Thursday, August 02, 2007

Goodbye, Obama

We hardly knew you. In the horse race that's become the run up, a full year early, to the Democratic National Convention, that's taken the place of real reporting on many websites, Obama has effectively ruled himself out as a progressive candidate. Recent report (title link) states that Obama supports attacking Pakistan militarily because Al-Qaeda trains in western Pakistan, has gotten "tough with the teachers' Unions", and opposes Affirmative Action. All these things win him great praise from columnist Thomas Edsall, whose title was "Obama's Terrorism Speech: Another Break With Democratic Party Orthodoxy". If you describe something as a break from Orthodoxy, you approve of it. It's like the difference someone from the sixties pointed out about how they described non-Communist Marxist-Leninist groups: if they were allied with you they were Trotskyists, if they weren't they were Trotskyites.

Specifically, Edsell opens with this:

"Barack Obama's August 1 speech outlining an aggressive anti-terrorist policy is part of the Illinois Senator's larger campaign strategy, demonstrating his willingness to break from liberal orthodoxy -- defying teachers' unions, proponents of racially based affirmative action, and Democratic constituencies wary of the use of force."......"and the powerful lobby opposed to any changes in Social Security benefits."

Then goes on to cite specifics from Obama:

""My daughters should probably be treated by any admissions officer as folks who are pretty advantaged," he said. "I think that we should take into account white kids who have been disadvantaged and have grown up in poverty and shown themselves to have what it takes to succeed.".

Well, you're daughter's rich. Shown to have what it takes to succeed? Do you realize how many kids automatically go to college because their parents are upper middle class? But the poor, oh, they have to prove themselves in ways that these people don't experience because the poor are suspect of being lazy. Beyond that, the point of minority under representation in both college admissions and in government contracts isn't just about economic status. Presumably, if a government contractor hires a minority owned firm that firm isn't going to be poor. The same thing with government hiring. Despite what critics say, if you get to a point in civil service where you're applicable for affirmative action programs you aren't going to be totally unqualified. But what's identified as affirmative action in the presentation the public gets is college admissions only.

"And in Philadelphia, at a July 5 National Education Association meeting, Obama endorsed merit pay -- anathema to teachers' unions. "If you excel at helping your students achieve success, your success will be valued and rewarded as well," Obama said, careful to add, "I want to work with teachers. I'm not going to do it to you, I'm going to do it with you.""

So it doesn't matter that U.S. teachers are paid the least of all teachers in the industrialized world, if you don't raise those test scores, you won't get a decent wage.

Finally: "In some respects, Obama's controversial stands are reminiscent of the 1992 campaign. That year Bill Clinton took on Jesse Jackson[......]"

Yes, Obama is starting to resemble Bill Clinton, indeed, the only Republican that democratic guests on the old "Politically Incorrect" reported voting for.

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