A good part of what I was trying to say in my Socialist post the other day concerned the relationship between precision in political rhetoric and its ability to persuade; in short, I think that “toned-down” rhetoric is more likely to convince an interlocutor (let alone an observer) of at least the plausibilty of one’s position than is the “speaking truth to power” approach.
Pomocon James Poulos makes a similar point oh-so-much more eloquently over at Culture11, this time in response to recent comments by Thomas Sowell with regard to a possibile Obama presidency. The entire thing is good reading, but I’ll quote the conclusion to give you an idea of his point:
So, dear partisans:
* Zero in on the way a hugely Democratic congress would tend to dominate Obama’s mild, pragmatic temperament with a dogmatic, impatient, inflexible one;
* Insist, like Reagan, that Obama has America’s best interests at heart but is, alas, misguided about how to accomplish them;
* Offer tangible proof that elites and non-elites can come together without hypocritically demonizing elitism;
* Come up with a coherent explanation of how Obama could be both too passive and too aggressive in international affairs;
* Recognize that beating Obama on the issues means showing why he’s wrong, not showing how he’s somehow powerful enough to, like, change the entire world forever;
* Admit that a lot of average Americans actually do want more or less what Obama’s selling, the better to reveal that it’s simple CHANGE; the broader an Obama win, the shallower.
As I argued previously, we don’t need to make Obama’s positions worse than they actually are to effectively critique them… they’re bad enough as is.