Saturday, June 28, 2008

Obama And His Positions Du Jour

Obama's spotless history as a hard left socialist is being whitewashed overnight by Obama and a complicit press corps. His flip flops are of such number and magnitude as to make John Kerry look like a gross amateur at the art. Obama changes positions with the fluidity of water based on the day's political expediencies, and then claims that his position du jour has always been his position. It creates a cognitive dissonance reverberating at such high a pitch as to make it seemingly beyond the capacity of all but canines to hear. That may explain why it is outside the auditory range of the MSM. Charles Krauthammer addressed this issue yesterday, concluding that Obama is so unscrupulous and so disengenuous as to, in comparison, make the Clintons seem paragons of veracity and intellectual honesty. Victor Davis Hanson and the editorial board of the NY Post also weigh in.

This from Charles Krauthammer:

"To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

-- Obama spokesman Bill Burton, Oct. 24, 2007

That was then: Democratic primaries to be won, netroot lefties to be seduced. With all that (and Hillary Clinton) out of the way, Obama now says he'll vote in favor of the new FISA bill that gives the telecom companies blanket immunity for post-Sept. 11 eavesdropping.

Back then, in the yesteryear of primary season, he thoroughly trashed the North American Free Trade Agreement, pledging to force a renegotiation, take "the hammer" to Canada and Mexico and threaten unilateral abrogation.

Today the hammer is holstered. Obama calls his previous NAFTA rhetoric "overheated" and essentially endorses what one of his senior economic advisers privately told the Canadians: The anti-trade stuff was nothing more than populist posturing.

Nor is there much left of his primary season pledge to meet "without preconditions" with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There will be "preparations," you see, which are being spun by his aides into the functional equivalent of preconditions.

Obama's long march to the center has begun.

. . . Normally, flip-flopping presidential candidates have to worry about the press. Not Obama. After all, this is a press corps that heard his grandiloquent Philadelphia speech -- designed to rationalize why "I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown my white grandmother" -- then wiped away a tear and hailed him as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln. Three months later, with Wright disowned, grandma embraced and the great "race speech" now inoperative, not a word of reconsideration is heard from his media acolytes.

Worry about the press? His FISA flip-flop elicited a few grumbles from lefty bloggers, but hardly a murmur from the mainstream press. Remember his pledge to stick to public financing? Now flush with cash, he is the first general-election candidate since Watergate to opt out. Some goo-goo clean-government types chided him, but the mainstream editorialists who for years had been railing against private financing as hopelessly corrupt and corrupting evinced only the mildest of disappointment.

Indeed, the New York Times expressed a sympathetic understanding of Obama's about-face by buying his preposterous claim that it was a preemptive attack on McCain's 527 independent expenditure groups -- notwithstanding the fact that (a) as Politico's Jonathan Martin notes, "there are no serious anti-Obama 527s in existence nor are there any immediate plans to create such a group" and (b) the only independent ad of any consequence now running in the entire country is an co-production savaging McCain.

. . . I have never had any illusions about Obama. I merely note with amazement that his media swooners seem to accept his every policy reversal with an equanimity unseen since the Daily Worker would change the party line overnight -- switching sides in World War II, for example -- whenever the wind from Moscow changed direction.

The truth about Obama is uncomplicated. He is just a politician (though of unusual skill and ambition). The man who dared say it plainly is the man who knows Obama all too well. "He does what politicians do," explained Jeremiah Wright.

When it's time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom accountability, NAFTA renegotiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily.

Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia -- only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama's fuzzy-wuzzy get-to-know-me national TV ad.

Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

Read the entire article. This is a drum many of us been beating for some time. Obama has no identifiable principles beyond ambition and seemingly not a shred of intellectual honesty. His candidacy is only made possible by a press corps whose attitude towards Obama is perfectly captured by Krauthammer in his comparison to communist newspapers reporting without a blink or question the day's changed position from Moscow.

There are such a plethora of examples, only a few of which are mentioned by Mr. Krauthammer. Victor Davis Hanson also has a compendium that is well worth a read. And today the NY Post weighs in on the issue, questioning whether we know anything that Obama actually stands for:

What does Barack Obama truly believe? Does it depend on the day of the week?

True, candidates typically tack to the center after contentious primaries. But the "candidate of change" is taking that process to Twilight Zone levels.

* Last fall, a spokesman said of a controversial element in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization bill, "To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." . . .

* He's managed to switch his position on NAFTA twice: He supported it before the primary; said he wanted to renegotiate it while campaigning in Ohio - and now has told a magazine interviewer that his language during the primaries may have been "overheated."

* On foreign policy, his longstanding assertion that he would meet with the leaders of regimes hostile to the United States "without preconditions" has gone by the boards.

* His declaration before AIPAC that he believed in a "united Jerusalem" didn't even last a news cycle - a spokesman produced a "clarification" within hours after Obama's speech.

. . . Barack Obama's twists and turns reveal a lack of fundamental bearings.

Does he stand for anything?

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