Friday, July 04, 2008

Obama certainly is the candidate of change

...the candidate of the change of mind.

I don’t think that always sticking to one's original position is necessarily a virtue. Circumstances change or one gets new information. I have changed my mind on several important issues over the years.

Some years ago, I was a global warming skeptic but as I studied the issue and gained more knowledge I began to accept the prevailing scientific opinion. Now, I think global warming may be the most important issue we face and think we must develop polices that address it.

I was once a supporter of isolating and punishing Cuba, but that was when Cuba was a client state of the Soviet Union. Circumstances changed and I think we should change our policy. I see our current policy as irrational and counterproductive

I once helped mount a local campaign to stop a one-cent sales tax on gasoline; now I favor a nationwide carbon tax. So, I am certainly tolerant of those who change their mind.

I understand that a campaign to get your party’s nomination is a different campaign and a different audience than the general election campaign to win the office. Candidates often move toward the center in the general election. Obama, however, must be setting a new record for rapid change of positions. He is making a radical transformation before our very eyes.

Quite frankly, I like the new Obama much, much better than I liked the old Obama. If Obama would only “clarify” and “refine” his position on national health care, I might even be able to vote for him. I might be able to bring myself to vote for him if I could believe him. I am just not sure the new Obama is the real Obama. Would the real Obama please stand up?

On the FISA compromise bill, which would give the phone companies immunity for helping the government engage in illegal wiretapping, he did a complete reversal. Did he not once say that he would not support any retroactive immunity for the phone companies? He flip-flopped with this simple explanation: "My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people."

On Iraq, during the primary, it seems that Denise Kucinish, Bill Richardson and Barack Omaba were competing to see who could promise to get out of Iraq the fastest and damn the consequences. I seem to recall Obama saying something about being out within 16 months.

Recently he said, “I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed. And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

That is reassuring. That is reasonable. I was fearful he really meant he would have all troops out in 16 months.

On Iran, during the primary he certainly seemed to reassured war-weary, Bush-scared voters that he would never attack Iran. More recently he said the use of military force should not be taken off the table when dealing with Iran and he called Iran "a threat to all of us."

One of the biggest flip flops of all is his rejection of public campaign financing. His campaign’s claim that he does not need the public funding because he is racking in mass amounts of cash from small contributors is bogus. He is getting the corporate money and the funding from the well-connected. I am not a supporter of public campaign finance myself, so I don’t criticize him for opting out of public funding, but do not see how he can do it with a straight face. It is reassuring to see that Obama is not the Messiah, but just another lying politician.

He has also reversed his position and endorsed the Supreme Court rulings on the death penalty and gun control without adequate explanation. He has also said he would not only continue but would expand the Bush faith-based intuitive. And, during the primary wasn’t he saying something different about NAFTA than what he is saying now? Have you noticed that he has started wearing every politicians favorite fashion accessory, the flag lapel pin?

Obama has been able to do all this without apparently angering his most “progressive” supporters. Of course, they have no place to go. They are not going to vote for McCain and I don’t see them jumping on the Ralph Nader bandwagon. Still, they must feel betrayed. Don’t you know many of them are feeling like they should have went with their first instinct and voted for Kucinish? If you consider yourself a “progressive”, do you not feel betrayed?

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  1. You are a very untypical Republican. I thought the "Head in the sand" over global warming was compulsory, and your ideas on Cuba would be heresy amongst the Repubs I talk to. Interesting stuff. As far as Obama is concerned, no surprise whatsoever. I was predicting a complete about turn on Iraq as soon as he was nominated, and although i think the Iraq war is illegal, I can't see a time scale of 16 months for withdrawal, or any timetable at the moment to be realistic. Its pretty obvious that as Obama was campaigning he was picking up more finacial backing than Hilary. Where from? Capitalists who he was telling "Don't worry- its business as usual."

  2. I saw this while looking for "Obama & change" pics, now that he enrolled God in fighting Climate Change. "On his second inauguration, Obama said the U.S. must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in order to "preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared." The planet has not been warming for the past 15 years, wind and solar power have been proven to increase CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2012 in Germany, CO2 follows global temperature changes rather than leading them (and perhaps causing them) and please enjoy the balmy interglacial that we have been in for the past 11,000 years. I am afraid the carbon tax is coming, a victory for Germans who need to regain competitiveness. Nothing to do with climate. A tax is a tax.