Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Latest Media Blind Spot: Viewing All Criticism of Obama Through a Right/Left Prism


Where are the examples of issues on which Obama has begun to disagree with himself? I have begun reading "The Audacity of Hope", and in the first 100 pages, I have found evidence that his "tacking to the center" (I welcome him here) actually occurred sometime before he wrote that book in 2006 -- not in the last month as many on both ends of the political spectrum have claimed.

The one true reversal, as far as I can tell, is his position on campaign finance. Had he not switched his strategy, I would have decided that indeed, he was much too naive to be president.

However smart, he is a politician after all and he is not infallible. I would have preferred if he had just come out to tell us that it'd be stupid to build the best fund-raising apparatus ever and then not use it. I would have preferred that he not suddenly switch his pronouns from "I" to "we" when discussing the folly of talking about an "undivided Jerusalem" at the AIPAC convention. I think he should have better qualified his criticism of NAFTA during the primary run. But I also think that those who claim he is shifting in the name of political expedience had misconceptions about who he is and has been from the start. I agree with Gail Collins when she wrote in her NY Times piece "The Audacity of Listening":

"You liked Barack because you thought he could get us past the old brain-dead politics, right? He talked -- and talked and talked -- about how there were going to be no more red states and blue states, how he was going to bring Americans together, including Republicans and Democrats.

Exactly where did everybody think this gathering was going to take place? Left field?
When an extremely intelligent politician tells you over and over and over that he is tired of the take-no-prisoners politics of the last several decades, that he is going to get things done and build a 'new consensus,' he is trying to explain that he is all about compromise."

Read the Article I'm responding to at HuffingtonPost

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