New York Times Slams Obama

Today's NYT editorial is just brutal on Obama's depressing flip flops.

Senator Barack Obama stirred his legions of supporters, and raised our hopes, promising to change the old order of things. He spoke with passion about breaking out of the partisan mold of bickering and catering to special pleaders, promised to end President Bush's abuses of power and subverting of the Constitution and disowned the big-money power brokers who have corrupted Washington politics.

Now there seems to be a new Barack Obama on the hustings. First, he broke his promise to try to keep both major parties within public-financing limits for the general election. His team explained that, saying he had a grass-roots-based model and that while he was forgoing public money, he also was eschewing gold-plated fund-raisers. These days he's on a high-roller hunt.

Even his own chief money collector, Penny Pritzker, suggests that the magic of $20 donations from the Web was less a matter of principle than of scheduling. "We have not been able to have much of the senator's time during the primaries, so we have had to rely more on the Internet," she explained as she and her team busily scheduled more than a dozen big-ticket events over the next few weeks at which the target price for quality time with the candidate is more than $30,000 per person.

The new Barack Obama has abandoned his vow to filibuster an electronic wiretapping bill if it includes an immunity clause for telecommunications companies that amounts to a sanctioned cover-up of Mr. Bush's unlawful eavesdropping after 9/11.

In January, when he was battling for Super Tuesday votes, Mr. Obama said that the 1978 law requiring warrants for wiretapping, and the special court it created, worked. "We can trace, track down and take out terrorists while ensuring that our actions are subject to vigorous oversight and do not undermine the very laws and freedom that we are fighting to defend," he declared.

Now, he supports the immunity clause as part of what he calls a compromise but actually is a classic, cynical Washington deal that erodes the power of the special court, virtually eliminates "vigorous oversight" and allows more warrantless eavesdropping than ever.

The Barack Obama of the primary season used to brag that he would stand before interest groups and tell them tough truths. The new Mr. Obama tells evangelical Christians that he wants to expand President Bush's policy of funneling public money for social spending to religious-based organizations -- a policy that violates the separation of church and state and turns a government function into a charitable donation.

He says he would not allow those groups to discriminate in employment, as Mr. Bush did, which is nice. But the Constitution exists to protect democracy, no matter who is president and how good his intentions may be. ...

We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama's shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.

Tags: NYT, obama (all tags)

Comments

101 Comments

Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Permit me to repeat my sentiments earlier:

"As I view several comments and diaries on this isuuse and this not direct response to the diarist per se. But what is depressing to me is seeing an ever so subtle change among democrats now on mydd to start sowing the seeds of maybe we need to move away from our stance of must get out of Iraq by Dec 2009.

We have had a non nuanced position all through the years, primaries and I'm watching diaries and comments now that would be unimaginable a few months ago.

Democrats lets not succumb on our long lasting stance on Iraq."  

by roxfoxy 2008-07-04 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

I also like to add that I have not seen one diary so far today that is speaking to July 4th and the sacrifices our men and women have made not just in Iraq and Afghanistan but for decades in wars past.

You see when they join up to serve the country they do not come with political tags and their deaths in combat should not be used as such on this great day for a great nation like ours.

Hoo-rah!
semper fi marine!

by roxfoxy 2008-07-04 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Happy Fourth! And the best to all our soldiers.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

oh, for pete's sake. the 4th of july is about our independence from Britain. Do we have to turn eveything in this country now into a hoo-haw for the troops. the 4th of July is about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the founding of a new nation supposedly committed to rights and liberties never before accorded citizens before.

by linfar 2008-07-04 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Actually I am not much for displays of patriotism or a big hoo rah (whatever) type person. I do have friends who have family etc in the armed services and two of my better friends over the past eight years are crusty old retired soldiers. I was simply responding to someone above, who seems to have an affinity for the military. My comment would never be addressed to you or someone like me. I apologize if you find it offensive.

I do feel that I think about our country in a different way than many other people. I suspect you and others around here feel similarily. I think about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our remarkable form of government throughout the year. I (and many of you I am certain) work to keep these liberties from vanishing from our country on a daily basis. Those who do this are patriots in the truest sense of the word.

So I will avoid town, because it will be jam packed with tourists. We will sit out on our lawn and watch the fireworks across the lake. That is if the mosquitoes don't have us for dinner first. Finally, I will try and contemplate what it really means to be an citizen of the United States of America.

BTW, I will say that one of the crusty retired soldiers worked as the other Investigator with me at the county. When I first met Joe in early March of 2001 (he started there two weeks after me), I thought I would absolutely hate this guy. When I was told that I would have to travel with him across the state to do a training, I thought I would die. Funny thing is, once we got underway, we started talking about politics, and we got on the subject of civil liberties and other issues of great import. I was as surprised as he, at how much we agreed. That is until the end of our passionate converstion about saving the country, and we were starting to lay blame for our worst problems. Joe  said "and it's the left" at the exact moment that I said "and it's the right". I was driving, and I looked at him looking at me in shock. I am certain that my face mirrored his. Then, again in unison, we broke out into a fit of laughter. Then we became friends. When he quit to work for another county in early 2004, he took me aside and thanked me for helping him become a Democrat.

Happy Fourth!

by Hollede 2008-07-04 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Uh, never mind, I guess I thought you were talking to me. Can I erase my post? Heh.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

and do we not fight every war to maintain that freedom from external forces?

I'm sorry if my made in america pride got in the way of history.

by roxfoxy 2008-07-04 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama
That was Veteran's Day and it's over.  
This is Independence Day -- maybe you could allow us to celebrate the birth of our country and our Bill of Rights without trying to inject troop-worship into it.  
by KathleenM1 2008-07-04 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Silly me. I forget that to enjoy independence it takes more than a declaration. It take men/women to scarfice lives behind it.

by roxfoxy 2008-07-04 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

It must be really subtle I haven't noticed any   one changing their stance on Iraq. Certainly not McCain.

by Politicalslave 2008-07-04 03:32PM | 0 recs
Reality check

Obama is not the messiah.

He is just another politician hungry for the win.

Through this reality-based prism, everything he's doing makes perfect sense.

He can pander with the best of them.

Bill Clinton should be proud of his heir-apparent.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

I haven't seen Gov. Barack Obama fly to his home state after the New Hampshire primary -- only to see the execution of mentally retarded person at a time when crime was the core issue.

I didn't know Barack Obama is running an election on v-chips, school uniforms, and midnight basketball.  Last time I checked -- he is running on Iraq, the economy, and universal health care.  Do you honestly put v-chips, school uniforms, and midnight basketball on par with 150,000 troops in a war that never should have been waged; 291,000 jobs lost in the last six months; and 45 million Americans without health insurance?

Pandering?  I think not.  Being pragmatic?  I think so.  There simply weren't 41 Senators willing to vote against cloture on the FISA "compromise," and it wasn't worth asking Democratic Senators to risk their political careers on this issue when they will have to cast very, very uncomfortable votes in order to get our troops out of Iraq, jumpstart an economy that has lost 291,000 jobs in the last six months, and provide health insurance to the 45 million Americans who do not have it.

by Brad G 2008-07-04 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

"It's the economy, stupid"...but go right ahead and re-cycle those right wing smear memes like the good little McBlogger you are...

by zerosumgame 2008-07-04 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

You can try to explain away the FISA compromise by using senate rules or worse, by a cadre of Democratic senators afraid of taking such risk.  But the fact remains that the FISA compromise is wrong for the country, violates the Constitution, and, more practically, is not what Obama promised early this year.

He's running on Iraq?  It was clearly a trump card for him during the primaries.  But now that he's the nominee, he's of course free to nuance his position to suit the electorate.  Sounds like Bill Clinton to me.

He's running on universal healthcare?  Someone ask Elizabeth Edwards about this, please.

He's running on the economy?  Who isn't?

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

wow... you lost me at the FISA excusing -- you should be a ashamed at the hypocrisy if you blasted HRC for her IRAQ vote, when the situation was far far more as you described, a losing battle against a GOP congress.

by swissffun 2008-07-06 04:56AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Ouch.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

This is the problem when one's candidacy was built on a  base  of  " Millions of very young, Very Idealistic, wearing full Blinders on, and virtually very little political & adult life experiences".

95% of adults in their 40's, 50's & 60"s will freely acknowledge & admit that their views & expectactions of life & reality are often times so different at 40,45,50,55, 60 as opposed to  when they were in their teens, 20's & even early 30's.

For millions upon millions of young, green apple Obama fans, Barack was the "2nd coming of Christ." He would save America & save our planet from all its faults, problems & imperfections.

This messiah had the answer to Iraq, the economy, and the "New Way of American Politics".

Millions of these young, very idealistic, left of center democrats REFUSE to listen, see nor even acknowledge the fact that Obama was, is & will always be a " PROFESSIONAL CAREER POLITICIAN" first.

No different than Kerry, Hillary, Bill, Edwards, Richardson.

He is as ambitious, as vain & ego centered as almost all of these political stars.

As I've said many times, Politics has & will always go in cycles. The victory of 2006 was Never about the american electorate waking up as new liberal left democrats. It was purely a rebuke of George Bush.

This is the problem when the very leaders of the left wing blogs were all in shorts & diapers during the Reagan & Carter years.

No book, No newspaper, no classroom will ever beat "life experiences".

Today, we have many "young, idealistic" Obamafans asking what happened ? Nothing happened except Obama is now going full blast as a professional career politician who is trying to win the Presidency. Everything else comes second.

by labanman 2008-07-04 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

If Obama won based entirely on young voters, he would lost by HUGE margins. Considering the small percentage of Americans that vote, the substantially smaller subset of Americans that voted in the primary, and the small minority of those primary voters that were younger than 30, "millions upon millions" is quite a bit of a stretch.

What you said was definitely the message we saw by the media, Republicans and the Clinton campaign, but it was never true (and you accuse US of falling for spin). The people that you think saw a miracleworker or "untouchable" actually saw a really intelligent guy who had tons of charisma and good ideas. But nobody thought he was anything other than a politician. And we all also saw somebody who could win by bringing people together. It's what we wanted. Anyone surprised and upset by the faith-based initiatives was probably never a serious supporter. FISA is different, but I think it's different for him, too.

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

You know what the problem is? You hear "young voters" and you think of the 60s. People singularly devoted to peace and who want to transform government into something it is not. You are wrong. The differences between the young generation of today and previous generations is well-noted by just about everybody whose business it is to know.

We do not want a Kucinich. We do not want a Nader. We do not want a Gravel. We want a Kennedy. We want somebody in office who will bring a great number of Americans together and just run a better government. We ARE hopeful, we ARE devoted, but we are, above all, practical.

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

And what did you get from Kennedy, again?

It was LBJ who moved the legislation that we take for granted today.

by BRockNYC 2008-07-04 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

Point taken, but still.

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

Obama stoked these idealistic fans with his talk.  Remember his acceptance speech?  Oceans will rise indeed.  

Now people are pretending that he didn't have anything to do with his messianic image.  It wasn't his fault.  

I'm not buying it.  

by searchforsolidarity 2008-07-04 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

He didn't say HE would make the oceans rise. He said, "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal ...". Tell me your interpretation of that. Because I see that as simply a very powerful way to say that he was going to work on trying to slow global warming.

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

You want a Kennedy?

The man, in office for less than three years, accomplished exactly nothing (yes, there was one exciting moment when we faced down the Soviets but that came about because of Kennedy's lack of experience and misunderstanding of world politics).

I used to think he was a great man, a great president. But as I grew up and started reading, I realized that he was none of those things.

He was just a politician who actually accomplished very little in his short time in office. (And people criticize Bill Clinton for his personal behavior? Kennedy was a one man sex machine and not very shy about it.)

Kennedy hardly won the Presidency (if it weren't for Daley stealing some votes, he would not have won. And I say that a a dedicated Democrat but also as an historian and researcher).

What was remarkable was the times -- the sexual liberation movements, the women's liberation movement, the civil rights movement. The end of two wars and great prosperity allowed the nation to begin to free itself of some of the old notions. The times and the great people who made them are what changed the nation. Kennedy had little or nothing to do with any of that. He just happened to be the youngest elected President (Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest) and that was a novelty. But a novelty that had no lasting effect. He, in fact, was on the slightly conservative side of things.

It was the liberating times that made Kennedy not the other way around.

So, when you say you want a Kennedy, it's a little bewildering.

by cuppajoe 2008-07-04 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

Well, what I intended to say was a charismatic speaker that actually led, I suppose Kennedy ain't that. I was actually going to say I wanted a Democratic Reagan, but felt it would be taken the wrong way.

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

yes, that would have been taken the wrong way and rightly so.

What did Reagan do except tear down the moderate Republican party?

and install a bunch of freaks instead?  

by colebiancardi 2008-07-04 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

Presumably the "Democratic Reagan" I mentioned would not be advancing conservative ideals. It is merely unfortunate that the Republican agenda is almost entirely destructive. But Reagan remade the Republican brand into something that lasted for a full generation. You do not want that?

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

the republican brand was re-branded by Reagan.  Ask republicans (moderates) if they liked what happened to their party.

I don't want the democratic party to be re-branded.  And the democratic party has been around a lot longer than the republican party and for more than one generation at that.

by colebiancardi 2008-07-04 12:11PM | 0 recs
How about another FDR?
Neither a Kennedy nor a Reagan, a pragmatic charismatic  liberal.
Vilified by the left for not being liberal enough, vilified by the right for being a socialist with confiscatory tax policies.
by molly bloom 2008-07-04 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: How about another FDR?

Probably more accurate and can't believe it didn't come to mind. Hell, with the economy the way it is, it might be all too much like FDR.

by vcalzone 2008-07-04 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

When I was entering high school, John Kennedy was elected. I was enamored of him, his family, the feelings we all had then.  I always will respect John Kennedy.  Now, heres the qualification: The reality is that the Kennedy group was a political machine, of course, beginning with the father. The reality is that Kennedy had some warts, not the least of which was the Bay of Pigs. The style and the mood was fantastic; and, being cut down in his prime, he became much much bigger than life. I can love John Kenney the President and, especially, the memory.  But, I do know the difference between style and the trial of a long political career and the works that produces. Where does Obama stand? I don't know. He wants us to think that he is JFK reincarnated in posture & speech. Frankly, I would prefer if he "found" his own style and stated his own beliefs in the fabric of modern politics. As I was told in the late 60s (circa 68 convention), the issue really is generational.  I believe that now. Both sides of the generation gap have something to offer; my older bunch does bring some useful experience.

by christinep 2008-07-04 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Problem with Idealistic Based Fans

I'd love see the support holding up your straw man.

by Dreorg 2008-07-04 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

What a poor editorial. Feel free to disagree with him on every single mentioned issue, but don't call them "shifts in position" when they are opinions he has held all along. The death penalty stance is not new and gun control has always been a balancing act. Same goes with the faith based policies, have they not read his books? Seriously how can this drivel get printed on NYT.

And not taking public financing is a "perplexing shift"? I mean reaaaaaaaally?

by verbatim 2008-07-04 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

They also got the part about FISA wrong. They claim he supports immunity when he has clearly stated more than once that he opposes it. His latest statement to that effect was yesterday.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-04 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

By endorsing the bill, he's supporting every clause in it.

It's a simple up or down thing, you see.

No line-item veto for senators.

You can say whatever you wish about anything, but at the end of the day, it's ACTION that affect CHANGE, not WORDS.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

It's not a simple up or down thing. There are these little things called amendments. Have you seen the front page article with Obama's response to the anti-FISA group on his own web site? It was on the front page of this site last night.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-04 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Amendments?  What the hell are you talking about?  Is Obama introducing amendments to the FISA compromise?  Did I miss something?

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

You must have missed Obama's statement that he would support the proposed amendments to strip the immunity clause.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-04 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Support proposed amendments?

How about some leadership on this constitutional issue?

Is it too much to ask from the Democratic nominee?

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Not at all. There are 16,000 of his supporters doing just that on his own web site.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-04 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

But where's Obama in all this?

Is he reduced to a web host for those who disagree with FISA?

I ask again, where's the leadership?

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

MS01,

How young are you ?

Obama can explain slowly & clearly what his intentions & views are.

But at the end of the day, its the vote that counts. Yes or No. Up or Down. Black or White.

As Sieg perfectly put it, its all about action, not words

Take off the blinders please.

There is no more Hillary to bash.

Millions of "idealistic" left democrats cannot carry him in November. He will need millions of "moderate, centrist" americans.

You know, those millions of "evil" americans who happen to be moderates.

by labanman 2008-07-04 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

If I had to guess, I'd say I am probably older than you by quite a few years, if not decades.

Most of your comment makes absolutely no sense as a response to my comment. I made a comment that could be considered moderate and then you go off on a rant about ldealistic left democrats and moderate centrist Americans. Which do you think I am? Do you have any clue? A better one than your guess about my age.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-04 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: On FISA

There simply weren't 41 Senators willing to risk their political careers, and vote against cloture on the "compromise."  And it's not worth asking Democratic Senators to risk their political career over FISA when there are 150,000 troops in a place where a war should never have been waged; when we have lost 291,000 jobs in the last six months; and when there are 45 million Americans without health insurance.  You have to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

by Brad G 2008-07-04 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: On FISA

Golly wow, to ask Democratic senators to risk their political career over the Constitution ... I guess these days, that's too much to ask for.

Listen to hero Russ Feingold explain it in simple terms:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDlYcn5HE s8

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hero Russ Feingold?

Like when he found the "adverse health consequences" exception to the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act to be too broad, and voted against the amendment?

Like when he voted to confirm John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Like when he voted to confirm John Ashcroft as Attorney General?

Like when he voted to confirm Diane "there is no such thing as an invalid search warrant" Sykes to the 7th Circuit?

Like when he voted to confirm Deborah Cook to the 6th Circuit?

Like when he voted for the welfare "reform" bill which contained the charitable choice provisions he opposed?

All politicians have their sins.  Even Paul Wellstone voted for the Defense of Marriage Act while more moderate Democratic Sens. Bob Kerrey (Neb.), Chuck Robb (Va.), and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.) opposed the bill.

And, yes, the safety of 150,000 troops stuck in Iraq, the struggles of the 291,000 Americans who have lost their job in the last six months, the plight of 45 million Americans without health insurance are more important than a FISA bill where authorization is renewed every few years.

by Brad G 2008-07-04 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Hero Russ Feingold?

Golly you're right, Russ Feingold sucks too.

Down with all Democrats, useless asses.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

He said he would fillibuster ANY law that had immuity in it.  Those were his words.  

by searchforsolidarity 2008-07-04 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

And 80 other senators disagreed with him and voted for cloture. He can't filibuster once that is done. He doesn't get to make the rules on how the senate works.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-04 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

The NYT talks about Obama's promise to not be beholden to interest groups.  They were merely pointing out the coordinated effort to woo evangelicals, by risking the constitution a la Bush.

But I see from your comment that you're perfectly happy with this brand of Obama.  Good for you.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

"I don't want to pit Red America against Blue America. I want to be President of the United States of America."

Barack Obama - November 10th, 2007

He's building bridges, not trying to win the "Culture War" once and for all.  Apparently, some of you didn't believe that he meant it when he said those words.

At this point, I'm starting to think that some of you out there are more afraid that Obama might succeed in healing a divided country than anything else.

by hello world 2008-07-04 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

verbatim,

What? Obama came out in support of the DC gun ban last year, now he sides with Scalia. He also based a large part of his Presidential campaign on being a political reformer, with campaign financing playing a big part in it, yet he is the first person to opt out of GE funding since the post-Watergate laws were implemented.

by rayj 2008-07-04 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

What is wrong with opting out of a broken system?

by Dreorg 2008-07-04 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

I actually agree with you, as I do not think he has really changed that much. I wonder if this is the obligatory first step to the implementation of the General Election Rules for the Democratic Nominee (GERDN). What will be the meme of 2008 to try to bring him down? And how much do we let this set us a twitter right now?

Perhaps now the talking bobble heads that were so against Hillary, will now turn their hypercritical eye on Obama, and that will make me want to defend him more. Oh well, just the Democrat in me I guess. I would rather do that than the other, less appealing trait of the Demoratic party; the one where we are just so damned good at eating our own.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

You must be confused. The editorial is referring to Idealized Fictional Super-Obama. You know, the flawless perfect Democrat who agrees with them on everything 100% of the time.

It certainly is not referring to the actual Obama whose positions were written in black and white in his books years ago and repeated on the campaign trail.

It's time to admit that we've fallen prey to a huge and powerful meme, that Obama is a "flip-flopper" or a "typical politician." Admittedly, the FISA issue is a big downer. But now the media is trying to create a Swiftboat-style narrative against Obama, magnifying everything he says and blowing it out of proportion: "OMG! He said he's gonna consult with generals! He's changed his Iraq position!!!!" or "OMG! He won't criticize a binding U.S. Supreme Court decision on guns! He's pandering to the NRA!!!!" And on and on.

It tells you something when Karl frickin' Rove himself is out there pushing the flip-flop meme, and the media is lapping it up like pacified farm animals.

Normally, sites like this one would be all over the issue, hitting back about falsehoods and distortions. Not anymore. Now the old anti-Obama zombies return from their self-imposed exile to twist the knife even more. ("Obama flip-flopped on abortion!!" "This is what you get for being so mean to Hillary!!").

What sad, pathetic spectacle. I give this diary another 2 minutes before it's on the wreck list with another day's worth of fighting, arguing, insults, trolls and drive-by TRs.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-07-04 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Yeah, I think the media is trying to keep it close, drop Obama down a few notches, even the playing field out...how boring and unprofitable will the general be to have a landslide this far out?

There is a lot dirt on McCain but it's not getting any traction in the media.  Such a shame, it is like "so in" to trash the dem frontrunner, even on this website.

I hope we start using our tools to promote the candidacy of our democratic nominee, I sure as hell would hate to have another 4 more years of Bush.  McCain will sink this country economically.

by KLRinLA 2008-07-04 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

And it's a lot easier to take him down a few notches when they can simply plug in the little pieces into the Lite Brite outline. They already know how they want to portray him--"a new kind of politics" makes such an inviting target!--so now they just make the facts fit their desired outcome. Hell, even if the peg doesn't fit the whole, just cram it in there hard enough and maybe it'll stick.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-07-04 10:18AM | 0 recs
Jesse Helms

passed away this morning; sorry to momentarily hijack the thread.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-04 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Jesse Helms

Yeah, I am trying not to feel good about it.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Jesse Helms

I am sorry for the loss to his family.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Jesse Helms

Sorry, having lived in North Carolina and being saddled with him and his racist/homophobic/sexist ideals for a few years, I won't miss him.
My sympathy to his family.

And the man ABC News now describes as a "conservative icon" in 1993 sang "Dixie" in an elevator to Carol Moseley-Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the Senate, bragging, "I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing Dixie until she cries." (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/5/93)

by skohayes 2008-07-04 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Jesse Helms

I remember him in the 80's and 90's, and yeah, he really was a piece of shit.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 05:21PM | 0 recs
my thoughts

It will take me a while to get over the FISA issue, but at this point there is nothing that will stop me from donating, volunteering, and then voting to make sure McCain is not the next president.

by highgrade 2008-07-04 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

You can also push your candidate towards progressive issues and away from the right-controlled "center".

We ought to make as much noise as we can so that the Democratic nominee remains firmly Democratic.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

I totally agree with you. But can we do this in a respectful manner? I would venture to say, I do not think the NYT piece was particularily helpful or illuminating. Just as the bullshit the TBH's will follow with, will be more of the same.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

The NYT piece wasn't particularly helpful or illuminating?

I'm not clear about what you expect the NYT to do.  Helpful to what?  Illuminating to whom?

I think it's imperative for left-leaning editorial boards to hold Obama's feet to the fire, to keep the pressure on.  By expounding on progressive points, these newspapers can provide a rational framework with which to move the electorate leftward.  In practical terms, they can give Obama cover, in case he decides to actually act on the progressive platform many expected him to carry.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 12:05PM | 0 recs
Lazy poster, mine from other threads

Sorry, I am too busy to say this again, lifted from a comment I made in response to Barack Obama Praying at the Pump by linfar, Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:47:06 PM CDT

I guess I never really bought into the
perspectives that Obama was that progressive or left. That is one of the reasons I supported Hillary. I was fairly certain I understood her positions, and was willing to support her even if she is more conservative than me. I liked Barack at first, and was really supportive of him after his 2004 speech. However, after the campaigns really got going, I saw Hillary as the better candidate. I could go on about my reasons why, but the primary is over, and I am now all about Barack.

Needless to say, I have never really seen him as super lefty, but I am understanding the transformative stuff better. I am coming to realize that Barack is lot like me. That being said, that may actually be one of the reasons I did not think he was ready. I know I am not. But since I started looking at him, I see that he is much tougher than I thought. He is also a very good politician.

Now some may think this is a put down, I do not. I think it is probably mandatory that anyone who runs for the Presidency, understand the politic of our times. That includes the public, the voters, the media and Washington, DC.

I guess, maybe sadly, we are seeing his savvy in this area, at this time. Yes, it is discouraging, but I hear smart people saying; perhaps we should convince the American people that they are more progressive and liberal than we all realize, so that he does not need to cant so far to the right.                                                                                             Personally, I think this is OUR job to help him do what he needs to do. So folks, let's get to it. Have fun and while celebrating the 229 birthday of our Declaration of Independence, and please send fond wishes for a very happy Constitutional birthday on September 17. (you made me look Linfar ;-P)

Earlier comment to New York Times Slams Obama

I actually agree with you, as I do not think he has really changed that much. I wonder if this is the obligatory first step to the implementation of the General Election Rules for the Democratic Nominee (GERDN). What will be the meme of 2008 to try to bring him down? And how much do we let this set us a twitter right now?

Perhaps now the talking bobble heads that were so against Hillary, will now turn their hypercritical eye on Obama, and that will make me want to defend him more. Oh well, just the Democrat in me I guess. I would rather do that than the other, less appealing trait of the Demoratic party; the one where we are just so damned good at eating our own.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

Sorry, but I am not fond of the media, when they are complicit in the right wing talking point.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

Well, at this point he's already made his mind on FISA, I really don't know what the point of continuing to bring it up would be. Once he wins, then I think there would be a better chance of getting him to reassess the issue. Right now it will just weaken him.

I'm at the point, after 8 years of Bush, where winning is the #1 goal. Up to this point the campaign has been pretty good at making tactical decisions. If they think that this is what they need to do to win, then I'm all for it.

by highgrade 2008-07-04 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

"I'm at the point, after 8 years of Bush, where winning is the #1 goal."

Well, during the primary election, this "winning is the #1 goal" was venomously tacked on to Clinton, who was vilified for intending to do everything and anything to get elected.

How strange it is to see Obama supporters say the same thing, this time to excuse Obama's capitulation and equivocation on progressive issues.

What you say, "I really don't know what the point of continuing to bring it up would be," is sad on so many levels.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-04 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

Thank you, Sieglinde. As one of those Hillary supporters, I'd really like to hear from the earlier vilifiers: "She (Clinton) is quite a remarkable Democrat. We should not have ridiculed her; we should not have claimed that she wasn't 'pure' enough." When you have an argument with friends, family, all of us need reaffirmation like that...sometimes. (For those so anxious for unity and the reunited family, it is important to acknowledge sincerely the humanity and strengths of your previous opponent.)

by christinep 2008-07-04 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: my thoughts

There's no contradiction. When you're running against a fellow Democrat, "winning at any cost" means something different than it does when you're running against a Republican.

The cost people were accusing Clinton of being willing to pay during in the primary was the risk of damaging both potential Democratic nominees' chances in the general election -- not a cost with any upside to it. Thankfully, it didn't work out that way, but people were worried about Clinton winning a pyrrhic victory.

Now, "winning at any cost" is the only reasonable choice for Democrats, because the maximum cost Obama can pay -- voting for FISA, moving to the center, whatever it is you think he's doing that's upset you -- is a lower price than electing McCain would be. Getting Obama elected is, without getting too mired in hyperbole, the only sane option this country has.

In short: winning the primary is not the ultimate goal, and if your primary strategy puts the ultimate goal out of reach for your entire side, I think it's fair to say that's a cost that's too high to pay for winning. Putting a Democrat in the White House is the ultimate goal -- we cannot, simply can not, validate Bush's terms by electing McCain -- and if the price we pay is having a Democrat who hasn't ticked the right ticky box on every progressive issue I hold dear, that's a price I'm willing to pay.

by jere7my 2008-07-04 04:06PM | 0 recs
there is a difference

Between Hillary saying that McCain would be a more competent president than Obama (which hurts us all - the Dem party and any future nominee) and Obama shifting on FISA.

by highgrade 2008-07-07 10:59AM | 0 recs
NYTimes propaganda rag

(sometimes)

See Judith Miller's article on Iraq pre-invasion.

Will you people stop it! Obama is a progressive.

Do you know what that means? It means evaluating a situation and approaching the challenge in a step by step process to take action to solve a problem.

All the right has to do is play into the hard left's purity trolls positions and presto, Obama is changing positions.

If you recall many were not enthused about supporting him because he wasn't progressive enough. He has been mostly consistent on every issue, Especially Iraq.

Give the right some more talking points on myDD.

How easily the sheep are led by a mere news paper article and a meme put out by McCain surrogates.

by missliberties 2008-07-04 09:02AM | 0 recs
Obama wants to

protect the troops so they are not in harms way as we cautiously decrease force in Iraq.

What could be worse.

As the left like sheep being led by the nose, repeats knee jerk liberal hysteria, that Barack wants to make sure our troops are safe in their mission.

by missliberties 2008-07-04 09:10AM | 0 recs
Lazy Diarist

This doesn't have enough original content to be a diary, this should be a comment in an open thread.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-07-04 09:39AM | 0 recs
Good point

It probably shouldn't be that either - this is more content than fair use allows AFAIK - he shouldn't do that on this site.  

The diarist should delete much of it and provide a link, and try and write some content of his own.

by daria g 2008-07-04 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama_to_the_ center

That's a link to an AP article (which no doubt is going to every small town in America) which lists Obama's flips, and says in its title:

Obama's shifts to center give GOP ammo

I see that there is even reference to a new issue, on late-term abortions, where Obama says mental distress is not a true exception to the "health of the mother" rule.

Wow.

Physicians have been fighting for many years to have mental problems classified as legitimate concerns.  Obama's stance harkens back to the days when mental illnesses were ignored or reviled.

by strongerthandirt 2008-07-04 09:40AM | 0 recs
"flip flop"

Is a GOP term applied only to Democrats and never to Republicans like McBush who commit truly egregious reversals.

Therefor, anyone who uses the term to descibe any Democrat is either a Republican or a tool of theirs.

That's means you, rayj.

by Beren 2008-07-04 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

The Times never bought the "Obama's a secret lefty" line. They knew where he stood on these issues, as they mention in this editorial, and decided to endorse Obama's more liberal opponent. This editorial is about the real hypocrisy in some of Obama's recent shifts.

Obama's goo-goo stances were always rhetorical and meaningless, but campaign finance reform is a favorite hobby horse of liberal editorialists so they have to hold him accountable for doing what any thinking person knew he would do, abandon public financing.

The remainder of their points are Bill of Rights defenses, appropriate to point out on the Fourth of July. Obama has recently taken more conservative positions on the 1st (Church and State), 2nd (Guns), 4th (Wiretapping) and 8th (death penalty) Amendments, and their argument is that shifting to the right on civil liberties is old politics, not change we can believe in.

by souvarine 2008-07-04 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

This was a good editorial.  My enthusiasm for this candidacy has been dropping more and more steadily (and before anyone complains - yes, I still plan to vote for Obama).  His FISA stance is especially frustrating, because it is exactly what the NYT says it is - a "cynical Washington deal that erodes the power of the special court [...] and allows more warrantless eavesdropping than ever."  It is frustrating because it isn't even going to win him any votes - no voter is going to say "oh, I'm for the guy who supports wiretapping."  This was just a typical, cynical, duck-and-hide political move because Obama wasn't willing to stand on principle and take the Republicans head-on.

And if I can rant about one more thing here.  NAFTA.  Obama has evidently been sending out signals (different than the whole primary thing about the subject) that his NAFTA rhetoric was just rhetoric.  This is bullshit.  Sorry, you can't win your nomination by taking certain positions, and then immediately reversing your positions once you've won.  NAFTA and our other trade agreements are very important to a lot of people in this country.  These people deserve to have a president who understands them and is actually willing to do something to help.  Having our nominee staking a position that is really no different from the Republicans is almost enough to make me cry.  This is supposed to be the party of the people, dammit.  If this party doesn't speak for workers, who will?

At the least, if this is part of larger "move to center" effort, I would at least appreciate some sort of wink, wink, nudge, nudge from his campaign that somehow lets us know he is actually planning on being progressive, and he just needs to do this to get elected.  But I haven't seen anything like it, and I can't help but feel more than a little betrayed.

by Daliant 2008-07-04 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Who has said Obama's stance on NAFTA has changed, and what evidence did they present?

by Sarcastro 2008-07-04 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

In an interview in Fortune magazine he reportedly said:

Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified
and proceeded to back away from his stronger anti-NAFTA position in the primary.

by souvarine 2008-07-04 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Right.  In the same interview he also used what I consider to be weasel language when he said he doesn't want to "unilaterally" renegotiate NAFTA.  "Unilaterally" sounds bad because we just unilaterally went to war in Iraq.  We don't want to do anything "unilaterally".  In reality, the idea of "unilaterally" renegotiating a trade deal doesn't even make sense, by definition.  What he is really saying, without wanting to get quoted on it, is that he is backing away from his pledge he gave in the Ohio debate to force a renegotiation of NAFTA during his first six months as president.  Making pledges is apparently just some of that "heated rhetoric" we hear so much about.

by Daliant 2008-07-04 11:46AM | 0 recs
Evidence? HIS OWN WORDS!

I don't know where you've been, but there was a certain little dust-up during the Ohio Primary over NAFTA. After Obama's trashing of the agreement in a fashion that would make Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan proud, the Canadians' patience ran out. Trade Minister David Emerson wrily noted:

"Knowledgeable observers should inform Mr.Obama that Canada is the largest supplier of energy to the United States. Perhaps he'd prefer to buy oil from Venezuela, and Hugo Chavez".

Obama responded with an amateur-hour, back channel effort to calm the Canadians by sending his economic advisor Austin Goolsby to give them a wink and a nod...to tell them that he was actually for NAFTA. Goolsby has denied none of this.

So forgive people if they wonder where Barack stands on NAFTA.

by BJJ Fighter 2008-07-04 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Ouch. But it was justified. This guys waffling is definitely giving the Repugs ammo, as the NYT points out. I'm a dem, I'll vote for him but he was always the weaker of our two potential candidates. Can anyone imagine Clinton wobbling all over the place like this. I don't see it somehow. With his weak poll numbers he can't make to many errors like this going into the convention or those supers are going to start second guessing.  

by ottovbvs 2008-07-04 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Light a few more candles and Hillary might poll this one out yet!

by Sarcastro 2008-07-04 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Can you Imagine if this was Hillary

Can you imagine if it was Hillary Clinton who did all of these centrist moves in the last week of June 2008 as the nominee ???

We would see Kos, Moveon & Mydd going beserk & calling Hillary names you can't even post here!

Where are all the Loud, Idealist Obamamaniacs ?

The silence is deafening !

P.S. This is just the preview. Wait until he becomes President. Bill Clinton would be very proud of his "centrist" successor Obama.

by labanman 2008-07-04 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Can you Imagine if this was Hillary

No need to imagine because she was defeated.

And one can only move to the Center if it is likely you will do well there.

Polls consistently show Hillary is popular amongst the Democratic base, whereas Cruella is reviled by moderates and Independents.

Moot point, bro.

by ChangeMatters 2008-07-04 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Can you Imagine if this was Hillary

"Where are all the Loud, Idealist Obamamaniacs ?"

Uh -- posting voluminously, in droves, criticizing Obama? Did you miss Markos's pledge to withhold his donation to Obama over FISA, or the three hundred diaries on DKos raking him through the coals?

Do a little research, please.

by jere7my 2008-07-04 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

How is this a diary?  Copying an excerpt from an article is not a diary.

by Saintcog 2008-07-04 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Fuck the New York Times.  I'm sorry, I never use language that strong, but for the "paper of record" their coverage in the last several weeks has been so biased and so shoddy that I question why anyone would take them seriously.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others, have given up their proud traditions to try to stay relevant in an increasingly TV-news driven world.

by barath 2008-07-04 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

"The Barack Obama of the primary season used to brag that he would stand before interest groups and tell them tough truths. The new Mr. Obama tells evangelical Christians that he wants to expand President Bush's policy of funneling public money for social spending to religious-based organizations -- a policy that violates the separation of church and state and turns a government function into a charitable donation."

The competent media is finally waking up to the cold reality that the great Senator is nothing more than a hypocrite and there is little substance behind his poetic words. Better late than never.

by bsavage 2008-07-04 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

/incompetent

by bsavage 2008-07-04 12:36PM | 0 recs
Better Late Than Never...

Not really. This pivot to attacking Obama had been planned all along. It is just the same as the pivot to attacking John Kerry. The main stream media is owned by the corporations, and the corporations are owned by Republicans. They can't help themselves but to try and elect a Republican, no matter how terrible they are. That's why we got Bush. That's why they are trying to elect McCain. The entire plan has been to destroy Clinton, because she was the stronger candidate, then to turn the spotlight on Obama. Obama has no experience with battling the main stream media. They made him by blowing sweat air anytime he spoke. If they make you they can break you, and that's what they are trying to do. He is playing right into their hands by shifting his positions from those that got him the nomination. Some may say smart politics, but others will call him a flip-flopper, and no one likes a flip-flopper. Really, this is just his inexperience with the media again. They are challenging him to "move to the center" and when he does, they attack him for it. This is what they can do because his convictions were not that strongly held in the first place. He has been the blank slate upon which everyone scribbles their hopes. Now those hopes are colliding with other peoples hopes and, as he develops more of a record, his own.

by MediaFreeze 2008-07-04 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Better Late Than Never...

I kind of agree with you, but I think and hope that he is much better at this than you think. I am going to sit back a bit and see what happens. That and try to keep convincing people that it's ok to be liberal and progressive.

by Hollede 2008-07-04 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Let me also add, that this position that you mention--continuing the hand out to religious organizations--is the one that troubles me the most.

This is a complete abuse of government and the fact that he would want to continue it--of course substituting his favored religions--says volumes about the man.

by MediaFreeze 2008-07-04 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Does it say volumes about Clinton that she supported it as well?

by jere7my 2008-07-04 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama
Actually maybe he is doing this now and we are one of the interest groups he is referring to.
(slightly snarky, but it might make you think)
by Hollede 2008-07-04 02:04PM | 0 recs
I SAY GOODLUCK TO NYT

anytime a candidate develops a fan following verging on cult-like sycophancy the candidate forgets his identity and develops a god complex. We have seen it with Bush and now we are seeing it with Obama.

by tarheel74 2008-07-04 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: New York Times Slams Obama

Happy 4th people.

Be careful out there.  The trolls are thick today.

by hello world 2008-07-04 01:01PM | 0 recs

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