September 13, 2008

WHEN YOU'VE MADE ONE DECISION IN YOUR POLITICAL LIFE...:

Obama's credibility gap is visible (Gerard Baker, September 13, 2008, The Australian)

The essential problem coming to light is a profound disconnect between the Barack Obama of the candidate's speeches, and the Barack Obama who has been in politics for the past decade or so.

Speechmaker Obama has built his campaign on the promise of reform, the need to change the culture of American political life, to take on the special interests that undermine government's effectiveness and erode trust in the system itself.

Politician Obama rose through a Chicago machine that is notoriously the most corrupt in the country. As David Freddoso writes in a brilliantly cogent and measured book, The Case Against Barack Obama, the angel of deliverance from the old politics functioned like an old-time Democratic pol in Illinois. He refused repeatedly to side with those lonely voices that sought to challenge the old corrupt ways of the ruling party.

Speechmaker Obama talks about an era of bipartisanship, He speaks powerfully about the destructive politics of red and blue states.

Politician Obama has toed his party's line more reliably than almost any other Democrat in US politics. He has a near-perfect record of voting with his side. He has the most solidly left-wing voting history in the Senate. His one act of bipartisanship, a transparency bill co-sponsored with a Republican senator, was backed by everybody on both sides of the aisle. He has never challenged his party's line on any issue of substance.

Speechmaker Obama talks a lot about finding ways to move beyond the bloody battlegrounds of the culture wars in America; the urgent need to establish consensus on the emotive issue of abortion.

Politician Obama's support for abortion rights is the most extreme of any Democratic senator. In the Illinois legislature he refused to join Democrats and Republicans in supporting a bill that would require doctors to provide medical care for babies who survived abortions. No one in the US Senate - not the arch feminist Hillary Clinton nor the super-liberal Edward Kennedy - opposed this humane measure.

Here's the real problem with Obama: the jarring gap between his promises of change and his status quo performance.

There are just too many contradictions between the eloquent poetry of the man's stirring rhetoric and the dull, familiar prose of his political record.


...it probably doesn't bode well that it was adding Joe Biden to your ticket.

MORE:
A BARACK-AND-FORTH VOTER (GINGER ADAMS OTIS, February 17, 2008, NY Post)

When a controversial bill allowing riverboat casinos to operate at dockside came before him in 1997, it passed the Illinois Senate - despite vocal opposition from many church groups - by a two-vote margin.

Among those who voted "yes" was Obama, then starting his first term as a state senator.

Moments after voting to authorize the bill, the Democrat told the floor he had goofed.

"I'd like to be recorded as a 'no' vote," he said, according to transcripts, adding that he had mistakenly voted in favor of the legislation.

By claiming to have made an error, Obama's "intent" to vote against the measure was noted in the record. But his initial "yes" stood.

Obama made six similar "mistakes" during his state Senate years, twice on hotly contested measures.

Whether those errors were by design, as his critics charge, or by accident, as his presidential campaign insists, Obama's desire to placate both sides on contentious issues is a hallmark of his lawmaking career.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 13, 2008 11:36 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« IN AN ADMINISTRATION THAT HAD NO SHORTAGE OF THEM...: | Main | OWNERSHIP VS ATOMIZATION: »