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The thing I’m finding most troubling about Obama.

By
June 19, 2008

I’m an African-American who has been alive longer than the 42 years African-Americans have been relatively free in America. That would be 42 years of relative freedom from about 400 years of existence in America.

So, naturally I’m proud and entusiastic about an African-American that I could support being this close to the presidency. Just his being African-American doesn’t necessarily mean that I could support him. Had Obama been Powell, Rice, Harold Ford, or John Lewis, I’d be voting for someone else. But Obama is antiwar, intelligent, reflective, articulate, has roots in issues I think most important, and he’s run a brilliant campaign. Brilliant does not imply perfect, but he needed to run a brilliant campaign to defeat the Clintons, the most formidable opponent he’s going to face in this election season.

But what I’m finding most troubling is his penchant to overreact. He’s starting to appear like his course of actions and even what he believes can be dictated by the very forces he opposes. Talk about him not wearing a flag pin and he’ll change course and put it on. Talk about him being a muslim and he’ll go to AIPAC and give a speech like he was Benjamin Netanyahu .. then keep scarf-wearing women away from the stage. Talk about him having dialouge with leaders we don’t like and he’ll waffle on his position. Talk about him not going to Iraq and he’ll schedule a visit to Iraq. Talk about him being weak and he’ll start making Bushesque “dead or alive” statements about Bin Laden. Talk about his wife and he’ll hide her and “make her over.” Talk about his pastor, associates, or even those within his own campaign and he’ll dump them.

This may not be all be his fault, and his pastor definately needed to be dumped, but there is a pattern emerging that I find troubling. I also recognize that he has to do what he has to do to become the president. But hopefully he’s not going to govern this way. If the right can say BOO and make him jump, that doesn’t bode well for Iran, Afghanistan, or Iraq.

If he can be bullied, bluffed, or badgered into taking positions that are counter to what drives the Obama movement, there are going to be an awful lot of disappointed, dis-spirited and de-energized Americans who rode him into office on a horse named Change.

It remains to be seen, but it bears watching.

10 Responses to The thing I’m finding most troubling about Obama.

  1. pollchecker

    June 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I guess it’s all a matter of how something is perceived.

    He didn’t cave to those rumors. He addressed those rumors because it was apparent they weren’t going to go away.

    But that is politics. Getting elected is about playing the game of politics the best. It has nothing to do with how one governs.

    That is just one of the lessons we learned from Karl & George W.

    Getting elected is about having the right image. Apparently he understands this and that is good because the last couple of candidates the Dems had for POTUS apparently did NOT understand the political game because they got beat at it TWICE!

    I think the way that Senator Obama has handled the Republican attack dogs has been admirable.

  2. ridingchick

    June 19, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    My friend..You have not lived long enough to understand how the game of politics is played. Pollchecker’s
    explanation was brilliant.

    May I suggest that you go and do some research on American Politics and I promise, you will see how the game is truly played.

    Obama ’08

  3. BlackAsCoal

    June 20, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I’m betting that I lived longer than pollchecker or you and that I have a good deal more experience in politics .. working in politics than you.

    But neither is the point. If you have something intelligent to add that addresses what I posted .. that would be the point .. my friend.

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    June 19, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    It’s a tough call to make. America is waking up, and quickly. That Hillary’s shoe-in campaign went down in flames speaks volumes about the changes that are taking place. People are SICK of the establishment and the status quo, which Hillary so represented. Being a black, fairly liberal candidate in these twisted times is like knocking a speeding bullet out of it’s trajectory with a slingshot; things are happening so fast. And they are things that have no precedent to follow. I wish him the best. But we all know the attack dogs will be chasing him, no matter what path he follows….

    I’m greatly impressed with Obama, although I too found his pandering to the Jewish Mafia (AIPAC) disturbing, to put it mildly. I can’t really expect him to be a prophet or a psychic, however. My own license expired years ago……

  5. ekaton

    June 23, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Jewish Mafia indeed. 2.5 to 3 percent of Americans are Jewish. Why are they allowed to have so much influence? Why must the US be tied at all times no matter what to Israel?

    — Kent Shaw

  6. anthny

    June 20, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Well DejaVu all over again, your name says it all.
    This guy Obama has just been repackaged into whatever his right wing backers want the American people to think he is.
    I doubt that he will do anything he say’s he will do after he is elected, exactly like any other politician.
    But I thought there was a little hope that he would be different, I mean when does Oprah get involved in politics, unless she thought he was a good man.
    Our country is heading for bankruptcy in every way from spritiual, economically, and all of the *ism’s along the way.
    *I, Self, Me*
    Partisan politics have a bad effect on our government and so does a govenment for and by the corporations.
    The best definition I have seen on Democracy is being ruled by a Mob, who won control by that 2% margin……

  7. lexiedogmom

    June 20, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Lexie Homewood
    I do understand your point about his pandering behavior, but I suggest that his seeming hair-trigger reaction mechanism is as much a product of what failing to react did to John Kerry, rather than wishy-washiness on the part of his character.

    Having said that, I agree that the people who were shocked about his not wearing a flag pin in his lapel, were not going to vote for him anyway. However, Michael Smerconish, a conservative commentator and radio host, has said that he has never seen the likes of the email whispering campaign that is now circulating against him and his wife. I don’t blame him at all for reacting. It’s only going to get more vicious.

  8. knockknock

    June 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    If Senator Obama can stand it, so can I.

    Nobody said Hillary should wear a flag pin or question her patriotism, though the Clintons have done much to damage our nation.

    The rabid pack is surely after Obama and will intensify their efforts over the next months.

    It’s necessary for Obama to say or do what the experts advise in order to gain the presidency — that’s an (unfortunate) given. He did well so far in his own instincts and in listening to his brilliant advisors. He must cut off at the pass any possible little thing his detractors might come up with. If he misses one, then he must immediately come back at them with truth and logic.

    Sure, there’s some uneasiness when I hear what seems to be pandering but, ultimately, in my mind, whatever it takes to get this inspirational, young, innovative man into the White House … so be it.

    Like I said — If he can stand it, so can I.

  9. serena1313

    June 23, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Iam with you regarding Obama seeming to “overreact.”

    Nevertheless Iam willing to give Obama a pass on AIPAC only because they are such a powerful group; he needs their votes to win.

    A large majority of Americans favour using diplomacy and talking with our adversaries as well as our allies. Obama’s willingness to have open dialogue with all nations was one of the first things that got my attention. On the other hand I personally disagree with Obama’s refusal to talk with Hamas. It is ridiculous and hypocritical that after pushing the Palestinians to hold elections, who overwhelmingly voted for Hamas, Bush refuses to talk to them. Even Israel is talking to Hamas. Hopefully Obama will change his mind once he is in office.

    No doubt he has run a superior campaign. Despite my skepticism on some of his decisions Obama has generally shown to have made the right choices. Overall I trust him.

    Obama is correct in addressing the right-wing attack machine. Their attacks are vicious and ugly. Ignoring them would be a mistake.

    And insofar as Michelle, I think she is great, however, for the general election maybe it is best. Notwithstanding it would have been better to have just done it without announcing it. IMHO

    We may not agree with all of Obama’s decisions, but until such time he gives us reason not to, we need to trust him or at the very least give him the benefit of the doubt (he earned it). No candidate is perfect. So whatever it takes to get elected Iam with him.

    Obama’s sharp acumen and political instincts have gotten him thus far so what we may consider as “overreacting” may not be. Time will tell.

  10. ekaton

    June 23, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    “Nevertheless Iam willing to give Obama a pass on AIPAC only because they are such a powerful group; he needs their votes to win.”

    Why? The population of the US is 2.5 to 3 percent Jewish. This is something I just don’t get.

    — Kent Shaw