Keep the Busses Coming

Sen. Obama just keeps throwing people & positions under them. A few years ago, the NBA had a video ad campaign showing players wooing the Championship trophy. I thought of that image and it morphed into an Obama secularly-kneeling before his pseudo-Oval Office desk [you know he has it picked out], when I read of his latest reversal in his one year of national exposure. The flip-flop listnow includes:

  • Disavowal of Rev. Wright
  • Federal funding of faith-based services
  • Gun control
  • Iraq surge – prospects for success
  • Offshore drilling
  • Public funds for presidential campaign
  • Wiretapping – FISA legislation

Amazing. As David Brooks has written, don’t underestimate how serious he is about getting elected. I’m sure his grandmother would agree, if the Winnebago firmly resting on her upper torso would only allow her to speak.

Interesting to note that the list of Sen Obama’s reversals does not include abortion rights. This despite the fact that in “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama had written:

… the willingness of even the most ardent pro-choice advocates to accept some restrictions on late-term abortion marks a recognition that a fetus is more than a body part and that society has some interest in its development

That would seem to argue for a yes vote on partial birth abortion. But clearly there are some constituencies which he can not afford to upset. But given his reversals to date, not a long list.

Our guy, Sen. McCain, strikes me as more concerned about his post-defeat legacy than winning. That’s the most charitable assessment because if it isn’t that, some are asking if he’s just stupid. Although I thought his recent video ad mocking Obama was a good sign. I think selecting someone like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for VP is critical in recognizing that a business as usual approach [Pawlenty, Crist etc] will not work in 2008. The influential Bill Kristol also seems to like the idea

McCain would do well to follow the advice of the WSJ Editorial Board, who made the following point regarding Obama’s most recent reversal:

Even as he proposes to arbitrarily soak the profits from oil exploration, Barack Obama is finally beginning to bend on offshore drilling. Late last week he said he could perhaps support more U.S. energy exploration, so long as it was part of a larger “bipartisan” deal that presumably includes more rules for conservation, subsidies for noncarbon fuels, and other favorites of his green backers.

Leave aside the economic contradiction in allowing more drilling to find more oil only to strip the profits from companies that succeed in finding it. The real news here is political, as Mr. Obama and his advisers have begun to see the polls move against them on energy. With gas at $4 a gallon, voters even in such drilling-averse states as Florida increasingly see the need for more domestic oil supplies. So Mr. Obama is now doing a modified, limited switcheroo to block any John McCain traction on the issue.

Only last week, Mr. Obama couldn’t have been more opposed, calling more drilling a “scheme” that wouldn’t reduce gas prices. He’s also been telling voters that we don’t need to open more areas to drilling because the oil companies weren’t drilling enough on the leases they already have. That is nonsense, since not every lease yields oil in amounts worth developing and drilling permits aren’t automatic even on leased land.

The question for Mr. Obama is whether this latest switch is merely a rhetorical move for campaign purposes. If he’s serious, he’ll start to publicly lobby Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to allow a vote on drilling when they return from their August recess. The McCain campaign should keep the pressure on until he does, and until Congress moves.

About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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