Dick Morris writes about the various reasons why Obama’s lead has shrunk and they all come back to one major point. He is a flip-flopper that makes Sen. Kerry look downright principled.
Obama has carried flip-flopping to new heights. In the space of a month and a half, this candidate — who we don’t really yet know very well — reversed or sharply modified his positions on at least eight key issues:
• After vowing to eschew private fundraising and take public financing, he has now refused public money.
• Once he threatened to filibuster a bill to protect telephone companies from liability for their cooperation with national security wiretaps; now he has voted for the legislation.
• Turning his back on a lifetime of support for gun control, he now recognizes a Second Amendment right to bear arms in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
• Formerly, he told the Israeli lobby that he favored an undivided Jerusalem. Now he says he didn’t mean it.
• From a 100 percent pro-choice position, he now has migrated to expressing doubts about allowing partial-birth abortions.
• For the first time, he now speaks highly of using church-based institutions to deliver public services to the poor.
• Having based his entire campaign on withdrawal from Iraq, he now pledges to consult with the military first.
• During the primary, he backed merit pay for teachers — but before the union a few weeks ago, he opposed it.
• After specifically saying in the primaries that he disagreed with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) proposal to impose Social Security taxes on income over $200,000 and wanted to tax all income, he has now adopted the Clinton position.
Obama’s breathtaking flips and flops are materially different from McCain’s. While McCain had opposed offshore oil drilling and now supports it, the facts have obviously changed. Obama’s shifts have nothing to do with altered circumstances, just a change in the political calendar.
As a candidate who was nominated to be a different kind of politician, Obama has set the bar pretty high. And, with his flipping and flopping, he is falling short, to the disillusionment of his more naïve supporters. One wag even called him the “black Bill Clinton,” a turnaround of the “first black president” moniker that had been pinned on Bill.
It all comes down to the simple fact that Obama has no record, no history, to judge him on these flip-flops.
On the other hand McCain has decades of crossing the aisle and making his base mad as hell, because of his principals. If he believes in it he does it. Consequences from his base be damned. While I disagree with him on much, this character trait is something I respect highly in both Bush and McCain.
Obama on the other hand will jettison a principal if it becomes inconvenient to his campaign. If it damages his chances at gaining power then he throws it into the trash bin. For Obama its easier to hold no position and create no controversy rather then taking a stand for what he believes in. Probably because he doesn’t believe in much other then blind ambition. Case in point, all those “present” votes.
Dick Morris then explains that McCain has risen in the polls due to the drilling issue. Everyone and their mother knows the environazi’s and Democrats have blocked drilling for years, and the consequences of that fact is that we are even more beholden to foreign oil then ever before.
The truth is that the Democrats put the need to mitigate climate change ahead of the imperative of holding down gasoline prices at the pump. If there was ever a fault line between elitist and populist approaches to a problem, this is it. In fact, liberals basically don’t see much wrong with $5 gas. Many have been urging a tax to achieve precisely this level, just like Europe has done for decades.
Obama said that he was unhappy that there was not a period of “gradual adjustment” to the high prices, but seems to shed few tears over the current levels. After all, if your imperative is climate change, a high gas price is worth 10 times a ratified Kyoto treaty in bringing about change.
McCain is capitalizing on this fact.
Want to guess what the next flip-flop from Obama will be?