Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I can't figure out all these folks who are up in arms because they think Barack Obama is shifting to the right. Jeez, despite what so many of you wanted to believe, the guy was never, ever on the left. It didn't take much to figure that out. The strange thing is the only people who really thought he was an actual progressive, left winger were people on the right, and some people on the left. The mainstream media was just excited he was a "liberal."

Lord knows, the Oread Daily has been documenting the living, breathing Barack for a long time now. I'm not some brilliant guy who had to dig and dig to find the real Obama. All anyone had to do is listen to him and look at his votes and, hey, as they say, "the truth is out there."

Even Obama's so called switch on Iraq is no switch. He said the same things months ago that he said last week. The only difference is that back when he liked to surround those comments with others that made him seem like he was pulling the troops out, no ifs ands or buts. But he also talked about sixteen months, and he talked about facts on the ground, and he talked about the commanders, etc.

And even the Senator's comments which appeared over the weekend from an interview with Relevant magazine, ("Covering God, Life, and Progressive Culture") Obama said,

"I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions."

Even this shouldn't come as a surprise to those who saw his flyer "Committed Christian" which his campaign distributed in South Carolina, Kyntucky and elsewhere.

The truth is too many left leaning good people and young people wanted to believe, were desperate to believe he was special, that he wasn't just another politician.

Now, some of those who swallowed the Obamamania pill are claiming they knew all along what he was (see Tom Hayden in the Nation, for a prime example), or that they'd been deceived, or that he really doesn't mean what he is saying now...or, or, or....

I actually feel badly for the young followers who enthusiastically latched onto the Senator from Illinois (including who still do). They so badly want something different from what they've seen before...and, I hate to sound like just another old guy, they don't have the experience of having seen the act before.

To those others, those a little older, those with more experience on the left, those who claim (and some correctly) to have been a part of THE MOVEMENT, I can only ask, "What the hell is the matter with you?"

Sen. Barack Obama himself, appears so taken with himself that I think he believes his own hype, that he believes, as he looks skyward in his speeches, that he is answering some calling from on high.

And to tell you the truth, that kind of thinking, whether it comes from George Bush or Barack Obama, downright scares me.

And still, despite it all, things are so bad that I'll spend the five minutes it takes to go out and vote for Obama. I won't expect much, but I'll expect better than McCain or Bush.

Many of you anarchists out there will upbraid me for even voting. Hard to argue with you about that (and I've made the argument myself over the years). However, as I said above, voting requires little energy, little time, and doesn't really take me away from working on the real tasks at hand...so what the heck, surely Barack will do better on global warming then the republicans...or something...and better is, at least, better.

What follows are just some comments from the Oread Daily made during the primaries trying to make the point in the face of all that "Obama madness" that the guy was only a Democrat...nothing more, nothing less.

Some samples from the Oread Daily during the primary campaign:


"One of Sanch├ęz Berzain's US lawyers is Gregory B. Craig. Craig is a senior foreign policy advisor to presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama."


"The speech (on Cuba and Latin America" should be a big disappointment to his progressive supporters, if you ask me."

While Obama said he would meet with Raul Castro he added a precondition (what happened to "no preconditions") which pretty much means no such meeting would take place. He said members of the exile community would have to have "a seat at the table.""

He also promised to keep the embargo in place (something he opposed last year)."

Obama failed to mention acts of terrorism perpetrated with absolute impunity against the people of Cuba financed by those who sponsored the speech (carried out by convicted terrorist Posada Carriles)."

Some will say we should remember who he was talking to (wink wink). But that is part of the problem with Obama and part of what makes him just another politician. Like everybody else the guy is out looking for votes from, as the blog Open Anthropology puts it, "...almost every sector imaginable, including the upper crust of Miami’s Cuban elites in this case." It's part of his call me the great "UNIFIER" mantra. Someone needs to tell him you can't make real change and at the same time look for love from everyone."

From the article ""WE ARE ALL SEAN BELL"

"It would be nice to see Barack Obama out there with the protesters, but that's not gonna happen, is it?"

From the article "I CONFESS, I'VE STAYED AT BILL AND BERNARDINE'S APARTMENT", discussing the debate where his relationship with Bill Ayers came up

"Finally, there is the heroic Obama "yeah, well, so's your old man" retort."

"I was pissed that Obama displayed a total lack of courage or character and just tried to "out McCarthy" them by his crack about the pardons of Susan Rosenberg (served over 16 years in prison) and Linda Evans (served over 15 years in prison)."


"President Bush thinks guest worker programs are swell. His plan would actually loosen regulation of the program."

Hillary Clinton opposes a guest worker program and Barack Obama supports one (as does John McCain). I'm sure Obama's idea of a guest worker program are different from McCain's or that of President Bush."

But whatever, the case may be, any guest worker program had better include clear guidelines for the treatment of those who get to be our guests. What is happening today along the gulf coast is not something unusual."


"The response made by Barack Obama to the cross border killing and incursion ought to disappoint his "progressive" supporters. A statement released by the Obama campaign pretty much parroted that of the Bush Administration (and his opponent Hillary Clinton). The statement read:

"The Colombian people have suffered for more than four decades at the hands of a brutal terrorist insurgency, and the Colombian government has every right to defend itself against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The recent targeted killing of a senior FARC leader must not be used as a pretense to ratchet up tensions or to threaten the stability of the region."

The presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have a responsibility to ensure that events not spiral out of control, and to peacefully address any disputes through active diplomacy with the help of international actors."


"Let's face it comrades, Sen Obama is a mainstream Democrat who supports nuclear power as a good option, who is ready to send the troops back into Iraq, who proclaims his readiness to unilateral action if he finds it necessary, who is not interested in a mortgage moratorium or any other real answers for people in the process of losing their homes, who makes very clear that although he happens to be Black he is not a Black candidate (god forbid) and which maybe is why he couldn't find time to attend the State of the Black Union forum in New Orleans this month , who although proud of his talk against the Iraq War never votes to cut off funds (which even his party finally found the courage to do during the Vietnam War), who calls himself a "movement," who runs an Oprah like campaign, whose wife warned us many long months ago that this would be our only chance to elect her husband President because they had other things to do then run for office (like make sure the kids get to ballet), who surrounds himself with a slightly different batch of Bill Clinton's advisers then does Hillary Clinton, who listens to the voice of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who endorsed George I (and who brilliantly, you may remember, armed the mujaheddin in Afghanistan to fight against its communist government and who led the U.S. toward a new arms buildup - a policy that is more generally associated with Ronald Reagan now), who just like Hillary Clinton voted for an extension of the corporate-neoliberal North American Free Trade Agreement to Peru, and who despite what he keeps saying does not offer a plan for universal health care."

"I'll just bet you didn't know during the primary campaign in South Carolina, as pointed out by Glenn Greenwald at Salon, the good Sen. Obama distributed a brochure which seem to include religious appeals at least as overt and explicit as anything Rev. Huckabee has done. The center page of the brochure proclaims -- in the largest letters on the page -- that Obama is a "COMMITTED CHRISTIAN," and includes three pictures of Obama, all of which show him praying or preaching in a Church, and also includes a fourth picture: of the interior of a Church with a large cross lurking in the background. The page also says that Obama is "guided by his Christian faith" and quotes Obama saying: "We do what we do because God is with us.""

That same page prints Obama's views "on the power of prayer," and -- using the same language George Bush has frequently used as a signifier to evangelical voters -- says that Obama is "Called to Christ," "Called to Bring Change" and "Called to Serve.""

Similarly,Greenwald reports, the front page of the brochure shows Obama in a chin-on-hand contemplative posture and underneath, it reads: "Answering the Call." The last page shows two more pictures of Obama in Church, proclaims him again in large letters to be a "COMMITTED CHRISTIAN," and describes how he "felt a beckoning and accepted Jesus Christ into [his] life.""

Now, I know, as a Jew, maybe I'm overly sensitive to this sort of thing, but as a left winger from way back I think we all should be."

I've got to say this, okay, so don't yell at me. What really irks me about Sen. Obama is that he seems to think we, you and me, are all so lucky to have the opportunity to hear him, to see him, to support him (maybe because he is "called"). And it bothers me that he gets so prickly about any criticism of him (for which he always has an answer anyway). I mean, do you remember what he said if he could think of some major fault of his. He started talking about a messy desk."

But, my friends (as John McCain always says - I feel like calling McCain to let him know I'm not his friend), I'm not here trying to tell you that Sen. Obama is worse than anyone else currently trying to move into the White House, just that he isn't one of us...and he isn't better than us either."

Or this on guns (and, as readers of the OD already know, I believe in a right to bear arms...but with some conditions) in the article "THE LAWSON FILE: DUCK HUNTING CLINTON BATTLES GUN RIGHTS DEFENDER OBAMA"

"Not to be outdone by all this gun talk by some woman, Barack Obama said in Wisconsin, "There is an individual right to bear arms. "But it's subject to common sense regulation, just like most of our rights are subject to common sense regulations."

"Earlier Barack offered his sympathies for those shot at Northern Illinois University, but specified no new ideas to enforce gun control in his home state of Illinois. "I've said before, and continue to believe, that we need to do a more effective job of enforcing our gun laws," he said, speaking in Milwaukee, Wis., on Friday."

Obama's Web site has a link for "sportsman" with a section for "protecting gun rights."

The senator, a former constitutional law instructor, said some scholars argue the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees gun ownerships only to militias, but he believes it grants individual gun rights."

While campaigning in Idaho, Barack told crowds, ""I come from a state - we've got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks' guns.''"


"So when many of my friends, people who I respect, tell me that the big reason they now are Obama supporters is they love the way he brings out all that love and enthusiasm from today's young people or from people who never vote, a couple of things bother me."

"Back in those 60s which lots of folks like to say Barack somehow brings back memories, the young people like me weren't all agaga about political candidates. We didn't think then a movement based on Gene McCarthy or Robert Kennedy was THE MOVEMENT. No, our movement was in the streets, it was us. We were turned on by the Black Liberation Movement, by the likes of the Black Panther Party, by Malcolm X, by Marin Luther King, by those who put it all on the line marching across the South, not by a black politician. There is a difference folks. We saw LIBERALS as co-opting us. They weren't our heroes."

There were certainly those folks, others from my generation, who were "Clean for Gene" and who were all out for McGovern, but they weren't us. They were the good kids. They were never who we were."

Anyway, I have this deep seated fear that if Obama is the guy and if he goes down what happens to those people, the good kids? Do they go on to be like the good kids of the McCarthy and McGovern campaign and go into business or into the democratic party?"

And then I wonder, too, what if Obama wins and what if I happen to be right for once and he turns out to be not all that different that all those democrats before him...what happens to all those people who wanted that "real change.""

And above I've been mostly talking about white folks."

What about African Americans? It's not for me, a white guy, to speculate. I'll just say Obama quotes Martin Luther King, but he ain't Martin Luther King. There is a difference between an Alabama primary and an Alabama jail."

And then I wonder if anyone will notice when REAL CHANGE doesn’t happen? We're pretty much trained these days to only notice the drama on TV. It'll be eight years before we notice that we don't have universal healthcare."


"Examine the records of Obama and Clinton and you can't reach any conclusion but they are both run of the mill Democrats. If Obama wasn't black and Clinton wasn't a woman this primary battle wouldn't have been any more exciting then if it had pitted Chris Dodd against Joe Biden."

Now I am not here to downplay the significance of having a black president or a woman president. And either is certainly a hell of an improvement over Bush and anything the Republicans have to offer."

But Obama and Clinton when you get past the hype, past the drama, past the excitement offer Democratic Party solutions, generally safe middle ground solutions. They do not offer a qualitative change (no matter how many times they say the word)."


"Well, I can tell you this, unfortunately Barack Obama, though he has called for a “worldwide ban on weapons to interfere with satellites and a ban on testing anti-satellite weapons,” does not endorse a ban on nuclear weapons in space as called for by virtually the entire international community. And, though critical of the enormous wastes incurred from Bush’s missile defense program, he has announced his support for the continued development of missile defense capabilities."

No reason to go on. You get the point.

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