Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama and the Supremes

Was it “bitterness” or crass opportunism that made Obama say that he has no problem with the latest from Clarence and the Supremes: their proclamation that the DC handgun ban is “unconstitutional”? This was a shameless flip flop for the candidate of “change we can believe in.” May Dick Cheney shoot him in the face for it!

Then there’s Obama’s flip flop on capital punishment. Well, perhaps not a flip flop, since he’s been equivocating on the death penalty for as long as he’s been in public life. But it is fair to say that once upon a time (until a few days ago), even relatively informed people assumed that, of course, Obama is a death penalty opponent who just didn’t want to make an issue of it (because of the way blood thirsty Republicans skewered Mike Dukakis on the issue). Perhaps so; it wouldn’t be the first time that Obama knows better than the positions he takes. As a state Senator in Illinois, he did work to limit, but not eliminate, capital punishment, and to make it more likely that the innocent don’t get killed. He certainly gave the impression, back then, that he’d do more, maybe even favor abolition, if the political climate was more propitious. In any case, when even the Supremes decided that it was “cruel and unusual” (unfortunately, not unusual enough) for the state of Louisiana to judicially murder someone found guilty of child rape, Obama thought it important to “disagree.” The candidate of change (of plus ça change…) is evidently not yet ready to lead the Home of the Brave into the middle of the twentieth century (according to the standards of our not very “civilized” world).

Remember how Bill Clinton interrupted campaigning in New Hampshire in 1992 so that, as Governor, he could go back to Arkansas to oversee the judicial murder of a retarded man, Ricky Ray Rector? No doubt, Obama now feels his pain.

Obama is also backtracking on renegotiating NAFTA, on corporate taxes and on increasing taxes on capital gains. Can backtracking on withdrawing from Iraq in sixteen, unconscionable months – Obama’s Pelosi-Reed style “anti-war” policy -- be far behind?

Not only is Barack Obama melding his campaign with Clinton’s; he’s morphing into her. My advice: unless you’re in need of a powerful emetic, don’t watch today’s spectacle in Unity, New Hampshire where the two of them (or are they now one super-individual entity?) will be campaigning together.

It is remarkable how, even in late June, we are already so deeply in the throes of trying times for lesser evilists. As well-meaning “liberals,” always ready to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, acquiesce, the situation will only get worse.

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