The new Mr. Obama

Throughout the primary season, nearly all the media focused on the
inevitability of Barack Obama. What they did not count on what that his
trajectory would ultimately require him to accommodate some politics
and policies they scorned.

This is change alright, and the New York Times editorial board doesn’t like it one bit. At least, not this writer.

First, he broke his promise to try to keep both major
parties within public-financing limits for the general election. His
team explained that, saying he had a grass-roots-based model and that
while he was forgoing public money, he also was eschewing gold-plated
fund-raisers. These days he’s on a high-roller hunt.

And he’s pulling them in, starting with billionaire George Soros. But the turnaround on public financing is just the beginning.

The new Barack Obama has abandoned his vow to filibuster
an electronic wiretapping bill if it includes an immunity clause for
telecommunications companies that amounts to a sanctioned cover-up of
Mr. Bush’s unlawful eavesdropping after 9/11…

Now, he supports the immunity clause as part of what he calls a
compromise but actually is a classic, cynical Washington deal that
erodes the power of the special court, virtually eliminates “vigorous
oversight” and allows more warrantless eavesdropping than ever.

And there’s more…

On top of these perplexing shifts in position, we find
ourselves disagreeing powerfully with Mr. Obama on two other issues:
the death penalty and gun control.

And more…

We were equally distressed by Mr. Obama’s criticism of
the Supreme Court’s barring the death penalty for crimes that do not
involve murder.

Not to mention his embrace of faith-based initiatives, which the
Times editorial does mention, but gets the church/state separation
thing wrong (these initiatives don’t violate it, though that’s the card
always played against it).

So it begins, the reality check in this campaign. As Mr. Obama gets
more interesting in his evolution (finally he’s standing for some
issues and not just on rhetoric), his liberal supporters get more
worried about where he’s going with his agenda for change. The Times
sternly reminds him that America wants change they can count on. But
the Time might recall that beyond the elite quarters of Manhattan,
there’s a lot of America out there, and they’re keeping count, too.


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