I still believe I learned everything important about politics long before I ever knew about parties. Here's one of the first political stories I heard:Howie P.S.: Thanks to Annie Robbins for passing this along.
Obama insists this isn't an argument for "centrism" or "compromise for compromise's sake", but a defense of progressivism itself. And it is. Conservatives are free to use any means necessary to further their ends because their ideology permits a concentration of power in the hands of a trustworthy few. But liberal values expect more from the electorate and thus demand more from our campaigns. No candidate will ever be a perfect example of this ideal, but Obama has proven an enormous commitment to reaching out in good faith.
When Obama appeared on the 700 Club, it wasn't to pander to the religious right but to make a moral case for civil unions and abortion rights. When he addressed a megachurch it was to challenge the idea that abstinence-only education was sufficient to combat the spread of AIDS.. In the minds of many bloggers, to engage is to surrender, but Obama has a record of taking hard stands in front of difficult audiences and not backing down.
One former colleague, when recalling Obama's reaction to a conservative proposal to amend his Illinois death penalty reform, said: "That was a first point at which he could have taken the easy route. He said 'no, we're not doing it that way.''" We need a president who looks the special interests in the eye and says "we're not doing it that way". We need a leader who isn't afraid to take our message into any venue or to campaign in any state. In short, we need Barack Obama. And if anyone should understand that need, it's the progressive movement in Nebraska.
Obama has already bragged about bringing our message to the Cornhusker state, and that's something in which we can all share his pride. In the end, maybe Obama's sojourns across the red/blue divide won't win him many conservative votes, but they should surely win us respect. Respect for a movement that doesn't concede anything to the Republicans: not one vote and not one value.
Now that's a campaign worth fighting for.