June 27, 2008

Krauthammer frets about Obama's flipflops.

Here. Every single one of those flipflops has been an improvement, in my opinion, so am I supposed to reject Obama for flipflopping? I voted for Obama in the Wisconsin primary in part because I predicted he'd turn out to be flexible and pragmatic. I do agree with Krauthammer that it's funny the way the people who fell for the Obama of the primaries — who, unlike me, actually liked those positions he was taking — are letting him get away with the flipflop. I suppose, just as I convinced myself that the real Obama was not the one I was seeing back then, they are convincing themselves that the real Obama is not the one they are seeing now.

And this is funny (from Best of the Web):
Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC are in the midst of a bitter feud....

At issue is Barack Obama's flip-flop on legislation currently pending that would update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act....

In January, Greenwald reports, Olbermann delivered an unhinged rant in which he called the immunity provision a "shameless, breathless, literally textbook example of fascism"--and in case you thought he meant the nongenocidal Italian kind, he also likened proponents of immunity to "the bureaucrats of the Third Reich."...

Olbermann... rails against "fascism," then yields to it in the name of political expediency. Obama does the same thing in a more soothing manner.
Greenwald, on the other hand, is consistent (-ly wrong).

78 comments:

Father Martin Fox said...

I read Krauthammer not "fretting" but mocking, which is fair game, seems to me, under the circumstances.

Those who are most fretful about Obama ought to take consolation--as much as they love to hate Clinton, the fact is Clinton did not govern as the leftie they feared in 1992, and in his years, conservative policy advanced in many ways far better (usually despite him, but so what?) than before, or since. Both at the federal level, but even more at the state. Clinton himself got on board when it suited him.

So maybe Obama will do the same? That's should be reason for righties to take consolation, as opposed to the second-coming of Henry Wallace.

garage mahal said...

So you admit both Obama and Olbermann yielded to political expediency, Greenwald points it out, but he consistently wrong? That makes alot of sense.

P. Rich said...

Feelers will always rationalize their emotion-based choices. It's how they live. What's a "feeler" you ask, most likely if you are not one. Well, here are a couple of categorical choices:

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

Three principle modalities, one of which is kinesthetic (feeling). Those are the folks who begin sentences inappropriately with, "I feel that..."

Myers-Briggs Type Index (MBTI)

XXFX types, F - Feeling. (The other third-place indicator is T - Thinkin.) Males test out 35% F, females 75%. That works out to roughly 55% of the total population. It's a good thing many F-types exhibit only a mild preference. Otherwise we might all be in really big trouble, huh Pookie.

LutherM said...

It's all very fine to claim that the Obama flip-flops are improvements, that Barack is bright, and "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
The problem, however, is that the Democrat candidate is showing that he will say or do anything that is helpful in winning - and his only "principle" he has revealed is "Image is Everything", just like Slick Willie without the womanizing.

No, Father, Barack won't be another Henry Wallace. Obama is brighter, but has a hell of a lot less experience.
While he wants the job, it looks like we are about to send a boy to do a man's job.

But your reference to second coming was interesting, because the current status can be described as:

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. "

dbp said...

The flipflopping does present us with a problem: Which is the real Obama, the doctrinare progressive of the primaries or the moderate now?

If he always just does whatever is popular, we (as a nation) could do worse. though he might just flop back to his progressive side once safely in the White House--that would be a problem.

With Obama this is a huge unknown: Does he try to stay popular or does he push through a lot of change? These options are pretty much opposites, so it is a complete crap-shoot as to what he will end up doing. With McCain, he is well known and thus largely predictable.

John Lynch said...

I figure that we're getting a Clinton without getting a Clinton. That's fine with me.

Seneca the Younger said...

My problem with Obama's "flexibility and pragmatism" is that it's so hard to tell it from simply lying about his actual positions.

Perhaps worse, he may be so flexible and pragmatic that he doesn't actually have any opinions of his own, except for "I really want to be President."

Doyle said...

What? You're going to butcher the quote like that? Taranto writes that Greenwald is consistent, and you a) make it look like you're the one saying it and b) add the (-ly wrong) because you won't let the compliment stand.

Even James Taranto, the black heart of the WSJ op-ed page, gives Greenwald credit here. You're just being petty because he made fun of your ignorant op-ed... which you later admitted was ignorant.

SteveR said...

No matter which way you turn a "flip flop" it doesn't turn into good footwear.

As for Greenwald and Olbermann, they deserve eachother.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann said... I supposed, just as I convinced myself that the real Obama was not the one I was seeing back then, they are convincing themselves that the real Obama is not the one they are seeing now.


I think you need to consider that your candidate will say anything or disavow anybody (grandma, friends, associates, etc) to get elected.

If there is a "Real" Obama, wouldn;t it more likely be the 90's or pre-running Obama that was tight with terrorists, wanted to ban guns, allow babies born in botched abortions to die, and was ranked most liberal in the Senate. It was later that he started flip flopping. go back to say 2000 for his true opinions.

Consider McCain who last year when campaigning for the surge said: "I'd rather we win the war than be President".

Ask yourself, which you want to make the tough decisions needed to keep us safe.

Doyle said...

It's going to be fun watching Republicans trot out the "flip flop" charge again. Uh, folks? Your candidate has undergone major, 180 degree changes of heart on taxes, immigration, the religious right, the wisdom of Iraq policy from 2003-2007, campaign finance law (he's breaking it, btw, which Obama is not doing), whether or not he wanted to be a Democrat's vice president... etc. etc.

Obama said he would take public financing and then saying he wouldn't once he started raising huge sums of money? An obvious reversal that no sensible undecided voter is going to be too broken up about.

But by all means, have at it with the flip flops and the windsurfing jokes. Don't let the calendar stop you.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

Great Krauthammer line.

former law student said...

In Hawaii they call them "slippers."

Chicago Tribune | March 30, 2007

By Maurice Possley

LOS ANGELES -- Barack Obama's interest in political activism took root at Occidental College, a small liberal arts institution in this city's hilly Eagle Rock section.

He was barely 18 when he arrived in 1979, a kid from Hawaii who still called himself Barry.

...
[Classmate Kenneth] was struck by the clarity and conciseness of Obama's mind. "I would take down everything the professor said and dissect it 12 times," Sulzer said. "Barry printed his notes. And it was very short. Probably just one long paragraph."

Another classmate, Amiekoleh "Kim" Kimbrew of Los Angeles, recalled Obama striding across campus in flip-flops.

"He was very popular," she said. "There were rumors that he was a Hawaiian prince. ... He was kind of flirty, but he wasn't a player."

Ann Althouse said...

garage mahal said..."So you admit both Obama and Olbermann yielded to political expediency, Greenwald points it out, but he consistently wrong? That makes alot of sense."

Uh, yeah. It makes "alot" of sense. You just need to think about it more. D. But you can have a rewrite.

Original Mike said...

A Doyle and an hdhouse sighting all in one day. Hmmmmm?

Doyle said...

I've been banned. Ann's policy is to erase my comments on sight.

Strangely enough it related to Greenwald. I was pointing out that she ended up saying herself that she wasn't familiar with the FISA case that she wrote a NYT op-ed about. That op-ed was the occasion for Greenwald's scathing criticism of her for which Ann has never forgiven him.

Her raging insecurity also compelled her to erase my comments. Because I'm in "bad faith" which seems to mean I don't like her. Guilty!

I await digital execution, ma'am.

Richard said...

"I voted for Obama in the Wisconsin primary in part because I predicted he'd turn out to be flexible and pragmatic."

Ouch, Ann. You just made my shit list, under the heading "Ditzy Blondes."

Revenant said...

I've been banned.

So why are you still here? It is bad manners.

Doyle said...

Well I haven't been for a very long time.

And by banned I meant that Ann said she would summarily delete anything I wrote. Why she hasn't done so you'd have to ask her. Either it's the technical hassle or deep down she appreciates the criticism. My guess is the former.

John Stodder said...

I think you need to consider that your candidate will say anything or disavow anybody (grandma, friends, associates, etc) to get elected.

And I think you need to consider that to one degree or another, every president in our lifetimes, going back to FDR was also willing to say anything and disavow anybody to get elected, and that the characterization also applies to John McCain.

Presidential candidates usually have a specific core belief they won't compromise. Everything else is negotiable. For McCain, it's national security. For Obama, I think it's a belief in his own capabilities -- his sensibility. That sounds kind of egotistical but it was the driver for good presidents like FDR as well as bad ones like Jimmy Carter.

Ger said...

AA says:

"Greenwald, on the other hand, is consistent (-ly wrong)."

The notoriously thin skinned Divine Miss A has had a long time passion for dissing Greenwald. Not sure why but she has said many scurrilous things about him in the past few years.

I'm a Greenwald fan, have bought all his books, and donated money to his blog in his pre-Salon days. And I appreciate the service he provides even when I don't always agree with him.

And he does provide a service, unlike some who just provide snark.

Not that I'm totally against snark. Just saying.

Revenant said...

and that the characterization also applies to John McCain.

I wish it applied to John McCain. He's still supporting the ANWR drilling ban, the McCain-Feingold free speech restrictions, and immigration "reform". If he'd flip-flop a little more, I'd consider voting for him.

Beth said...

And I think you need to consider that to one degree or another, every president in our lifetimes, going back to FDR was also willing to say anything and disavow anybody to get elected, and that the characterization also applies to John McCain.

John, I agree entirely. Sometimes I worry about being too cynical, but I've accepted this truth and as a result, I no longer fall for candidates. I vote, but without a lot of enthusiasm. And that doesn't bother me. I'm not looking for a spiritual experience.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dick said...

I disagree to an extent. There are some core beliefs that the candidate will not bend. We have seen those from McCain. We have not seen any from Obama. The way he is flipflopping he will at some point agree with whatever you want but what are the core beliefs and how will he handle them. No way of knowing with this guy.

John Stodder said...

I'm not looking for a spiritual experience.

Magic and superstition are profoundly undemocratic.

The more Obama campaigns as, and is covered as, the rock star, the less likely it is I'll vote for him. I don't want the kind of blind loyalty shown to medieval kings Bowiesque supermen to be part of our body politic. The media is doing him no favors by avoiding asking him hard questions. It will bring out a backlash by Reeps, Dems and Indies who want something resembling a republic to survive the hero-worship.

He's still supporting the ANWR drilling ban, the McCain-Feingold free speech restrictions, and immigration "reform". If he'd flip-flop a little more, I'd consider voting for him.

I believe each of those positions represents a flop in mid-flip. Depending on the polls, the price of oil and Obama's campaign contributions, McCain conceivably could abandon all three.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"Every single one of those flipflops has been an improvement, in my opinion, so am I supposed to reject Obama for flipflopping?"

No: you're supposed to reject him because he isn't trustworthy. Whether what he claims his position is today is better or worse than what he claimed was his position last week isn't the issue. The issue is whether you can possibly trust the veracity of someone who has shown again and again that anything he says has a shelf life limited to its political utility. There's a critical difference between pragmatic flexibility and opportunism. There is a great deal to be said about a politician who changes his mind when the facts change, to paraphrase Keynes, but very little to be said for the politician who has no rudder and goes wherever his instincts tell him the winds of public opinion are blowing today.

Simon said...

Ger said...
"I'm a Greenwald fan, have bought all his books, and donated money to his blog in his pre-Salon days. And I appreciate the service he provides even when I don't always agree with him."

It's true that Greenwald provides an invaluable service. Someone has to be the biggest cunt on the face of the planet, and as long as he's drawing breath, no one else has to do it.

rhhardin said...

Give the candidates a dog to train, is my suggestion.

Good character will out.

birdie bob said...

Althouse,

As I've said before, Obama is an "empty suit" spouting empty platitudes just like a teenager at any Boys State convention. That's not sufficient for the President of the United States. Are you not bothered by Krauthammer's conclusion (which,IMHO, is correct)?: Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

Revenant said...

Depending on the polls, the price of oil and Obama's campaign contributions, McCain conceivably could abandon all three.

A week ago, I paid $4.79 a gallon to gas up my car. That same week, McCain reiterated his total opposition to ANWR drilling and compared it to drilling in the Grand Canyon. This week, he complained that his immigration reform plan (i.e., the amnesty) had been shot down and promised to revisit it. He also confirmed his continued support for McCain-Feingold.

McCain cannot go from "that's like drilling in the Grand Canyon!" to "let's drill!" without looking like a complete idiot. If he abandons McCain-Feingold he faces lots of juicy Obama ads featuring McCain *himself* equating opposition to his bill with corruption. And as for immigration reform, well, after a year of pretty much the entire party loathing his position on it, why the hell would he change his mind *now*? He's not going to switch his positions on those issues. I dearly wish he would, but it just isn't reasonable to think he will at this point.

Obama, on the other hand... well, if I'm going to be stuck with a left-wing empty suit as President, I'd rather it be a left-wing empty suit who is willing to abandon any and all principles when pressured to do so. So in a sense, I'd prefer Obama to McCain.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"McCain cannot go from 'that's like drilling in the Grand Canyon!' to 'let's drill!' without looking like a complete idiot."

He can say "I was wrong. The facts have changed, and so I've changed my mind." That would be acceptable. As I said in my comment above, it's reasonable to say that changed facts have required a new approach, or that you have reconsidered, you now believe that you were wrong, and that you are now urging policy X instead of policy Y. What you can't do is flip-flop. Flip flopping isn't changing your mind, it's changing your mind because of the political utility of doing so.

Revenant said...

He can say "I was wrong. The facts have changed, and so I've changed my mind." That would be acceptable.

What facts are going to change in the next five months that will let him get away with that? He doesn't have a fawning press to cover for him anymore, the way Obama does. What's he going to say, that at $4.85 a gallon it was like drilling in the Grand Canyon, but at $5.00 a gallon it is a good idea?

Let's face it, it almost takes an act of God to get McCain to abandon one of his contrarian positions. And I'm an atheist.

Paul Zrimsek said...

So why didn't you vote for Kerry in 2004? He was more flexible than Gumby.

Paul Zrimsek said...

McCain cannot go from "that's like drilling in the Grand Canyon!" to "let's drill!" without looking like a complete idiot.

That's sort of a special case; he can't go on saying "that's like drilling in the Grand Canyon!" without looking like a complete idiot either.

reader_iam said...

Oh, Althouse, when I read about the feud last night, I laughed harder than I had in a while. Marvelous! I'm now chuckling anews. Nice to know that, though it's rare anymore, "the internets" can still make my day.

Palladian said...

"So why didn't you vote for Kerry in 2004? He was more flexible than Gumby."

He wasn't as dreamy as Obama.

Ger said...

Simon says:

Put your hands on your hips.

Ooops...wrong Simon.

Here it is:

"It's true that Greenwald provides an invaluable service. Someone has to be the biggest cunt on the face of the planet, and as long as he's drawing breath, no one else has to do it"

Golly, just a few days ago in another thread here someone made the comment that one would only find hateful personal comments on angry left wing sites.

Now, sentient beings realized at the time that such a statement was totally whack and Simons example proves the fallacy of such thinking.

kengoodsmith said...

Ann: You worry me. A bright, educated person so caught up in the idea of electing a minority president that you ignore his policy decisions. Now, you say that you like the way he's changed positions, but do you seriously think this is anything other than the typical "run to the center" of every Democratic nominee? If he"s bambozzled you, we are doomed.

Revenant said...

So why didn't you vote for Kerry in 2004?

If Kerry was on fire, I wouldn't pee on him to put him out.

Revenant said...

That's sort of a special case; he can't go on saying "that's like drilling in the Grand Canyon!" without looking like a complete idiot either.

Protecting ANWR is sort of inherently idiotic. But a lot of people think it is a good idea, and to those people comparing it to another treasured national park isn't necessarily ridiculous.

Revenant said...

Golly, just a few days ago in another thread here someone made the comment that one would only find hateful personal comments on angry left wing sites.

That was indeed a silly thing to say, but the specific claim was that only lefties trash the recently dead. Greenwald isn't dead, at least not from the neck down.

AJ Lynch said...

Hey Ann:
You can rationalize your support for Obama all you want and his convenient changes in policy. I was in Pittsburgh for a few days and always read a local paper when I am away. Check out this letter from Friday's Post Gazette. I know it may be phony. If it is not phony but is an indicator of how Americans are taking Obama's "flip flops", Obama is in trouble!

Here is the letter:

"This isn't change...
Even though I am a registered Republican, I worked very diligently on Barack Obama's primary campaign here in Ohio and then crossed the border to volunteer during his three-week Pennsylvania primary effort. I considered myself to be someone who was committed to his election as president this fall. But after reading who is serving on his "new national security advisory group," I feel like I have been duped ("Obama Convenes Security Panel," June 19).

With so many former, recycled Clinton advisers, I can't help but wonder if I supported the wrong candidate. Perhaps we should have stayed with the Clintons. Are there no new faces in this arena? Is this the best Mr. Obama can do? I understand that many voters credit the Clintons with a peaceful end to the last century, but I blame their lack of an appropriate response to any of the numerous terrorist attacks under their watch for the tragedy that befell us on 9/11. The problem I have is that although we will have a clear choice between two very different options this fall, both approaches have failed us as a nation. Where are the new ideas? Where is the change?

Going back to the 1990s isn't change in my book. I have to reconsider my support of the Obama candidacy. I honestly believe we would be better off with John McCain's promise of a forceful response, over the nonresponse of the last administration. I am extremely disappointed."

TIM WAGNER
Youngstown, Ohio

AJ Lynch said...

Actually the letter I posted had little to do with Obama's "flipflops" but I am sure you got my drift that the bloom is off the rose except for supporters like Ann who perform Olympic-level mental gymnastics to splain why Obama and his changes are signs of superior political calculations versus ill-prepared candidate who needs to work harder at role playing in policy discussions.

Daryl said...

You're drinking the kool-aid, Althouse, if you think he's moderate and flexible.

The Kos kidz are correct: he's lying to voters now just to win the election, and once he gets into office, you'll see that he's an unreconstructed socialist at heart. The man is a creature of the far left. A few flip-flops now doesn't change anything.

The man is a liar. How can you be so confident that, deep down, he really agrees with you, and he's just lying to those other dopes? He's a liar. He's lying to you--except it's not really lying if his intentions are plain to see, and you just let yourself be led astray because that's the way you want it.

former law student said...

Ann: You worry me. A bright, educated person so caught up in the idea of electing a minority president that you ignore his policy decisions.

Is this guy talking about Bizarro-Ann? Then his message should read more like "Me am worried. Ann love minority president idea. Ann ignore Bizarrobama policy decisions."

rightwingprof said...

I have no problem with changing one's mind. I do, however, have a problem with lying, as Obama does every time he changes, and saying, "I never said that."

Lying is not flip-flopping. Lying is lying. Obama is a liar, unsurprising, given that he's just one more corrupt Chicago politician.

Cedarford said...

Simon - It's true that Greenwald provides an invaluable service. Someone has to be the biggest cunt on the face of the planet, and as long as he's drawing breath, no one else has to do it.

Bwaaahhhh!

And as minor league ex-sportscaster Olbermann is the biggest dickhead on cable, perhaps the cunt and the dickhead belong together.

knoxwhirled said...

What a great thread. Anything that can get Simon to say "cunt" has to go down in the record books.

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that characterization of Greenwald, but here's an instance where I'm egging him on. Love, love, love to see these two duke it out. I'm seeing the fight scene from "Bridget Jones' Diary."

knoxwhirled said...

Presidential candidates usually have a specific core belief they won't compromise. Everything else is negotiable. For McCain, it's national security.

I hope so.

Every candidate flip-flops to some extent, that doesn't bother me. (It's not what bothered me about Kerry.) What does bother me about Obama is the personal relationships he's exploited or ditched for the sake of his image. That's not flip-flopping, that's creepy.

knoxwhirled said...

fight scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u8d55hP2E8

EnigmatiCore said...

"I suppose, just as I convinced myself that the real Obama was not the one I was seeing back then, they are convincing themselves that the real Obama is not the one they are seeing now."

I think that those who see Obama as a doctrinaire liberal are on more solid footing. Why?

1) Because that is how he has acted in his legislative experience to date,
2) Because that is more in keeping with the people he had originally surrounded himself,
3) Because that is still more in keeping with the people he has around himself,
4) Because some of his recent pragmatism is merely stating he does not like certain SCOTUS decisions, while he campaigns saying he'll appoint judges like Stevens and Ginsburg, who took exactly the opposite positions than Obama is claiming to want.
5) Because, if elected, he will have a liberal Congress pulling him in that direction, if he's not pulling them that way.

latino said...

Ann is in the tank for Obama and will rationalize away every phony, dishonest move he makes. He has a core value: he wants power.

Aloysius said...

Flip flopping is what we expect from people that actually have no character or values except the expedient. Of course liberals support it. It is what they are.

smacklin said...

New Obama campaign graphic

http://nomayo.mu.nu/presidential_graphics

K T Cat said...

Ann, for your own sake, stay away from carnivals. Those games that make it look like you can win the stuffed animal are rigged against you.

Sort of like when you believe that Obama's changes in positions represent a movement closer to your own.

RJ said...

Of course he'll lie about what he believes in order to get elected. That doesn't mean he won't fall right back into his default positions once he's in office. Also, think about who he will be working with. The ability to bend with the prevailing wind might be useful if the opposing party was in office, but in fact, Congress will be more liberal than ever, and the leadership will be the same leadership we've had since 2006. Do you really want to watch as Obama the little reed bends to whatever positions Pelosi and Reid demand? Do you really want a CINC who is so easily manipulated by the prevailing mood and events?

Peg C. said...

Certain flipflops only make sense. But with Obama, I have lost all respect for those who still support him in the face of non-stop flipflops and the sheer idiocies that spew from his mouth. C'mon Ann, you are way smarter than that, or should be.

Craig said...

... and after Obama is elected, what kind of pragmatism and flexibility will Ann see then?

This isn't sensible analysis becoming of a law professor: it's wishing upon a star.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Ann, what do you foresee as Obama's postition on Iraq, Iran, and rules against possession of illegal drugs? Should we know what the positions of N. Auchi, an Iraqi billionare, are as a guide to Obama's Middle East postions? Do you really think all his promised social spending is going to aid African Americans participate in the economy. What percent of African Americans receive Social Security disability now; will that be higher at the end of Obama's first term?

Richard Dolan said...

As Rev. Wright said, there is a sense in which O's changes of position only shows that O is doing what politicians do. And his reasons are the usual politician-reasons -- mostly, expediency and self-interest. If any of this showed mere pragmatism, if all it showed was that O is a politician like most others, it would be the kind of so-what Ann suggests.

What is most troubling about O is not the change of positions (although it does make it hard to know what, exactly, his "change" will look like if elected). Instead, with O, the only thing that really grabs his interest is himself. It's just always about him. He strikes me as the most self-absorbed politician we've seen in a long time. Given the egotistical nature of that class, that's quite an accomplishment. Carter is the only prior president who strikes me as similar in that regard. Carter packaged the whole thing in Southern Baptist self-righteousness. O tends to use the more PC packaging of racial grievance, very subtly played. ("You know the Reps will say that I'm young and inexperienced, and by the way, have you noticed that he's black?"). But I think the results, in terms of an effective administration, will be like Carter's: when things go wrong, and they always do at some point, O will mostly be looking for others to blame, and (predictably) it will all be because they noticed "he's black."

It's hard to see that as a reason to look forward to a Team O! presidency.

Hucbald said...

So, you voted for a cipher. That's the kind of judgement I've come to expect from lawyers, so I'm not surprised. I guess after being indoctrinated and brainwashed by a law school, there isn't much chance of maintaining a rational grip on anything.

Ken said...

Obama is a blank slate or an empty suit. His supporters simply project their vision onto that slate. You will all be disappointed because at his core he's simply a corrupt Chicago politician with a golden tongue.

kurtisfechtmeyer said...

There is a difference between pragmatic and flexible and politically expedient. What difference does it make if he SAYS he agrees with Heller and disagrees with the child rape decision, yet he VOTES against the confirmation of Justice Roberts. Flip flop is less an issue than dishonesty and the compliant press that lets him off the hook. I think the Kozkids will stay with Obama, because they, like me, believe he'll say whatever it takes to get elected, yet once in power with a Democratic Congress, he'll follow the liberal/left party line.

JAL said...

Holy cow, Ann. Projecting on that white board, maybe?

One's core philosphy towards babies who live after abortion (let 'em die), right to possess firearms (nope), racism (huh?), etc. doesn't change over night, based on some current news event. (If it does, especially with such regularity, you have someone with an identity disorder.)

Looking at Obama's record as a "community organizer" (WTHIT?), legislator, and board member (Annenburg? Joyce, anyone?) indicates someone who is firmly "progressive" in all its socialist and negative permutations.

Pragmatism is one thing. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Expediency is a different flavor, but this raw sense of entitlement to the office of the POTUS is not only not enough, it could be really bad -- and not just in a Jimmy Carter way. (Carter didn't have groupies willing to lie for him, or money from former terrorists behind him.)

Oh yeah -- then there's the sleazy money connections he doesn't remember. Alzheimers snuck up on Reagan *after* he left The White House.

Haven't you noticed how consistently Obama says he consistently said something that consistently no one else in the whole world heard or read? That's not cool. (Maybe he also lives in some parallel universe us underlings don't have access to?)

This should be harder to get away with in the days of the Internet and LexisNexis, that is if the adoring media would get off its duff. (But then they would be 'stuck' with McCain?)

Me -- I kind of like integrity and honesty as starters for character attributes in a president. Things I find disturbingly compromised with great regularity by Obama and his campaign. Oh yeah -- and humility. The real kind.

If you and the rest of the Obama supporters don't mind, there are a number of us out here for good reason who don't want The Prince (a la Machiavelli in his worst form) for president. You might want to reconsider.

Doyle said...

The hysteria level over here is higher than I'd hoped for.

Losing elections is like the weather. If you can't do anything to stop it, you might as well lay back and enjoy it.

Dudley Do-right said...

Every one of Obama's flip-flops have brought him closer to being a candidate I could be comfortable with. The question is whether:
1)the f-fs are purely for the purpose of garnering votes from the middle
2)the f-fs are for the purpose of giving Obama maneuvering room once in office
3)as he gets closer to real responsibility he's being jarred awake and recognizes that the lefty formulas simply won't work
4)he's still learning and, for the first time, is bringing reason to bear on the problems ahead
5)this is part of the grand design for his political career and he started on the left as that is the only place he could start but, all the while, his aim was centrist.

So the question is, as always, who is Obama?

Historically, it often takes a determined and noted warrior to make peace....because he brings his warlike followers with him to the peace table. Similarly, it often takes a leading peacemaker to make war. The effect on Olberman speaks to this.

Don Meaker said...

The problem I have with Democrats is their frequent resort to the lie with a wink and a nod. If Obama is not for restrictive gun control and campaign financing, then he is not for anything. Bill Clinton was opposed to welfare reform before he signed it and then, when it worked, claimed all credit for it. Kerry was for the war before he was against it. When Democrats tell the truth, we get the deep burials of Mondale and Dukakis.

Simon said...

RJ said...
"Of course he'll lie about what he believes in order to get elected. That doesn't mean he won't fall right back into his default positions once he's in office."

Of course, but that just begs the question. When he says something inconsistent with what he's said before, we're left to ponder: was he pandering then? Is he pandering now? Both? I suggest that it's pointless to play that game (and thus respetfully dissent from what I take to be Ann's position). Looking at what he has said is unavailing; that leaves us with the place it would have been better to begin in the first place: revealed preference. What has he done? That, too, is imperfect as an indicator of his real beliefs, but it is more reliable than parsing public statements.


Richard Dolan said...
"What is most troubling about O is not the change of positions (although it does make it hard to know what, exactly, his "change" will look like if elected). Instead, with O, the only thing that really grabs his interest is himself. It's just always about him. He strikes me as the most self-absorbed politician we've seen in a long time."

In December 2006, I noted that Peggy Noonan had already pegged Obama: with Obama's campaign, "mostly it seems to be about him, his sense of destiny, and his appreciation of his own particular gifts." I hate to say "I told you so," and I don't know about Noonan, but I've been waiting for everyone else to catch up to where I was a year and a half ago on Obama. Watching folks like David Brooks slowly waking up and realizing that they were conned almost makes up for the frustration of watching intelligent, respectable people falling for this crap in the first place.

"O[bama] tends to use the more PC packaging of racial grievance, very subtly played."

Last week on Steph, Donna Brazille said something to the effect of "of course race is going to be an issue in this campaign; sooner or later, the Republicans are going to play the race card." And I thought to myself: what a clueless statement. The race card has already been played in this race. Several times. By Obama and his surrogates. Remember when it came out that his pastor was rabidly anti-American? Obama scheduled a speech in Philly to explain himself, and lectured us on race. That race had nothing to do with the furore didn't matter: what mattered was that Obama needed an out, and the fastest way to distract a certain section of this country is to accuse them of racism, whereupon they will waste hours, days and weeks publicly defending themselves and privately agonizing over the question.

Seneca the Younger said...

No: you're supposed to reject him because he isn't trustworthy. Whether what he claims his position is today is better or worse than what he claimed was his position last week isn't the issue.

Which, by the way, is a key to understanding the distinction between some of our response to McCain's position changes versus Obama's. McCain believes strongly in immigration reform (one of those bipartisan positions that was common in the Democrat Party as well, until the wind shifted) and exposed himself to substantial political risk pushing for it; there are still plenty of people on the right who swear they won't vote for him no matter the consequences because of that. When that failed he dropped back to "protecting the borders first", and says so --- whether he's talking to Hispanics or CPAC. When oil was $50/bbl, he wasn't anxious to drill off the coasts but thought it should be the states's choice; at $150/bbl, he thinks it's important enough that it ought to be the states's choice, but was important enough the states ought to have incentives to approve it.

This is something qualitatively different from the overnight changes in obviously self-serving ways.

richard mcenroe said...

If Obama can't cling to a stated position when freaking bloggers yell at him, what are the chances he can stand up to Ahmedinajad?

If Obama finds these new positions acceptable, why did he run on the old ones?

If Obama finds his new positions acceptable, why did he cling to his old ones (and their unseemly associates) for so many years?

This man is like the onion-peeling scene in Peer Gynt. Peel away the masks, the poses, and the personae and there's nothing there.

Wheeler's said...

I have maintained all along that O!'s lack of graved-in-stone positions is a feature, not a bug.
O! has evolved to be the dominant life form in the political landscape. He is flexible, resilient, opportunistic and exploitive.

Obama is the top of the foodchain. Like a great white is a machine for eating, O! is an adaptive machine for harvesting votes.
Not Amorphous, but Proteus.
Form follows function.

and....we are all rubes, Ann.

richard mcenroe said...

"3)as he gets closer to real responsibility he's being jarred awake and recognizes that the lefty formulas simply won't work"

Dudley -- the man spent 20+ years in Wright's church. He learns nothing and believes less.

blake said...

Obama said he would take public financing and then saying he wouldn't once he started raising huge sums of money? An obvious reversal that no sensible undecided voter is going to be too broken up about.

I thought that too until I encountered people who were actually outraged! Surprising.

Losing elections is like the weather. If you can't do anything to stop it, you might as well lay back and enjoy it.

That's "rape", not "weather".

We should all recall that a year or so ago on this very blog, Hillary! was inevitable.

Of course, nothing is inevitable. Why W might just suspend the elections....

knoxwhirled said...

Why are so many people on this thread freaking out... Althouse has only stated about a million times that she is a liberal/moderate; it should be no surprise that there are things about Obama she likes.

Ralph said...

He strikes me as the most self-absorbed politician we've seen in a long time
Bill Clinton has earned that title, with Louis XIV a distant second.

Concerned Citizen said...

Obama doesn't make flip-flops, he makes outright lies. But not only is he a liar, like Hillary Clinton, he's a stupid liar - so easy to refute with honest research.

OBAMA’S LAUNDRY LIST OF LIES.
1.) Selma Got Me Born - LIAR, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 - Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965

2.) Father Was A Goat Herder - LIAR, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.

3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter - LIAR, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had

4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom - LIAR, your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya. It is the first widespread violence in decades.

5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian - LIAR, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn’t allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.

6.) My Name is African Swahili - LIAR, your name is Arabic and ‘Baraka’ (from which Barack came) means ‘blessed’ in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama.

7.) I Never Practiced Islam - LIAR, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years,until your wife made you change, so you could run for office. Besides, you have to be baptized in order to be a Christian.

8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian - LIAR, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book).

9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian - LIAR, not one teacher says you could speak the language.

10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia, I Have More Foreign Experience - LIAR, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn’t even speak the language. What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch cartoons.

11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs - LIAR, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.

12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion - LIAR, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify - your classmates said you were just fine.

13.)An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office - LIAR, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.

14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life - LIAR, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.

15.) I Won’t Run On A National Ticket In ‘08 - LIAR, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.

16.) Present Votes Are Common In Illinois - LIAR, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES.

17.) Oops, I Misvoted - LIAR, only when caught by church groups and democrats, did you beg to change your misvote.

18.) I Was A Professor Of Law - LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer - LIAR, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.

20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill - LIAR, you didn’t write it,introduce it, change it, or create it.

21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass - LIAR, it took just 14 days from start to finish.

22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill -LIAR, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation - mainly because of your Nuclear Donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came.

23.) I Have Released My State Records - LIAR, as of March, 2008, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within.

24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess - LIAR, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens. You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books.

25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America - LIAR, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill.

26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois - LIAR, your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part and even the Chicago Tribune called you spineless.

27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year - LIAR, they were not YOUR bills, but rather handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office.

28.) No One Contacted Canada About NAFTA - LIAR, the Candian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them.

29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism - LIAR, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction of Israel.

30.) I Am Not Acting As President Yet - LIAR, after the NAFTA Memo, a dead terrorist in the FARC, in Colombia, was found with a letter stating how you and he were working together on getting FARC recognized officially.

31.) I Didn’t Run Ads In Florida - LIAR, you allowed national ads to run 8-12 times per day for two weeks - and you still lost.

32.) I Won Michigan - LIAR, no you didn’t.

33.) I won Nevada - LIAR, no you did not.

34.) I Want All Votes To Count - LIAR, you said let the delegates decide.

35.) I Want Americans To Decide - LIAR, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time.

36.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate - LIAR, you passed 26, most of which you didn’t write yourself.

37.) My Campaign Was Extorted By A Friend - LIAR, that friend is threatening to sue if you do not stop saying this. Obama has stopped saying this.

38.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics - LIAR, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.

39.) I Don’t Take PAC Money - LIAR, you take loads of it.

40.) I don’t Have Lobbysists - LIAR, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.

41.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad - LIAR, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon.

42.) My Campaign Never Took Over MySpace - LIAR, Tom, who started MySpace issued a warning about this advertising to MySpace clients.

43.) I Inspire People With My Words - LIAR, you inspire people with other people’s words.

44.) I Have Passed Bills In The U.S. Senate - LIAR, you have passed A BILL in the U.S. Senate - for Africa, which shows YOUR priorities.

45.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq - LIAR, you weren’t in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time, unlike Kucinich, who seems to be out gutting you Obama. You also seem to be stepping back from your departure date - AGAIN.

46.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care - LIAR, your plan leaves us all to pay the 15,000,000 who don’t have to buy it.

47.) I Only Found Out About My Investment Conflicts Via Mail - LIAR, both companies you site as having sent you letters about this conflict have no record of any such letter ever being created or sent.

48.) I Am As Patriotic As Anyone - LIAR, you won’t wear a flag pin and you don’t put your hand over your heart during the Anthem.

49.) My Wife Didn’t Mean What She Said About Pride In Country - LIAR, your wife’s words follow lock-step in the vain of Wright and Farrahkan, in relation to their contempt and hatred of America.

50.) Wal-Mart Is A Company I Wouldn’t Support - LIAR, your wife has received nearly a quater of a million dollars through Treehouse, which is connected to Wal-Mart.

51.) Treehouse Is A Small Company - LIAR, the CEO of Treehouse last year, made more than the CEO of Wal-Mart, according to public records.

52.) University Of Chicago Hospital Pay Is Fair - LIAR, your wife’s pay raise was nearly 150% her already bloated rate and the hospital is a Non-Profit Hospital, which made $100,000,000 in the last 3 years. They overcharge blacks VS whites for services, and overcharge everyone in general by 538%!

53.)I Barely Know Rezko - Only 5 Billed Hours - LIAR, you have known him for 17 years, and decided to do a real estate deal with him during a time when he was proven to be under investigation. Despite this, you divided your property and had them take off $300K before the mortgage problems started. Then Rezko’s wife buys the lot beside it that you can’t afford, saving you $625,000. This is the same form of “honest graft” and preferential treatment that sent former Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to jail over 30 years ago, see United States v. Isaacs, 493 F.2d 1124 (7th Cir. 1974).

54.) My Donations Have Been Checked Thoroughly - LIAR, you only gave back Hsu ($72K) and Rezko ($150K) their money when publically called on their involvement in your campaigns.

55.) My Church Is Like Any Other Christian Church - LIAR, your church is so extreme, the pastor who married you, Rev. Wright, just got done blaming the US for 9/11 and named Louis Farrahkan their person of the year.

56.) I Disagree With My Church All The Time - LIAR, you still have yet to repudiate Wright, who married you and your wife, and you still donate large sums of money to assist the church in furthering its message - hatred and revenge. You donated in 2006 alone, $22,500 to the church that you so terribly disagree with. That is nearly $500 PER WEEK - that sure is disagreement, Senator Obama.

57.) I Have Clean Connections Despite Rezko - LIAR, you are not only connected to Exelon and Rezko, you are also connected to Hillary PAC supporter Mr. Hsu, AND an Iraqi Billionaire of ill repute, Nadhmi Auchi, who ripped off people in the Food For Oil, Iraqi deal. Seems Mr. Auchi may have helped Obama buy his million dollar property long before Obama had millions of dollars. Wonder what favors Mr. Auchi expects, when Obama leaves Iraq free to be taken over by special interests such as him.

58.) I Never Heard Sermons like Rev. Wright’s, that have been in videos all day, You Tube – LIAR, 3 days later during your Mea Culpa BS speech you said “Did I hear controversial statements while I sat in that church? Yes I did.”

59.) My Father had the opportunity to come to this country to go to college thanks to the Kennedys – LIAR, the program that you speak of was implimented years after your father’s arrival.

60) I went to Chicago after Harvard to work as an activist to help the poor – LIAR, you went to Chicago because you knew the majority of the residents were ignorant welfare poor who you could easily exploit in your climb to power and fortune.

61.) I never filled out that survey, an Aide did – LIAR, the survey that had your handwriting all over it showed you taking very extreme liberal positions on everything from gun control to abortion.

62.) I never helped campaign donors receive grants or state and federal funding – LIAR, you helped a donor receive state and federal grants for his Ping Pong company.

63.) I think FISA is Necessary – LIAR, You Were Against FISA and even Threatened to filibuster against it.

64.) I Think the Supreme Court Made a Mistake in Not Allowing the Death Penalty for Child Rapists – LIAR, You were against the death penalty in all cases, no matter how heinous.

65.) NAFTA should be eliminated or renegotiated – LIAR, after the primaries you now don’t think it such a bad thing, and during the primaries you sent a member of your staff to meet with Canadian authorities to tell them not to worry, you didn’t mean what you said.

66.) The Supreme Courts decision on the Second Amendment protects law abiding citizens – LIAR, you previously said you agreed with the D.C Gun Ban, which was in violation of the Second Ammendment

67.) In February You said “I’m in Favor of D.C School Vouchers” – LIAR, By June, after the teacher’s lobby convinced you to oppose it you told ABC News: "We don't have enough slots for every child to go into a parochial school or a private school. And what you would see is a huge drain of resources out of the public schools." Funny, you don’t see the hypocrisy of sending your own daughters to private schools or see it as a drain of resources for public schools.

68.) I Am For Decriminalizing Marijuana – LIAR, during the debates you raised your hand to agree with your fellow running mates that you opposed decriminalizing Marijuana.

69.) I Think That When Meeting with Our Enemies, such as Iran and North Korea, there should be conditions placed upon that meeting - LIAR, during the primaries you said you would unconditionally meet with all enemies of US.

70.) In Your Book, ‘Audacity of Hype’, You Said, "One of my favorite tasks of being a senator is hosting town hall meetings. I held thirty-nine of them my first year in the Senate, all across Illinois, in tiny rural towns like Anna and prosperous suburbs like Naperville, in back churches in the South Side and a college in Rock Island... For the next hour or so, I answer to the people who sent me to Washington... My time with them is like a dip in a cool stream. I feel cleansed afterward, glad for the work I have chosen." LIAR, guess you now like to feel dirty since you turned down John McCain’s invitation to travel across the country doing town hall meetings.

71.) I Agree with Welfare Reform – LIAR, When President Clinton was preparing to sign welfare reform into law you said it was ‘disturbing’

72.) Obama flip-flops on same sex marriage. Was for it before he was against it.

73.) Public Financing – You Reneged on Your Agreement with John McCain over Public Financing Saying “The System of Public Finance is Broken.” LIAR, In 2007 you challenged the Republican Presidential Candidates to accept public financing for the general election to end what you said were unfair campaign practices. But since you’re now outraising McCain 3-1 you no longer care if it’s unfair, as long as it’s unfair for your opponent and not yourself.

74.) Special Interest – Refering to John Edwards during the primaries You said: “John said yesterday he didn’t believe in these 527s.” Then you added, “You can’t say yesterday you don’t believe in it, and today three quarters of a million dollars is being spent for you.” – LIAR, Apparently You believe in what you chastised John Edwards for using otherwise you wouldn’t be doing business with numerous 527s, including Vote Hope, Powerpac.org., and Moveon.org.

75.) Cuba Embargo - “I Will Maintain the embargo,” You said to cheers from CANF members. – LIAR, During Your 2004 Senate campaign You declared that it was "time for us to end the embargo with Cuba.... It's time for us to acknowledge that that particular policy has failed."

76.) “Pulling Out of Iraq Will Depend on the Situation on the Ground.” – LIAR, During the primary you said ‘I opposed this war in 2002 and will end this war in 2009”.

77.) “What Senator McCain Went Through During His Years as a POW was Torment.” - LIAR, what Senator John McCain went through was torture and he has the physical disabilities to prove it.

78.)I’m Against the Mexican/American Border Fence. – LIAR, If you were so against it why did you vote for it?

79.) “I Support Israeli Control of Jerusalem.” – LIAR, A day after saying that you told an Arab audience that negotiators should work out the Jerusalem issue.

80.) It Was Wrong for Hilary Clinton to Vote to List Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a Terrorist Organization. – LIAR, You now support the definition.

81.) I’m Against Nuclear Power. – LIAR, you told Democratic governors You are open to expanding it.

82.) “My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s Army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka…” – LIAR, Your grandfather couldn’t have liberated Auschwitz since it was the Soviets who liberated that camp, unless of course, he was a member of the Soviet army; and no allied troops ever liberated Treblinka since it was closed and destroyed by the Germans in 1943.