Friday, June 27, 2008

Sometimes I hate it when I'm right

Back in February, on the day of the Maryland Democratic Primary, I wrote this:
Watching the coverage makes me anxious. While Clinton's shown shaking hands with workers at the GM transmission plant, Obama's got crowds of young people waving signs and chanting. As Morra Aarons wites over at BlogHer:
Being a Hillary supporter is like being the person in the dorm who yells at her partying neighbors to shut up, because she's studying for a final exam. You know you have a good reason, but you’re a little annoyed at yourself for being such a pill.
I feel like a party pooper because I'm not shouting "Si, se puede!" But Senator Obama, se puede? Could I have some more details on how se puede?
At the time, many of my Obama supportin' friends (and I do have some diehards), thought I was being a stick in the mud by continually asking for more detail from Obama, and because I said my biggest concern about Obama was that we just don't know much about him -- not enough to know what he will do once in office.

And this week, Barack Obama has been very busy proving me right, crassly moving to the center on 3 important issues: gun control, death penalty, and FISA. Where is the "new" kind of politics? Where is the "Washington outsider"? Where is the man who spoke before thousands of adoring followers in Iowa and said:
Years from now, you'll look back and you'll say that this was the moment, this was the place where America remembered what it means to hope. For many months, we've been teased, even derided for talking about hope. But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.

It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it.
I thought that was too good to be true. I thought the Obama supporters were being naive to believe him when he said he would stand up and "fight for it." Now it turns out he's just another politician running for office, saying whatever he has to in order to get elected.

Crap. Sometimes I really hate it when I'm right.

Joel Stein of the LA Times received much grief for this characterization of Obama:
What the Cult of Obama doesn't realize is that he's a politician. Not a brave one taking risky positions like Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, but a mainstream one. He has not been firing up the Senate with stirring Cross-of-Gold-type speeches to end the war. He's a politician so soft and safe, Oprah likes him. There's talk about his charisma and good looks, but I know a nerd when I see one. The dude is Urkel with a better tailor.
So. What's next, Mr Mainstream Senator Obama?

14 comments:

Cootamundra W said...

It is Friday so I guess I can write this - it just means we'll have to start the jello shots early today...
So with Obama where is the CHANGE we can believe in? As you say - what he has done this week with gun control, the death penalty and FISA don't look any different to me than the same ol',same ol' #)*&.

ooooooooo! But I really like Joel Stein's characterization.
Ka-ZING!

Sue J said...

Cootamundra W., I "HOPE" we're not starting too early with the shots today, as Clinton and Obama will be appearing today in Unity, N.H., and there may be more shots to come ...

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Electorally speaking, his move to the center is probably a wise decision (as was his about-face on public financing). Nor should it be at all surprising (gee, a politician doing things out of political expediency - what a surprise). This, I'm saying, though I do understand your consternation.

Sue J said...

though I do understand your consternation.

I think I'm almost more upset with his longtime supporters for getting on his case about these typical politician calculated moves.

Aren't they upset with him?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Some of them are upset, I guess. More of them, though, are probably spinning.

donald said...

it is very typical while seeking your parties nomination, you play to the left if a democrat and play to the right if repulican. once nominated, you play to the middle, which is what will get you in the white house. every politican does it. even clinton did it, as would have hillary, if she would have won the nomination. he IS trying to get elected you know!

Sue J said...

he IS trying to get elected you know!

But Donald, the ponies! What about the free ponies he promised back in January?!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The saddest thing of all is that you have to pander to win. I wish it wasn't the case but it is. I site, specifically, 1992, Clinton vs. Tsongas. As for now, I hate to say it but Hillary's looking damn good.

Sue J said...

Why do you hate to say it, Will? I've been saying it for a long time now!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You were ahead of the curve, Sue. Obama is clearly showing his inexperience and McCain, he's clearly not the guy he was 6-8 years ago. We don't get do-overs, unfortunately.

Mauigirl said...

I was disappointed with Obama's positions on these issues this week but not that surprised. I have always known he is a politician... no one gets to where he's at without playing the game. I just hope he can play it well enough to win. Because even Obama going to the center is better than McCain going to the right...

Sue J said...

Mauigirl, I know. They're all politicians and politicians do what they need to to get in office.

I'm just so surprised that his young idealistic supporters are not calling him out on this. I checked in over at Americablog to see what's being discussed, and there was absolutely no posting on any of Obama's 3 moves to the right last week. So I guess they're just ignoring it.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

That's what Bill O'Reilly does, too. Whatever he can't explain, he ignores.

Mauigirl said...

Studies have shown that people excuse behavior in those whose side they're on, but not for those on the opposite side. This is a classic example.