Politico Defends Obama's Centrism

John Avlon, a speechwriter for Rudy Giuliani writes in Politico:

Throughout the left-wing blogosphere, the cry has come: Barack Obama is moving away from them, and to the center. . . . But all this outrage ignores the obvious: Throughout his career, Obama has consistently framed himself as a post-partisan centrist. He’s been a bridge-builder all his life, first between black and white, and now between left and right.

Obama positioned himself to the right of the Democratic primary pack on virtually every issue except Iraq. . . . [T]he founder of the centrist (and historically Clinton-boosting) DLC, Al From, now sees a kindred spirit: “This general election, more than most we have seen, is going to be a battle for the center. ... The more we learn about Sen. Obama's policies, the more we will see some of the policies the DLC has championed for years.”

More . .

While I agree that Obama has run on a post-partisan Unity Schtick that was right in line with the DLC for years now, the article does not deal with the flip flops Obama has executed since the primaries. In essence, the article ignores the fact that Obama abandoned his "New Politics" and undermined his image as a different type of politician.

But it is a rude awakening for all the zealous advocates for the notion of Obama as a progressive champion. Avlon writes:

Obama recognizes that his willingness to reach out to all sides, and eagerness to avoid labels, make his political personality something of a Rorscharch test. It’s inevitable that a politician inclined toward consensus will disappoint many of the true believers — especially those on the far left who see him as an avenging liberal angel. But those believers have misunderstood the roots of their candidate’s broad appeal: Far from an abrupt general election shift, Obama’s steady centrism has been the secret to his success.

For those interested in actual issues and policy change, they should realize by now that Obama needs his feet held to the fire on every issue. He will not do anything that is in any way bold or progressive without being pressured to do it. In many ways, he is the most typical of pols - acting only when forced to by political exigencies. The task now is to pressure him to pander to what you want.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    The biggest lie (5.00 / 11) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:03:32 AM EST
    was that he was supposedly going to create a "new kind of politics."

    If the Democrats. . . (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:07:02 AM EST
    win the White House, especially with a black candidate from Chicago with a liberal voting record, I guess that qualifies as something new in politics, doesn't it?

    But in terms of changing the way politics operates, anyone who doesn't know that Obama is a Chicago politician hasn't been doing their homework.  Or, in fact, listening to what he says.


    Well, he promised what he promised (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:09:39 AM EST
    If the only real change being offered is that Obama is black, well. . .

    From where I sit. . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:16:20 AM EST
    that is not an insignificant change by itself.

    But you left out my other issues -- a northern, liberal candidate.  That hasn't happened since Kennedy squeaked through.  Just shy of a half century ago.


    This is an election (5.00 / 9) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    any Dem could have won. At this point, my argument that Obama was the most electable one looks utterly wrong.

    I think you're probably correct. . . (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:21:19 AM EST
    which is why, despite the fact that electability is a major concern of mine, I supported Clinton.  I figured that even with her baggage she'd have a pretty good chance of winning.

    I don't know..... (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:37:52 AM EST
    I think you were right the first time. Obama has adoring fans, sycophantic netroots cheerleaders, and an intimidated MSM who will not criticize him. Hillary had some adoring fans, vitriolic hatred from the netroots, and nothing but enemies in the MSM. Not to mention the 20-year embedded hatefulness from the right. If she were the nominee today, I'd still be really worried about electability. (I don't say this because I'm happy with where we are now; I'm just acknowledging the reality that Obama is in a privileged position whereas, with Hillary, it's the opposite).

    Not that it wouldn't have been a fight (5.00 / 9) (#31)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:09:45 AM EST
    for Clinton, but in the GE, the voters who matter more are not the crazed syncophants.

    All along, many more Clinton supporters said they'd switch to McCain if Obama was the nominee than vice versa.  The percentage (around a quarter of her supporters) hasn't changed.

    That was because Obama painted himself as further left than she to rile up the fans.  And the fact that she still outpolls him against McCain gives that some credence.

    All these arguments defending Obama's move to the center (or sudden truth in advertising, however it's framed) has a very bizarre aspect; there's no examination of why Dem politicians 'have' to move to the center.

    It's because the support Obama has to earn now is from voters who are not predominantly young & hip, or rich and liberal-guilt laden.  They've been around the block once or twice, are more practical, and are not as susceptible to the pull of big political rallies or the squawkings of MSM.  The hostility of the NN/CC crowd is beyond irrelevant now.

    Obama's campaign maxed out its appeal to the potentially enraptured months ago.  Now it's all about the voters whose votes a pol has to work hard at getting.  Hillary has always, always known how to do the hard-work type of campaigning, as opposed to the political rally kind.

    I haven't seen Obama really pivoting to the GE yet, not in the sense of having a plan to win the votes of the not-so-naive.  Maybe he'll figure it out at some point.


    agree and disagree (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:16:58 AM EST
    I agree with much of what you said, but I maintain that Obama is in position of privilege compared to almost every other candidate. I have never seen so much special pleading and excuse-making for a politician. I believe this is why he won the nomination and it will be why he wins the presidency.

    I do agree with that (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:55:20 PM EST
    had he not had the MSM and various prominent whiners on his side, he would never have gotten the nomination.  And even if he had, he'd be behind McCain instead of a measly, within MOE 2 pts ahead now.

    The privilage to be stuck at 45 percent (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Prabhata on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:32:10 PM EST
    with over 50 percent negative.
    Latest Ras tracking poll.

    I'm not the other person (none / 0) (#62)
    by waldenpond on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:54:42 PM EST
    IMO a big part of his campaign was based on Clinton hate.  A big part of his GE campaign will have to be Republican hate (tie McCain to the reviled Bush).  It should still succeed even though Congress's rating is lower than Bush.

    That's what I used to think (none / 0) (#146)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 01:12:09 AM EST
    Until Obama's polls absolutely stagnated.

    McCain's campaign has been horrible so far, and I don't see a lot of signs that it will suddenly improve.  Yet Obama's struggling to stay ahead.

    With the race this close, I don't think it will take much for Republican attack ads and whatever they've got on for an October surprise to reverse his lead.


    Coming from you... (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by dianem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:42:36 PM EST
    ...this statement is like a 7.2 earthquake in the blogosphere. I'm torn between offering condolences and saying "I told you so", but it's really too soon to do either. We won't know how well Obama stands up to the right wing machine until after it goes into full swing. I have to admit that things don't look particularly good for McCain right now. I checked our free republic and found quite a few people saying that they won't vote for McCain even against Obama. But some were cracking as they started to drink the "Obama will destroy America" kool-aid. This election is a battle between Rove and Axelrod, not McCain and Obama. Remember... this time 4 years ago, Kerry was a war hero and a very strong candidate against a President who was waning in popularity. A lot will change between now and November. As much as I'd like to know exactly how, I have to recognize that none of us really do.

    Hallelujah, praise the lord and pass the biscuits! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:41:23 AM EST
    Never thought I'd read that quote.  

    Why so grim BTD? (none / 0) (#35)
    by davnee on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:14:34 AM EST
    I happen to agree with you, for a host of reasons, that Obama was never the best choice electorally, despite the media love affair, but why are you so grim today?  Are you suggesting that Obama is in actual electoral danger, or are you just lamenting that an opportunity to have a safer and more progressive bet was missed?

    I lament (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:18:31 AM EST
    that I lost the argument on political style and on a lot of issues - FISA being an important one.

    Fair enough (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by davnee on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:31:31 AM EST
    FISA actually really took me by surprise.  I fully expected Obama to pander to the right on issues like abortion, church and state etc.  I really don't think issues matter much to him at all.  He's a power guy, not a principles guy.  But FISA was a head scratcher.  Frankly, I think he was paying his debts for the shut-down of the nomination process.    

    I think you explained it right there. (5.00 / 7) (#46)
    by tree on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:46:16 AM EST
    He's a power guy, not a principles guy.

    He wanted the power that the FISA Amendment Act gave the President. New, improved Chicago-style politics, now with added wiretapping!


    That ought to make us afraid (5.00 / 7) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:45:29 PM EST
    very afraid of a President trained in Chicago politics, with wiretapping capability, but without principles.

    FISA surprised me, too (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by dianem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:45:29 PM EST
    It cost him a lot politically and gained him nothing. Very few Americans are even aware of what FISA stands for and even fewer know or care about telecom immunity. He didn't gain anything with this vote. I suspect there were some trades made off with Dems to get this passed, in all honesty. Maybe Bush agreed to sign off on a couple of bills he hated to get this one passed. But they didn't need to have Obama throw himself to the wolves to pass it.

    RE: it gains him the big telecom money (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Bornagaindem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:12:40 PM EST
    You are wrong that ir gained him nothing -it gains him the contributions of the big telecoms. It costs him nothing. Almost everyone of you that care about the issue will vote for him anyway even if you are "disappointed" and the rest of america frankly doesn't give a damn, So he did what he will always do -"sell" out.

    I'm not sure about that (none / 0) (#105)
    by dianem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:55:44 PM EST
    This put a huge crack in the "Obama is new and different" meme that they spread throughout the blogosphere. I'm not particularly concerned with the telecom immunity aspect (I never thought they'd be prosecuted, anyway), but I was more than a bit surprised that he betrayed his ideals this soon. What is the dollar value of losing the trust of your most avid supporter's? They'll still vote for him, but the magic is gone for many.

    Why he did what he did on FISA (none / 0) (#106)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:57:57 PM EST
    Who knows? But, I do know that the giant communication companies court both parties heavily through $s and other quid pro quos. (Take a look at the fundraising history--who sponsored tables--what surprising candidates had substantial communications support and who needs them in future.) Seriously, I don't want to be too skeptical; tho, I have been intrigued by the communication companies' tie-ins with both parties. From that vantage point, I was pleasantly surprised by those top Senate Democrats who voted correctly against the FISA legislation.

    Caucus Conversions (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:32:12 PM EST
    To be fair, there are a lot of Dems who had the wool pulled over their heads at their local caucus.

    Than there were those who followed him as if he espoused some messianic deliverance/and or the removal of the old political machine.

    Than there were those of us who remembered GWB's bi-line, "uniter, not a divider," and for eight years we were divided.

    He is like an empty suit that Hollywood has filled in with new dialogue: a script rewrite.

    Which ever way you look at it, we've all been hoodwinked.


    Not all of us have been hoodwinked. Many of (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:36:04 PM EST
    us said from the get-go that he was a phony and would flip-flop depending on who he was trying to convince at the moment.  The comparisons to Dubya are eerie when you get down to it.

    Who would "us"be? (1.00 / 0) (#89)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:15:53 PM EST
    Just curious. Cause this so-called "us" group was never identified by the media. Was the "us" group on board with him from the beginning:loyal Obamabots? Were and are they his devotees? Are they Hillary supporters who knew he was exactly how Hillary defined him. Who are the "us?" In other words, I don't recall the media EVER identifying a group (who show support for him) knowing he was nothing more than a script yet to be written? Or are you speaking for an unidentified few? YEP, comparisions are a big FYI, BEWARE DUBYA #2.

    "Us" refers to some of the people (none / 0) (#114)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:53:05 PM EST
    on this blog.

    Got it... (none / 0) (#127)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:15:58 PM EST
    Than I add myself to the "us" group...

    I should have said "similarities to (none / 0) (#57)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:37:24 PM EST

    Yes, like Bush (none / 0) (#147)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:02:47 AM EST
    a uniter not a divider and here is John Avalon arguing that...

    "Throughout his career, Obama has consistently framed himself as a post-partisan centrist. He's been a bridge-builder all his life..."

    ...a bridge builder. Who knew? So post-partisan centrist is the equivalent of a bridge-builder... just like Bush is a uniter not a divider and love is indifference and black is white and war is peace i get it yes yes i get it now... zzzzzzzzzzzt...


    BTD (none / 0) (#150)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:21:57 AM EST
    Please look at this. SHER is troll rating all the best posts. Whoever this person is has been doing it for some time. Can you do something about this?

    Actually the biggest lie is about who and what he (5.00 / 10) (#13)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:39:21 AM EST
    is.  He's nothing more than a machine politician yet the media and his handlers created a mythical person who was more saintly than Mother Theresa, more wise than Moses, and was better than MLK and JFK and Abraham combined.  Sheesh.  

    Yes, that was the myth that got (5.00 / 7) (#118)
    by frankly0 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:56:42 PM EST
    believed by his true believers.

    To me, one of the bitterest aspects of this was the sheer vileness with which Hillary was treated because she presumed to criticize The One.

    She was pressured to get out of the race since Iowa by the media and Obama's devotees, on the clear assumption that she was standing in the way of Destiny, of an era of Greatness. As disgusting as the means his supporters used to tear down Hillary, the presumption always seemed to be that it was a means justified by its historic, politics altering end.

    To see now, in a fashion even his followers seem to can't find a way to dispute, how little political payoff the man might, in fact, ever engender must come as a rude awakening for those who weren't skeptical from early on.

    But I have no interest in forgiving these KoolAid drinkers. No matter your level of intoxication, you're responsible for your most egregious behaviors.

    That means you, Kos, and you, Josh Marshall, and virtually all of the left blogosphere, not to mention a very sizable portion of the media, and the vast majority of academe.

    You were fools. You acted like thugs. You ganged up like the most ignorant and self-righteous mob to beat down and away all opposition.

    Not only do we now know what Obama is made of -- we know what you are made of as well.


    I'd give you a 10 if I could. (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:35:46 PM EST
    BTD (none / 0) (#148)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:08:38 AM EST
    can you do something about SHER troll rating all the best posts. SHER has been doing this through several threads now. Go back and look at SHER's ratings. This has been going on for a long time now.

    Oh, Come On (none / 0) (#153)
    by daring grace on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 10:56:34 AM EST
    Get over yourself.

    Who the heck is begging for your forgiveness that you will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER extend to them?

    When the media drumbeat began after Clinton's third place finish in Iowa, I (a--gasp! Obama supporter) thought they were nuts and did NOT call for her to leave the race. Any more than I did at any other time in the primary season.

    I hear this all the time about how unfair the media was to Clinton (and I think they were too sometimes) but if the situation was reversed and they were on her side and sliming Obama sometimes the way they did her would she have called them on it? Really, now.

    I doubt it, because she, like he, is a politician and open to taking any advantage. That's politics. I don't hold it against her and I don't hold it against him. Well, actually, I do sometimes hold it against both of them at various moments in the campaign.

    After the way the MSM conspired with the VRWC to character assassinate the Clintons in the nineties, she and her supporters would have been deranged to expect that all vestiges of that bias would have evaporated in 2008.


    You might want to practice what you (none / 0) (#154)
    by tree on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    preach, and not assume that every post is directed personally at you. There were things that happened during the campaign and just because you personally didn't contribute to them doesn't mean they didn't happen.

      As to politicians taking advantage, it was proven by  confirmed  campaign memos and emails, that the Obama campaign did more than "take advantage" of a nasty media narrative. They openly promoted a strategy of calling the Clinton campaign racist and they strongly pushed the false narrative that Clinton was hoping for Obama's assassination.

      As for Clinton, she refused to enter into the Wright fest, except to say that he wouldn't have been her pastor, and she defended Obama when his Kenya pictures came out, saying that she too had wore ceremonial dress on foreign visits and it was a common ting for Congresspeople to do. She also defended him when he was falsely accused of being a Muslim, and despite that she still got slammed for her response.


    I'm Not The Only Obama Supporter (none / 0) (#155)
    by daring grace on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 11:57:11 AM EST
    who did not drink the koolaid and who never hated Clinton. So it is not for myself that I am taking issue with these repetitive sweeping indictments of Obama supporters. Most of us are not the stereotypical 'obamabots' I see us portrayed as. So, yeah, I will respond sometimes when I read this here.

    If you are objecting to the overbroad (none / 0) (#156)
    by tree on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 12:59:34 PM EST
    condemnation then perhaps that is how you should address the issue instead of shouting "get over yourself" and "who's asking for forgiveness?". Just a suggestion, because you're sounding a little "stereotypical" here.

    I Responded to a Very Specific Comment (none / 0) (#157)
    by daring grace on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 02:14:39 PM EST
    "But I have no interest in forgiving these KoolAid drinkers."

    As for acting stereotypically, I realize I have no control (and probably very little influence) over the stereotypes others apply to me. So while I don't worry about trying to change that, I do periodically challenge the generalizations if only in the interests of fair play.


    Since you said you were not a (none / 0) (#158)
    by tree on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 02:37:11 PM EST
    Kool-aid drinker, why did you feel a need to response to a post that wasn't addressing you? And why of all responses did you choose "get over yourself"? My point is that the response you made to someone that you insist was not referring to you was  in itself a stereotypical remark. If you are trying to distinquish yourself from a stereotype its best not to act stereotypically. Again, this was not about you, and rather than making that point in your original response you are the one that chose to make it personal.

     I suspect that I'm just repeating myself  so I'll stop now with just one more attempt at my point. If you want to disabuse someone of applying a stereotype to you personally or all Obama supporters in general, starting a post with "Get over yourself" is not going to lead that person to think that you don't fit his stereotype.  


    Admittedly (none / 0) (#159)
    by daring grace on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:47:58 PM EST
    I succumbed to my exhaustion/irritation at the endlessly repetitive Obama bashing comments that suffuse many threads and vented that in the "get over yourself" comment.

    Not Really (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Truth Sayer on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:48:11 AM EST
    In this partisan world we live in Obama's post-partisan promise is a "new kind of politics". It is just not the kind that either most Democrats or most Republicans want. And it sure is not what half of the Democratic Primary voters thought they were getting although Obama told them all along what they were going to get - they just did not listen.

    God knows why a candidate ... (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:52:40 AM EST
    who based his logo on Pepsi's was thought to be a new kind of anything.

    change one little vowel and you've got it. (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:09:45 AM EST
    ...it's the now politics.

    I wonder why this comes as a surprise. . . (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:04:19 AM EST
    to anyone.  Really, if people would spend less time trying to fool themselves that everyone thinks exactly like I do and spend more time reading insightful political analysis (mine) they'd have a more realistic view of American politics.

    I'll repeat what I've said before.  People who believed Obama was some kind of change messiah were fooling themselves more than they were being fooled by Obama.  Obama has always been very upfront about his across-the-aisle politics and his origins as a "Chicago politician".  It's true he engages in a a certain amount of "what the people want is change" rhetoric but that's standard fare for politicians -- everyone is a change agent.  I believe in his endorsement of McCain Romney said something like "John McCain has been leading change in Washington longer than anyone else".

    Does that mean he doesn't stand for anything?  No.  It's possible to both have a consistent political outlook, whether liberal or conservative, and at the same time recognize that one has to compromise and work with people with a different political philosophy to get things done.  The idea of compromise as "selling out" is often used to criticize the Clintons when it ought to be obvious to anyone that 1) their politics are consistently liberal and 2) no one has been in a better position to understand the nature of political accomplishment than them.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:07:38 AM EST
    I find myself completely blameless in all of this.

    Not only did I spend a good deal of time discussing the fact that Obama was no progressive champion and was not a transformative figure, I supported him because I thought he was more electable - the most cynical of reasons.


    Certainly you had no hand. . . (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:19:44 AM EST
    in the Obama as messiah argument.  If anything, the opposite.

    If issues of electability are dismissed as nothing more than undesirable cynicism we're already heading back to the days of powerless Democrats.


    alright Pontius (none / 0) (#22)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:54:35 AM EST
    immer down there.

    simmer down there (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:01:38 AM EST
    You are innocent in the 2008 political massacre, you will see.

    I would never "blame" you (none / 0) (#28)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:03:29 AM EST
    (I value my life)... but some of the responsibility certainly lies with those Democrats who proclaim themselves centrists. It appears you got what you wanted so ......

    Funny how those who are really on the left and want the same basic policies they have always wanted from a candidate are being "led" by centrists on the blogs.

    Yes...you have proclaimed yourself centrist from day one and have stated that you do like the DLC. How much more centrist can you get than that?

    So why the disappointment? Flip flopping? A pol is a pol right?

    Me...I'm a liberal. Obviously, my  political is dead.


    I did not get what I wanted (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:17:34 AM EST
    I certainly lost the battle of political ideas and political style.

    Clinton was not offering what I was looking for either so I lost from the get go.

    I am not into triumphalism when I got my clock cleaned.


    i read some comments earlier (none / 0) (#84)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:02:33 PM EST
    on another blog that pointed out how much power hoyer actually has as if he were almost the cheney of the house. he is centrist and has apparently put pelosi in a box along with the blue dog democrats. we might look at that situation when we access the lack of leadership and action by the democratic congress.

    I'd like to put the Blue Dogs (none / 0) (#149)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 03:12:34 AM EST
    in a kennel. Let them out when it's time to vote on social issues when they usually behave themselves. Otherwise, keep them penned up.

    More electable than Hillary, (none / 0) (#128)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:26:35 PM EST
    because the Republicans would not be able to use their tried and tested Clinton style hate-on against him, nor race, nor experience, nor it seems any viable downside that would have eliminated any other candidate months ago?

    Well said (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by stefystef on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:12:19 AM EST
    You pointed out a lot of issues that people have Obama that are real concerns.  At least someone people are really analyzing what Obama say and does.

    Thank you.


    The Mushy Middle (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by pluege on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:24:43 AM EST
    turns out the change Obama suckered so many of the great minds and so-called leaders in the left blogosphere on was NOT change from bush's neocon policies of endless war and making the US a police state or bush's neo-fascist corporate rule with its environmental and human devastation that progressives have projected onto to Obama's message of change. Obama's change is merely 'I'm not bush' or 'I'm not a democrat or a republican' or 'I'm not white' or some other I'm not... change (at this point no one could know what he was talking about), but it most certainly is not change associated with progressive thinking.

    Obama is one of the mushy middle lurching about issue to issue without any anchor or coherent philosophy of right and wrong; he is a pol driven by ego, ambition, and lust for power. He will continue to be the American bully when he feels like it (which will be nearly all the time); he will play in the corporate plutocratic playground only throwing a few scraps to the rabble if they get loud; he will not roll back the police state in any way shape of form or reform the corrupt ways in which Washington works; and most of all he will offer lots and lots of fancy words with no substantive "change" at all for the average American.

    When Obama was talking "change".... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lambert on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:42:01 AM EST
    ... people didn't realize that he meant "small change."

    Center (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:40:08 AM EST
    One big move Obama could make to improve my opinion of him would be for him to stop allowing the right wingers to define the center!

    What was it Garth used to say? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by lambert on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    Yeah, and weasels might fly out of my butt?

    monkeys :) (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by maladroit on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:56:46 PM EST
    RE: you weren't listening (none / 0) (#91)
    by Bornagaindem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:23:12 PM EST
    you weren't listening then because Obama RAN on the platform that both parties were to blame for the deadlock in Washington and the only way you fix that and "work " together is to move even more right than we are already!

    Not so much a move to the center (5.00 / 7) (#18)
    by Lysis on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:47:15 AM EST
    As a game of hopscotch, jumping from left to center to right, depending on the audience, making promises he has no intention of keeping.

    My issue with Obama isn't where he says he stands on the issues.   It's that his rhetoric doesn't match his actions.

    You can't promise to filibuster a law because you think it's unconstitutional then eventually vote for it unless you completely lack principles and an actual philosophy of government.  

    Or, we could drop all pretenses and just say it out loud: our nominee is a liar.

    He was for it and against it (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:00:09 AM EST
    Senator Obama voted for the FISA bill and voted against its filibuster--maybe that counts as centrist. He needs to get a new set of advisors, or at least pare the 300 down to 298, minus Nunn and Boren--two over-the-hill Republicans masquerading as conservative Democrats.  In retrospect, maybe Senator Obama's inglorious discarding of Reverend Wright was a mistake, on balance, Jeremiah Wright seemed to ground him in progressive thinking, if we could only overlook the Reverend's freaked out final performances.

    did he really go with 300? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:03:11 AM EST
    That's unfortunate.  Easy to parody.  Everyone get a cape and speedo thong?

    That's 300 Just for Foreign Policy (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by The Maven on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:40:52 PM EST
    This figure was reported in the New York Times on Friday:
    Behind the e-mail messages [daily briefings and suggested Q&A's] is a tight-knit group of aides supported by a huge 300-person foreign policy campaign bureaucracy, organized like a mini State Department, to assist a candidate whose limited national security experience remains a concern to many voters.

    "It is unwieldy, no question," said Denis McDonough, 38, Mr. Obama's top foreign policy aide, speaking of an infrastructure that has been divided into 20 teams based on regions and issues, and that has recently absorbed, with some tensions, the top foreign policy advisers from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign. "But an administration is unwieldy, too. We also know that it's messier when you don't get as much information as you can."

    While it's certainly better to have many advisers rather than just a single, possibly misguided, voice, the potential cacaphony here is a recipe for paralysis.  Of course, Obama has always claimed that his superior judgment will carry him through these thickets, but we've not yet really seen evidence of that.

    To be completely fair. . . (none / 0) (#70)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:43:13 PM EST
    the article did indicate that many of the advisers are ignored -- or, at least, that they have no idea whatsoever what happens to the analysis they pass up the chain of command.

    For comparison, McCain's foreign policy team is said to be 75 people.


    Yes, But There Is Also a Danger (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by The Maven on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:59:37 PM EST
    in having advisers who are seemingly routinely ignored (or at least feel as if that's the case).  That can prove to be a breeding ground for internal discontent and leaks designed to make others within the campaign look bad.

    I wouldn't suggest that Obama have only a handful of foreign policy advisers, but I probably would imagine that McCain's team is likely closer to an ideal level -- not that his advisers would be saying things of which I'd approve.

    The mere fact that this article was written on the eve of Obama's world tour came across (to me, at least) as a reinforcement of the frame that Obama still needs extensive schooling on foreign policy and that his knowledge is deficient there when compared against McCain.  This isn't necessarily fair or accurate, but it plays into the public perceptions that Obama is perhaps a neophyte in dealing with global issues.


    Quality or Quantity? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:51:15 PM EST
    Senator Obama is wise to a have broadly-based foreign (or domestic) policy council.  However, some thought might be given to not only the quantity, but also, the quality of its members.  Just stringing a long laundry list of advisors together can be interpreted as being collegial or as being in need of schooling. If there are any, so called, core principles floating around on foreign and security affairs, then a diverse yet focused group of advisors should be invited to the party. And, recruitment should rely on criteria such as ideas and knowledge consistent with the core principles as well as a track record of getting things right.

    I think most people would agree that (5.00 / 8) (#20)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:49:22 AM EST
    we don't necessarily get what we want just by demanding it, that a certain amount of cooperation and compromise is part of a winning strategy, but what seems to be missing with Obama, for me, is being able to establish what the actual goals are, and using cooperation and compromise to move the opposition ever closer to where we, as Democrats and progressives, want to be, and believe we need to be.

    What I see, instead, is Obama using those tools to get farther away from Democratic goals - he's sweet-talking the right in order to get elected, but that doesn't get him closer to achieving a progressive agenda - the only way those people stick with him as he begins to govern is if he stays more on their side of the argument.

    And then there are those Blue Dog Democrats in Congress...what role will they play in an Obama administration?  Will they be part of moving the agenda more to the right, as well, or will there be any attempt on Obama's part to bring them more to the left?  A more solidly positioned Blue Dog coalition is not going to help the progressive agenda one iota.

    The questions I end up asking are, will he then be attempting to bring us over to that more conservative position, or will he end up being able to please no one, have no solid base of support, and end up paralyzed and unable to move in any direction?

    His inability to draw any lines that cannot be blurred or nuanced or re-drawn is not, to me, indicative of someone who in comfortable in the center - it is indicative of someone who believes that it isn't the message that is important, it is the messenger.  This is about him, not about us.

    And that does not, for me, bode well for the future.

    of course it's about HIM - not us (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by Josey on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    This is clearly seen in the retaliation to AA U.S. reps that find themselves with Dem challengers because they didn't initially jump on the Obama bandwagon.
    It was "all about Obama" when the candidate rolled out his "presidential seal" and later sought to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate.
    Obama allows his hubris to surpass basic wisdom and judgment.

    Even though I've read this sentiment: (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:10:42 AM EST
    it isn't the message that is important, it is the messenger.  This is about him, not about us.

    quite a bit during the past several months, that was never the issue I had with him.  I never thought he was the most experienced and qualified candidate.  He never seemed to have the knowledge-at-his-fingertips quality that Clinton does.  She really did get stronger and more credible as the primary wore on.

    Larry above points out that people were fooling themselves about Obama's "change" nonsense, but this is exactly why some of them voted for him in the primaries!  Obviously, they hoped he would do something about the issues they felt were important without pinning him down on his plans.  It sounded good to them in the early going, but then the glow faded.  By the time voters caught on, and they did, it was too late.

    We're left with a candidate that leaves many of us cold, unimpressed, and bored, to say the least.  He's not winning us over.  Just the opposite.


    when you start your negotiatoin (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by TimNCGuy on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:11:58 PM EST
    with the far right by being in center, you have no where to go but to the right.

    Obama's starting point might be where he wants to end up, but that's not how compromise and negotiation work.


    Obama supporters (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by Josey on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 10:57:11 AM EST
    defend Obama's centrism after spending most of the primary bashing Hillary for her DLC affiliation, although Obama was to the right of Hillary on many issues.
    And Obamabots consistently claimed Bill Clinton's centrism "destroyed" the Democratic Party.

    yes, big lesson of this election (5.00 / 9) (#29)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:04:01 AM EST
    Past Clinton/DLC centrism was bad (so bad that an entire internet cottage industry was set up to crash that gate), yet Obama's current centrism is good, inevitable, and completely understandable. Same with the congressional dems elected via the 50-state strategy.

    So now that the gate's been crashed and they're inside the gate, the contents inside are the same as they ever were. What's the accomplishment?

    What does it mean? Is centrism simply inevitable?


    Centrism is not bad (5.00 / 10) (#43)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:37:37 AM EST
    It can be a winning strategy to start wherever the voters are and move them in the progressive direction. But the center is not where Nancy Pelosi (or Barack Obama) thinks it is.  The leadership is out of touch, I think, with the movement of the center of the electorate.

    The center is not in the middle between the most extreme left and right.  It's wherever the mass of the voters are. I believe that mass of voters has moved to the left over the past twenty-five years. The politicans need to catch up, move left themselves, and indeed get to the head of the pack so they can take the country in a better direction.

    But that would require new thinking, a change of view. And I don't think the Dem leadership has it in them.


    OK, so... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:25:57 PM EST
    if the center is currently fairly progressive, and if the progressive netroots set out to crash the gate of DLC centrism, attainment of progressive candidates and policy should have been easy. Why then, are we now in status quo centrism, with the netroots going happily along?

    It's not just that the dem leadership hasn't changed, it's that the progressive movement is enabling the status quo. But why?


    From what I've seen (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:12:24 PM EST
    of the Netroots, they weren't real progressives to begin with and don't seem to have a principled core.

    Quite a while ago someone here compared them to those giant schools of little fish you see on nature documentaries, where the whole school twitches one way and then the other over and over.  So a switch to centrism, whatever that means, isn't a problem.

    If you start from prinicple and move from there to practicality, you may end up in the center or close to the center.  But that's a slower process and far different from switching on dime to the speech of the day, whatever that may be.


    so, in other words, (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:33:34 PM EST
    instead of Netroots Nation, it should be Sheeple Nation? Or SheepleNet?



    yeah, (none / 0) (#71)
    by Nettle on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:46:37 PM EST
    that's what Ronnie Cummins sez.  

    I think because many of the netroot (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by splashy on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:43:09 PM EST
    Leaders are former Republicans - Kos, Huffington, for instance - so they don't understand real progressivism or centrism since they are coming from the right. They think that moderate rightists are centrists.

    Or maybe they saw the writing on the wall and decided to get ahead of the progressive movement to prevent it from swinging as far to the left as it should have in reaction to the horrible ways of the right. As I see it, they may have effectively put the brakes on real reform, by doing their best to keep Clinton from getting in. She would really put in some liberal/progressive policies, and they didn't want that, as far as I can tell.


    So at the same time that (5.00 / 9) (#26)
    by misspeach2008 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:02:15 AM EST
    places like Politico are saying that the Clinton supporters who said that Obama wasn't what his supporters thought he was were right, Don Fowler and Alice Germond are sending nasty-grams to Hillary's supporters telling them or get on board with Obama or else? The DNC needs to back off if they can't back down. And have we heard from Senator Obama about the HHS proposal to equate contraception with abortion yet? Have I missed it?

    He was in a red state that day ;) (5.00 / 7) (#34)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:11:25 AM EST
    But it looks like Hillary's going to stay on top of it

    Will it be considered traitorous ... (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by davnee on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:37:36 AM EST
    ... to demand Obama take a stand on this?  After all, we can't have him actually standing up for women's rights when there is an election to be won right?  But I'm sure we'll be told to have faith as we hold our fire like good little girls, that Obama the Great will take care of it once he's elected.

    We have said it before (5.00 / 9) (#41)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:33:18 AM EST
    and will have to say it again:  Obama is not going to be good for women's rights.

    No, he has said not a thing about the rights of the majority of the population in this country.   He's too busy running around other countries, trying to build a resume that makes him look like he has the command to be the Commander in Chief.

    It's all about wars again, except for the war on women.  That will continue, of course, but I think it more likely now that we will lose even more.  It could have been otherwise. . . .


    I agree. women's rights are but fluff on his (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by laurie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:54:27 PM EST
    shoulder. However what worries me a lot is his attitude to Pakistan. Does anyone know anything about that?

    i am afraid that many will (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:12:43 PM EST
    have to experince serious loses of some sort before they realize that electing a president is not an american idol contest. most posters here have decided views but they tend to be better informed that the great majority of voters.

    Or Else What? (none / 0) (#39)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    Don Fowler and Alice Germond are sending nasty-grams to Hillary's supporters telling them or get on board with Obama or else?
    Weren't they Clinton superdels. until they decided to up and hand Obama undeserved delegates at the DC meeting?

    Anyway, I've noticed that Politico's also flip-flopping on how its covering Obama/McCain and the issues.

    The "analysis" articles it puts out masked as hard-news (which Yahoo! often picks up and splashes on its main page) are pretty pathetic and poorly researched. I tend to think it's the platform for their editorial staff to share their opinions and bloviate like the pundits they really are -- not journalists.


    No.... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:44:42 AM EST
    Fowler had declared for Clinton, but Germond is lying about being a Clinton supporter.  The only candidate she has endorsed at any point in this primary season is Barack Obama -- and her voting record on the RBC has been identical to Donna Braziles....

    Thanks for the info, P.L.! (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:55:33 AM EST
    Good to know where she stands. So if she held out till the last minute to endorse a candidate, she really has no business to say anything then, huh?

    But I guess that, in her mind, gives her the right to lecture a big part of the 18 million people who did not see any Presidential qualities.

    Shame on Fowler then!


    The original nasty-gram was posted on Kos (5.00 / 7) (#66)
    by Valhalla on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:26:36 PM EST
    and the comments, even if they hadn't been CDS-infused, are sad and naive.

    Fowler and Germond aren't trying to communicate with Clinton's big donors (who the email was aimed at).

    They're trying to rile the troops.  The DNC's still using the same playbook but the arena has changed.  Obama never did so well in the polls as when he was running against Clinton and it was a big beat the b*tch competition.  And now Obama's stagnant in the polls and the usual rah-rah hopey-changey stuff isn't working.

    They can't ressurrect the anti-Clinton fever against Clinton directly because she's now 'unified' (ok, yeah, whatever).  But they can take aim at her supporters.  

    They're trying to be Caesar exhorting the troops before the big battle, except Fowler is no Caesar, the troops aren't and never were real warriors, and the Gauls here are like 'ok, whatever, still not votin' for ya'.

    But it worked as far as the netroots going bananas.  It's just that no one's listening anymore.


    huh? (5.00 / 8) (#44)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:42:43 AM EST
    But those believers have misunderstood the roots of their candidate's broad appeal: Far from an abrupt general election shift, Obama's steady centrism has been the secret to his success.

    I hate to break it to this guy, but Obama's appeal wasn't at all broad --- and his "success" was built on the enthusiasm of of "true believers" in caucus states who saw Obama as anything BUT a centrist, and overwhelming support of African American voters in a slew of primary states.

    you say caucus, we say optics... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Nettle on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:53:03 PM EST
    One way was building support through huge, early rallies. "Those rallies were very important for optics," Hildebrand said, and also "for building a really serious online network."

    ...that would pound hundreds of thousands of dollars into the astroturf campaign that he's best at conducting.  That's all Hildebrand knows.
    And from reading the New Yorker piece on Obama's Chicago politicking (yes, that one) he's of the same flavor.  


    I think the thing that just makes me crazy (5.00 / 9) (#48)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:01:33 PM EST
    is that I don't know of another time when the country was so ripe for what has traditionally been the Democratic agenda and platform.  When over 80% of the country think we're moving in the wrong direction, you seize on that mindset and you offer something starkly different.

    No kidding. (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:05:21 PM EST
    Makes you wonder even more about the motives of the democratic leadership, doesn't it.



    I think they just wanted more (none / 0) (#72)
    by laurie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:47:41 PM EST
    "do-nothingness". Just ladling out the gravy in various post-partisan subtle nuances.

    Motives, no. (none / 0) (#82)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:44:36 PM EST
    Values, yes....makes you wonder.

    Their motives are reelection and adding to the majority for protection.

    To do what?

    No one knows any more.

    No one knows who these 'Democrats' are or what they really think or want...not for sure, anyway.

    Evidence is mounting, though, that we are miles from any progressive leadership on the horizon...not in the House, the Senate or in our probably nominee for the WH.

    The real progressives, the real leaders with experience and moxie and identifiable values are on the sidelines now...Hillary, Al Gore, Bill...

    What a stupid people we are...


    RE makes me crazy too (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Bornagaindem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:40:06 PM EST
    Yeah that is my real worry if Obama wins. He doesn't want universal single payer health care or the other parts of the traditional democratic (can anyone say campaign finance reform) agenda and so we help elect a DINO. I don't understand how that does us any good.

    Every opportunity is lost with this guy because he already started out at the center.


    Was never a progressive (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by koshembos on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:06:35 PM EST
    Obama was never a progressive and Kos and Josh weren't either. Dropping of the poor and blue color worker could have been visible to everyone reading TPM way back. Very few posters, e.g. Elizabeth Warren and Nathan Newman, ever dealt with the poor and unions. The majority were mainly Bush bashers Forgein policy people. The Netroots voted for the non-Hillary, for the regular reasons and because Bill's poor roots. All the post-partisanship was just garbage. Democracy is about parties and about disagreement. The only places were everyone thinks alike are dictatorships and the MSM.

    Koshembos' remarks are on point (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:37:01 PM EST
    Thank you Kosembo. While there is no way of proving what you said about the real nature of some who decided to use the term "progressive," I have wondered for some time whether these "progressives" were anything other than neo-Dems.  It is the obvious lack of appreciation for the battles of the first half of the twentieth century that defined American liberalism that gives them away.  Specifically, the apparent disdain that some in that category of "progressive" have shown toward hard working, blue-collar, not-so-highly-(book)educated Americans suggests how close some of the would-be progressives are to classic Republicans.  Look, I opposed the Iraq war months before it started (and even coordinated a peace conference in Denver to oppose what was obviously coming); but, I also strongly support a restructured health care system, the rights of unions, the social security system, etc.  I know, appreciate, and support what the Democratic Party has represented for most of my life and before.  What some of these "progressives" support may have a lot to do only with who they are--limited in time, space, and dimension.

    The Neocons were (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Grace on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:17:06 PM EST
    "new politics."  They were the "New Conservatives."  

    Look where they put the Republican party.

    That should have been a warning to Democrats that old politics were perfectly fine in an election year.  People tried the "new" version of politics eight years ago and ended up hating it.  

    the point is they don't care.(dems) (2.00 / 0) (#125)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:53:33 PM EST
    they including obama don't care what we think. they want out votes, our money and then shut up. all the red flags are there! what are we getting? is the danger of voting for an unknown worth it? those are some things to seriously consider before voting.

    Wrong material (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Prabhata on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:48:39 PM EST
    Holding Obama to some policy now will not in any way change who he is.  One only have to look at Obama's over 100 "present" votes to recognize what he is made of.  Obama embraced the same policies Clinton espouses so that he would have "the same on policies as Clinton".  Obama does not embrace policies that he believes in, but in policies he can sell for the moment.  Obama voted for the FISA bill because he never had it in his belly to fight for the Bill of Rights.  Obama does not have a record of consistently fighting for anything.  Anybody who supports Obama has to recognize who Obama is and either accept it or move on.  Cynthia McKinney anyone? That's a person with credentials.

    Why? (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    I think that a legitimate observation.  Think.  What does voting present mean?

    1.  That he waits for a better writing of the bill
    2.  That he doesn't want to make waves
    3.  That he doesn't want to offend; as the Presidential maybe
    4.  That he is following orders from someone else
    5.  That he sincerely does not know and needs more information.

    Take your pick.  It's called scrutinizing a candidate and too bad it was not done.

    I don't think these are McCain talking points.  There are, in my opinion, what a good Democrat wants to know.

    dissatisfaction with Obama (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:23:17 PM EST
    equals McCain talking points for some. Has ever been thus.

    You Are Clearly An Exception (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:28:42 PM EST
    As you have clearly stated. But there are many here who appear to be campaigning for McSame, either passively or actively.

    At what point, considering that there are only two viable parties, does someone who only bashes Obama, become a McSame shill?


    I just think it's irrelevant and silly (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:41:43 PM EST
    Disagree with opinions, fine. But name-calling and accusations are boring and unproductive IMO. I know plenty of McCain supporters in real life and we are perfectly capable of engaging in debate without name-calling.  I also don't see the point of requiring disclosure of what candidate someone is supporting. We're supposed to better than republicans in this way.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:22:29 PM EST
    it just this week we were admonished NOT to inquire how others will vote?

    Yes, and that's a good rule IMO (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:30:28 PM EST
    Nor should we heckle people about whom they are supporting, nor assume we know whom they are supporting IMO.

    What fun would that be? (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:34:36 PM EST
    lol (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:35:49 PM EST
    Good one.

    Only two major parties does not mean (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:12:06 PM EST
    only two choices for the public.

    But you just keep on keeping on with your narrow and rigid worldview -- and with calling people shills, trolls, and all of your appellations here, Squeaks.  


    Not Automatic Followers (5.00 / 5) (#111)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:44:26 PM EST
    Just because Obama's got a (D) after his name doesn't mean we all have to automatically line up behind him like good party followers. Those days are long over.

    I'd suggest you stop labeling everyone who doesn't subscribe to the Obama Bible of Hope and Change as a "McSame shill." And seriously, McSame? Are you 12?


    You Are Misrepresenting The Facts (1.00 / 2) (#115)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:53:55 PM EST
    But knock yourself out, seems like you are having frothy fun with making extreme statements full of hyperbole.

    CLONED (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:38:29 PM EST
    Obama is OUR reaction to eight years of new politics gone bad. The total irony is that he's  a clone of our outgoing President.
    The grandstanding is the same.

    Stoned (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jondee on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:46:00 PM EST
    A "clone of our outgoing President"? What are you smoking?

    Writing on the Wall (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by fctchekr on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:40:05 PM EST
    Bush was a reaction to 8 years of Clinton, and the scandals; Obama is a reaction to eight horrific years of Bush. What's intriguing is Obama camp cloned the Rovian change agent schitk, RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES, and people like you, I guess, didn't and don't see it.  

    Obama is a fraud. (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by AX10 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:58:30 PM EST
    He ran on mere slogans and had a compliant media to boot.
    The nutroots (as they should be called) are earily silent on the matter of Mr. Obama's changing of his stances.  It should be apparent that the only thing the left wing had in them was pure hatred of Hillary and Bill.  Meaning that they would back anyone who was not Hillary or Bill in order to get rid of them.

    It seemed to me (none / 0) (#120)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:03:47 PM EST
    that the "left wing" had been completely taken over by the "right wing."  

    FISA was not a surprise (5.00 / 5) (#112)
    by Prabhata on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 04:46:30 PM EST
    BTD, if one looks at the candidate with open eyes, one can see the person.  What they stand for.  That's why I always go back to the over 100 "present" votes from Obama, his credentials, his accomplishments, his friends and his church.  Hillary fights for issues she believes in. But I know Obama won't fight for anything because he doesn't believe in anything.  That's the difference.  Hillary was not my ideal candidate, but she was darn close, and despite her flaws, she beats McCain, as the latest Ras poll confirms.  For all his flaws, McCain is a better candidate than Obama.  His policies are awful, but he fights for stuff he believes in.

    BTD, I'm glad you recognize that Obama is not a good candidate.  A little late, but I'm glad you see it.

    I'm not your "pal." (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:37:11 PM EST

    Left + Right = Zero (none / 0) (#67)
    by Exeter on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:29:51 PM EST
    And the idea of doing a bait and switch, ala Clinton in '93 (running as a centrist and then trying to governn from the left), would only contribute to another 1994.  

    he has? (none / 0) (#76)
    by cpinva on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    He's been a bridge-builder all his life, first between black and white, and now between left and right.

    i believe that's a kind way of saying he changes position to suit the moment, not that he's actually accomplished anything of substance.

    but hey, that's just cynical old me!

    between white and black? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Chisoxy on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:08:25 PM EST
    I didnt realize he had single handedly solved racial injustice/intolerance in America.

    But he will. Didn't you hear the speech? (none / 0) (#92)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:23:13 PM EST
    well, not quite single handedly (none / 0) (#96)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:32:38 PM EST
    He had a lot of help for Rev. Wright.

    Here on the south side of Chicago, all races live in unparalleled harmony.


    Mrs (1.00 / 1) (#99)
    by jondee on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:37:51 PM EST
    It Takes an Obliterated Village helping to make her friends from Bentonville the No 1 employer here in NY state was certainly doing something. Thats a trick worthy of Copperfield or David Blaine -- minus the harmless illusion aspect.

    Get a life. (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:46:54 PM EST
    It must be sooooooooo easy to blame someone else for NYS's troubles.

    I grew up in WNY.  My hometown is a resort, a very successful one.

    You're uninformed about the problems.


    The areas (none / 0) (#124)
    by pie on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:50:57 PM EST
    around my hometown are stagnant.  

    RE: pre zygote presidential candidate (none / 0) (#103)
    by Bornagaindem on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 03:51:48 PM EST
    He's been a bridge-builder all his life, first between black and white, and now between left and right.

    So does that mean that he was running for president even when he was just an egg and a sperm?

    So - how do we do it? (none / 0) (#119)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:57:13 PM EST
    I agree with this completely:

    " In many ways, (Obama) is the most typical of pols - acting only when forced to by political exigencies. The task now is to pressure him to pander to what you want."

    So - what do we get?
    One by one his supporters say, gee we're upset with what you're doing - we'll work for you and vote for you anyway. Won't you kindly give us a listen? Don't get mad. It's just that, golly, we really kinda like civil liberties,  but - not don't get upset, we'll vote for you anyway...thanks for listening and letting one of your people give a Papal wave in our direction as your limo speeds off...

    This is the sort of pressure our side is exerting on Obama.

    we are told "be nice" and vote for the (5.00 / 4) (#126)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 07:06:25 PM EST
    guy with the d before his name. ok, what have the democrats done to deserve the vote? what? they ignore the problems and give more time to corporations than us. then we are told by obama supporters that we are shills, trolls and secret mccain supporters. all this does is drive us further away from ever voting for obama. gee you know in america it is our right to ask questions, disagree and vote for the politican we wish. i am beginning to see that many so called progressives are no different than the ones they have been criticizing.

    Like I said, it's getting old. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 09:41:52 PM EST