What's Wrong With Senator Obama?
I’ve been trying to stay away from more discussions concerning His Eminence, but the following articles leapt out at me. All through the presidential campaign we have been watching Senator Obama change and refine previously stated positions on patriotism, on Reverend Wright, on his grandmother, on bombing Pakistan, on his relationship with Rezco, etc., etc., etc.; but for the past few weeks we have been showered with position changes on everything from public financing to Iraq to gun control to FISA. What’s going on?
Some, like Bob Beckel in the article below (Beckel is a very long-term Democrat strategist and spinmeister), are trying to put across the idea that this is a very normal movement to the center – reflective of Obama’s true positions on important matters. I disagree. Nothing in Obama’s background or voting record would suggest anything other than a far, left-wing belief system. He has simply not taken moderate positions on anything in the past. From previous comments, his earlier refusal to honor our flag and long associations with the likes of Reverend Wright and the bomber, William Ayers, I believe that he and his wife are hate-America liberals, and that these new positions are essentially lies being told to fool that large segment of the voting public who have not really been paying attention yet – that they (the Obamas) are really very moderate in their views.
It's up to those of us who have been paying attention to make sure the truth is known to the voters before November, not by sending out e-mails full of false charges, but with the TRUTH - just as the Swift Boat Veterans did duing 2004.
'What's Wrong With Senator Obama?'
By Bob Beckel July 11, 2008 Real Clear Politics (Excerpt)
"My 14 year old son loves Barack Obama. He plays the "Yes We Can" music video by will.i.m so often he can recite Obama's New Hampshire speech (from which the video was made) word for word. Obama gave his 'Yes We Can' speech after losing the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton. That refrain, meant to encourage his supporters after the loss, quickly became the mantra for Obama's campaign.
Far from needing encouragement, his supporters were energized by the New Hampshire defeat. My kid kept bugging me to get behind Obama. I tried to tell him as a political analyst for Fox News I had to stay neutral. He wasn't buying that and reminded me that his grandfather (my dad) had been involved in the civil rights movement and "if granddaddy was still around he would be for Obama". That was followed by "you're a wuss".
So I was a little surprised last week when my son asked me, "What's wrong with Senator Obama?" I asked why. "Because he sounds different", he says. Thinking the kid was referring to Obama's recent moves to the center on some issues I tell him every candidate for president repositions for the general election. My son gives me one of those teenage 'what planet are you on' looks and says, "never mind."
It took awhile but I realized my point about Obama's repositioning on Iraq, FISA, etc meant nothing to my kid. All he knew was that the "Obama of Summer" was somehow different than the Yes We Can "Obama of Winter" - and it bothered him. To my kid it wasn't a question of issues, but a perception that somehow Obama had changed. As Barack Obama learned this week it is a perception shared by thousands of his supporters who do understand the issues and, unlike my son, can vote.
So being an astute political analyst I went to YouTube in search of a clue to my kids concerns. I bring up the Yes We Can video which I hadn't seen for several months. I play it once and I'm moved. I play it twice and I must confess I get a bit emotional. For comparison I watch the video of Obama's press conference last week in North Dakota in which he tried to clarify an earlier statement about perhaps "refining" his position on Iraq after a trip there later this month.
Listening to both videos I get it. Obama did sound different. He was defensive, and I sense a bit annoyed that he was forced to explain himself in North Dakota. But the reaction from the press and many of Obama's supporters seemed to me shrill and politically naïve. After all, Obama, on this and other issues, was only repositioning for a broader electorate, something every presidential candidate before him had done.
Sure Obama appeared to be modifying his issue positions a lot lately, but most presidential candidates lock up their nomination early, allowing the art of repositioning to be more subtle. In Obama's case the protracted battle with Hillary Clinton did not allow him the luxury of time to be subtle. Apparently his supporters and some in the press just didn't get that point.
But the amount of angry internet traffic to Obama's website suggesting he was abandoning his positions apparently hit a nerve. In a town hall meeting this week Obama was forced to address the charges and to defend his progressive credentials. He blamed the criticism from "my friends on the left" and "some of the media" on their preoccupation with assuming a political calculation is behind every move he makes.
That response, coupled with Obama's North Dakota press conference and watching the Yes We Can video, began to clarify the "Obama of Summer" problem with his supporters. To a guy like me, who has been involved in many campaigns, what Obama was doing made sense. But to millions of Obama supporters (most having never been near a political campaign) Obama's general election repositioning stood in stark contrast to his 'elegance of defeat' in New Hampshire.
I finally got it. While I was holding Obama to a typical political standard, his supporters' standard, forged in the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire, was more elevated and exacting. To them, the "Obama of Winter" had been a calling, while the "Obama of Summer" was causing an uncomfortable disconnect (as evidenced by a decline in the percentage of Obama supporters who tell pollsters they are 'totally' verses 'probably' certain to vote for him).” Real Clear Politics
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
By Philip Klein
7/11/2008 The American Spectator (Excerpt)
"AMERICA HAS ENDURED liberal presidents before. Jimmy Carter's single term in office was an unmitigated disaster, but it brought us eight years of Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton's early stumbles ignited the Gingrich Revolution. Though Clinton's presidency contained personal political triumphs, he never advanced the liberal agenda in any permanent way, and welfare reform is one of his few domestic accomplishments.
On the other hand, there is Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose New Deal created the welfare state as we know it, and more significantly, changed the psychology of Americans so that they would look to government to solve their problems ever after, a legacy that Lyndon Johnson built on with his Great Society programs.
If he's elected president, there are certain items on the liberal wish list that we can expect Barack Obama to fulfill, especially given the likely expanded majorities he will enjoy in Congress.
The Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire, resulting in the largest tax increase in the nation's history. Democratic legislation that cleared the House in the Bush years only to be blocked by a Senate filibuster or Bush veto, will get passed and quickly signed into law by Obama. Chief among these will be an expansion of the government-run children's health care program S-CHIP and "card-check" legislation, which will deny workers access to a secret ballot when voting on unionization, thus allowing big labor to expand its membership through intimidation. Obama also can be expected to appoint liberal judges to any court vacancies that arise during his administration." The American Spectator