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Why Obama Lost The Debate

Via LBO News, Doug Henwood argues that Obama’s tepid showing in his first debate versus Romney was not due to personal lapse, but his and his party’s fundamental contradiction:

First, I should say that while I am not a Democrat, and never had much hope invested in 2008’s candidate of hope, I do think we’d be marginally better off if Obama won. Most liberals want to write off Obama’s bad performance as a bad night. It’s not just that.

The political problem of the Democrats is that they’re a party of capital that has to pretend for electoral reasons sometimes that it’s not. All the complaints that liberals have about them—their weakness, tendency to compromise, the constantly lamented lack of a spine—emerge from this central contradiction. The Republicans have a coherent philosophy and use it to fire up a rabid base. The Dems are afraid of their base because it might cause them trouble with their funders.

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