Obama, the flip-flopper?

Is Obama a flip-flopper? Has he been shifting to the right since the end of the primaries?

Let's take a look at Obama's positions on the issues now and then.

Obama on faith-based initiatives, July 2008:"I still believe it's a good idea to have a partnership between the White House and grass-roots groups, both faith-based and secular."

"I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea - so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them - or against the people you hire - on the basis of their religion. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples and mosques can only be used on secular programs. And we'll also ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work."

http://www.truthout.org/article/obama-re name-bushs-faith-office

Obama on faith-based initiatives, January 2008:"No, I don't think so, because I am much more concerned with maintaining the line between church and state. And I believe that, for the most part, we can facilitate the excellent work that's done by faith-based institutions when it comes to substance abuse treatment or prison ministries.... I think much of this work can be done in a way that doesn't conflict with church and state. I think George Bush is less concerned about that."

"My general criteria is that if a congregation or a church or synagogue or a mosque or a temple wants to provide social services and use government funds, then they should be able to structure it in a way that all people are able to access those services and that we're not seeing government dollars used to proselytize."

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/228/story _22894_1.html

Obama on guns, June 2008:"Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today's ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

Obama said if elected president, he would uphold the rights of gun owners, but he said: "I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals."

http://cbs2chicago.com/politics/mccain.h andgun.ban.2.757688.html

Obama on guns, February 2008:"Because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country. I think it's important for us to recognize that we've got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of law-abiding citizens use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measure that I think respect the Second Amendment and people's traditions."

http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Bara ck_Obama_Gun_Control.htm

Obama on abortion, July 2008:"I have repeatedly said that I think it's entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don't think that "mental distress" qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions."

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life_art icle.php?id=7591

Obama on abortion, April 2008:"On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that."

http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack _Obama_Abortion.htm

Obama on Iraq, July 2008:"My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war -- responsibly, deliberately, but decisively. And I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring our troops out safely at a pace of one to two brigades a month, and again, that pace translates into having our combat troops out in 16 months' time."

http://www.endpoliticsasusual.com/2008/0 7/video-obama-on-iraq-it-needs-to-come-t o.html

Obama on Iraq, November 2007:"You know, John on this one I actually think has been either misinformed or isn't being entirely straight. I am committed to getting all of our combat troops out by 16 months. So he can say first year. I've said 16 months based on what the generals and commanders tell me can be done. And we are going to have still, I believe, the need to have some forces that are available to go after terrorist bases should they emerge in Iraq. Now if he doesn't think that's an important function, then I'm happy to have that debate. But be perfectly clear, I will bring this war to an end as quickly as can be done with the safety of the troops in mind, and my belief is that we can get that done in 16 months."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/onair/tra nscripts/071108_obama_barack.php

Obama on NAFTA, June 2008:"Obama says he believes in "opening up a dialogue" with trading partners Canada and Mexico "and figuring to how we can make this work for all people."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said that Obama-as the candidate noted in Fortune's interview-has not changed his core position on NAFTA, and that he has always said he would talk to the leaders of Canada and Mexico in an effort to include enforceable labor and environmental standards in the pact."

http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/18/magazine s/fortune/easton_obama.fortune/

Obama on NAFTA, September 2007:"Obama was also pressed on trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement. He said he disagrees with more liberal rivals such as Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who want to scrap the deal. A better approach is tougher enforcement of labor and environmental standards, he said."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/18 /ifortunei-article-selecti_n_107881.html ?view=print

Obama on the death penalty, June 2008:"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Mr. Obama said at a news conference. "I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that that does not violate our Constitution."

http://www.nysun.com/national/obama-crit icizes-supreme-court-death-penalty/80761 /

Obama on the death penalty, October 2006:"While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes--mass murder, the rape and murder of a child--so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment."

http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Bara ck_Obama_Crime.htm

So, Obama a flip-flopper? Give me a break. People who claim this never fully understood his stances on the issues or are too lazy to perform a proper Google search.

Tags: abortion, center, faith-based, Flip-Flop, guns, Iraq, issues, NAFTA, obama (all tags)

Comments

105 Comments

Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Good work.

by freedom78 2008-07-05 09:06AM | 0 recs
Good work? Show us his responses to the same

questions during the debates especially the one in Pennsylvania! How clever that you pick only the articles that prove your points when in fact we saw the literature and his tv ads here in Texas saying the exact opposite and let's not forget on his blog too!

by suzieg 2008-07-06 02:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Good work? Show us his responses to the same

Proof?

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-06 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

It is pretty easy to find Obama suggesting any of a number of positions on each of these issues. That is why he had the reputation in the primaries of being an "empty suit", he didn't take an identifiable position on important issues, he was all over the place.

All your quotes demonstrate is that if you look hard enough you can find Obama suggesting he agrees with you on whatever position you favor.

by souvarine 2008-07-05 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Just because Republicans and other Anti-Obama type folks like to call him an 'empty suit'....does not mean that that is his 'reputation'.....no matter how much you may wish it so.

I believe that the quotes used by the diarist are a fair and accurate representation of Obama's stances on the subjects presented. If, indeed, quotes to the contrary exist...why not present them?

by Kysen 2008-07-05 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Obama has to make the tough statements that people need to hear.

Like promising a "gas tax holiday."

by Bush Bites 2008-07-05 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Kysen is right on. McCain talking points. Very effective diary. Thanks for taking the time to defend our Candidate.

by Politicalslave 2008-07-05 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Ok, I challenge you to "look hard enough" and find a quote that he Right-wing will agree with.

It cannot be done because there is a complete disparity between Right-wing beliefs and Obama's.

And that is just fine with me.

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 09:24AM | 0 recs
by ChitownDenny 2008-07-05 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Look it's the article I already quoted in the OP.

Good job.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-05 11:20AM | 0 recs
Regardless, the point remains.

There is NOT a complete disparity between right-wing beliefs and Obama's beliefs.

by Montague 2008-07-05 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Regardless, the point remains.

Hiderated. Smearing the nominee.

by Lance Bryce 2008-07-05 04:38PM | 0 recs
WTF is wrong with you?

I do see from other threads that you are some newb trying to make trouble.  

What I said was no smear, it was simple truth - or perhaps not simple enough for you to understand.  

by Montague 2008-07-05 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF is wrong with you?

Yes, Obama is a right-winger. Thanks. That's a simple truth.

by Lance Bryce 2008-07-06 06:42AM | 0 recs
Do you need remedial English?

In NO way, shape or form did I call Obama a right-winger.

by Montague 2008-07-06 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?
Not hard to verify pandering to the right when a diarist sources such pandering.
Good job to you!
by ChitownDenny 2008-07-05 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

To be clear, please observe Barack' newly found constituency:

http://www.redstate.com/stories/election s/2008/in_praise_of_barack_obama

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-05 12:07PM | 0 recs
Bwahahahaha

Yeah, right.

But that doesn't mean that Obama should not be lauded for rejecting the extremism and the fanaticism of the worst elements of the Democratic base like NARAL, Emily's List, and Planned Parenthood.

LOL!

by skohayes 2008-07-05 02:51PM | 0 recs
by elie 2008-07-05 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Now comes to the moment that you actually prove he takes different positions on these issues.

The world awaits your evidence.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-05 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I'll be your Huckleberry...

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/02/10/re marks_of_senator_barack_obam_11.php

But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace.

-10 February 2007

"I've always said that the pace of our withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability"..."And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I'm sure I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies"

-4 July 2008

Senator Obama has serious concerns about many provisions in this bill, especially the provision on giving retroactive immunity to the telephone companies. He is hopeful that this bill can be improved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But if the bill comes to the Senate floor in its current form, he would support a filibuster of it.

- October 2007

This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses.

But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year.

The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once I'm sworn in as president -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok.   ...


-Barack Obama 3 July 2008

And the biggest of all when you take everything that is happening right now...

That is why this campaign can't only be about me. It must be about us - it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice - to push us forward when we're doing right, and to let us know when we're not. This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.

...then I'm ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you.

Or will this be the truth...

But too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.

All emphasis is mine...ask and you shall receive.

by TxDem08 2008-07-05 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?
HAH
The closest you came was on FISA, even then he never said he would filibuster the bill itself and even right now he opposes the immunity, but he backed away from a filibuster which he has explained himself on (whether we agree with him or not). Your Iraq troops quotes are no different that what he is saying right now, his argument always included the claim that Iraqis should take the helm on what they are going to do and about their divisions that feeds secetrain violence.
by Fistjab 2008-07-05 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

No, what you're missing in the kool-aid is that in his speech to announce for the Presidency, he is dead set on a plan and will force the Iraqi's to take control, b/c we're leaving, due to the fact that there is no military solution.  And staying there (besides a residual force) any longer is just wasting men and resources that could be used in the fight in Afghanistan and UBL.

Now, we're gonna talk to the generals on the ground, and "refine" our position, and delay the redeployment when circumstances dictate?  Who dictates, and what circumstances?  He is the NCA, and issues the orders to the Generals, that they carry out.  It's that simple.

On FISA, what's funny is that you forget one amusing little detail.  He opposed it then...but he "accepts" it now because of compromise.  He says it's flawed and it's not the way he would have drafted the bill.

But he is still a part of the UNITED STATES SENATE

He could draft a bill w/out the immunity and make a stand on the issue and unite the Party and show the independents and disaffected Republicans that he will actually stand on an issue and for something.

Yet, he won't do that, he won't even vote to fillibuster the bill.  He will give a half-hearted effort and vote to strip it out, and that will fail.  He will then cave and vote for the bil.

He was against it, before he was for it, before he was half against it.  And then he will be guilty of the same charge he leveled at Hillary Clinton for her AUMF vote in 2003.

Sometimes when you take the glasses off, you can actually see more clearly.

by TxDem08 2008-07-05 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Obama did not vote in favor of cloture, so he did support the filibuster.

And Obama has always maintained that he'd consult with generals about how many troops would stay behind to protect the American embassy and train Iraqi soldiers. Your own quotations prove that.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-06 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

First of all I should be more clear, Obama was always a moderate to conservative Democrat. I don't characterize his current positions as flip-flops, but rather as a revealing of the positions his primary campaign may have obscured.

Separation of Church and State. In the YouTube debate Stephen Marsh, an atheist, asked "Am I wrong in fearing a Democratic administration that may be lip service to the extremely religious as much as the current one?" Obama responded:

I am proud of my Christian faith. And it informs what I do. And I don't think that people of any faith background should be prohibited from debating in the public square. But I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state

Obama has proposed expanding Bush's Faith Based Initiative, rendering lip service to the extremely religious and taking a weak position on the separation of church and state that is not much different from the current administration's.

On the DC handgun ban when Obama was campaigning in DC he was asked "You support the DC handgun ban and you have said it is constitutional" and he replied "Right".

Choice. Obama's website has a whole section titled Fact Check: Obama's Strong Pro-Choice Record designed to lead people to believe that he takes a strong stand for choice. As your quotes demonstrate that stand is actually pretty soft, and is specifically weak on the late-term abortion prohibition, which President Clinton vetoed twice.

Iraq. Obama's web site says:

Obama has a plan to immediately begin withdrawing our troops engaged in combat operations at a pace of one or two brigades every month, to be completed by the end of next year.
Next year is 2009. 2009 ends less than twelve months after Obama would take office.

NAFTA. In the February debate Obama said

OBAMA:  I will make sure that we renegotiate in the same way that Senator Clinton talked about, and I think actually Senator Clinton's answer on this one is right.  I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced.

And that is not what has been happening so far.  That is something that I have been consistent about.

I have to say, Tim, with respect to my position on this, you know, when I ran for the United States Senate, the "Chicago Tribune," which was adamantly pro-NAFTA noted that in their endorsement of me, they were endorsing me despite my strong opposition to NAFTA.  And that conversation that I had with the Farm Bureau, I was not ambivalent at all.

His hammer of a unilateral opt-out of NAFTA and strong opposition to NAFTA are no longer operative, now he prefers "opening up a dialogue."

On the death penalty what you quote from The Audacity of Hope shows the shift from "rape and murder of a child" to just "rape of a child". Obama opposed the Supreme Court's decision that the death penalty can only be punishment for crimes that cause a death, but the quote from The Audacity of Hope suggests he would support such a decision.

On each of these issues when you look closely Obama took a more consistently conservative position, he always caveats any statement that might appear liberal. But the casual follower of the campaign could reasonably think he was liberal given these statements.

by souvarine 2008-07-05 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

When elected next year will be 2010, smartass. So on his site he's saying within 24 months.

Obama has also made no new statements about his strategy regarding NAFTA.

And yes, Obama supports the death penaly in cases of child rape. As he said in his book. You're reaching.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-06 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I think he had that reputation because he sees nuance and gray in everything.  He commits to principles and values, but is far too intelligent to think that a single, hard-and-fast position on most issues is wise given this country's diversity and size.  As Jed Bartlet says on The West Wing: "Every once in a while, every once in a while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many un-nuanced moments in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me."

He's held the line when he's needed to.  He's made tough commitments when he's needed to.  But on things like abortion, like gun rights, etc. he's intelligent enough to see that there are a lot of nuances, that a single one-size-fits-all position that's going to boil down to a ten-word answer is quite simply irresponsible given the complexities of those issues.

Would that the American press had the intelligence and trust in their audience to sufficiently convey that, rather than braying like idiotic mules about "flip-flopping" when a politician dares to show that he/she thinks about an issue in a complex and flexible way.  Would that those Democrats who opposed Obama - they who should be respectful of things like nuance - were intellectually honest enough to admit that he does take clear, if complex, stances on issues instead of joining with the right wing in labeling him an "empty suit."

But then, I suppose, expecting people to act like adults is a bit idealistic of me.

by mistersite 2008-07-05 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

extreme mojo for the Jed Bartlett quote.... hat never gets old.

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?
Would that the American press had the intelligence and trust in their audience to sufficiently convey that, rather than braying like idiotic mules about "flip-flopping" when a politician dares to show that he/she thinks about an issue in a complex and flexible way.

The media is well aware of the fact that 1/2 of the American public falls below the median on the IQ chart. Television viewing is also greater among people with lower intelligence and/or less education. The media takes this into account when crafting their message. Years ago, they used to say print media was written for people with an 8th grade education. I think it's a lot lower than that today for television viewers.
by MS01 Indie 2008-07-05 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

See, I'm inclined to wonder if the American public just acts stupid because politicians and the media treat them like they're stupid.  

I mean, sure, a lot of these policy discussions are really technical, but there are ways to express nuance and complexity without getting too deep into the nuts and bolts or requiring a graduate degree to get them.  I see good explanations of the nuances of policy all the time on the blogs, in ways that a person of moderate education can understand; why, then, can't television reporters do the same thing?

I know the reason: because the media are motivated by a desire to make money, which makes them all sensational, and because there has been a vast abdication of the notion of responsibility on the part of the news media.  But that doesn't mean it still doesn't piss me off - especially when a highly-intelligent, broad-minded politician like Barack Obama gets smeared because the news media thinks Americans are idiots.

by mistersite 2008-07-05 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Yeah, that's my concern, actually.

Kerry tried to treat the voters like adults and got his head handed to him for it.

Can Obama do it? I hope so.

by Bush Bites 2008-07-05 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Thanks for articulating so clearly why I support Obama. Well done.

by vadasz 2008-07-05 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

"It is pretty easy to find Obama suggesting any of a number of positions on each of these issues"

I challenge you to find these different positions then.

If it's so easy, then it's a wonder you people have not yet managed to actually find a real flip-flop. You're merely throwing the accusation hoping it sticks.

by Aris Katsaris2 2008-07-05 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

And, sou, all of your comments demonstrate that no matter what Obama does, you will critize him. Just can't get over it, can you?

by venician 2008-07-05 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

It is pretty easy to find Obama suggesting any of a number of positions on each of these issues. That is why he had the reputation in the primaries of being an "empty suit", he didn't take an identifiable position on important issues, he was all over the place.

Thanks for the right wing attack. I'll repeat the challenge that you give examples of these any number of positions on each of these issues. The positions mentioned in this diary are the ones I remember him taking all along, but my memory could be faulty so please enlighten me.

by Mystylplx 2008-07-05 12:17PM | 0 recs
If it's so easy then prove it n/t

by BrighidG 2008-07-05 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: If it's so easy then prove it n/t

Read above.

by souvarine 2008-07-05 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Nah....  he's not.

That said, I long for the old days when flip-flops solely meant beach footwear...

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

It is a terrible and overused term... and who the hell wants a politician who never changes their mind, anyway? We've had one for nearly eight years and clearly it hasn't been working.

by LandStander 2008-07-05 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Ding, ding, ding....  we have a winner....

That and the Jed Bartlett quote above pretty much sums it up for me.  I would rather a President who, when faced with evidence contrary to his/her position, changes his/her mind rather than decrying the evidence itself.

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

We should require our presidents to demonstrate strong, consistent values, in terms of what's important to them.

Positions will change with the times, but that may be necessary. The values that guide those changes are much more important, because they inform us of how a leader will act when something unforeseen arises.

by Falsehood 2008-07-05 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?
Reminded me of this Colbert quote...
"He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday."
by LandStander 2008-07-05 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I think a lot of this 'anger' about Obama's 'shifting' positions is the fault of those supporters that have failed to remember he is, first and foremost, a politician running for elected office.

If you expected Obama to NOT be a politician, and to NOT act like he is running for elected office, then any disappointment you are experiencing is your own damn fault. Get over it. Obama will do whatever he thinks he needs to do to win. He isn't President, he isn't your best friend, he isn't trying to impress you or make you like him - he is a candidate, and he is acting like one.

by LandStander 2008-07-05 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Great diary.

But you DID leave of Campaign Finance and FISA.

By the way, why don't you do a McCain one...

by Searching For Pericles 2008-07-05 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I was stunned and shocked today...  CNN, when talking about the Obama flip-flop on Iraq (ugh) actually had the temerity to list almost every one of McCain's...  

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Why were you stunned and shocked ?

by lori 2008-07-05 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I was stunned and shocked because it is still a rarity for the press to call McCain on the carpet for anything...  CNN did it..  I hope for more of it, but I am not holding my breath.

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Thats really ironic coming from an Obama supporter .

I am not saying there is not a case to be made on that score but I don't think it would be taken seriously by most folks .

Might be as a consequence of the uncritical press and in many cases supportive media coverage he got through the primaries and is still largely getting as of now.

As a result most Americans view him as a media darling now , although he is going up against a guy much of the press also likes.

Nonetheless it is really somewhat ironic to see some Obama supporters complain about the media .

by lori 2008-07-05 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

The media spent months on retarded stuff like Wright and what not.

Saying that Obama only got supportive coverage during the primaries is ridiculous.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-05 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Saying that Obama only got supportive coverage during the primaries is ridiculous.

- That would be ridiculous only if I said that.

by lori 2008-07-05 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Where were you when Rev. Wright was on a 24/7 loop for weeks?

by Dreorg 2008-07-05 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I remember Anderson Cooper didn't even think it was worth covering .

I think he even apologized the first night he covered it  , until Bill O Reilly covered it , much of the mainstream press were willing to sweep it under the rug like much of their coverage on Obama during the primary ( Think the Rezko thing , that stuff was on the front pages of local newspapers on a daily basis for months until Hillary Clinton had to say it at the debate , i am sure out of frustration ). Even after the Wright story had to be broken wide open , the coverage wasn't overly critical , at least the ones on MSNBC/CNN , the focus was on how great his " historic speech " on race was .

Coverage of the story doesn't necessarily indicate critical coverage.

By the way in most cases thats about the instance most of supporters can come up with that certainly pales in comparison to the daily coverage of he clinton campaign.

That said there is certainly a case to be made that some issues Mccain deserves criticism for he gets a pass , however it won't resonate as a salient point because Obama is and has been receiving the same treatment.

I am not going to be relitigating this issues going forward , its a waste of time.

by lori 2008-07-05 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

lori,

although I don't totally agree with your stance on this, the way you state it in this post is about the most articulate and well put explication of your take on this situation that I've read in weeks, and I enjoyed reading it.

For what it's worth.

by vadasz 2008-07-05 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Of course I am an Obama supporter...  he is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

That said, if you think the media has been easier on him than it has been on McCain, you have not been paying close enough attention.

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Because he did flip-flop on filibustering FISA. Not on FISA itself, mind you.

And although making the right choice on public financing, he made a pledge on public financing that was unnecessary. Although he didn't really flip-flop on that one either.

McCain has been documented pretty thoroughly already:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/7/3/0 717/55880/710/545421

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-05 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

" Because he did flip-flop on filibustering FISA. Not on FISA itself, mind you. "

- That's a tortured statement , frankly laughable.

Stay away from it.

The second statement doesn't make much sense either.

by lori 2008-07-05 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

No, Obama made it clear he considered the legislation a "compromise" and "not perfect".

You can call him out for not taking a tougher stance on it for all I care but he didn't write the law.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-05 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I think most people will agree that he has changed his position on FISA.  He earlier said he would filibuster any bill that had telecom immunity in it, and he has now backed away from that.

The only way I think it can be said Obama "flip-flopped" on public finance is if an individual doesn't think Obama's campaign worked hard enough with McCain's people on coming to an agreement.  It has been obvious to anyone that has been paying attention that McCain wasn't really interested.  He abused the public financing system during the primary.  He also said several times that he won't do anything about 512s or any independent groups.  That is basically a deal breaker.

by Sarcastro 2008-07-05 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

McBush the flip flopper on telecom immunity.

A series of statements about immunizing telecommunications companies that violated federal wiretapping laws have become something of an embarrassment, and perhaps even a problem, for John McCain's presidential campaign.

The statements revolve around whether McCain, like President Bush, supports legislation that could be voted on this month extending retroactive immunity to those companies and perhaps many more.

When news about the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program became public years ago, McCain was critical of it. McCain told the Associated Press that he wanted to know more about the program but "theoretically, I obviously wouldn't like it." He agreed with Matt Lauer on The Today Show that "it is up to a court of law to find out if someone broke the law here and where punishment should be handed out."

It's time for some Democrats to give up their self indulgent and childish attacks against Obama while giving McBush a free pass.

As for the others who attack Obama -- well, it's just what McTrolls are supposed to do by definition.

by Beren 2008-07-05 10:09AM | 0 recs
I've bookmarked this diary

and will be referencing it much in coming days and weeks, I expect.

Good work. Thank you. Recc'd.

by Beren 2008-07-05 10:13AM | 0 recs
From the sidebar...

Both left and right pile on Obama

I wouldn't surprise me to learn that the Obama campaign is quite pleased with headlines like this.

by Beren 2008-07-05 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Brilliant!

by hootie4170 2008-07-05 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Great diary.  Thank you.

by Dreorg 2008-07-05 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

So Sen. Obama has always been a centrist in general, and even quite conservative on some issues?  Why then were the progressives so crazy about him all during the primaries?  Were they just duping themselves? Maybe they were just hoping Obama was the change they could believe in, and thinking that change was in alignment with their own progressive mindset?  Now, post-primary Obama's actual not-so-progressive positions are getting more media attention -- and the Party progressives are maybe seeing Obama's change isn't exactly what they were hoping for, after all.  With all that talk of hope and change in the primaries, I guess it was easy for Progressive to project their own big hopes onto the change candidate.

by moevaughn 2008-07-05 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Could you provide evidence of the "quite conservative" claim...?  I'm serious.  I am fairly well-versed on his stances and can find no conservative stronghold in the lot...

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-05 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's positions?

I phrased "quite conservative" as a question, not a statement.  I'm not making any claim.  My overall comment is in response to the theme of this diary:  that Obama has not shifted to the right, because he's always had the positions which he is now clarifying (refining?), and people who are upset about his post-primary clarifications never really knew what his positions were to begin with.  I actually agree.

As far as my own take on his positions, I have never thought his plans were as progressive as the other primary candidates. His health care plan is one example.  To quote Elizabeth Edwards, "a health plan without a mandate is only half a plan."  Also, on the environment, it did bother me that he voted for the 2005 "Cheney" energy bill.  

by moevaughn 2008-07-05 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's positions?

Sorry, I completely misunderstood....

by JenKinFLA 2008-07-06 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

The change is, and has always been, about moving away from the Red State / Blue State divisions in this country that were fostered and used by Bush's Rovian tactics. This is what he has been saying all along. Now that Hillary supporters are actually listening to what he is saying they are shocked that he isn't the unelectable liberal they had pictured in their own minds.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-05 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

This website has become a joke front for Clinton deadenders, good luck to you all.

by Brandon 2008-07-05 11:32AM | 0 recs
Straw man argument

I think a lot of Obama supporters use a  lot of straw man arguments to the leftwing criticisms of Obama's rightward shift of late.

And yes I think it has been a shift to the right.  If it was just one or two, I would say that he is being unfairly targeted.  But it has been over a wide range of issues.

Some of them have been merely a reframing of his previous statements, which to a remarkable degree have been elegantly lawyerly in their wiggle room.  Sign of a cautious and foxy politician.

Some, such as the FISA bill, are outright cave-ins.

But all have been a sign that Obama's first priority is getting 270 electoral votes.  He's not thinking of mandates, of his issues, of his movement, of his campaign themes.  Some one has pursuaded him that he needs to go right to win.

And obviously a lot of his followers believe it as well.  That's why you keep reading comments about purity trolls and STFU or McCain will win, and stuff like that.

But I believe that his compromises and shifts weaken his candidacy.  He made history with a tidal wave in the primary, one that knocked out the Clinton inevitable machine.  He created unheard of passion and interestin politics, on par with sports fever.

And during that primary season, we saw our party take down GOP stalwarts in deep red districts, i.e  Hastert's seat.  It is an indication of a true Democratic tsunami this year.

The people want to sweep the GOP out of office.  Bush has destroyed the GOP brand.  They want out of Iraq, they want to do something about energy, they want the government to work again.  This time they don't want politics as usual.  They are angry and disgusted. They want REAL CHANGE.

Obama has to stand for that clarion call for change.  He has to stop reacting to things with little wiggly answers, he needs to take a clear stand and not waver.  It's really clear and simple.

by spoot 2008-07-05 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Straw man argument

So you're saying it's unfair to say he moved to the right based on one or two things.

But in fact there's only been one thing (FISA) on which he has moved.

Yet, you conclude he's shifted.

Great logic.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-06 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

What Obama does is create plausible deniability. He straddles the fence so that any criticism can be explained away.

by Juno 2008-07-05 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Yes he's very good at waffling.

It's what many Obama people hated about Bill Clinton.

For me, because he has such a slim record, it makes me distrust him.

We will see after he gets into the White House.  I sure hope there is a core of beliefs in the man.  Right now all I can see is a pile of corpses under the bus.

by spoot 2008-07-05 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

Hahaha, now you're just blaming him for your inability to find something to attack.

Good stuff.

by EnzoValenzetti 2008-07-06 06:53AM | 0 recs
OK, HR this

I do not like what this site has become. I cant say anything else or the hordes of fascism will descend upon me.

by Brandon 2008-07-05 12:44PM | 0 recs
Make your argument

if you don't like what is being stated.  Don't simply dis and accuse.

Feminazis is a Limbaugh term.  Are you a dittohead?

Obama's main job after Clinton conceded was to unite the party.  If he does this successfully he doesn't have to worry about the general election.

But obviously as this blog and KOS and the rest of the left blogoshere shows, his latest acts have only sewn more dissention among the ranks.  And it hasn't been the doings of the Clintons or their voters.  It's been a reaction to Obama's moves.  

A lot of the disappointed DEMS are not Clintonites.  They are the party faithful.  Obama needs to recognize this.  

He has a job to do.  I don't envy him but it's really doable.  Just stop the repositioning and stand up for what he believes and he will win.

by spoot 2008-07-05 01:00PM | 0 recs
This website

has been a echo chamber for anti Obama rhetoric even after the primary ended.  There are some people here that generally want the party to be united, I used to be one of them.  Through seeing the rec list everyday here, and looking at the comments, once i realized "my kind" were not only not wanted, but where abused with gang tr/hr, the fact that this site was nothing but a front for bitter Hillary supporters and McCain i kinda stopped caring.  Holy run on sentence Batman.  Hr this too, you know you want to.

by Brandon 2008-07-05 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: OK, HR this

I cant say anything else or the hordes of fascism will descend upon me.

You poor little thing.

by bowiegeek 2008-07-06 02:12AM | 0 recs
A third possibility

"People who claim this never fully understood his stances on the issues or are too lazy to perform a proper Google search."

And then there are those who willfully misrepresent his positions in order to further their own agendas.

There's a lot of that going around.

by BobzCat 2008-07-05 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: A third possibility

Obama's positions: I agree with this part and disagree with this.

Something for everyone.  

by Juno 2008-07-05 01:28PM | 0 recs
Brilliant insight

You should have your own blog.

by BobzCat 2008-07-05 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Is Obama's position on Iraq also still consistent with his earlier position expressed in July of 2004 on Meet the Press?

"There's not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush's position at this stage."  

And on the same program, as to how he would have voted on the Iraq War Resolution:  "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don't know"

by moevaughn 2008-07-05 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq
Unlike some of the other candidates, I believe Obama
would have at least read the classified reports.
by parahammer 2008-07-05 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Why do you believe that?

There is absolutely no cause to believe anything like that one way or the other.

Obama was a junior senator and has only been a junior senator.  If anything, he'd have acquiesced to senior senators.

If you haven't yet seen how Obama capitulates when pressured, you're not paying attention.

by Juno 2008-07-05 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Oh shut the F up deadener. You don't have a valid argument and usually never have in the past, go back to your puma sites.

by Fistjab 2008-07-05 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Change?

Hope?

Inspiration?

Hmmm...

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Oh, and did I forget unity?

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Unity doesn't include everyone, there is no reason to reach out to you.

by Brandon 2008-07-05 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

True.

I'm voting for Obama because I have no choice. But I don't have to be happy about it.

Might be nice if his supporters would be a little more honest, realistic, and human, though.

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

You have bashed him at every perceived chance like a  puma troll you are, so no I don't think you will be voting for him and I certainly wouldn't want consistent back stabbers in his column.

by Fistjab 2008-07-05 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Yes, I will be voting for him.

And I do not bash him.  I criticize what I see are real weaknesses in him.

Last I knew, it was okay to do that in America.

This is why Obamans are likened to cult members so often: any criticism, even anything less than blind, mindless adoration, is called bashing.

I do not bash Obama.  I think he's not the right choice, and I say why.

You sound like Republicans defending Bush.  All criticism of him was met with the same kind of vicious hyperbole and personal attacks.

So, again I ask, what change?

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

right.

Just as with Bushies, it only applies to everyone who agrees with them.

What change, again?

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

I notice you don't actually answer the question but instead just bring out the foul mouth and fists to pummel an individual rather than address the content.

How is this change, please?

This is how Republicans greet criticism too. personal attacks while avoiding actual content and substance.

Of course, perhaps you're one of those who angrily denies outright that there is zero tolerance of criticism of Obama.

Lol.  

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

I don't waste time on trolls, sorry.

by Fistjab 2008-07-05 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Lol.

Of course not.

Convenient way to not have to answer legitimate questions.

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

You know, it's amusing:

There have been a number of diaries here lately involving Obama supporters insisting they tolerate dissent and criticism and absolutely deny calling Obama critics trolls and other names.

This practice of denying things when called on them while practicing them remind you of anyone?

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Substitute "trolls" for "America haters", and you've got the GOP thing down pat.

What you don't have down pat, though, is the Obama thing.

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

You're kind of digressing into what you believe someone might have done, but what do you think about Sen. Obama's actual stated position at that time of not much differing with GWB on Iraq?

by moevaughn 2008-07-05 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Link?

And that was 4 years ago when American military dead was less the 1000 and the worse was yet to come, he has been clear on his strategy to end this way since at least 2-3 years now. he has always opposed the war from the start unlike many dems. oh and for the dead ender's coming argument; he would not leave our troops without the equipment & funds they needed on harms way just like Hillary wouldn't (but you never really cared about her or her positions anyway since she is all the way behind BO now, this is pointed at the puma trolls here).

by Fistjab 2008-07-05 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

The above was supposed to be a reply to moevaughn's comment about BO in 2004.

by Fistjab 2008-07-05 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Iraq

Please.

When Congressional Democrats voted to continue funding, (before Obama was known and was running for president), Democrats and left wingers had hissy fits, raging at Pelosi and Reid, etc.

I, for on, defended that vote. I have been fiercely against this war from the start, but I got on these blogs and defended that vote to the raging critics. While I disagreed with Hillary's authorization vote, I also understood it and defended it, not as being right but as understanding the circumstances and the climate at the time, and was pilloried by Obama supporters, who in that instance didn't give one WHIT about circumstances.

It was only when Obama began running for president and it came out that he'd voted for the funding bil that suddenly these same people were all full of understanding about why someone voted the way they did.

This is why nothing will change, because it's the same thing we've just been through: Dear Leader has dictated to us what we shall think and feel.

It's bad.

by Juno 2008-07-05 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

McCain is not an option. A vote for McCain is a vote for WAR!

by Politicalslave 2008-07-05 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

 Despite the mildly angry tone of some of the comments, I think this is a very good and balanced discussion of Obama's constantly changing opinions on almost every area of policy important to Democrats. It seems pretty clear that we don't have a clue who this guy really is. I'd like to thank everyone who contributed. I found it very educational.

by QTG 2008-07-05 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, the flip-flopper?

I'm getting tired of parody trolls. They were funny for a while, but now they're old.

by BobzCat 2008-07-05 08:10PM | 0 recs
Obviously

What took folks so long to figure this out?

by neaguy 2008-07-05 07:36PM | 0 recs

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