Obama and the iDemocrats

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As Barack Obama continues to attract throngs of supporters and polls keep indicating he will win by a more than comfortable margin, I find myself wondering how much of the Obama phenomenon is simply a massive rejection of President Bush and how much is an honest-to-God shift in our political culture.

On one hand, the Obama campaign is as much a successful marketing effort as anything else – with its on-target branding, flawless stagecraft, massive ad buys, media relations and air of inevitability, this is not just one of the finest political campaigns I’ve witnessed, but one of the finest marketing campaigns of the last decade.

That said, I also think something more profound is going on here. When Obama defeated Hillary Clinton, his victory represented the ascendancy of a new generation of Democrats – international in their mores, savvy with technology and organized in a way the left rarely is. Recently, I serendipitously labeled Obama an iDemocrat. That label seems about right for his core supporters too.

In my admittedly nascent theory, iDemocrats are the left’s version of value voters. Except rather than valuing the ideals of America’s heartland and rural areas, they value the ideals of the coasts and big cities where government interventionalism is high and international-style multiculturalism is prevalent. Sure, they care about the concerns of traditional lunch-pail Democrats but, make no mistake, the iDemocrats aren’t your father’s liberals. They’re not an offshoot of a labor movement. They’re an offshoot of globalization and all the integrations of culture, technology and liberal ideas that represents.

That’s what makes Obama’s presidency potentially more than just a return to New Deal/Great Society liberalism. Obama is a step forward for Democrats. The question is: is the step in the right direction?

What do you think? Am I way off base or is there something to this?