Friday, August 29, 2008

Biden pick alienating anti-war movement?

Nomination of Biden a "betrayal"

Coming once again via the Real News Network, Stephen Zunes highlights what some have viewed as the refuttal of the anti-war movement inherent in Barack Obama's nomination of Joe Biden as his Vice Presidential ticket.

Zunes gives voice to the distress of many self-styled progressives at Obama's embrace of various conservative Democrats -- whom Zunes describes as "hawks".

Of course, Zunes is overlooking a key element of electoral politics -- the fact that, at one point or another, a candidate simply has to play to their base.

Obama has clearly sought to embrace the American progressive movement as his base. But with Ralph Nader and the Green party in the race, Obama cannot count on American progressives to support him exclusively against John McCain.

After all, thousands of people cast their ballots in favour of Ralph Nader in 2004 -- even after Bush's popularity numbers tanked so spectacularly.

In the end, whether the progressive movement likes it or not, Barack Obama's base will be the Democratic party. As such, Obama needs to unite liberal Democrats -- who oppose the war in Iraq -- with conservative Democrats -- who support it.

Nominating an individual like Joe Biden was the best way to accomplish that task.

Last but not least, it wouldn't be the first time in history that a presidential nominee has thrown the progressive movement under the bus in order to help achieve a presidential victory -- although it still could turn out to be history's most spectacular example of this exploding in a candidate's face.

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