There are reasons why the country has been polarized, but it's not because of Al Gore or John Kerry. (And anyway, Gore won the popular vote by more than half a million votes. There was a little issue down in Florida that lost that one.)
I guess there's nothing wrong with running against former Democratic candidates, but it seems kind of gratuitous. Maybe it'll work, though. Everybody knows that divisive Democrats are the problem (although it's the first time anyone's made a point of that in a Democratic primary. Bold move.)
On the down side, some of [Obama's] closing-weeks attacks are a bit, err, worrisome. Going after trial lawyers, for instance? Flooding the radio with ads claiming "Clinton would force people to buy insurance even if they can't afford it" and "Barack Obama will cover everyone"? The first two statements are simply conservative arguments being uttered by a progressive, the last isn't true. On some level, this is politics, and all these folks are trying to win, and you're not going to find any candidates pure as the driven snow and innocent as the newly-born. But Obama's comfort attacking liberals from the right is unsettling, and if he does win Iowa, it will not be a victory that either supporters or the media ascribe to the more progressive elements of his candidacy. Instead, they will search for the distinctions he's drawn, and, sadly, a number of those distinctions point away from the heart-quickening progressivism of much of this race, and back towards the old politics of centrist caution and status quo bias.
[I]f Edwards wins in Iowa by running left and pissing people off, that'll be a good thing for the world. By contrast, while there's a lot I like about Barack Obama, if he wins Iowa it won't have been by running hard on the things I like best about him.
You know, I was going to vote for Obama and even announced that a week or so ago. But this is a great example of why it's best to wait and see how things shake out. Not being blinded by candidate worship, it's easier to sniff out the bullshit. And you have to have your head stuck deep in the sand to deny that Obama is trying to close the deal by running to the Right of his opponents. And call me crazy, but that's not a trait I generally appreciate in Democrats, no matter how much it might set the punditocracy's hearts a flutter.
I don't get to vote for another month, so we'll see how the next four weeks go. Certainly none of these guys have earned my vote yet.
Amazingly enough, none of them walk on water, no matter what their frenzied supporters might think.