(cross posted at GOS)
Obama’s FISA vote was a flip-flop in the worst extreme. It betrayed a lot of what I thought Obama was about. However, he is a politician and according to the New Yorker, a calculating one at that. (Note: I haven’t read the piece, but I have watched the bobblehead shows enough to know that while the Cover is “newsworthly”, the actual “meat”…err…article; the revelation about Obama’s past is not as satisfying in media terms, which means that’s the interesting part).
I do note that MSNBC’s first read says:
Meanwhile, the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg examines all the attention Obama’s apparent flip-flops have received, and he argues that much of the coverage is trivial. “Obama, it turns out, is a politician. In this respect, he resembles the forty-three Presidents he hopes to succeed, from the Father of His Country to the wayward son, Alpha George to Omega George. Winning a Presidential election doesn’t require being all things to all of the people all of the time, but it does require being some things to most of the people some of the time. It doesn’t require saying one thing and also saying its opposite, but it does require saying more or less the same thing in ways that are understood in different ways.”
Hertzberg also breaks down the flip-flops. He calls the one on Iraq a “marginal tweak”; says the charge of flip-flopping on abortion is “nonexistent;” contends that his change on the Supreme Court’s 2nd Amendment decision is a “substantive tweak”; and notes that the FISA and campaign-finance U-turns are significant. He concludes: “Meanwhile, McCain has been busily reversing his views in highly consequential ways. He opposed the Bush tax cuts because they favored the rich; now he supports their eternal extension. He was against offshore oil drilling as not being worth the environmental damage it brings; now he’s for it, and damn the costs. He was against torture, period; now he’s against it unless the C.I.A. does it. He keeps flipping to the wrong flops.”
Sounds about right.
So where am I going with all of this?
Obama is a fucking politician. An inspirational one, granted, but a politician. He seeks to win power, period. He has beliefs, don’t get me wrong, but his goal, as is any politician, as was Jack’s, or FDR’s or Lincoln’s…and down the list…was to gain power and shape the world in their view. This is, by any measure, the ultimate power. As a President of the United States…you have that power.
Obama has always been someone that you can read into what you want. If you want to see him as a progressive you can, a conservative (traditional)? Yup!. Obama is not the savior of the progressive movement, far from it, he is a left of center politician who has said from day one that he will willingly work across the isle.
He is…a politician. One that voted for FISA and Amnesty. However he is heads and tails above John McCain. Who will you vote for when it comes to…I dunno say…like, putting America back together again, after 7 & 1/2 years of the Bush administration tearing this country apart, limb from limb? Who is better McCain or Obama? Who do you choose?
We still are #1, but we are Evel Knievel: #1 and on life support after making a spectacular jump. Who is gonna put us back together again? Make us stronger…faster…better (I grew up in the 70’s so sue me). McCain?
I agree with Kos, more and better democrats, but the GOP have stuck the political pendulum to the right and electing John McCain isn’t going to unstick it. In fact it’s going to stick it there longer. However Obama, progressive that he is not, will start to move the pendulum the other way. McCain…well we know what a GOPer and a spineless Dem Congress can do.
Long term. We have to think long term. The national tilt is still to the right. Look how the polls are working. Obama holds a slight lead, against McCain. McCain is running as Bush III…and holding a slight deficit? Seriously? Why? We’re not united and spreading the message. Media be damned. You can hem and haw about how Tweety or Gregory is not pimping our view…however less that a million people watch those shows. YOU are more influential than them. You and your friends can touch more than them.
Nobody says you can’t voice your opposition to the positions Obama stakes that you don’t like,
..but you gotta believe that McCain is more detrimental to this country than Obama’s FISA vote.
…if you don’t…if you won’t…if you hold back your financial and physical support, if you blow a once in a generation opportunity, to swing the pendulum our way, then you get what you deserve. YOU elect McCain.