Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama's Youthful Flip-Flopping Tendencies

Over at Justin Taylor's blog, James Grant posted this terrific Dick Morris piece on Barack Obama's tendency to flip-flop on issues. I'm not one to criticize young talent, but this piece does reveal something, I think, about Obama's youth. Put simply, he can't seem to make up his mind.

"Dick Morris has a recent article examining the current presidential race and why Obama has lost some ground. While some of the gain is due to McCain, Morris says that part of the slippage is Obama's fault. In the words of Dick Morris:

"Obama has carried flip-flopping to new heights. In the space of a month and a half, this candidate -- who we don't really yet know very well -- reversed or sharply modified his positions on at least eight key issues:
  • After vowing to eschew private fundraising and take public financing, he has now refused public money.
  • Once he threatened to filibuster a bill to protect telephone companies from liability for their cooperation with national security wiretaps; now he has voted for the legislation.
  • Turning his back on a lifetime of support for gun control, he now recognizes a Second Amendment right to bear arms in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
  • Formerly, he told the Israeli lobby that he favored an undivided Jerusalem. Now he says he didn't mean it.
  • From a 100 percent pro-choice position, he now has migrated to expressing doubts about allowing partial-birth abortions.
  • For the first time, he now speaks highly of using church-based institutions to deliver public services to the poor.
  • Having based his entire campaign on withdrawal from Iraq, he now pledges to consult with the military first.
  • During the primary, he backed merit pay for teachers -- but before the union a few weeks ago, he opposed it.
  • After specifically saying in the primaries that he disagreed with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) proposal to impose Social Security taxes on income over $200,000 and wanted to tax all income, he has now adopted the Clinton position."

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Anonymous Sam said...

Hi Owen.

Hope you don't mind me responding to this post. I was at the talk you gave the other day and thought you did a great job.

I'm not sure this piece by Dick Morris reveals that much at all about Obama that would convince anyone looking at both candidates objectively one way or the other.

You say that Obama's flip-flops are related to his youth.

For the purposes of discussion allow me to direct you to this link or a here

The record shows that John McCain is as much of or perhaps even more of a flip-flopper than Barack Obama.

Do you believe McCain's changes of mind are due to his age?

I just wanted to point out that no candidate holds the higher ground here.

Allow me to try to indicate where my research and thought process has led me these days.

The reality is that God does not have a horse in this Presidential race. There is no Christian party in the United States. God's agenda is not the agenda of the Republican party nor that of the Democratic party.

So what are we left with? Voting on issues. Most Christians, at least evangelicals, will tend to vote for the Republican party based on opposition to abortion and possibly gay marriage to a lesser extent.

I would guess that more Christians would vote Democratic if they were the party that had those two issues as central to their platform.

I think this because more Americans as a whole, according to recent polls, tend to identify more with Democrats on the economy, taxes, and the need to improve health care. Conversely, the Republicans are stronger on national security and foreign policy in the polls.

I think conservative values are even lower on the priority list for most Christians. I personally do not believe that universal health care or progressive tax rates infringe in anyway on our faith.

This election I am leaning towards voting for Barack Obama. I think Democratic economic and tax policies will better serve the American people as a whole.

Republicans have had eight years to create some meaningful change in the United States. The best way, in my opinion, to reduce abortions, is through strong initiatives to reduce poverty and increase education among the poor of this country who account for the majority of abortions.

I know John McCain has no interest in such an endeavor. I hope Barack Obama will do so as he's at least talked about it. Legislation and court decisions are not the answer here.

I am a fiscal conservative. This link details some of the results of the last 8 years.
Fiscal conservatism, as practiced by the Republican party going back to Reagan, is a fallacy.

The national debt has increased by 61%. Families are hurting as a result of the past 8 years. Which of these candidates will best help the working-class families of America?

I noticed you used the word "liberal" a few times the other night. I would caution you against potentially harming the dialogue in public discussion by treating all liberalism as an affront to Christianity. Its just not that simple.

Forgive me for this very long post. I've had a lot of thoughts in my head recently and perhaps I just needed an opportunity to put it down somewhere.

10:57 PM  

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