Obama on Compromise
by Neef, Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 06:42:46 PM EDT
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:
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.