So where is your tipping point on Obama's moves to the center?

Oh what joy I get to write diaries now. So without trying to write one that would go into too many policy issues tonight. I had a question earlier than was left mostly unanswered in another diary.  With some many diaries on FISA, abortion and all these controversial or centrist moves by Obama- I was curious about what is the pulse of the community here? It seems extremely fractious on reaching a majority consensus on what principles of the Democratic Party are off the table for Obama to move to the center on.

Of course the more people participate in this call to honest discussion - hopefully we will see hints of the common ideals among democrats here.  A rec would also help to boost more participation.  (As I shamelessly pander to ask for it). So without further adieu:  

What is the tipping point in terms of a policy you will not compromise on if the senator moves his position on such policy and to the center?

Question: What after he visits Iraq he calls the surge a success in any measure. What if Obama moves away from his 16 month all combat troops home firm policy to maybe I will reconsider that timeline or a timeline period? Would you still be on board or will you throw a yellow flag on the field?

Update [2008-7-7 1:53:59 by roxfoxy]: quick note: My question about tipping point is not when you will flip and vote McCain rather when do you see yourself as being activists( because of said policy change) of sorts- similar to actions of much of the FISA dissenters on the net.

Tags: obama (all tags)

Comments

41 Comments

Way too generalized

to be useful or even answerable as asked.  You need to sharpen the question significantly.  Try stating some examples of what would be "moving to the center" on a particular issue.  Also be sure to distinguish rhetoric from actual language in proposed legislation.

by JJE 2008-07-06 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Way too generalized

" Example: What after he visits Iraq he calls the surge a success in any measure. What if Obama moves away from his 16 month all combat troops home firm policy to maybe I will reconsider that timeline or a timeline period? Would you still be on board or will you throw a yellow flag on the field? "

by roxfoxy 2008-07-06 09:21PM | 0 recs
not good enough

"calls the surge a success in any measure"?  Who cares what he calls it?  This is exactly the kind of fluff nobody should care about.  "Maybe I will reconsider that timeline"?  Who cares?  Such a statement is meaningless.  

by JJE 2008-07-06 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Way too generalized

He has given me no indication of a change on Iraq.  Hasn't he always said we need to be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were getting in?  What did you think that would mean?  Setting a date and sticking to it no matter what advice he received?

by niksder 2008-07-07 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move

On most issues Obama would have to go awfully far right to pass McCain. But if Obama went further right than McCain on one or more civil liberties issues I would have to begin considering McCain.

by souvarine 2008-07-06 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move

How about if McCain goes to the left?

by french imp 2008-07-06 09:54PM | 0 recs
The Surge

The Surge has succeeded, but not at what we set out to do.  Politically it has been pretty much a flop.

However, I'm not sure its wise to ignore what it has accomplished.  The grown-ups are running the DoD now (thank God they convinced Gates to take the job, he didn't want to leave A&M), there's an outside chance we can leave Iraq in some semblance of a coherent state.

I'm not saying I think that's more likely than not.  However, it is possible now and it wasn't before.

Strategy is not the same thing as tactics.  If strategically we are bailing out, but tactically we are trying to do right by the Iraqis, well that's wondeful.

Read up on how Palestine turned out after the British left in a hurry.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-06 09:23PM | 0 recs
When Yellowdem is concerned

about Obama drifting too much to the right, that's when you should sound the alarm.  I would stay away from anymore "rightward" "shifts," "revelations," or whatever you want to call them; he's done enough in terms of articulating "centrist" positions to the American public.  His aim should have always been to become "stylistically" moderate/conservative (e.g. Hillary standing on a pickup truck, using the word "obliterate," downing shots), rather than "substantively" moderate/conservative.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-06 09:28PM | 0 recs
If he

goes an inch out from his promise on Iraq. He will lose me. I don't want to hear any word from you 'Obama had this speech on Iraq in 2002 and hillary  blah blah blah ' voters.

Time to put up or __  on this issue.  

by bluemycluetoday 2008-07-06 09:37PM | 0 recs
2nd comment ever?

Your writing style is verrrrry familiar.

Weren't you the one who ....

WAIT A MINUTE!

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/7/1/14 30/81964/10

aliveandkickin!

It looks like they finally got around to banning your troll ass.

Nice to see your still in tip top troll shape.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-06 09:55PM | 0 recs
Re: 2nd comment ever?

Are you always this irritating to people on the net?
I ignored you the last time you said that because it seemed like paranoia.  But should I expect you to always come into every comment I make with your hair brain paranoia?  

Yes second comment.  I'm sure you started with 100 comments in the bank here. I don't hang around all day everyday like you.

by bluemycluetoday 2008-07-06 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: 2nd comment ever?

( ;

Nice try buddy.

When can we expect your next diary?

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-06 10:06PM | 0 recs
Re: 2nd comment ever?

Spacemanspiff,

Please keep your personal need to disrupt diaries while on the hunt and in your big brother mode- away from my diary.  Thank you.

by roxfoxy 2008-07-06 10:08PM | 0 recs
You had to bite didn't you?

I'd be glad to comply with your request A&K. Whoops!  Ha!

You are so gullible. I've seen your posts on several diaries and let you have your fun. After all, you are behaving now and their was no reason to ruin perfectly good diaries by calling you out.

Please take the time to read these comments fellow users.

It's pretty obvious only a sockpuppet would rec this filth :

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/7/2/16 5150/1050/23?mode=alone;showrate=1#23

I'm thinking this is the post that got you banned kid.

How about this nugget?

Check out the the classic "blah, blah, blah" style. It's his trademark (see above).

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/7/2/16 5150/1050/8

Who could forget this classic quip you just had to uprate :

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/7/2/16 5150/1050/7?mode=alone;showrate=1#7

You see aliveandkickin, you're not laying as low as you think. I'm glad you're behaving like an adult for a change. Keep up the good work and stay out of trouble!

Say hi to the rest of your sockpuppets for me!

/waves to aliveandkickin and his sockpuppet family

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-06 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: You had to bite didn't you?

Oh lordy, you have gone over the deep end. Now you see A&K in me too?

I uprated that comment and other comments only in that one thread and gave a reason as to why below it.  

Infact you had a witty reply back to him on that message thread. I clearly said I was uprating all the HR's so A/K could see the replies.

I did it to allow A&K to view your remarks which were invisible to him, since his comments were being HR'ed in the same thread.

Is this all you do all day?

by roxfoxy 2008-07-06 10:47PM | 0 recs
Excellent detective work, spaceman!

You have become one of my most adored MyDDers. ;)

by sricki 2008-07-07 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: 2nd comment ever?

TRd for disruption of the conversation, offtopic ranting, diary hijacking.

by rankles 2008-07-06 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: 2nd comment ever?

wtf is with all of this zeroing. People shouldn't get zeroes on comments just because they don't win popularity contests...

by bowiegeek 2008-07-07 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's

During the campaign, there is virtually nothing short of becoming a Republican he could do to lose my vote.  He could lose my active support with a dramatic rightward shift on foreign policy (particularly Iraq), health care or education policy, civil rights, or some sick personal scandal, but that's all very, very unlikely.  And even if he did, I wouldn't vote for McCain - I'd just stay home.

Once he's president, I'll oppose him every time he does something that's significantly out of step with what I believe.

by ASDem 2008-07-06 09:39PM | 0 recs
Nothing

Short of joining the republican party Obama will be to the left of McCain on just about every issue.  If he and McCain agreed on every single issue but one, and on that one he was to the left of McCain he would have my vote.

Why?

Because at this point I want the president that is more closely aligned with my beliefs, or less contrary to my beliefs.  Either way you look at it, Obama fits that bill.  I didn't agree with Kerry on many things, yet I voted for him.  I don't agree with what I consider some triangulating by Obama, but I'll vote for him, because he's better than the other guy.

Posts like this don't help.  Because they work against electing the Democratic nominee by establishing some "tipping point."

by shalca 2008-07-06 09:39PM | 0 recs
I have no such tipping point

I'm not particularly bothered by anything Obama has said or done lately.  I'm not a fan of his recent support of the death penalty, but I realize it's politically smart and I've no reason to believe he hasn't always held that position.  And, since it was a SC decision, I've also no reason to believe he can really change that decision, barring making the death penalty some sort of SC litmus test.

I'm bothered by FISA, but not so much because of Obama but because Congressional Democrats didn't have the guts to stick to their guns on no immunity.  

I'm not bothered in the least by his abortion stance, and I think the whole Iraq fuss is much ado about nothing, given his statements during the primaries and the fact that common sense dictates that a Presidential candidate can't make military decisions without consulting with the JCoS.

by freedom78 2008-07-06 09:49PM | 0 recs
Define "tipping point"

There's a lot Obama is doing that is not exactly how I would handle it. Nonetheless, so long as he is significantly left of McCain, I'll support him and (which means more than just my vote) and not do anything to undermine him (which means damage the enthusiasm he needs for success).

by warmwaterpenguin 2008-07-06 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on

I'm not sure that there has been a "move to the center," other than perhaps on FISA.  For example, he has supported faith-based initiatives for quite some time.  That he did not always talk about some issues, or previously talked about them in a different way, does not qualify as a "move," in my opinion.  This is almost a completely Republican- and media-manufactured controversy.

by rfahey22 2008-07-06 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on

Amen.  The whole primary campaign was fought on the Iraq/economy terrain that when issues like civil liberties, campaign finance, and the death penalty pop up, we shouldn't be surprised to hear something we haven't heard before.

by ASDem 2008-07-06 10:02PM | 0 recs
But that's not a good thing

for the 'roots because many of the people are hoping these are "shifts" designed to get crossover votes, rather than actual longly held beliefs that he had not previously articulated.  He soundly defeated Hillary among "liberal" voters because many of them thought he was more liberal than her; some of them may have voted differently if as you claim, these were the positions he held all along.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-06 10:02PM | 0 recs
Re: But that's not a good thing

Well, if it would have affected their votes, then they probably should have asked about those other issues.  There's no point in discussing issues that no one wants to talk about.  The faith debate, or whatever it was, should have given people a good impression of his views on that particular issue.  Moreover, the candidates' stances on the above issues seem to be a wash to some extent - Clinton also supports faith-based initiatives and hasn't staked out a clear position on FISA.  

The Democratic primary is where the candidates address issues important to Democrats; the general campaign is where the candidates address other issues that non-Democrats consider important.  Certainly some Democrats will disagree with the nominee on those other issues, but then that is always the case.

by rfahey22 2008-07-06 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move

The most left leaning candidate will get my vote.

I'm sure he'll piss me off alot of times now (in the G.E. campaign) and when he's sworn into office as well. As long as he has the support of the Democratic party he has my vote.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-06 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's

Stop perverting his position.  His timelines for bringing the troops home has always been contingent on what the generals would say is possible.  There is NO firm date.  It wouldn't be a change in position if he is unable to make his goal of 16 months.

Do a little research before you start spouting off about a candidates positions with which you know nothing about.

by matchles 2008-07-06 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's

Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell.

I doubt you will find anyone who agrees with you. He has a definite timeline of 16 months he has said over and over again in the primaries.

by roxfoxy 2008-07-06 11:10PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's

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."

Obama on Iraq, November 2007: He's said that he's going to get all combat troops out of Iraq by the end of his first year in office and is challenging the rest of you to say what you're going to do. Would you do that? Would you get all combat troops out of Iraq by the end of the first year?

"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."

Your 16 months IS based on the discretion of the generals.  It isn't a random timeline.  Obviously if things changed on the ground and the generals tell him that this is impossible, it could change.  But your statement that he has vowed to remove troops in 16 months regardless of the condition there is misinformed and misleading.

by matchles 2008-07-06 11:30PM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's

I'm afraid the only room he has on generals is them saying how to withdraw. That being logistics and not when to withdraw. The when and by has been established by Obama.  Of course he may have some small latitude on logistics but not on staying the course.

Now you can spin it as- if Petraeus says no for another 3 years THAT you will be fine with it. But then his stance on staying the course would be no different than George Bush and McCain.  If we follow your twist then what is difference between Obama and Bush?  Bush says the same "I'll listen to my commanders on Iraq".

by roxfoxy 2008-07-07 12:00AM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's

Yeah, the advice of the generals is going to be how soon we can safely withdraw.  Based on the advice he has already received Obama has decided that there is no reason we can't have all combat troops out in 16 months. He has never stated that this timeframe is not subject to change.  Due to conditions on the ground it could take longer, or even be quicker.

I am not spinning or twisting his position; that is what you have been doing.  I'm simply quoting the man in full context to show that what you've been saying is wrong.  I haven't implied this slippery slope argument that you tried to pin on me.  I think it is rather pathetic that your criticisms of Obama have been reduced to imagined changes of policy that you believe he MIGHT make.

by matchles 2008-07-07 09:41AM | 0 recs
He would have to either

become pro-life or tell us we musn't "change the course" in Iraq "because it will embolden the terrorists." Short of that, he gets my money, advocacy, and vote.

However, if doesn't end the war during his first term, I will pray for a primary challenger in 2012 and work for him/her.

by sricki 2008-07-07 03:18AM | 0 recs
no tipping point

I'm not even close to considering a 'tipping point'.  At this point he's remained fairly consistent in his views & opinions.  

I fully expect him to bring our combat troops out of Iraq within the first 16 months - or so.  But I do expect that, unlike Bush, he'll gather data first and devise a withdrawal that doesn't create absolute catastrophe in the region.  Note that this is very different from McCain's desire to keep our troops there until some ineffable "victory" is achieved.

While I personally do not approve of the death penalty under any circumstances, I appreciate that Obama disagreed with the SCOTUS ruling that, as it turned out, was based on inaccurate, or incomplete data:

It turns out that Justice Kennedy's confident assertion about the absence of federal law was wrong.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/washin gton/02scotus.html?_r=1&scp=12&s q=Supreme+Court&st=nyt&oref=slog in

by January 20 2008-07-07 04:13AM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move
Myself?  I feel very strongly about pie.  I'm probably alone on this, so I really appreciate you including it in the poll.
to start, I refuse to be bamboozled on the whole "amnesty for Hostess" issue.  Those aren't PIES, dammit, and the crust is a foot thick.  
If Obama does his famous 180 on pie and starts pandering to the Right and their "mom and apple pie" meme, well, that's it for me.  He ran on pecan dammit.  
And as for Pelosi, Reid and all the rest of those spineless do-nothing meringue apologists stooges, well, hopefully one day the rest of you will wake the fuck up.  
Fifty pie strategy my ass.  
by grassrootsorganizer 2008-07-07 04:43AM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move

I think Obama will be out of Iraq in two years, and am genuinely curious about whether those who would consider this a betrayal have been giving the situation there any scrutiny.  Think those who won't acknowledge that the past year has seen important changes (ie. a reduction in violence and some restoration of civil order) are being tragically wrong-headed, because the challenge we'll face isn't simply leaving but doing so on terms which won't require the US, at some later point, to go back (and the best way to do that, clearly, would be to leave an Iraq which had a stable government, most Iraqis don't want a US presence which lasts for decades).  I write this, btw, as someone who didn't think last year that these changes would occur, but they clearly have.

So I'll tweak the question a bit.  What is the crucial bit of information which someone must have in order to discuss Iraq intelligently?  Knowledge of the fact that Iraq is scheduled to have its own national elections at the end of next year, this will probably be the crucial round, because it will determine whether Maliki stays in power, the role Sadr and other Shi'ite factions would have in a post-US Iraq, the extent to which Sunnis will share power, the role of the Kurds, etc.  These are scheduled to occur in December, 2009.

And because of this, the calender for a sensible withdrawal writes itself.  The US should spend all of 2009 doing what it can to ensure that these elections go well.  Every short-term goal should be subordinated to this.  Then the US should probably leave whatever the circumstances (but the exact terms, ie. what its force structure in the Middle East should be, will depend entirely upon whether there is a new government in place which has the ability to exercise the minimum functions of sovereignty).

If the US doesn't do this, eg. spends all of 2009 withdrawing its forces, the result, almost certainly, will be one of a few bad outcomes.  Eg., Maliki will simply cancel the election (because it's not at all clear he's going to survive); Iran will attempt to skew the election in their favor through sock puppetry;  the various factions which have an interest in civil war will pick a fight (this could be Shi'ite on Sunni, Sunni on Kurd, there are numerous possibilities), which, again, could lead to the cancellation of this election.

Do progressives really have this sort of worry: "What after he visits Iraq he calls the surge a success in any measure."  Because if they do, well, I don't share it, and in practical terms think they're on the cusp of supporting something which would be both foolish and morally reprehensible.  The Iraqi public has suffered enough.  I don't think the Dems should stick their heads in the sand so they can deny the Republicans some ability to claim a moral victory (which they're going to do anyway, if Iraq goes up in flames a year from now the architects of this strategy will claim that the Dems simply blew it).

Does Obama understand the different variables in play?  From what I can see, he seems to.  He hasn't left himself any wiggle room on the question of whether the US should withdraw completely.  For all of this talk about him "tacking to the center" on Iraq, all he's doing right now is saying that how the US withdraws matters (and good for him, he's right).

What's the tipping point for me on this issue?  If 2010 comes around the subject of withdrawal has fallen by the wayside.  Which, frankly, I'm not expecting, and if this occurred the Dems in Congress would probably bring the war to a screeching halt (I mean, c'mon, who thinks they wouldn't?).

Here's another big mistake I think some progressives are making: they don't have a keen understanding of the role which the executive branch and Congress, respectively, play in setting foreign policy.  A Republican president probably could do whatever he wanted (because the only remedy the Dems would have would be the draconian one, cut off all funding, and that wouldn't be a great outcome, because this approach, by its nature, makes any sort of intelligent endgame impossible).

Congressional Democrats would have a lot of influence on a Democratic president, though (and I'm assuming something which I don't believe is the case, btw, that a president Obama and a Democratic Congress would have fundamentally different goals, but c'mon, Obama could not veto a bill which cut off all funding in, say, six months, wouldn't ally with Republicans to launch a filibuster, etc., these are crazy scenarios).

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-07-07 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move

If we are to give any room in acknowledging successes of the surge which leads to a change in the commencement of our withdrawal date, would mean that we give McCain his due for being honestly the only guy to stick his neck out for pushing such a surge.  

That's the political fallout from acknowledging the success and altering the set date on withdrawal.

by roxfoxy 2008-07-07 06:15AM | 0 recs
My tipping point? John McCain (NT)

by username 2008-07-07 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: So where is your tipping point on Obama's move

My tipping point? If he were to go on stage and give George Bush a big hug and then call him the greatest president ever.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-07 06:18AM | 0 recs
What if?

people stopped trying to start a revolt against our nominee, and focused on winning an election for once?

by Maori 2008-07-07 09:08AM | 0 recs
What "moves to the center"?

Why are you buying into  -- and further promoting -- the corporatist media/GOP meme?  McCain points?

Obama's positions now are entirely consistent with his positions in December of last year.  He's always been a centrist.  Do your own researtch on his stated positions -- not what the corporatist press said his positions were/are, but what he really said -- then and now and you'll see that this is true. The corporatist/GOP media first misrepresented him as a lefty so that now they can misrepresent him as a flip-flopper.

by tbetz 2008-07-07 11:52AM | 0 recs

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