Barack Obama, the most vocal advocate for [fill in the blank] ever

posted at 9:15 am on April 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft notices another pattern from Barack Obama — a tendency to see himself as a quasi-messiah on every possible issue. In an interview with The Advocate, a magazine for the gay/lesbian community, Obama says that he has been pounding the podium on behalf of gays more than any other presidential candidate in history. That reminded Jeralyn of another claim made in recent days:

Barack Obama gave an interview to the Advocate about his positions on gay issues. This leapt out at me:

“So I actually have been much more vocal on gay issues to general audiences than any other presidential candidate probably in history.’’

That strikes me about as credible as his comment about his record on anti-semitism:

And nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti- Semitism than I have.”

I’d call it hyperbole, except his exaggerations are not unintentional. He seems to really believe it.

What’s more, the advocacy Obama claims always seems to end just shy of the point of taking action. Obama supports civil unions but not gay marriage, because … he comes from a mixed marriage?

“I’m the product of a mixed marriage that would have been illegal in 12 states when I was born. That doesn’t mean that had I been an adviser to Dr. King back then, I would have told him to lead with repealing an antimiscegenation law, because it just might not have been the best strategy in terms of moving broader equality forward.”

He thinks crack sentencing guidelines are inherently unfair — a point with which I agree — but he doesn’t want to do much for that, either, as he tells the Boston Globe. Why? He doesn’t want to spend political capital:

“Even if we fix this, if it was a 1-to-1 ratio, it’s still a problem that folks are selling crack. It’s still a problem that our young men are in a situation where they believe the only recourse for them is the drug trade. So there is a balancing act that has to be done in terms of, do we want to spend all our political capital on a very difficult issue that doesn’t get at some of the underlying issues; whether we want to spend more of that political capital getting early childhood education in place, getting after-school programs in place, getting summer school programs in place.”

Medical marijuana? Obama will light up but won’t inhale. Again, Obama pays lip service to the idea of legalizing it, but doesn’t want to spend his political capital on that, either:

I would not punish doctors if it’s prescribed in a way that is appropriate. That may require some changes in federal law. I will tell you that — I mean I want to be honest with you — whether I want to use a whole lot of political capital on that issue when we’re trying to get health care passed or end the war in Iraq, the likelihood of that being real high on my list is not likely…

I guess we could call Barack Obama a political capitalist. If he only cared about real capital and preserving it for use in free markets rather than sucking it into massively inefficient government bureaucracies as he does about political capital, he might make a decent President.

Do we see a pattern here? Obama sets himself up on every issue as the secular savior who can deliver Hope and Change, and then turns around and says that he can’t deliver on anything at all. It doesn’t just sound like the kind of pragmatic wheeling and dealing that he has opposed as practically a brand since starting this race, but a lack of testicular fortitude. He wants to claim support for all sorts of issues without having to do any work to actually support them.

That’s not New Politics — it’s the same old song and dance. Small wonder he has to compensate with all of the exaggerated claims of advocacy.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It’s taken seventy years to reach the ultimate culmination of liberalism: a candidate who CARES MORE about every issue – but does absolutely nothing else.

logis on April 12, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Reading all those quotes above brought to mind that other great salesman, Joe Isuzu.

Zorro on April 12, 2008 at 9:24 AM

I’ll be whatever you want me to be baby – for now.

RobCon on April 12, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Obama sets himself up on every issue as the secular savior who can deliver Hope and Change, and then turns around and says that he can’t deliver on anything at all.

Hey, maybe THAT’s why folks in PA are so bitter, eh Messiah?

Tony737 on April 12, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Good post, as usual. You have delinated what he will not spend Capital on, but please give me your best estimate on what he would spend it on. He has started his self-destructive period, but that fire needs some fuel.

kflynn on April 12, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Who would have thunk it; a politician that will say what ever he/she thinks we want to hear, promise utopia for all, plays on our emotions… Obama’s history does nothing for him in the arena of backing up any of these claims. The man should be selling vacuums door to door.

Keemo on April 12, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Like I said last night…

Vote Obama! Get in touch with your inner victim.

Connie on April 12, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Obama is the best thing that could have happened to the American people. He illustrates perfectly the need for the Bill of Rights– to protect Americans from their government. His attack on religion and gun ownership is classic. He also exposes as a lie the notion that a minority person cannot be a bigot or discriminatory. He makes perfectly clear why a novice cannot even be considered for the office of the President. He exposes the elite snobbery of liberalism, in a way the average person can see. He allows the media to be seen for what it is, a fawning festering swamp of liberal ideologues willing to say or do anything to hoodwink the American people. He exposes the Democrats as the party of identity politics only. Finally, he gives new life to Martin Luther King’s words about the content of the character mattering. Obama’s character has been measured, and has been found wanting. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Be proud today. America has done right to reject this man. His eventual nomination may be a bitter pill to swallow, but there are many positive and unintended lessons to learn from his continued presence.

JiangxiDad on April 12, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Obama supports civil unions but gay marriage, because … he comes from a mixed marriage?

Is this a typo? Is it supposed to say ‘civil unions but *NOT* gay marriage’ ?

So what if he’s mixed? What does that have to do with gay marriage? Apples and oranges.

Tony737 on April 12, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Excellent post there, J-Dad!

Tony737 on April 12, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Tony, thanks — that was a typo, and I’ve corrected it.

Ed Morrissey on April 12, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Duh…

Excellent post, Ed.

Barack Obama, the most vocal advocate for [fill in the blank] ever,

but will not do anything because he wants to hoard his political capital.

So, Barack, on what issue are you going to use your precious political capital?

slp on April 12, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I think it’s even worse than that, Ed. He likes to say he already said he was against something. e.g., “Obama reminded the crowd that he’d denounced his church’s praise of Farrakhan” He can’t bring himself to say “I denounce him”. He can only mention that he did it before.

Once or twice, no big deal, but do it a bunch and it’s creepy.

MamaAJ on April 12, 2008 at 9:46 AM

If Obama thinks the American people are bitter because their government doesn’t do anything for them, it’s time for him to look in the mirror and count up his “present” votes in the Illinois senate. It’s time for him to pull out his own resume and take a hard look. Ten years in state and national legislature, and what has Barrack Obama done for the American people?

A whole lot of nothing with a side of condescension, that’s what.

Barrack Obama: “I’m proud to be part of the problem.”

NeighborhoodCatLady on April 12, 2008 at 9:56 AM

In Detroit in the 60s, we had a saying for a player like B. Hussein. “Downtown money spender, big womb bender, poor whores dream come true”. I haven’t seen anybody meet this description in over 35 yrs, but boy, does this guy….He not only can’t walk on water, HELL he can’t even tread water…

pueblo1032 on April 12, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Fauxbama. That’s all…

adamsmith on April 12, 2008 at 10:17 AM

So Obama believes that he needs to carefully budget his political capital and prioritize his spending. He can’t spend his political capital irresponsibly on things like gay marriage or unfair sentencing guidelines, because then he won’t have enough capital left to spend on things that are more important to him, like universal healthcare or the Iraq war.

It’s good to know that Obama actually understands things like budgeting and the prioritizing of expenses. Perhaps he could take a moment to explain those concepts to all the “victims” of the housing downturn that he’s been promising to save from the consequences of their own irresponsible spending decisions. No wait, those people couldn’t possibly be expected to understand or apply such complicated concepts to their own lives. After all, they’re just a bunch of gun-toting, Bible-thumping, ignorant, racist rubes. Right, Obama?

AZCoyote on April 12, 2008 at 10:22 AM

He`s sounding more and more like a grade school kid running for student body president.

ThePrez on April 12, 2008 at 10:29 AM

I’ve done more for anonymous blog commenters than any anonymous blog commenter in history. And now I’m going to take a nap.

ReubenJCogburn on April 12, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Begins to explain all those “Present” votes in the Illinois legislature, doesn’t it.

BillyRuffn on April 12, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Possibly because TalkLeft (btw one of the rare actually readable leftish sites in the blogosphere) generally supports a hard-line on trade and Iraq surrender, Jeralyn doesn’t dwell much on how he’s been trying to perform the same acrobatics on those issues – letting advisers like Goolsbee and Power wink and nod in a more centrist direction, or hiding behind wriggly generalizations when confronted with the leftist red meat he tosses out on the stump. He’s in favor of precipitous careful withdrawal. He’s in favor of protectionist free trade. He strongly supports Israel and all of its enemies, too. He’s deeply patriotic and surrounded by anti-Americans, including honest-to-God unrepentant terrorist revolutionaries… not to mention his America-denigrating wife. He’s deeply involved in his Christianity and his church, but somehow missed his pastor’s ideological commitments. He hates special interests except for the ones bundling in the multi-millions for his campaign, and strongly supports public financing except in his own case. He believes American needs to repair its alliances, except with its allies. He understands the common people – whom he considers psychologically infantilized victims clinging to their retrograde religious beliefs, their guns, and their unreasoning hatreds. Pick almost any issue, and he’s come down on both sides – typically by pandering to whichever present audience or interlocutor, then resorting to feelgood abstraction, incoherent hedging, and bait-and-switch when pressed by someone else.

CK MacLeod on April 12, 2008 at 10:54 AM

FTN

bluestater on April 12, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Right out of college he headed a “voter registration drive”. He’s all about creating the appearance of creating “awareness”, and that appears to be where it ends usually.

DaveS on April 12, 2008 at 11:48 AM

“I guess we could call Barack Obama a political capitalist.”

He sounds more like a political skinflint.

Dusty on April 12, 2008 at 11:56 AM

BTW, there was a funny reader e-mail over at The Corner calling Obama a political stem cell.

Dusty on April 12, 2008 at 12:00 PM

“Pounding the podium on behalf of gays”

You sure you want to put Obama into that kind of imagry, Ed?

jon1979 on April 12, 2008 at 12:05 PM

You have delinated what he [Obama] will not spend Capital on, but please give me your best estimate on what he would spend it on.
kflynn on April 12, 2008 at 9:29 AM

That’s a good question. So far, the empty suit schtick has been pretty comprehensive, but nobody goes through all the trouble of running for President unless he genuinely wants to do SOMETHING.

My guess is that what BarackObama wants most has to do with what he talks about least: being Commander-in-Chief.

Think about it: BarackObama knows that there’s no way in Hell he can even suggest, let alone implement, Sharia Law in America within his term. But when it comes to throwing a monkey wrench into America’s foreign policy, there’s no limit to what a President can accomplish.

logis on April 12, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Obama supports civil unions but not gay marriage, because … he comes from a mixed marriage?

Well, he had said he opposed it because it was a religious issue, until people found out that the United Church of Christ, of which Trinity United is a member, supports gay marriage.

its vintage duh on April 12, 2008 at 12:32 PM

how about “ending Affirmative Action”?

TexasJew on April 12, 2008 at 12:46 PM

I think it’s even worse than that, Ed. He likes to say he already said he was against something. e.g., “Obama reminded the crowd that he’d denounced his church’s praise of Farrakhan” He can’t bring himself to say “I denounce him”. He can only mention that he did it before.

Once or twice, no big deal, but do it a bunch and it’s creepy.

MamaAJ on April 12, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Reminds me of the Clinton tactic, when someone brings up a scandal relating to them: “We addressed that long ago… can we Move On(.org)?”

Seriously, though, it’s amusing to me that none of the people supporting him seem to realize he’s all talk. He’s never gotten =anything= of substance done. He’s only talked with people. He’s not proposed any policies, he’s not tried to hash out compromises with political opponents… he just has a universal “I understand” to trot out.

I used to say “I understand” often, too…. when I was 18.

meep on April 12, 2008 at 1:49 PM

“I’d call it hyperbole, except his exaggerations are not unintentional. He seems to really believe it.” Koolaid drinkers generally do believe the out-and-out lies they tell.
‘Gather ’round chillins, I got a tale to tell–and it’s true’. The audience is wide-eyed and open mouthed for the pablum.
It could be that the pablum is the problem, but us knowin’ that ain’t gonna Change nothin’. Only Barry Insane Obama can bring about Life’s constant…
As The Cos would say: Riiiiight!

Christine on April 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM