Obama on Compromise

Apologies for this very short diary, but in the wake of the FISA fiasco, I thought it would be appropriate and informative.

It was 2005, and the issue on the table was the nomination of John Roberts. Many viewed (and still view) this as a Progressive bellwether issue, much as we view FISA today. Obama's remarks on that issue can be seen here:

http://obama.senate.gov/press/050922-rem arks_of_sena/index.php

and those remarks were received with as much controversy as his FISA remarks last week.

-- more after the jump --

The sensitive part is this:

I was deeply disturbed by some statements that were made by largely Democratic advocacy groups when ranking member Senator Leahy announced that he would support Judge Roberts. Although the scales have tipped in a different direction for me, I am deeply admiring of the work and the thought that Senator Leahy has put into making his decision. The knee-jerk unbending and what I consider to be unfair attacks on Senator Leahy's motives were unjustified. Unfortunately, both parties have fallen victim to this kind of pressure.

To put this in today's context, imagine this as a defense of Nancy Pelosi's FISA position, at least in terms of the reception it received.

Where it gets interesting, is that Obama posted a diary laying out his reasoning, in much more detail than his remarks. This diary shows much of the groundwork for his position on FISA, and in fact implies (to me at least) that his positions are both less Progressive (in a tactical sense) and every bit as Progressive (in a strategic sense) than many of us would credit.

The gist of it is this passage:

According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists - a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog - we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party.  They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda.  In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in "appeasing" the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda.  The country, finally knowing what we stand for and seeing a sharp contrast, will rally to our side and thereby usher in a new progressive era.

I think this perspective misreads the American people

The diary is here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9 /30/102745/165

You will not necessarily agree with his points, but he does give a very clear picture of just how much "threading the needle" he plans to do. Make no mistake, it's quite obvious he will"FISAflop" again. The larger question of how this fits into his vision of an overall mandate, is what I found illuminating.

Tags: Barack Obama, compromise, FISA, roberts (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Recced for observing subtleties

Surprisingly, human affairs is a complicated game.

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-24 07:25PM | 0 recs
"subtleties" indeed

It's easy to oversimplify the man's positions, I know I had started to do it on FISA. It was a simple "cave".

I still think it's a cave...but not a simple one =). It's less of a lopsidedly egregious move.

by Neef 2008-06-24 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Compromise

Obama will compromise for Republicans but when it comes to compromise on his VP to satisfy ~50% of the democrats...

No can't be bothered.

He is just not that into unity.

by dtaylor2 2008-06-24 08:02PM | 0 recs
I hope

you at least read his diary. Seriously.

by Neef 2008-06-24 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope

Something about stabbing democrats in the back to win votes via not holding to traditional democratic values.

Would Carter have allowed Bill Clinton to be called racist for his gain?
Would Mondale have allowed Bill Clinton to be called racist for his gain?
Would Gore have allowed Bill Clinton to be called racist for his gain?
Would Kerry have allowed Bill Clinton to be called racist for his gain?

I am not interested in hearing how Obama believes the only way to be elected is to lie about his beliefs.

Thats not the democratic party I signed up for.

by dtaylor2 2008-06-24 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope

Then practice your form of democracy back at noquarter. Or are you one of the many hillarybloggers who have come here today to create havoc?

by venician 2008-06-24 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope

Noquarter is a bit racist for my liking.
Hillaryis44 is a bit femanist for my liking.

And I am fairly committed to making sure all of America practices my form of democracy.

1 vote 1 person in secret without coersion

by dtaylor2 2008-06-24 09:12PM | 0 recs
At some point

the philosophical divide is just too wide to bridge. I don't accept your premises, so a discussion based on your conclusions is pointless.

As far as the Dem party, it is one of the great things about our country that we offer multiple political ideologies to choose from. If Democrats aren't currently your choice, you do have options.

by Neef 2008-06-24 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: At some point

Ya I know.

Its just very hard to realize that my party that I love is moving away from me.

I can't support the Obama movement as it has been manifest up to this point.  If next cycle is similar in tactics I will be unable to support them too.

But I have enough invested in this party that I won't go quietly

=)

by dtaylor2 2008-06-24 09:15PM | 0 recs
No, it's cool

That's certainly your right. Nor was this diary intended to persuade, I just didn't want to rehash stuff that's being discussed in other diaries.

by Neef 2008-06-24 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: I hope

Weird how you mention those names, who all endorsed Obama, so obviously they didn't find it as egrerious as you state they do, I HR'd because your trollish behavior is getting old. No comments on the diary, just another chance for you to hijack a diary with your anti rhetoric. that shouldn't stand.

by Dog Chains 2008-06-25 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Compromise

How many diaries are you able to hijack in a single day?

Seriously.  You should call Guinness.  You might be a contender!

by freedom78 2008-06-25 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama on Compromise

And Obama has said these things from the beginning. That is why it surprises me that progressives think he is a progressive. He is not and never has been.

You left out the part of why Obama came to a different conclusion than Leahy though. It was because his chief of staff told him he could not afford to vote for Roberts if he wanted to run for president. And being the good little pandering pol that he is he went along.  No wonder he sympathized with Leahy - but for the grace  of the wisdom of Tom Daschles old chief of staff would go he.

by Bornagaindem 2008-06-25 05:45AM | 0 recs

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