Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Obama tilts to the right
We should expect no more, progressives.
Barack Obama, having all but secured the Democratic nomination by appealing to the zealous base of the party, now tacks right in the run up to the general election. A tried and true strategy that has the undeniable virtue of past success. (Remember how Junior ran in 2000 as a centrist?) But for progressives and liberals that are seeing red after seven and a half years of Bush lies and incompetence, the sops that Obama is throwing to the ignorant masses expose him as just another politician.
On Tuesday, Obama spoke in Zanesville, Ohio, about his plan to expand the efforts of the current administration to steer social service dollars to religious groups. You remember? Junior's "faith-based initiative." Obama went on about needing an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to fighting poverty, and dropped a few comments about doing "the Lord's work." This stuff is all aimed at those ignorant evangelicals who were taken in so badly by Junior in the 2004 election; the people who thought Junior was guided by God. Pure, unadulterated schlock.
Also, recently, Obama said he supports the new FISA bill before the Senate that would rewrite surveillance laws and grant immunity to telecommunications companies that helped Bush spy on American citizens without court approval. This is another sop, but it is unclear who it is intended to appease. There does not seem to be widespread public support for telecom immunity. Libertarians are up in arms about this. In fact the candidacy of Bob Barr is in large part a rejection of this very issue.
I resent Obama's recent right-leaning rhetoric. Progressives are enthusiastically behind him, or at least they have been up to now. And, while conservatives are not exactly thrilled about McCain, it is highly doubtful they will ever vote for any Democrat. The only result that Obama is likely to get from this wishy-washy rhetoric is a dampening of liberal enthusiasm toward his own candidacy.
The left is howling for blood now that the larger public has finally realized that Junior is nothing but a half-assed conman that has been facilitating corporate plunder of the commonwealth. It is this anger that Obama should be using to bludgeon McCain into smithereens; it is this wrath that he should ride like a cresting wave into the Oval Office.
Instead, he takes the "conciliatory" approach of compromise and surrender. But there is no compromising with Fascists like Bush and Cheney and the corporate monsters behind them.
Of course, in November, I will cast my vote for Obama. I'm a progressive, and Obama knows that progressives have no other choice. (Please....spare me the Ralph Nader crap!)
So, Obama blows a kiss to the cretins that got us into this huge mess, and lends them a sheen of validity. It might win him a mandate, but to me, it casts doubt on the idea that he could be a transitional leader. It dispels some of the hope I had that he might have the courage to demand sacrifice from the American people.
All is not lost, however. The real test will come after he takes the Oath of Office.