Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Obama Shift

The WSJ chronicles Obama's rush to the center. It is typical for a primary candidate to shift a bit to become more moderate for the general, but Obama's turn arounds are so extreme that he has ticked off the left to the point where the nutroots king Kos, has said he is refraining from giving money to Obama for now.

One of the big leftwing heresies that Obama committed is now supporting FISA legislation. Last October, Obama responding to FISA and the surveillance of foreign terrorists , vowed to "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies" that assisted in such eavesdropping after 9/11. All that is different now. Obama says now that he will support the bill when it comes to a Senate vote.

The left has gone on ad nauseam about Bush "spying," and the warrantless surveillance program that gave telecommunications corporations legal immunity practically sent them into spasms. They thought they had a candidate that would stand boldly against this, but that turned out to not be the case.

Obama now has this to say about the FISA bill:

"Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program."

The 2nd and perhaps greatest heresy is Obama's change regarding troop withdrawal from Iraq:

Back in Sept of 2007 Obama said this:

"The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year -- now."

Obama called for the pullout of military forces by the end of 2008.

On April 16th at a Presidential debate ABC's Charles Gibson asked this of Obama:

"And, Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe, said, 'When he is' -- this is talking about you - 'When he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most. There should be no confusion about that.' So you'd give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order to bring them home?"

Obama: "Because the commander-in-chief sets the mission, Charlie. That's not the role of the generals. And one of the things that's been interesting about the president's approach lately has been to say, 'Well, I'm just taking cues from General Petraeus.' Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission."

Sounds pretty firm, right? He is practically sneering at the thought of taking cues from the Generals. But what a difference a few months can make.

Here is Obama on June 8th on CNN's Situation Room with Candy Crowley:

Crowley: "You have said you want to go back to Iraq."

Obama: "Yeah."

Crowley: "See what the situation is on the ground. Is there nothing that they could show you or that General Petraeus could tell you that would move you from wanting to immediately begin removing U.S. troops?

" Obama: "Well, you know, I never say there's nothing or never or no way in which I'd change my mind. Obviously, I'm open to the facts and to reason. And there's no doubt that we've seen significant improvements in security on the ground in Iraq."

This is what is called CYA.

Recently Powerline wrote about Iraqi foreign minister Hoshay Zebari speaking with Obama about troop withdrawals. According to Zebari, Obama vowed to not do anything reckless, and added that “whatever decision he will reach will be made through close consultation with the Iraqi government and U.S. military commanders in the field.”

Isn't that a bit like "taking cues?" Just asking.

As the WSJ points out:

Look for Mr. Obama to use his forthcoming visit to Iraq as an excuse to drop those withdrawal plans faster than he can say Jeremiah Wright "was not the person that I met 20 years ago."

While the left gnashes their teeth over this, there actually may be a very reasonable explanation for Obama's shift in policy when it comes to this war and security.

And that explanation is President George Bush.

I was listening to talk radio a few weeks ago and a reporter (I missed who it was) was talking about how he had recently interviewed Pres. Bush and that Bush had told him that he spoken to Obama about the troop withdrawal and other security concerns. He basically told him that he might want to scale back on promises that cannot be kept. Bush was telling him that if Obama becomes President he would be privy to security information that would not allow these grandiose plans for our troops and the importance of intelligence through surveillance.

It looks like Obama was listening. Sometimes a flip/flop is just good judgement.

The left may be very angry about these shifts of policy in Obama, but it at least gives me some hope that should Obama become President, he may very well put out nation's security above political posturing. Maybe he will care more about our country and it's security than he does his own popularity. You know, like the President we have now.

We can always hope.