Saturday, July 5, 2008

Obama Has Not Changed Positions!!

And I'm tired of hearing the allegation that he has. Watching a conservative guest host of "Hardball with Chris Matthews" took me to the top. Hearing some reference to Obama's perceived move to the middle on CNN has put me over the top.

So, lets look at Obama's record, or at least what I already knew about him, on the four major issues of the last couple of weeks.

FISA: Obama's hedged support of the House bill doesn't signal a move to the center. He talked about compromise during the entire primary. The bill solves one major problem by re-legitimizing the FISA court, and it only grants immunity in the case of private lawsuits against telecoms. There's nothing to prevent an Obama administration from taking it to the telecoms. I'm not happy with the bill. I want Obama to push to stop any immunity at all from being granted to telecoms. But if Obama votes for the bill as is, it doesn't signal a change on his part.

-As an aside, I do like the idea that his own supporters have started a group on his campaign's website to contest the senator's decision. And I always expected such pushback from the public to be necessary for an Obama administration to work out the way so many have hoped.

Gun control laws: Obama always read the 2nd amendment as granting individuals' rights while maintaining the individual's right wasn't absolute. His support for the recent Supreme Court decision doesn't surprise me and is not a "flip flop" from his previous positions. Moreover, neither he nor the Supreme Court suggested DC can't go back to the drawing board and come up with restrictions within Constitutional limits.

Expansion of the death penalty: He disagrees with the court on child rape not being a capital crime. So, what? One thing we know is that the person who is caught raping a child has probably and will probably rape more. Some of these children will became sexual predators as they grow up. something that might have happened to the rapist.

Now, some progressives criticize Obama because they see him as wanting to expand the death penalty. This is particularly discouraging for many because they know he knows the death penalty as it stands is problematic, with disparities based on race of the defendant, race of the victim, etc and so on. But here's the thing. Obama, unlike many progressives, was never against the death penalty wholesale. So this "expansion" doesn't appear unObama-like to me. And being a man with two young daughters, this could be his true feelings. I mean, who hasn't seen A Time to Kill and not wanted Samuel Jackson's character acquitted. Cause really, if the death penalty in cases of child rape are for those most egregious cases similar to what happened to that little girl in the movie/book, is the death penalty really not appropriate? Especially if racism and classism can be taken out of the issue.

Finally, NAFTA: Obama said both in Ohio and Texas that his problem with NAFTA had to do with environmental and labor standards and the fact that companies taking jobs overseas received tax breaks. He has always been a free-trader. So, how is his stance now any different than it was a few months ago? It's not.

And dare I say, the only reason the MSM has jumped on board the flip-flop train has more to do with the desire and ease of portraying a black man as having misrepresented himself, as having conned the people. As so many black folks are wont to do.

(This post may have mistakes. But I really wanted to let my feelings be known.)

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis