Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Waffles, the Margins, and the Center (200th Post)

Something that has been a part of politics for as long as I was really paying attention (I graduated in 1992 (Yes, the Clinton Era))) was the readjusting of positions, waffling, flipflopping, aligning, however you want to phrase it. It's the standard policy of candidates to sound one way in the primaries, then start moving their positions around like red and blue chess pieces on the political battlefield. And it's pretty damned telling about how candidates these days think.

Usually, it goes like this. You start on the extreme end of your party, trying to attract every kook fringe moonbat or wingnut you can get salivating for red meat. If you manage to suck out a victory in the primaries, then all the people who were calling you names get religion and declare you the best thing since sliced bread (the greatness of said bread being debatable). Then, as you hurl toward the convention and the general election, you take that big ol bus, throw all your crazy friends under it, and steer a course for the center. Then you trade up to a jet, tossing the inconvenient into the turbines (Yippie-ki-yay, motherfuckers). Both candidate this year are, as you might expect, are doing just that. So let's just look at them and see who appears to be the biggest drunk behind the wheel (Kennedy joke omitted for brevity).

Let's start the ripping with my favorite Yop, John McCain. The Straight Talk Express started off swerving left of center half the time, so much so that conservative were looking for anyone who had a spike strip to blow out a tire and run it into the ditch. But now they're conflicted. They look across the aisle to see how far to left the liberal is and it becomes a tossup as to the best way to be destroyed. McCain himself manages to piss off both sides daily, talking about cutting taxes and unleashing global warming regulation at the same time, for example. Either way, it makes for a really shitty game of Russian roulette, except without the chance to put a bullet through your head and not have to see things through to the election.

Then there's Barack Obama. Ol' Barry came out of the gate to the left of VI Leninand with the help of the kooky left, he pulled down a victory against the ever-formidible Clintons. So now he's up against a "conservative" Republican, and it's time for the age-old tactic of running to the center. Here's the change we can believe in over the last month: He's changed on Iraq. He's changed on faith-based programs. He's changed pastors. He's changed planes (bad move there, Hillary used that plane!) while his is in the shop. He even took a shot the other day at MoveOn(left).org. And while some of these changes are in the right direction, I doubt this is more than standard general election tactics and CYA maneuvers. The funny part is that he's starting to piss off his fringies, like the Code Pinkos. I'm just wondering what the next change will be. His wife? Drill oil, down with solar? Bush is good?

Now I will admit that people do evolve opinions over time. But until I see and hear of more than just words, I have a serious problem believing any of it. And if you take your politician of choice at his word when he goes veering in the other direction, then you're the reason there is no change we can believe in.


Beth said...

Congrats on your 200th post, good analysis. When will the masses ever realize that politicians do this all the time? As Soapie says, the masses are asses.

Patrick M said...

Beth: Don't insult asses! Ass is good.

Toad734 said...

I don't think he was ever against faith based programs. Its one of the things, that and farm subsidies in Illinois, that I never liked about him.

Its better than converting into a Southern Baptist,especially if you live in Arizona and just deciding one day that you are going to be pro-life. Democrats are so stupid for not jumping and that shit like Republicans did to Kerry.

Patrick M said...

Democrats are so stupid....

I'm going to quote you on that.

I'm not sure on Obama's prior stance on the faith based stuff. I did forget his 2nd Amendment shift, though. My point is we're going to see a lot of these shuffles, because it's what politicians, even messiahs, do. I can't wait until he honors Bush. After the election, of course. I can see you spinning in your grave and you won't even be dead doing it.

Toad734 said...

I don't think he switched his stance on guns either. He has voted for every restriction that has come before him but restrictions, as the Supreme Court pointed out, are constitutional and the 2nd amendment is neither absolute nor obsolete, which is Obamas position exactly.

McCain is the one who converts his religion, was against the Bush tax cuts, was pro-choice and has now switched all his positions now that he is running.

And just because a candidate is reaching out to a particular group doesn't mean he is necessarily pandering or waffling, he may just be letting that segment of society know where he really stands since you can't depend on Limpballs and Faux News to get the story straight.

Patrick M said...

Both candidates have waffled, changed, adjusted or rephrased positions. As I have said, it's standard fare. And I don't always have problems with it, especially if it's a slow evolution.

Obama's gun stance: He seems to have left that out of his info on civil rights, as well as The Blueprint for (fucking up) Change. I searched his site further though: Here's his recent position from the fact checker on his site:

Obama Disagreed With The NRA That "People Should Be Unimpeded And Unregulated On Gun Ownership;" In Favor Of Handgun Registration And Licensing Requirements.

Then I found this questionnaire (part 1, part 2 from his race back in 1996. Of course, his aides deny he saw or approved it, as it asks a simple question (35): Do you support state legislation to: (a) ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of hadguns? He answered Yes.

I could then go into his views on public financing on campaigns, but I've made my point.