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Now that Barack Obama has captured the Democratic nomination, it appears his campaign has moved into Presidential Calculation Phase 2.0, Operation Win The General Election. Obama has taken more non-left wing positions in the last few weeks than he's taken in his entire previous political career. He angered liberals by reversing his stance on public campaign financing. He reversed his position against the FISA bill and supported it. He reversed his position on NAFTA, said his previous smoke on the issue was "overheated campaign rhetoric", and now supports it. He came out in opposition to a Supreme Court ruling that abolished the death penalty for child rapists, and now, he has even come out in opposition to the Fairness Doctrine. Is that the gnashing of liberal teeth I hear ?
"Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," [Obama's] press secretary Michael Ortiz said in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday. "He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible," Ortiz added. "That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets."
Holy Pelosi, Batman ! Is this a Democrat supporting democracy ? A Democrat supporting free speech ? Wow. They haven't done much of that lately. Of course, Obama's spokesman did say that stuff about network neutrality, public broadcasting, and minority ownership, so Obama doesn't support freedom THAT much, but it's still a giant step forward from the pro-Stalinist Pelosi position of reimposing the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle all those right-wing radio talk show hosts. You go, Barack ! Yes we can, er, I mean, good job.
Now try to remember the last time you heard a liberal come out in favor of the death penalty for ANY crime (other than the crime of being a Republican, that is). Yet, Obama favors the death penalty for child rapists, a stance that breaks with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court, who thought the death penalty for child rape was excessive and therefore unconstitutional. This was another of those 5-4 decisions, with the conservative wing of the Court voting that the death penalty was not unconstitutional for child rape. This is one of the times when I think the liberals got it right, because I believe the death penalty is only an appropriate and proportional punishment for the crime of murder. Obama has even veered to the right of me on this issue. Who woulda thunk it ? Oddly enough, Obama previously took a position against expanding the death penalty for gangbangers who DO murder people. I'd attempt to explain the contradiction to you, but I didn't attend Harvard, so it's beyond my capability. It's too nuanced for the likes of me.
On to Obama's reversal on the FISA bill. From the Washington Post:
The Illinois senator's reversal on the issue has angered liberal groups, but Obama told reporters at a news conference this afternoon that he was satisfied with changes made to the original bill, including a provision that gives a secret court, rather than the White House, the final say on spying procedures. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also switched sides on the legislation, for the same reasons as Obama.
"It is a close call for me," Obama told reporters. But he said the addition of the "exclusivity" provision giving power to the secret court, along with a new inspector general role and other oversight additions, "met my basic concerns." He said the bill's target should not be the phone companies' culpability, but "can we get to the bottom of what's taking place, and do we have safeguards?"
Most of the time, a decision that angers liberals groups is just fine with me, and this time is no different. Obama has the right concerns here. Oversight of the government's spying activities is the key. We don't want to handcuff ourselves in the fight against terrorism, but we do want to make sure the government doesn't exceed or abuse it's authority. I agree with Obama again (is this a sign of the apocalypse ???). Yes we ca.....never mind. I don't want to get carried away.
Now, if only somebody would teach Obama basic economics and convince him to stop trying to undermine the Iraq war when we're on the verge of victory...........
That would be change I could believe in.
And as long as Obama is making a right hand turn to sell himself to the general public, my estimation of him would increase greatly if he just admitted he was dead wrong about the Iraq surge.
But I won't be holding my breath. So far, the Obama spinmeisters have decided to flat out lie about that:
January 14, 2007: "We can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops: I don't know any expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground." - Barack Obama
July 20, 2007: "Here's what we know. The surge has not worked." - Barack Obama
May 30, 2008: "[Barack Obama] never disputed the fact that if you throw a surge of American soldiers in an area that you can make a difference." - David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager.
Finally, in the ultimate bow to mainstreaming, check out Obama's family values television ad. It's truly precious, complete with the flag pin and everything (and listen to the background music. If any of you are South Park fans, it's reminiscent of Mr. Tweek's Coffee Shop music, lol).
Didn't the old Obama say flag pins were phony expressions of patriotism ? America, meet the new and improved Barack Obama, Version 2.0.