July 10, 2008
Everything You Need To Know About Obama's So-Called Move To The Center
The Rude Pundit writes it so I don't have to (and it's a good thing because, a) I don't have the time and b) he's a far superior writer):
...Anyone who actually listened to Obama and read about his positions knew that he was, at best, slightly to the left of moderate (in today's right-warped political belief continuum). Those who believed he was a liberal savior were actually just reacting to the right wing's portrayal of him as "the mostest liberalest Senator" or some such shit, as in "Well, hell, if Bill O'Reilly says he's the mostest liberalest, then he's the candidate for me." We on the left often make this mistake: to see ourselves only as reflected in the conservative nutzoid mirror.But don't worry, The Rude One's not going to let Obama off the hook for his FISA vote:
(It's the same reason so many on the left romanticize the Clinton presidency. Jesus, back in 1996, when Clinton had triangulated himself to near-Reagan levels of corporate lackey-ism, the only reason the Rude Pundit voted at all was because of Supreme Court appointees.)
Barack Obama's reversal of his position on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was a craven, cowardly bullshit move that ought to haunt him with the left (and libertarian right) for the rest of the campaign. By voting for the bill yesterday (including voting for cloture), Obama made a mistake that is the political equivalent of Hillary Clinton's Iraq war vote. (They are not morally equivalent, since the dead would probably rather be alive and spied on.) And while there's no telling how Clinton would have voted had she been the nominee, just as there's no way to know how Obama would have voted on the war had he been in the Senate in 2002, the New York Senator was unencumbered and able to take the moral high ground and voted against the bill.And now for the payoff:
It wouldn't be so bad if Obama hadn't made an absolutely definitive statement about opposing any bill that contained immunity from civil lawsuits for telecommunications companies. But the bill did contain it. And he still voted for it. So he joined with other enabling Democrats to be like beaten dogs to their President-owner, hoping that Bush would praise them and pet them, even briefly. A proud, proud moment.
Ultimately, many of us who support Obama do so even if we know his flaws, even if our stomachs churn when he acts like another politician desperate to get elected. That's because, like Michael Moore pointed out, his movement is more important than he is. If he's bringing legions of new voters to the party, then that means big ass gains in Congress. It's a way of transitioning away from the enormous damage done to our America this century. It's gonna take time, probably a few presidents, to heal ourselves. This ain't about forgiving Obama or giving him a pass. If a President Obama does nothing else but get us out of Iraq, even if it takes more than 16 months, then that's a running start.Remember where our idealism got us in 2000, Ralph Nader voters?
Maybe the only way to achieve some ideals is to give up our idealism.