ObamaWatch: Backpedaling on promises left and er, left
Posted by sanityinjection on December 8, 2008
Now that President-elect Obama is faced with the prospect of actually governing, he’s giving off lots of signals that many of the promises he made during the campaign that delighted the Left may be left to twist in the wind, at least for a while.
According to Politico.com, Obama has strayed from liberal othodoxy in the following ways:
- Hasn’t appointed any crackpot lefties to Cabinet
- Promised to tax windfall oil profits, now says he won’t
- Promised to repeal Bush tax cuts, now says he will let them stay until they automatically lapse at the end of 2010
- Ran on platform of ending the war in Iraq, now says at least some troops will remain until 2011 and even beyond
My response to all of this is: Good! I have said all along that Obama is intelligent, and his intelligence is telling him that he has to adapt to the very economic circumstances that helped propel him into office. With oil prices nearing $40/barrel, there aren’t going to be any more windfall oil profits any time soon, so it would be foolish to tax this year’s profits when anything you spend them on will soon lack a revenue source.
Politically, Obama doesn’t need a big floor fight during his first 100 days on the Bush tax cuts, especially with some conservatives in his own party likely to vote to preserve them. And on the war, Obama now says that it’s important to prevent “any resurgence of terrorism in Iraq that could threaten our interests.” Which of course is what the military has been saying all along, as well as an old white-haired veteran Senator whose name escapes me.
While there may be some among the wide-eyed left who are surprised that Obama is not turning out to be the liberal Messiah, Obama didn’t get to where he is today by being a naive ideologue. From a political power perspective, Obama doesn’t need the left-wing fringe anymore. He’s figured that out, but they haven’t – yet.