Obama Change or just another opportunist?

Squire Allworthy

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We now see some significant shifts in rhetoric from Obama as outlined in this CBS link.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/ ... 3218.shtml

What ever happened to, "bringing this war to a close and bringing our troops home within 16 months of taking office". Well he is now 'refining' that position. To quote from the link;

He said what he learns from military commanders on his upcoming trip to Iraq will refine his policy -- but "not the 16-month timetable" for withdrawing U.S. troops from combat in Iraq. He said what he learns could affect how many residual troops might be needed to train the Iraqi army and police.

Of course the change in position, or rather refining, seems to be a lot more widespread than Iraq. Is there anything that this candidate actually believes in? Do promises mean anything to him. Are his speeches really, 'only words', do they lack any commitment whatsoever?
 


flamez911

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I don't know how many people I have had to explain this to- the reason the US is in this mess in the first place is because Bush ignored intelligence reports and senior military advisors and went gung ho into an unnecessary war.

I don't think that Barack should ignore intelligence reports and senior military advisors, I think he should make efforts to get out of Iraq, without unnecessary loss of life, or bad consequences. He'll get US troops out of Iraq, but he'll be smart about it.
 

Seos

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Having read one of his books "dreams from my father" he seems genuine and that he does really seem to want to bring about change and that it isn't just hallow rhteoric.
 

Squire Allworthy

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The initial promise was idiotic and clearly bore no consideration to the war in Iraq and possible consequences. It did however have a political resonance in the USA and for that reason and that alone was it made. Now he wishes to broaden his appeal so woe and behold the position changes.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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In practice you can't really change anything over there without 60 Senators because otherwise you can't get anything through the Senate under the "cloture" rules. Remember that Clinton was supposed to bring in universal health-insurance and a Democratic Congress until 1995 wouldn't pass it. Even if it got through the House the Republicans in the Senate would have blocked it with a fillibuster as would conservative Democrats and those with ties to the vested interests. By definition you could say having any African-African as president is a change, but beyond that I doubt he would be able to really shake up the system. The US Constitution is designed to prevent too much power being concentrated in one person or organ of government, and the fact that 7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices were GOP appointees (even if 2 of them (Stevens and Souter) subsequently have turned out to be liberals) will make it very difficult for him to bring profound change in policy. He is already moving to a more mainstream (by US standards) position on gun-control, supporting the Supreme Court ruling striking down DC's gun-laws after previously saying the latter were constitutional. I had long regarded him as unelectable because of his history of Leftwing policy-positions and sympathy for the Palestinians, but I am now starting to wonder if his moves closer to the American Centre (except on fossil-fuels) on issues for example like Iraq, capital-punishment, gun-control and now even on faith-based initiatives could actually make him electable. Methinks not if he's caught out by the electorate and the media but we will see. Even if he does, I no longer believe he will have 60 Democratic Senators inhabiting the same point on the ideological spectrum as he does, nor enough opportunities to shift the Supreme Court to the Left (as the oldest justices are the liberal ones). I suspect he will have 2 opportunities to appoint people to the court, but that these will simply be replacing 2 liberals (most likely Stevens (88) and Ginsburg(74) with 2 liberals, leaving the Left-Right balance on the court intact.
 

morrissey

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Obama is doing what all clever U.S. politicians do at election time. If you are Democrat you campaign to the base of your party and once you have secured the nomination you race to the centre to secure the election. Thats politics in the USA, its clever politics. M Cain who secured the Republican nomination three months ago instead of moving to the centre is becomeing more right wing day by day. This is not a winning formula. Frankly the Mc Cain effort is ametureish. His attempts to attack are being hindered at every stage because in his political life he has Flip Flopped on almost every issue. In the hot house of a presidential election all this will be exposed and this is his biggest fear.
Attempts to target Michelle Obama have already backfired with the book now open on Cindy Mc Cain whos own drug addiction is now under the spotlight. Not only that but her theft of prescription drugs from a charity she was involved in will also come to be examined. In the states this is a Fellony and subject to a period of up to five years in prison. So attempting to Swift Boat Obama arent going to work and the only thing Mc Cain has left is his war record. A war record that involved bombing a defenceless city Hanoi in Vietman and targetting its civilian popupation is no record to be proud of. If the ball was on the other foot and the Vietnamese were bombing an American city we would have heard ~War Crime~ at every turn.
This campaign is facinating because it pitches a true ordinary American who through his own effort has achieved so much and that is the American dream, against one who was raised with the silver spoon is his mouth, one American who believes it is his right to be President, and one who believes America is still the land of Hope and Opportunity.
 

Universal_001

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I never believed this "you can yank them out in 16 months" argument, this isn't Vietnam, it's smack in the middle of the world oil supply, and the Iraqis show no interest in pulling together, they are stuck there for another 2-3 generations, and they know it...and they deserve it.
 

gendjinn

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This "story" is the result of framing and desired interpretation by the Traditional Media and it isn't actually a change in his stated policy. The big networks and papers want ratings and ratings are increased by a tight race which and it is worth remembering that every time you see something from CBS/ABC/NBC/Fox and the papers. Not to say it's always at play or is always perverting the story but like the unethical grocer with his thumb on the scales it is almost omnipresent.

Last year when Obama made his 16 months and out policy statement he uttered the sentence the press leaped upon as their justification for claiming he's flipped - namely that he would be listening to the commanders on the ground and taking the information they relayed to him into account when executing the withdrawal.

The media is looking for a horse race to interest viewers, so they are criticising the leader whilst ignoring stories about underdog - you're not hearing about McCain's failure to pay real estate taxes on his La Jolla home for 4 straight years, you're not hearing about his $65k plus credit card debts, you're not hearing about his high rolling "thousands of dollars a at a time" craps gambling with lobbyists, but you are hearing that Obama got a mortgage 30 basis points better than average. This is the same shower that all shilled for the Iraq invasion when it was obvious to anyone who could read that the "evidence" the administration claimed supported its position was crap.

This is not as bad as the BS on Wesley Clark's comments about McCain on "Face the Nation" June 29th where a 4 second quote was decried from the rooftops and misrepresented as attacking McCains integrity and military service. When you watch the full clip you find that is now what he said. This past Sunday on "Face the Nation" Jack Webb was talking about McCain and from out of nowhere Schieffer jumps at him asking "Are you attacking John McCain's integrity?" you'd have to be sniffing glue to find any justification for that question from what Webb was saying.
 

Young Ned

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Obama has always stated that he would listen to the generals, and that he would be as careful getting out as we were getting in. This sound bytes are not changes in policy, but rather a change in focus, that I believe is wise as he pivots for the general election.

As I say to my friend here at work, I'd rather have a President who says what he believes after he's elected, than an almost President who lost the election because he said what he believed.
 

The OD

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Squire Allworthy said:
We now see some significant shifts in rhetoric from Obama as outlined in this CBS link.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/ ... 3218.shtml

What ever happened to, "bringing this war to a close and bringing our troops home within 16 months of taking office". Well he is now 'refining' that position. To quote from the link;

He said what he learns from military commanders on his upcoming trip to Iraq will refine his policy -- but "not the 16-month timetable" for withdrawing U.S. troops from combat in Iraq. He said what he learns could affect how many residual troops might be needed to train the Iraqi army and police.

Of course the change in position, or rather refining, seems to be a lot more widespread than Iraq. Is there anything that this candidate actually believes in? Do promises mean anything to him. Are his speeches really, 'only words', do they lack any commitment whatsoever?
Fair play to him - he's showing us early that he'll be another plank like the one before him, except his chicanery will be polished and new with some Hollywood stars and crappy 4th rate 'rappers' backing him up on his meaningless soundbites....at least he wont be as irritating as Hilary though.

Watch him dive head first into the spin, double talk and the old US favourite 'flip floppin'...I cant wait....

:|
 

gendjinn

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The OD said:
Fair play to him - he's showing us early that he'll be another plank like the one before him, except his chicanery will be polished and new with some Hollywood stars and crappy 4th rate 'rappers' backing him up on his meaningless soundbites....at least he wont be as irritating as Hilary though.

Watch him dive head first into the spin, double talk and the old US favourite 'flip floppin'...I cant wait....

:|
Flip-flopping was coined in 2004 so it's not an "old US favourite" at all. And it's not gaining any traction with the electorate this time despite the punditocracy throwing it around like confetti.
 

Young Ned

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gendjinn said:
The OD said:
Fair play to him - he's showing us early that he'll be another plank like the one before him, except his chicanery will be polished and new with some Hollywood stars and crappy 4th rate 'rappers' backing him up on his meaningless soundbites....at least he wont be as irritating as Hilary though.

Watch him dive head first into the spin, double talk and the old US favourite 'flip floppin'...I cant wait....

:|
Flip-flopping was coined in 2004 so it's not an "old US favourite" at all. And it's not gaining any traction with the electorate this time despite the punditocracy throwing it around like confetti.
True that, and most of us are able to tell when a pol has changed his opinion due to reasoned analysis over time, or whether he's just pandering; a skill the punditocracy does not believe the electorate possesses.
 

fergalr

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Far be it from me to usually give this man praise, but Charles Krauthammer has a very good article about Obama's shape-shifting in the IT today.
 

Young Ned

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fergalr said:
Far be it from me to usually give this man praise, but Charles Krauthammer has a very good article about Obama's shape-shifting in the IT today.
Hmm, what did he say about McCain's 'shapeshifting'? Nothing? Weird..
 

fergalr

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Yeah, yeah... I know. But you hardly expect something approaching balance from the man, do you? And on the other side there is Andrew Sullivan, who is clearly infatuated with Obama.
 

gendjinn

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fergalr said:
Far be it from me to usually give this man praise, but Charles Krauthammer has a very good article about Obama's shape-shifting in the IT today.
Charles Krauthammer? Criticising a democrat? Why I never thought I'd see the day.... :roll:

The only time Krauthammer and good should appear in a sentence is when there's a negative interposed. He's naught but a partisan hack working for the Moonies.
 

Young Ned

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fergalr said:
Yeah, yeah... I know. But you hardly expect something approaching balance from the man, do you? And on the other side there is Andrew Sullivan, who is clearly infatuated with Obama.
Fair enough, but I have a real problem with Krauthammer and the mental gymnastics he's had to do to support everything this flatearth administration does.
 

fergalr

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So everything he says is wrong? It wasn't even a direct criticism, mind you.
 

Young Ned

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fergalr said:
So everything he says is wrong? It wasn't even a direct criticism, mind you.
Pretty much. He's effective at spinning, no doubt, but he says what he's paid to.
 

gendjinn

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Young Ned said:
gendjinn said:
[quote="The OD":36m3sdcj]Fair play to him - he's showing us early that he'll be another plank like the one before him, except his chicanery will be polished and new with some Hollywood stars and crappy 4th rate 'rappers' backing him up on his meaningless soundbites....at least he wont be as irritating as Hilary though.

Watch him dive head first into the spin, double talk and the old US favourite 'flip floppin'...I cant wait....

:|
Flip-flopping was coined in 2004 so it's not an "old US favourite" at all. And it's not gaining any traction with the electorate this time despite the punditocracy throwing it around like confetti.
True that, and most of us are able to tell when a pol has changed his opinion due to reasoned analysis over time, or whether he's just pandering; a skill the punditocracy does not believe the electorate possesses.[/quote:36m3sdcj]

I wish that were true 'cuz it certainly didn't happen in '04. Of course Kerry being a stumbling, wordy bastid did not help the situation.

The 4th estate is badly damaged in the public's eyes and their credibility has taken a battering, an example was the precipitous drop in George Stephanoupolos' numbers for This Week the Sunday following his (and Charlie Gibson's) atrocious handling of the Clinton/Obama debate. He's a couple of ignorant clangers on This Week since then, as if he's living in a bubble and unaware of what is going on outside of the Beltway and the chattering classes.

The meme that seems to capture this election cycle is "Anything but this" and that is bad news for Republicans everywhere.
 


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