Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I don't think America is ready for a "revolution" (whatever that means), nor do I think Obama is likely to deliver one by his own effort.  What he might be, however, is a catalyst for larger changes -- the right symbol at the right time that can spark the necessary realignment.  Much of politics is a matter of timing, and, to his credit, Obama clearly has (at least in my view) a phenomenal sense of timing.

Obama the Candidacy (not Obama the Guy) is a product of many different forces at play, both old and new, in both philosophical and practical terms.  The Obama campaign is, for all practical purposes, what the Dean campaign was supposed to look like but never could for a variety of reasons.  Obama and his people, to the surprise of many (myself included), just happen to be a hell of a lot better at organizing than Dean and his people were.  They're better funded, too.  And Obama is much better than Dean was at tying his basic program into a broader theme, and, yes, that's important in a presidential campaign.  Obama's coalition is essentially a more mature version of Dean's coalition, albeit much broader.

I think America is generally angry and depressed, as well as increasingly worried for obvious reasons.  I wouldn't put it at a revolutionary mood, just as I wouldn't have quite called the country anti-war at this point in 2004.  (It was close, but it wasn't quite there yet.)  The mood is changing faster this time, though, and, by the time the election rolls in, we might be there.  I get the sense that the country has had enough of the Republicans and their policies, and is ready to give the Dems full control.  So the degree of change is wholly dependent upon (1) the Democrats selling a program well enough to gain a large majority, and (2) having the guts to implement said program.

The Obama candidacy can do that.  The frustrating thing, for me, about Obama is that he's probably the most talented politician to come along since Roosevelt.  Here's someone who really could deliver massive changes if his skills were properly directed.  But, as of this point in time, they have not been.

Whether they will be eventually, I don't know, but best to not get one's hopes up.  He could be Jimmy Carter, after all.  But, then again, if he governs half as well as he campaigns, he could be FDR.  We'll see.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2008 at 09:01:45 AM EST

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