I am starting to feel my first real disillusionment with Obama. I knew it was going to come, but didn`t think it would happen quite so early and cumulatively.
I suppose my first real inkling that Obama may not be so different was when he said several months ago, that he still, supported the massive 2006 Israeli air bombing of Lebanon over the kidnapping of two soldiers; a thousand civilian deaths and one million anti -personnel bombs remaining in Lebanon, later. Well we all know the power of the AIPAC lobby. Hey, but he got Iraq right and on Afghanistan, even if he thinks the Bush administration "took it`s eye off of that conflict" practically everyone in mainstream political America is still `gung ho` about continuing that mission.
Then, this week it was Obama`s reversal of his once strong anti-warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty. Glenn Greenwald takes him to task for caving in and ill-advisedly supporting the House measure which though billed as a compromise, seems more a capitulation to Bush`s demands with precious few judicial safeguards.
And then there are some of his choices for the candidates he is personally endorsing. Yes, I know that Obama had backed Joe Lieberman, with a ringing endorsement for the Democratic Connecticut primary in 2006 against Ned Lamont, the anti-war challenger who eventually won the primary -no thanks to Obama-, but lost the race to Lieberman, who won as an independent. And we all know how Lieberman, who seems to have lost his senses, has rewarded Obama and other prominent Dems for their at the time, sound endorsements.
Obama`s rejection of public financing might be rationalized away since he never said he would unconditionally or uniequivocally accept, just "aggressively pursue that option".
But I`m starting to wonder at is all his new establishment advisors, most of them from the 'inevitable' Clinton campaign, such as Madeleine Albright and the self-proclaimed "Queen of Sheba", Solis Doyle, but perhaps the most worrying is his drift not so much to the moderate-center, but unbelievably to the right-of-center and those choices he is making over progressives.
Obama is now going out of his way to endorse someone who Greenwald has called `an enthusiastic Bush enabler`, pro-war John Barrow, in the Georgia Democratic primary. Matt Stoller of `Open Left` adds:
Barrow is one of the most reactionary members of Congress, and he's facing a progressive primary challenger in Regina Thomas. I could go into Barrow's voting record, but you can just watch this ad he ran for his campaign.
70% of the primary voters in GA-12 are African-American. Barrow is white and has $1.3 million, Thomas is a progressive African-American and a state legislator, and has very little money. I don't know what kind of game Obama is playing, but using his remarkable brand to protect conservative Democrats is a move reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi endorsing Al Wynn. If Barrow loses, Obama has a progressive ally in Thomas. If Barrow wins, a conservative House Democrat owes Obama a big favor. It's a no-lose proposition for him.
Is this really 'the change we can believe in` or just the same old tired Washington, risk-free politics of licking the boots of the incumbents and the system, at the expense of idealistic new talent and reform ideas ever taking hold in Beltway D.C.
Obama is going to have to start answering questions from the left progressive wing of the Democrats very soon, if these lurches to the center-right becomes more than just a campaign tactic to capture victory for the Democractic establishment.
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!