The title of this post is also the title of David Brooks's Op-Ed column published in the New York Times last Friday. In it Brooks is blunt and direct, echoing the disappointment many must feel witnessing the fall from grace suffered by Obama, triggered by his arrogance captured in an audio recording at a fundraising party in a posh, San Francisco mansion, and then underscored by a dismal performance in the Philadelphia debate.
Back in Iowa, Barack Obama promised to be something new -- an unconventional leader who would confront unpleasant truths, embrace novel policies and unify the country. If he had knocked Hillary Clinton out in New Hampshire and entered general-election mode early, this enormously thoughtful man would have become that. Skip to next paragraph
But he did not knock her out, and the aura around Obama has changed. Furiously courting Democratic primary voters and apparently exhausted, Obama has emerged as a more conventional politician and a more orthodox liberal.
He sprinkled his debate performance Wednesday night with the sorts of fibs, evasions and hypocrisies that are the stuff of conventional politics. He claimed falsely that his handwriting wasn't on a questionnaire about gun control. He claimed that he had never attacked Clinton for her exaggerations about the Tuzla airport, though his campaign was all over it. Obama piously condemned the practice of lifting other candidates' words out of context, but he has been doing exactly the same thing to John McCain, especially over his 100 years in Iraq comment.
Obama also made a pair of grand and cynical promises that are the sign of someone who is thinking more about campaigning than governing.
He made a sweeping read-my-lips pledge never to raise taxes on anybody making less than $200,000 to $250,000 a year. That will make it impossible to address entitlement reform any time in an Obama presidency. It will also make it much harder to afford the vast array of middle-class tax breaks, health care reforms and energy policy Manhattan Projects that he promises to deliver.
Then he made an iron vow to get American troops out of Iraq within 16 months. Neither Obama nor anyone else has any clue what the conditions will be like when the next president takes office. He could have responsibly said that he aims to bring the troops home but will make a judgment at the time. Instead, he rigidly locked himself into a policy that will not be fully implemented for another three years.
If Obama is elected, he will either go back on this pledge -- in which case he would destroy his credibility -- or he will risk genocide in the region and a viciously polarizing political war at home.
Was Obama writing checks his butt can't cash, or was he just flat out lying? My guess is the latter. Obama has sold out to the unions and sold out to the nutroot/MoveOn.org crowd. He'll renege on his pledge to not raise taxes -- his ego will require that he honor his alliances with the MoveOn and DailyKos party radicals. He's their Messiah, and they worship in the manner he loves.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!