Flip-Flop for Change? Yes, we can! [Karl]
According to the Washington Post,Ã‚Â Barack Obama’s sudden shifts on public financing and electronic surveillanceÃ‚Â areÃ‚Â not flip-flopping.Ã‚Â Rather, ObamaÃ‚Â is being pragmatic… with nuance (yes, David Sirota is even quoted dropping the n-bomb):
[A}fter eight years of Bush's uncompromising approach to the issues, Obama aides say they believe he can turn his subtler approach to his advantage.Ã‚Â
"After eight years of ideology driving decision making, is pragmatism reform? Yes, it is," said an Obama adviser in Chicago.
This new line of malarkey potentially createsÃ‚Â two practical political problemsÃ‚Â for Obama.Ã‚Â
First, his threadbare record contains few examples of Obama actually acting in a bipartisan way before it became politically expedient to tack to the center for the general election.Ã‚Â
Second, this new line spins contrary to the old spin that his lack of experience is a plus, rather than a minus.Ã‚Â Obama’s big policy difference with Hillary Clinton in the Democratic contest was that he — standing outside the Beltway swamp — had the judgment to oppose the invasion of Iraq, while ClintonÃ‚Â voted for it in aprt because she wasÃ‚Â mired in the swamp.Ã‚Â Indeed, Obama’s more forgiving 2004 stance toward Sens. Kerry and Edwards on Iraq was supposedly based on the fact that Obama did not have access to the intelligence reports in 2003 — but Obama supporters now despair that Obama is casting his FISA flip-flop as being based on his having seen and learnedÃ‚Â the degree to which theÃ‚Â terrorist surveillanceÃ‚Â programÃ‚Â is necessary to help prevent terrorist attacks.Ã‚Â Indeed, among the nutroots, the hardcore Greenwaldian critique of experience or expertise in foreign policy is a recurring theme.
However, once the howls from the nutroots and the guffaws from politcal junkies subside, it may well turn out that Obama can sell that to voters pursuing a mirageÃ‚Â of changeyness where bipartisanship reigns.Ã‚Â After all, there does not seem to be much evidence that the media will be interested in publicizing that even Obama’s spin is now flip-flopping.Ã‚Â Nor has there been much evidence that John McCain’s campaign is sharp enough to hammer it enough to force media coverage of it.