Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama Picks Up the Pace

Barack Obama isn’t exactly coming down from a high plateau. Except for Joe Biden (Obama’s Secretary of State?) and, of course, Hillary Clinton, he was the most right wing Democratic contender from the get go. He managed to win the nomination without doing much to placate voters to his left; after all, once it became a Hillary v. Obama contest, why bother! Then, with the nomination secure, he predictably slouched even more to the right, as I’ve indicated in recent postings. Now, just three weeks after dispatching the Hillary threat, he’s picking up the pace.

His first major flip flop of the past few days, turning down public financing, was probably inevitable, given how much money he has already raised “privately.” But abasing himself before Clinton “bundlers,” as he will at a fund raiser tonight in Washington, is a bit over the top; especially coming so soon. Has the man no shame! Read the reports this morning about how the Clintonite Obama is melding his campaign with the Clintonite Clinton’s. Apparently, it’s the Clinton Clintonites who find the process most unseemly. They should know – unseemliness is the virtue of a political orientation that sprang forth out of Ronald Reagan’s bowels and that, having prepared the way for George W. Bush, now proposes to continue his designs on the world in a more competent, and, as Bush the father would say, a “kinder, gentler” way.

Obama’s worst, and most revealing, flip flop is soon to come: he’ll vote to give telecom companies – not incidentally, heavy campaign contributors – retroactive immunity from law suits for illegal wiretaps ordered by the Bush administration, and he’ll support the other proposed “bi-partisan” changes to the FISA law. The Bush/Cheney government has been operating in blatant violation of the Constitution. What do Congressional Democrats propose to do about these “high crimes and misdemeanors”? They could accept their Constitutional responsibilities by impeaching Cheney and Bush. But not our Democrats! Rather, change the law Cheney and Bush have been violating – and make the changes retroactive. Obama used to oppose this, as any decent legislator would; now he’s for it. Surprise! Surprise!

On the war, on giving corporate America everything it wants, on disregarding the needs of the poor, on keeping organized labor down, on mollifying minorities without addressing their interests, Obama has never been anything but a mainstream (Clintonite, center-right) Democrat. Now it turns out he’s an enemy of American freedoms too – much like his co-thinker, Nancy Pelosi. Compared to John McCain’s Republicans, he’s still the lesser evil – but he’s pushing the limit, and he’s getting closer day by day to going over the edge.

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