Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama and flip/flops

I've tried to put together a post on Obama's stark turnarounds, but sometimes you find a jewel that just does such a good job of illustrating Obama's willingness to not just go to the center for the general, but to flip so fast to the right I'm surprised he hasn't broken something:

To earn the Democratic nomination, as Fred Thompson points out, Obama ran as George McGovern without the experience, a left-of-center politician who would meet unconditionally with Iran, pull us precipitously out of Iraq, prohibit new drilling for oil, and grow big government in Washington by all but a trillion dollars. In his general election TV ad debut, however, Obama pirouetted like Baryshnikov. With a commercial Mike Huckabee could have run in a Republican primary, Obama now emphasizes his commitment to strong families and heartland values, “Accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses.” In this yet unwritten chapter of his next autobiography, Obama tells us he is the candidate of “welfare to work” who supports our troops and “cut taxes for working families.” The shift in his political personae has been startling. Obama has moved right so far and so fast, he could end up McCain’s Vice-Presidential pick.

General-election Obama now billboards his doubts about affirmative action. He has embraced the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption saying, “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon…everything.” He tells his party “Democrats are not for a bigger government.” Oil drilling is a consideration. His FISA vote and abandonment of public campaign finance introduce us to an Obama of recent invention. And as he abandons his old identity for the new, breeding disenchantment among his formerly passionate left-of-center supporters and, equally, doubts among the center he courts, he risks becoming nothing at all, a candidate who is everything and nothing in the same moment.

The "McCain's V.P. pick" line is just hilarious.


In the defining moment of his life, McCain was willing to give everything for one thing, and that one thing was his country. Contrast that with Obama, who has told America that he is “a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.” Obama is the talented salesman who seduced one state after another saying “Iowa, this is our moment,” “Virginia, this is our moment,” “Texas, this is our moment,” and then tells Europe, “people of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment.” How many times can Barack Obama sell the same moment to everyone, before he becomes Mel Brooks in “The Producers”? Who is Barack Obama? His campaign, as it reupholsters him before our eyes, says we can never know—perhaps because Barack Obama does not know himself.

There seems to be no doubt that Obama is trying to be all things to all people. As I think about it, I don't think this is a dishonest thing on Obama's part. In fact, I don't think Obama is dishonest at all. I think Obama is trying to find his way and he has a a lot of people helping him get there. Not long ago he never imagined he would be in this place. I think he is evaluating what he believes. He was against drilling for example, but now he sees it as part of what needs to be done. This may be the most likable thing about Obama to people like me. Are some of his changes due to the electability factor? Of course. This is politics after all.

What Obama knows is that he will not lose his supporters. He can say, "drill in ANWR!" and "unborn children DO deserve the right to life!" and he will not lose his core support. They are in love with an image and nothing he does will change that now.

It really is the only danger I see. That middle of the road people will believe in the hawkish, pro-drilling, pro-cutting taxes Obama and not look at his votes and his past statements and his past associations.

Obama is selling all of us "a moment." Will we buy it?

via Right Wing Nuthouse