Posted by Damozel | At the moment, many of Obama's supporters seem to be blaming Hillary for giving him a couple of knocks that revealed a glimpse of what might turn out to be the Democratic idol's feet of clay. Maybe they should be thanking the Clintons instead?
But as it happens, it's Obama's very own advisers who are suddenly apparently hell-bent on proving the allegations that Obama's campaign rhetoric really is all window-dressing and on showing him up as---well, we'll call it flexible--in his actual intention to implement his promises.
I turned against Obama (whom I initially liked as much as Hillary and nearly voted for) due to an ever-growing sense as I delved into his public statements that he is sometimes, or even frequently,---well, we'll call it inconsistent--- in his public statements. For example: while he has made political hay out of the boast that he was against the Iraq war from the get-go and would have voted against it if he could have (he wasn't in the Senate at the time), there came a time in 2004 when his opposition to it seems to have waned.
In a meeting with Chicago Tribune reporters at the Democratic National Convention, Obama said, “On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago.... There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage.”(Chicago Tribune)
This is especially interesting in light of his having just come out with the following statement:
[O]ne of my advisors had said that in a interview overseas that well Senator Obama would not… he has given a time frame for withdrawal, but obviously it would be subject to decisions and the situation at the time....
I was opposed to this war in 2002. If it had been up to me we would have never been in this war. It was because of George Bush with an assist from Hillary Clinton and John McCain that we entered into this war. A war that should have never been authorized, a war that should have never been waged.
I have been against it in 2002, 2003, 2004, 5, 6, 7, 8 and I will bring this war to an end in 2009. (The Politico)
Well, maybe his opposition in 2006 only wavered for just that one moment.
But if he doesn't have a consistency problem, it seems rather clear that he has an adviser problem.
First of all, there's that little glitch over Austan Goolsbee's alleged conversation with the Canadians over NAFTA. First the Obama campaign---and the Canadian government---denied that any conversation ever took place. Then the AP found a memo that had been circulated by the AP that certainly did seem to indicate that there had indeed been a conversation. While the Obama camp protests that its position is misrepresented in the memo, its protests tend to be slightly less credible in the face of its own misrepresentations.
Since then, an article in the Canadian press brought temporary relief to Obama-haters and Hillary-supporters by suggesting---on the strength of one unnamed source's recollection---that it might have been Hillary's campaign that contacted the Canadians all along. Ah ha! they all shouted. It was Hillary all along.
Sadly, there isn't a scrap of evidence for this, as D Cupples and I have pointed out. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has flat-out denied it. This need not dismay Obama's supporters, who should feel free not to believe Harper, given that his government previously denied that it had ever spoken to Obama?
But then what about this?
In an interview on the UK program "Hard Talk," Samantha Power"downplayed Obama's commitment to quick withdrawal from Iraq."(The Politico) When challenged on the Iraq Plan that he's posted on his website, she said:
"You can’t make a commitment in March 2008 about what circumstances will be like in January of 2009," she said. "He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator. He will rely upon a plan – an operational plan – that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground to whom he doesn’t have daily access now, as a result of not being the president. So to think – it would be the height of ideology to sort of say, 'Well, I said it, therefore I’m going to impose it on whatever reality greets me.' (The Politico)
At The Newshoggers, Cernig states:
[T]his...really does cut to the heart of Obama's current support base and to his own claim - which is far more than just a policy promise - to be different from the usual run of political hacks.
Yet again, I'm forcibly reminded of Tony 'all things to all people" Blair, and the disasterous misadventures of Iraqi occupation and surveillance state. America so doesn't need to be taken in by that kind of con job. Obama needs desperately to restore some credibility, at least for me, if he's not to be seen as what the Clinton campaign wants to paint him as - a snake-oil statesman. (The Newshoggers)
Once again, if he is a snake oil salesman, it seems to me that it's in the interest of his supporters to have this revealed, however painful they may find the revelation. If he really is talking out of both sides of his mouth, shouldn't his supporters want to know?
But maybe the problem isn't with Obama at all, but with his advisers:
According to ABC, Obama's intelligence adviser begs to differ with Obama's stance on telecom immunity. Though Obama voted last week against extending immunity to telecoms, his adviser would like for you to know that he begs to differ and will continue to urge his position.
."I do believe strongly that [telecoms] should be granted that immunity," former CIA official John Brennan told National Journal reporter Shane Harris in the interview. "They were told to [cooperate] by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context...I know people are concerned about that, but I do believe that's the right thing to do."....
That wasn't just a personal opinion, Brennan made clear to Harris. "My advice, to whoever is coming in [to the White House], is they need to spend some time learning, understanding what's out there, identifying those key issues," including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, he said -- the law at the heart of the immunity debate.
"They need to make sure they do their homework, and it's not just going to be knee-jerk responses," Brennan said of the presidential hopefuls. (ABC News)
In case you don't know, Brennan is "an experienced hand. Brennan headed the National Counter Terrorism Center in his last job in the Bush Administration. It was under John Brennan’s watch that the Bush Administration issued false statistics on the number of terrorist attacks in 2004. He tried to cook the books and keep the public in the dark that terrorist attacks had soared to unprecedented levels." (No Quarter)
Um....oooookay. At least Obama doesn't seem to be planning to go along with this. For now, anyway.
So let's give him the benefit of the doubt: it's not Obama, it's his advisers.
Larry Johnson at No Quarter asks:
These people cannot be trusted to accurately represent their candidate’s public positions on key issues and Senator Obama wants the American people to trust his judgment in selecting folks to run the bureaucracies that he already admitted he can’t run? God save us.
I keep wondering when progressives will notice that Obama's people are far more Bush-like than advertised. But it is starting to look as if the penny won't drop till it is too late.