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A Man For All Seasons

One of the repeated slams on Senator Barack Obama is that he "flip-flops." That he changes his positions as the wind blows, that he reverses himself on key issues depending on the group whose favor he is courting.

I've been thinking about that, and I think that that is unfair. Obama doesn't flip-flop. He doesn't keep reversing himself.

No, Obama is greater than that. He is above that. He transcends the limitations that burden us ordinary mortals.

Obama doesn't change his positions. He embraces them all, even the contradictory ones. He is capable of simultaneously embracing all sides of a position, proving himself truly The Great Uniter.

Let's say you are a strong advocate of gun control. You think that the government not only has the right to ban handguns, but the duty. Well, Obama agrees with you.

Alternately, you think that the government has no authority to do ban handguns, that the 2nd Amendment is crystal-clear on the matter and the state has no business saying that no one can possess handguns. Well, Obama is with you, too.

Or let's look at General Petraeus' "surge" strategy in Iraq. If you agree that the "surge" achieved great things, that it did exactly what it promised and provided what was needed in Iraq, that it was a stunning success, then Senator Obama is with you.

Or if you think that it was a bad idea, doomed from the start, and should never have been attempted, Senator Obama stands with you.

If you're deeply troubled by the economic costs of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, then Obama has your back. He said, repeatedly, that it should be re-negotiated, at the least.

But if you think that overall, NAFTA has been good for the American economy, and we shouldn't mess with it unless we're very careful, that's good -- Senator Obama is on your side.

In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do your sympathies lie with the Palestinians? Why, then, you should support Senator Obama, who supports the Palestinians' demand for at least a portion of Jerusalem as a capitol and a "contiguous" Palestinian state.

If you find yourself siding with the Israelis, then Obama's your man, because he supports an "undivided" Jerusalem, under Israeli control.

That's just four examples of Senator Obama's greatness. Holding such contradictory positions is far beyond the capabilities of ordinary mortals. But Senator Obama is far, far above such limitations.

Forget electing the guy president. Can't we coronate or canonize this -- as Chris Matthews so aptly put it -- "gift from the world?"


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Comments (81)

A year ago during an interv... (Below threshold)
Dave:

A year ago during an interview, McCain said he would most certainly leave Iraq if asked to by the Iraq government. Well McCain just flip flopped on that one.

Hmm... is Dave going for th... (Below threshold)

Hmm... is Dave going for the "missed the point" contest, or going for the "quick, change the subject!" prize?

J.

I am pointing out that McCa... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I am pointing out that McCain has flip flopped on his core issue. If I had the time I could point out just as many flip flops by McCain.

Jay,When you resor... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Jay,

When you resort to personal attacks you defeat the integrity of your own argument. At least thats what DJ says. But don't worry, DJ doesn't follow his own advice either.

Dave,When did the ... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Dave,

When did the Iraqi GOVERNMENT ask the United States to leave Iraq?

As I recall, all we have had so far is a vague/changing request (both as to content and timetable) from the Maliki - who is up for reelection himself soon.

If you have a source that indicates that the Iraqi government has made a formal, official request to have the US troops out, by all means post it for all of us to read.

Good grief, Dave, if you co... (Below threshold)

Good grief, Dave, if you consider my prior comment a "personal attack," you are one amazingly thin-skinned little bugger.

I don't recall mentioning McCain in my piece, and I specifically said Obama wasn't flip-flopping...

J.

Jay,I did not say ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Jay,

I did not say I was offended by it, but am merely pointing it out. You resorted to another personal attack by saying I have one amazingly thin-skinned little bugger.

Ummmm, Dave ....Wh... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Ummmm, Dave ....

When you "merely pointed it out", you engaged in a personal attack on Jay.

Now since he has demonstrated that he is anything but thin-skinned over time, I doubt he was offended by your comments either.

But should we discount your argument because you engaged in a personal attack?

Or, should we stop playing silly word games and just discuss the topic?

Can you explain how Obama can simultaneously hold conflicting opinions but be right on all of them?

Jay,That was an en... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jay,

That was an enlightening piece and it explains why Obama votes present. He simply can't take a stand because he's for all sides of a question. He votes present simply to let the folks back home know he's on the job. While that strategy works for a Senator it would be a disaster to have a President who can't make tough decisions. How can Obama lead when he can't decide which way to go?

Dave is a perfect example o... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Dave is a perfect example of how the lefties MISS THE POINT OF ALMOST EVERY POST. It has to be either a comprehension problem or an overly excited defense mechanism. I go for the latter. Obama is way passed an average flip flopper. He simply has no core beliefs at all. ww

"We are the change we've be... (Below threshold)
Bob:

"We are the change we've been waiting for." BHO embraces all sides of every question. Like Bush, he's a uniter, not a divider. Isn't that, as he says, what "we've been waiting for." NOT! If you're having any doubts about who this guy is, go back to Jibjab.com and watch him on the flying, multicolored unicorn spouting off about change.

Bob,If you're h... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Bob,

If you're having any doubts about who this guy is, go back to Jibjab.com and watch him on the flying, multicolored unicorn spouting off about change.

Thats a cartoon, cartoons aren't real. That does not prove a thing.

Bob,I could equall... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Bob,

I could equally say McCain is a war monger. If you have any doubts watch the jibjab cartoon.

Obama - the "Chuck Norris" ... (Below threshold)

Obama - the "Chuck Norris" of Politicians.

He doesn't embrace a position, positions simply flop on their backs for him because they know resistance is futile!

Change looked at Obama and simply gave up. It knew when it was outmatched.

When you "merely pointed... (Below threshold)
Dave:

When you "merely pointed it out", you engaged in a personal attack on Jay.

But I do so without resorting to name calling.

And just what name did I ca... (Below threshold)

And just what name did I call you, Dave?

Never mind. I don't want to aid and abet your valiant efforts to change the subject from the one at hand to "anything but."

Just TRY to address the point, Dave, and we'll have a modicum of respect for you: how the HELL does Obama manage to stand so firmly on both sides of so many issues? When push comes to shove, which side will he come down on? And how the hell can we tell BEFORE we cast our votes come November?

I'm not really expecting an answer, Dave, but I'm going to make this good faith effort to find out.

J.

So, you chose the "silly wo... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

So, you chose the "silly word games" over discussing the topic. I guess that you can't explain how Obama can hold opinions that conflict with one another and call them all "correct" either.

;-)

My previous comment was add... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

My previous comment was addressed to Dave.

Oh, Jay - the Obama=Chuck N... (Below threshold)

Oh, Jay - the Obama=Chuck Norris jokes are SO apparent!

I expect people's opinions ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I expect people's opinions or stances to evolve in accordance with how any given issue may evolve. What I can't condone is when it's prefaced with, "I never said that." I've heard Obama say this too many times.

In fact, all too often - Yes he did. It's on video.

And when a question is asked, I want the question answered succinctly. I don't want some oratory on societal woes and flowery speech about changing. I don't want to have to read anything into what one might have to say. That's just one's way of being everything for everyone. How many times do you hear people explaining to you what Obama meant when he said this or that? And even then it will vary according to interpretation.

"And just what name did ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"And just what name did I call you, Dave?"

You called him "Dave". How DARE you?

Concerning your comment on ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Concerning your comment on the surge (and not arguing for it or against it):

There are a lot of things in this world that have worked, but shouldn't have been done in the first place. There is no great contradiction in recognizing that. If you can't think of a dozen examples in your own life where that is true, you haven't lived on this earth very long (or ever been a parent).

You know, one of the "derog... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

You know, one of the "derogatory"* terms I've heard many evil Marxists use to describe President Bush is "the Decider" so I think it's entirely appropriate that they chose as their candidate someone who has repeatedly demonstrated that he lacks the ability to make a decision or take a side on an issue.

(*I put derogatory in quotes because it's obviously not derogatory and actually a characteristic that is required in a President--one of the many such characteristics Obama lacks. But many on the left use it in a way that gives the appearance of them thinking it is in fact derogatory.)

There are a lot of... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
There are a lot of things in this world that have worked, but shouldn't have been done in the first place.

But of course neither you nor anyone else can know the outcome of something not done, and without that information no one can honestly say something shouldn't have been done in the first place. Remember "Don't cry over spilt milk." - James Howell (1549-1666)

Why should the surge not ha... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Why should the surge not have been done in the first place Rance?

Did you want the terrorists to win?

"But of course neither you ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"But of course neither you nor anyone else can know the outcome of something not done, and without that information no one can honestly say something shouldn't have been done in the first place."

Yes, you can say something shouldn't have been done in the first place. First I, remind you of my qualifier, that I am not talking for or against the surge, just the argument that you can both against something while conceding that it worked.

It comes under the heading of "you got away with it this time" or "you are tempting fate".

Take a look at the annual winners of the Darwin Awards. Many of those winners engaged in reckless behavior for years, and got away with it one way or another. Until the last time.

As far as not knowing the outcome of something not done, there is often a way to achieve the same result using safer methods.

Rance, I'll believe you whe... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Rance, I'll believe you when you say that you're not arguing for or against the surge, but anyone who read the summary of what the surge was designed to achieve and the different and complex strategies employed, depending on who we were dealing with and where in Iraq, you wouldn't use it as a basis for your argument about whether or not something should have been done in the first place.

A lot of people will finally admit that the Surge worked. Even Obama. But they still don't know why. They still think it was just a matter of more troops. Obama's original talk about more troops not achieving anything tells me that even he didn't understand the plan.

The surge hasn't thus far succeeded because of luck or any twist of fate or in-spite-of anything. It was a carefully planned network of strategies which proved that we have gained a much better understanding of a very complex society of people. The timing was right too. Whether or not much before that could have been avoided is another argument altogether.

So yes, it should have been done.

Yes, you can say s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Yes, you can say something shouldn't have been done in the first place.

That statement is illogical. Particularly in the context of the surge in Iraq. There's no way of knowing what the outcome would have been without the surge. All h**l could have broke lose in Iraq and you can't honestly say it would not have. Nor can you know the outcome of any other plan that was not tried. Sorry, but that's just the way reality works unless you're claiming to have some kind of supernatural insight into alternate futures. Is that what you are claiming?

Arguing that something perh... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Arguing that something perhaps should not have been done, in any instance or context, even if it worked, is implying it was a shot in the dark. The Surge was no shot in the dark. That's why there is no comparison in your argument.

You called him "Da... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
You called him "Dave". How DARE you?
I could tell he said "Dave" with a HAL9000 condescending "Dave" tone.
Topic? ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Topic?

If there's one party that c... (Below threshold)
Gary Austin:

If there's one party that can screw up an election for the Presidence .. It's the Democratic party. We wanted Bush out of there 4 years back with Kerry. What did we do .. gave it to him. We wanted the Democratic Congress to stop the money on the war. What did we do .. gave it to him. Even though we had majority in Congress. So, now all you freak'en brilliant'ites out there saying Obama is crap and you'll vote for Ralph or whom ever if he's the nominee. Well we'll just be giving up a dream again. Look, for people who do not know this due to watching to much TV, the things any individual states when running for President should be taken with a grain of salt. The thing to remember is that Congress basically decides and has an 85% final say. Look it up. Can we just stop for a moment and remember that it was a Republican in the White House for 8 years of hell. If you PUMA dorks vote for anyone else but Obama .. well you should just vote McCain because that will be the end result. Also, the term "flip flop" .. listen I'd rather have a person reverse them selves due to enlightenment than be a dummy and stick with an earlier decision just to make silly TV hounds of the media feel better at night because their "great leader" stuck with what he said he would do. Let's see whom does dis remind me of .. hummmm .. no don't tell me ... ummmmm George Bush ring a bell. Come on get to being a Democrat, take you Hillary posters down and get with the idea of real change. From reading your comments .. you are the enemy of your own party.

Gary, Obama hasn't just tak... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Gary, Obama hasn't just taken two wildly conflicting stances (or "reversed" himself) on a number of issues, he has repeatedly denied it. You might be comfortable with that. And I wish you luck with it. But if I have to read another badly penned, rambling missive from you I think I'd rather stab my eyes out with an ice pick.

Again, reminding you that I... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Again, reminding you that I was not reacting to the surge just the logic of the statement.

Consider this: You come home from work one day to find that your kid has piled up a bunch of cardboard boxes into a makeshift ladder to go up on the roof to retrieve a wiffle ball out of the gutter. He tells you "no big deal, I got down without falling". Do you say, "Yeah, it worked, this time, but you never should have done that", or do say "Hey, whatever works", because there is no way of telling what would have happened if he hadn't gone up there in the first place.

So Rance, to you the profes... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

So Rance, to you the professional opinion and experiencxe of the military is equivalent to a kid piling up cardboard boxes?

You are either a moron or a liar. That is to say, a modern democrat in practice.

Give it up Rance. Your exa... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Give it up Rance. Your example is in no way comprable and your point is not valid. No way. No how. Not even close.

And Gary I'm sorry that your life has been Hell for the last eight years. Mine's been pretty good. Of course when the leftists took congress and gas prices practically doubled as a direct result of their policies, things got a little tougher but I made some changes and I'm dealing with it.

Still I can give you one clue. The source of your problems or whatever it is that is making your life "hell" is not George Bush or the Republicans (unless of course, you are a terrorist, then it would likely be Bush's fault). It could be a lot of things actually, but I bet if you want to see the source of your problems and also the best solution to them, you need look no further than into the nearest mirror.


Remember everyone - this ar... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Remember everyone - this article on "consistency" is coming from the same guy who supported Mitt Freaking Romney in the primary. Don't expect any principles to be followed by Mr. Tea.

If there is an (R) involved, expect him to get weak kneed and willfully blind. A good example of hackery, Jay.

So Rance, you are saying th... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So Rance, you are saying that the surge having worked was a random occurance, like surving a skydive without injury when a 'chute fails to deploy.
That is in your opinion, the Obama position?

jp2, I'm happy to see your ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

jp2, I'm happy to see your comment is on topic without including a disparaging the author and concluded with your defense of the charges against Obama.

Oh wait....you were demonstrating your own "consistency".

If you're going to assail m... (Below threshold)

If you're going to assail my credibility, jp2, at least get it right. (I apologize, I know that's a challenge for you, but it seems at least kinda important.) I endorsed and voted for Fred Thompson in the primary, and I have links to show it -- I even posted a photo of my ballot with Fred's name marked.

Romney was my second choice, and I'm batting around an article saying that I think that he'd be a good choice for veep, but you simply saying things like "Mitt Freaking Romney" as if that says all that need be said shows you for the feeble-minded, babbling idiot you are.

J.

who supported Mitt... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:
who supported Mitt Freaking Romney in the primary.

Uh.. except I believe he support Fred Freaking Thompson, but what that's got to do With Barak Freaking Obama I dunno.

lol, Mike.... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

lol, Mike.

Obama supporters still don'... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Obama supporters still don't get it. Insulting remarks, constant accusations of racism, and statements like 'just get over it', simply antagonize those of us who voted for Clinton. It's the same tactics you over zealous Obama supporters used from day one. I also think Obama was selected, rather than elected, and the bias media has acted shamefully. I also don't think Obama is qualified to be President, and like millions of other Clinton supporters, I will not vote for Obama.

Actually, in the mold of Ba... (Below threshold)

Actually, in the mold of Barack Freaking Obama, I supported Mitt Romney 100%. And Fred Thompson 100%. And Rudy Giuliani 100%. And Barack Obama 100%, as well as Hillary Clinton.

I think I figured out why jp2 keeps bringing up my attitude towards Mitt Romney. It's a variant of the Chewbacca Defense. It's so irrelevant and pointless that it distracts everyone from the main point of the article -- which jp2 is desperate to keep anyone from focusing on and addressing.

J.

SCSIwuzzy, DJ Drummond, et ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

SCSIwuzzy, DJ Drummond, et al

Again, I have said that I was not refering to the surge. REPEAT -- NOT REFERING TO THE SURGE.

I was simply pointing out that it is not totally inconsistent, wishy-washy, or flip-floppy to a)Agree that an action had a favorable outcome while b) thinking that it shouldn't have been done in the first place.

Divorce yourself from talking about the surge.
My point was not about the surge. My point was about the consistency of thought processes.

Heh, heh. If your argument ... (Below threshold)
max:

Heh, heh. If your argument in favor of John McCain is that Obama is a politician, then good luck with that.

DJ, is it possible for you to comment without being a complete ass?

obamUHHHHHH is a damned idi... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

obamUHHHHHH is a damned idiot. This guy clearly doesn't know what he;s talking about 90% of the time. it's amazing to listen to the left talk about how bush sounds like an idiot, yet they put up a genuine moron in the last 3 elections. (Gore, Kerry, Obama)

Take his teleprompter away and he's nothing but "Uhhhhhh, Uhhhhhh, Uhhhhhhh".

Rance, your idiotic compari... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Rance, your idiotic comparison falls so far short that I feel embarassed to have to point this out to you. Using your unfortunate cardboard ladder analogy, how about instead of you just coming home to see this done, your son shows you the plans for this ladder and what he intends to do with it.

Still going to say whatever works? Or are you as a knowledgable parent going to squash the idea, get a real ladder out yourself and retrieve the whiffle ball?

And Rance, to play out your... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

And Rance, to play out your analogies you have to be suggesting the surge was an the riskiest idea and least vetted idea to reach the point we are at now with Iraq to then say I'm glad where we are, but I still wound't have done it in the first place. Otherwise the person trying to claim such a thing (Obama) is just being disingenuous.

Rance #22: "Concerning ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Rance #22: "Concerning your comment on the surge"

Rance #45: "I was not refering to the surge. REPEAT -- NOT REFERING TO THE SURGE"

Wow. Are you really Barack posting under a pseudonym? (At least wer're back on topic.)

Remember everyone - this... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Remember everyone - this article on "consistency" is coming from the same guy who supported Mitt Freaking Romney in the primary. Don't expect any principles to be followed by Mr. Tea.

Oh hell. There goes another keyboard. I have got to quit drinking coffee when I visit this site. Dammit!

jp2's not having a very good week.

Wow. Are you really Bara... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Wow. Are you really Barack posting under a pseudonym?

Rats! I had just cleaned up my keyboard when...

Obama's mind doesn't change... (Below threshold)
Socratease:

Obama's mind doesn't change; his reality does.

Since no one here seems to ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Since no one here seems to be able to separate the concept of an argument and the framework on which that argument is mounted, I'll quietly go back to my other day job.

You are seriously denying t... (Below threshold)
jp2:

You are seriously denying that you endorsed Mitt Romney in the primary? Lies.

Just TRY to address the ... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Just TRY to address the point, Dave, and we'll have a modicum of respect for you: how the HELL does Obama manage to stand so firmly on both sides of so many issues? When push comes to shove, which side will he come down on? And how the hell can we tell BEFORE we cast our votes come November?

Damn! You have to admire the forthright way in which Obama's defenders have directly addressed the issue.

Dave, in particular, has been quite eloquent.

J(ohnny)P(ochran)2 really, ... (Below threshold)

J(ohnny)P(ochran)2 really, really needs to work on his reading comprehension. I said Romney was my 2nd choice, and here's proof:

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/01/03/j-t-for-f-t.php

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/01/08/fowl-with-a-franchise.php

Of course, what all this has to do with Obama and his astonishing knack for taking all sides of an issue, I'm still confused, but I'm sure it makes some sort of sense to someone...

Oh, screw it. I'm feeling dictatorial. jp2, if you can't stick to the topic, I'll be disemvowelling your comments. You keep doing it, and I'll ban your ass. Mitt Romney is NOT the topic at hand, and you WILL NOT make him the subject of this thread.

Olaf The Troll God's Hammer has been taken down from the wall, and it thirsts for BLOOD FOR ODIN.

J.

I understand your argument ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I understand your argument perfectly Rance, and it is not valid for the point you were trying to make.

Yes, someone can do something that was not wise but still have a successful outcome. I think we all agree on that. But you made your point "concerning [Jay's] comment on the surge" and in that case it is clearly not a valid point.

Consider this: You... (Below threshold)
Consider this: You come home from work one day to find that your kid has piled up a bunch of cardboard boxes into a makeshift ladder to go up on the roof to retrieve a wiffle ball out of the gutter. He tells you "no big deal, I got down without falling". Do you say, "Yeah, it worked, this time, but you never should have done that", or do say "Hey, whatever works", because there is no way of telling what would have happened if he hadn't gone up there in the first place.

34. Posted by Rance | July 23, 2008 11:11 AM

Well, let's see.

  1. You ask him, "Can you see any ways that could have been dangerous?" (If yes, move to (3). If no, move to (2).
  2. If no, illustrate by crushing a box, with your foot or what-have-you, or show him the instability by pushing it over, for him to get a visual picture.
  3. Praise the ingenuity, then discuss how to not avoid the risks he identified or you illustrated in future situations, in this case by using a ladder.

Essentially, reinforce with your child that imagination and ingenuity is a good thing, but then teach him how to analyze risk after an event so he starts to learn how to do it before an event. Or to at least apply past lessons to the new event.

Remarkably, this is what the US Armed Forces did when they designed the surge. They looked at the past five years and the intelligence they'd gained about the Iraqi and insurgent culture, then applied it to their new situation and were, *gasp*, effective.

Seems to me scolding the child will only teach him to snuff his creativity and cause him to put more weight on "what works," which in that case would be a ladder (a fine choice, of course), or in the US's case may have been "trying to win the current war with the last war's strategy." We all know how well that works.

:-P

Rance, the framework on whi... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Rance, the framework on which you mounted your argument was Jay's remarks about Obama's positions on the Surge. Your opening comment:

"Concerning your comment on the surge..."

Yes, you said that you, yourself, did not hold an opinion on the surge. But in the beginning it was clear that you were attempting to reconcile Obama's ability to hold these two opinions on the surge:

1) yes, it worked and
b) it should never have been attempted

Consider this: You... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Consider this: You come home from work one day to find that your kid has piled up a bunch of cardboard boxes into a makeshift ladder to go up on the roof to retrieve a wiffle ball out of the gutter. He tells you "no big deal, I got down without falling". Do you say, "Yeah, it worked, this time, but you never should have done that", or do say "Hey, whatever works", because there is no way of telling what would have happened if he hadn't gone up there in the first place.

You're confusing classifying something as foolish with knowing the outcome of some action not taken. You can certainly say some action seems foolish, but might turn out good. My point is that no one can know if some action shouldn't have been taken because you can't know the outcome of not taking that action. As long as we're making up scenarios, consider this not so uncommon one.

You come home and find your kid as slit her wrists, she gets whisked away to the emergency room, patched-up, and entered into a program to address the root issues. Slitting her wrists certainly seems like an action you can say shouldn't have been done, but the resulting help she gets may have prevented a successful suicide in the future.

It's the outcome of an action that determines if it should or shouldn't have been done, not the apparent wisdom of the action. Seeing the future outcomes of actions not yet taken is the stuff of science fiction.

"Flip flopping" has become ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Flip flopping" has become a phrase that I would really like to remove from our political vernacular. It's something every politician, from Bush to McCain to Clinton to Obama to well...everyone, does. Some changes cost, most do not. (As for Barack, his FISA change cost my vote)

But it fits the media narrative of Democrats being weak, (which they are) so it gets a LOT of play. Despite McCain having insane black vs. white flip flops - recent ones too, like tax cuts and Guantanamo - it gets very little play. He will never be characterized as weak and waffling by the powers that be, even though he clearly is. And he certainly won't be criticized here for it.

And Jay, you're right : Mitt Romney is not the topic. Your hipocracy is. Readers should know where you are coming from.

By the way, here is your endorsement post. "Go Mitt!" (Funny how that didn't make your comment)

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/01/24/ok-lets-go-to-plan-b.php
depp=true
notiz=Sorry, jp2, but the topic is Obama's remarkable history of embracing opposite positions on issues. Matters as who I favored after I cast my primary vote for Fred Thompson don't fit in here.

61 comments and the real is... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

61 comments and the real issue has not been addressed by anyone (even Oyster, who makes great comments).

The real issue people, is that Obama does not care about the surge. HE DOES NOT CARE. He only wants to try to use the issue to help him win the election -- so he will say what he thinks will help him to that end. If he can distinguish himself from the Mac by saying he disagrees with the surge because he could have made the price of gas less than Al Gore's dick size in inches, then he will say that to score political points. The REAL ISSUE is that on EVERY issue that Hussein takes a stance on, it is to try to help him win the election -- that is why he is for everything. He'll continue to do this while it works -- so we need to just point out what he's doing and take appropriate action, not waste our time discussing why or how he's doing it.

nehemiah,That IS a... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

nehemiah,

That IS a "real issue", as you say, and may very well be the underlying basis to his varied positions, but it's not the subject. The subject is the symptoms, not the disease.

Regards,

jp2:"Fli... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jp2:

"Flip flopping" has become a phrase that I would really like to remove from our political vernacular.

I'm sure 'theives' would also like to remove 'theft' from our legal vernacular, but call it what you will... Obama is decidedly indecisive. Having a 'stance' on an issue requires 'standing still'.

max: "DJ, is it possible... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

max: "DJ, is it possible for you to comment without being a complete ass?"

Of course, I do it all the time. When speaking to you, however, since you do not speak my language it is necessary for me to speak yours.


"Obama is decidedly indecis... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Obama is decidedly indecisive"

I wouldn't say decidedly, but on some things, yes. Most importantly FISA. Who isn't though? Water is wet.

<a href="http://www.imao.us... (Below threshold)
FormerHostage:

FrankJ made a similar point.

FormerHostage, that was kin... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

FormerHostage, that was kind of funny, but I found a real gem in the comments:

A link to this:

Obama said he did not make a mistake with his earlier choice of words in describing his Iraq position -- even though he called a second news conference a few hours after his initial comments to clarify his stance.

He laid the blame with reporters.

"I'm surprised at how finely calibrated every single word was measured. I wasn't saying anything I hadn't said before, that I didn't say a year ago or when I was a United States senator," said Obama, who is still a senator from Illinois.

(I would have blockquoted the whole thing, but blockquotes here are really quirky. When you hit "enter" for new paragraphs it automatically ends the blockquote, even if your closing tag is further down)

JP2, Obama flip flopping is... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JP2, Obama flip flopping is important because he vowed he would be THE different politician. He proved to be the usual run of the mill. Also, to actually right that we conservative will give McCain a break here is as close to stupid as you can come. There are very few McCain fans here. ww

Rance, your so called point... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Rance, your so called point is sophist crap.
Any successful action, if your "point" is applied, yields the same result.


There are very few McCai... (Below threshold)
Clay:

There are very few McCain fans here.

Hey, wait a minute. I'm a fan of McCain's - aside from McCain-Feingold, his support of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, the Gang of 14, his support for continued taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, his view of the second amendment, and McCain-Kennedy. Other than that, I'm a huge fan.

Don't get me wrong though. Obama is infinitely worse. So, for the first time in my life, I will be voting against, rather than for, a candidate. I will be passionately working to defeat The Man for All Seasons.

And I believe that those drunk with the Obama koolaid are missing this important point. Their absolute giddyness over McCain's lack of appeal amongst conservatives have caused them to underestimate the groundswell backlash that will build against Obama after the DNC and as the election looms nearer. Obama will not get a bounce after his world tour or following the convention. He's locked in a statistical dead heat right now, and it won't get any better for him as increasing numbers on the right begin to stir.

If conservatism is dying, then why is Obama tacking right at 50 knots? Because he knows he has to. His biggest problem is that it's only the tipsy who believe him.

Clay, I agree. I have probl... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Clay, I agree. I have problems with some of McCain's stand on issues. Immigration is just one of many. What I was trying to convey was we do openly criticize him we do not give him a free pass. ww

I'd respond to your comment... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I'd respond to your comments, but apparently we can't talk about McCain. (Or else you might face the consequences of a cowardly and dishonest editor)

jp2, I'd say Jay Tea has fa... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

jp2, I'd say Jay Tea has far more balls than you, but that's hardly a fair comparison for him since a French fruit fly has more balls, and intelligence, than you.

Obama is not looking good. I've been giving him a fair shake, and he's unwilling or unable to actually take a stand on any concrete platform. And yes, I've read his campaign website, both before and after the surge criticism went into the memory hole. Lots of pretty words, nothing of substance.

Obama has been arguing for ... (Below threshold)
FlipFlopMcCain:

Obama has been arguing for a year that he wants to send additional troops to Afghanistan, McCain has always held the opposite positin. just recently he flip flopped and basically started saying what barack has all along on afghanistan

but here are a fewe others from mister flip flop.

1. McCain thought Bush's warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.

2. McCain insisted that everyone, even "terrible killers," "the worst kind of scum of humanity," and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, "deserve to have some adjudication of their cases," even if that means "releasing some of them." McCain now believes the opposite.

3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

4. In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.

5. McCain was for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.

6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with predators, McCain criticized him for it. He's since come to the opposite conclusion.


7. McCain was for kicking Russia out of the G8 before he was against it.

8. McCain supported moving "towards normalization of relations" with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.

9. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.

10. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.

11. McCain is both for and against a "rogue state rollback" as a focus of his foreign policy vision.

12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty's behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.

13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.

Military Policy

14. McCain recently claimed that he was the "greatest critic" of Rumsfeld's failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as "a mission accomplished." In March 2004, he said, "I'm confident we're on the right course." In December 2005, he said, "Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course."

15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good and a bad idea.

16. McCain said before the war in Iraq, "We will win this conflict. We will win it easily." Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was "probably going to be long and hard and tough."

17. McCain has repeatedly said it's a dangerous mistake to tell the "enemy" when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.

18. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.

Domestic Policy

19. McCain defended "privatizing" Social Security. Now he says he's against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)

20. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn't.

this should end with john mcCain saying.

I'm john mcCain and i approve these flip flops.

Yet another moron who manag... (Below threshold)

Yet another moron who manages, with tremendous agility and deftness, to avoid the point:

The McCain list is a long list of "then/now" statements. Obama doesn't even bother with that; he holds contradictory positions AT THE SAME TIME. Moreover, he denies that there is any contradiction going on, saying that it's our fault; we "misinterpret" his statements or, if he's feeling particularly generous, might say that one or more of his statements were "inartful" and led us to our wrong conclusions.

Funny how none of these clarifications are ever accompanied with a simple, clear explanation of just what the guy's position actually is.

As far as I can tell, Barack Obama has exactly two core beliefs:

1) We should run away from Iraq as soon as possible, if not sooner;

2) He should be president.

Everything else is catered to best please his current audience.

J.

FlipFlopMcCain, many of you... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

FlipFlopMcCain, many of your statements are mischaracterized or out right dishonest. For instance, legislation goes through all manner of amendments, arguments and debate before its final approval or disapproval. Any Rep or Senator may express disapproval of some piece of legislation until it has reached completion and then approve of it. Or vice versa.

For another instance, a Rep or Senator may change his mind on a position due to new revelations or new information. I have more respect for someone who will admit they've changed their minds and don't repeatedly lie saying, "I never said that." I can't tell you how many times I've heard Obama say that. It's astounding.

What scares me more is a candidate who, in spite of the undeniable success in the Surge will STILL say he's against it.

The point of the post was Obama's practice of holding two positions on the same subject at the same time - or the double talk in trying to reconcile his two positions and achieving nothing.

If I was so inclined I'd debate each of your individual claims, but since you're too lazy to do some simple searching before you spout off, why should I do your work for you? It's not as if your mind is open enough to be changed or to accept truth even if you're slapped in the face with it.

legislation goes through... (Below threshold)
Brian:

legislation goes through all manner of amendments, arguments and debate before its final approval or disapproval. Any Rep or Senator may express disapproval of some piece of legislation until it has reached completion and then approve of it. Or vice versa.

For another instance, a Rep or Senator may change his mind on a position due to new revelations or new information. I have more respect for someone who will admit they've changed their minds

Hallelujah, it's a miracle! During the John "I voted for it before I voted against it" Kerry's campaign, the right couldn't understand this simple explanation. But now that McCain's running, it's crystal clear! It truly is a glorious moment!

Just thought I would add th... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Just thought I would add that "Brian" is still brainless.

Brian, I know he said was <... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Brian, I know he said was for the $87b when the legislation included a reduction of the "tax cuts for the rich" and against it when that changed. This is true. But he also said he voted against it to "voice his displeasure" with Bush's policies. This was all, of course, AFTER he voted for "Bush's War". A year and a half later he still stood by his vote for the war while simultaneously stating it was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And just for the record, I was never one to constantly harp on his for/against remark. It was just inarticulate so, at the time, the ridicule was probably unfair. But his later straddling of the issue pretty much justified it.




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