Last week I lumped Senator Obama in with the inside-the-beltway Dems who feel they don't need to provide any message other than, "Hey, at least we're not as bad as the other guys."
As several of you have forcefully pointed out, I overstated my case.
The quote from the Democratic Party's most brightly shining new star that had so disappointed me was this from George Packer's brilliant, must-read, near-book-length dispatch about Iraq in a recent The New Yorker:
"Three years into the war, there is still no coherent political opposition. 'There's an old saying in politics: when your opponent's in trouble, just get out of the way,' Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, told me. 'In political terms, I don't think that Democrats are obligated to solve Iraq for the Administration.' He added, 'I think that, for the good of the country, we've got to be constructive in figuring out what's going to be best. I've taken political hits from certain quarters in the Democratic Party for even trying to figure this out. I feel that obligation. I'll confess to you, though, I haven't come up with any novel, unique answer so far.'"
I used the quote, "When your opponent's in trouble, just get out of the way," to unfavorably compare the first-term Senator with the heroic opposition of Senator Russ Feingold. Although I am disappointed that Senator Obama has not yet joined Senators Kerry, Feingold, Rep. Murtha, so many of his colleagues and two-thirds of the American people in calling for a more immediate and aggressive push to end our disastrous colonization of Iraq, it was unfair of me to lump the inspiring new senator in with the sit-on-your-ass wing of the Democratic Party.
He is thoughtful and outspoken on so many other issues vital to bringing our nation back from the brink, and, hopefully, he will be the first future President of the United States whom my four-year-old son can look at and see, in some ways, a reflection of himself.