close friends. As a result, they were able to work together to pass the Coburn-Obama Transparency Act.

    -When Democrats finally achieved a majority in the state senate, Senator Obama was elevated to Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee; 2003-2004 were the only two years Barack Obama has ever been in a political majority in either Illinois or (until recently) Washington, D.C. –

    -During those two years, he sponsored 780 bills, and 280 of those were signed into law.

    -He sponsored laws against discrimination of gays in employment and housing. (It passed after he left Springfield.)
    -He work on a ban on assault weapons.
    -He supported a bill to allow retired officers can carry concealed weapons. –He worked worked for legislation to expand health insurance coverage. (He proposed a study on how to provide universal health care to everyone in Illinois backed by a single payer health care plan run by the state.)
    -He helped pass bills to increase aids funding.
    -He sponsored a bill to investigate racial profiling by police, essentially second guessing police officers. (By incorporating the best ideas from all sides on this and other bills, he even managed to win the endorsement of the state police officers union when he ran for U.S. Senate.)

    -with Senator Lugar in Washington, D.C. (Together, they sponsored the Lugar-Obama Bill. It’s an anti-proliferation bill that expands on existing efforts to locate and destroy WMDs, e.g. shoulder fired missiles and antipersonnel mines.)

    -He led the fight to require that all police interrogations be videotaped in death penalty cases. (This was a controversial bill which cited as an example of Obama considering all sides on an issue.)

    -ethics reform;
    -campaign finance reform;
    -welfare reform;
    -considering universal health care, and expanding health care for children; –laws banning discrimination against gays and lesbians;
    -overhauled the capital punishment system;
    -funded a systematic investigation of racial profiling; voted to increase the minimum wage (from $5.15 to 6.50);
    -helped pass earned income credit for working poor families; voted for embryonic stem cell research; voted to end $300 million in tax breaks for businesses.

    -In his first two years in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama was back in his familiar role as member of the minority party. Republicans tightly controlled the U.S. Senate, and it was very difficult for any Democratic Senator to get a bill passed. During that time, Senator Obama sponsored 152 bills and resolutions, and cosponsored 427 more.

    – Senator Obama thus far has two bills which became law, that have his name on them. The Lugar-Obama bill which already discussed, expands efforts to destroy WMDs (e.g. in the former Soviet states).
    -And the Coburn-Obama Transparency Act. The Transparency Act created a website managed by OMB for ensuring transparency of funds allocated to government agencies. It tracks all federal spending, and allows Google-type searches based on agency, types of funding, etc.

    -One of his first bills after being elected to the U.S. Senate was a proposal to increased Pell Grants, thereby fulfilling a campaign promise. Unfortunately, in the tightly controlled Republican Senate, this bill didn’t make it out of committee.

    There’s much more if you care to even try to google it, rather than parotting the latest spin.

    Comment by Fred Thompson | February 21, 2008

  5. Fred–Very good. Thank you.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 21, 2008

  6. It’s important to remember that not supporting something is a form of actively legislating. One does not have to be thought of as a good candidate simply because they started
    the ball rolling on something. Sometimes the best candidate is the one who stopped someone else’s ball from rolling too far. I hope that this metaphor worked.
    Jos76
    http://www.jos76.wordpress.com

    Comment by jos76 | February 21, 2008


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: