Old spin: Obama heralds a new politics; New spin: Obama is a Machiavellian samurai

posted at 2:25 pm on June 20, 2008 by Allahpundit

Lowry nails David Brooks on his Kmiec-esque act of transubstantiation this morning, by which the Messiah’s vices somehow magically become virtues. Consider it the political equivalent of “can God make a rock he can’t lift?” Only the Lightworker knows for sure:

I have to admit, I’m ambivalent watching all this. On the one hand, Obama did sell out the primary cause of his professional life, all for a tiny political advantage. If he’ll sell that out, what won’t he sell out? On the other hand, global affairs ain’t beanbag. If we’re going to have a president who is going to go toe to toe with the likes of Vladimir Putin, maybe it is better that he should have a ruthlessly opportunist Fast Eddie Obama lurking inside.

All I know for sure is that this guy is no liberal goo-goo. Republicans keep calling him naïve. But naïve is the last word I’d use to describe Barack Obama. He’s the most effectively political creature we’ve seen in decades. Even Bill Clinton wasn’t smart enough to succeed in politics by pretending to renounce politics.

Excitable Andy is also, predictably, excited. Lowry’s riposte:

[I]t’s interesting how the ground has shifted: He used to admire Obama because he represented something new and different in politics; now he admires him because he’s such an effective political fraud.

Is he that effective? He took plenty of abuse yesterday for his shamelessness in flip-flopping on public finance; follow the Excitable Andy link and read Barnett’s post to see how he might have pulled it off with more finesse. And of course his most egregious fraud, the great leather-bound speech on race to spin Wrightgate that blew up in his face a month later, didn’t seem to particularly impress anyone outside the media. I don’t begrudge him his reversal on public financing — I’d want McCain to do the same if he was banking $100 mil a month — and like Brooks I’m encouraged to see him showing the sort of useful ruthlessness that will come in handy on foreign policy, assuming it’s not a weapon he reserves for the left’s real enemies in the GOP. But can we please at least lay the “new brand of politics” crap to rest now? He lied, straight out, about ever pursuing a meeting with McCain to discuss the possibility of public financing; he lied, straight out, about being forced to raise huge sums privately to beat back the onslaught of Republican 527s since (a) there are no 527s attacking him right now and (b) given how decrepit the GOP’s message machine is these days, it’s unlikely that any 527s that do arise will do him much harm. He’ll say and do what he has to in order to get elected, just like every other politician in America. Nothing wrong with it in context, but nothing particularly Hopey or Changey about it, either.

I do completely agree with Brooks, though, about Obama being anything but politically naive. Check out his latest maneuver, leaning on MoveOn to shut down its own 527 and raise money via small donations through its PAC. That’s a luxury a guy staring at a $500 million take can afford since it’ll let him claim the high ground he lost with the public financing decision every time McCain tacitly blesses any attack groups that spring up on the GOP side. And needless to say, thanks to Obama, there’s no shortage of small donors these days on the left to keep shoveling money to MoveOn so the pinch won’t be as dreadfully bad as it might have been if they’d done this four years ago. Shrewd guy. Not a guy who’s going to institute anything like a “new politics,” but he’s no less shrewd for that.


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Magnificient Bastard?

BohicaTwentyTwo on June 20, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Obama scares me

SoCalInfidel on June 20, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Obama’s sycophantic supporters scare me more than Obama.

PBoilermaker on June 20, 2008 at 2:31 PM

…Kmiec-esque act of transubstantiation…

You da man.

Blogdelicious.

rick moran on June 20, 2008 at 2:32 PM

I really, REALLY need to caption that picture:
“…and then, BAM! – total global domination! BWAHAHAhahahahaha!”

mojo on June 20, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Andi cracked me up on this sentence!

I’m sorry, but to my eyes this episode doesn’t seem like an adventure in shrewdness. It’s yet another example of a rookie candidate spouting off while having no idea what he’s talking about.

Hit it on the head!

upinak on June 20, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Obama’s sycophantic supporters scare me more than Obama.

PBoilermaker on June 20, 2008 at 2:31 PM

Touche

SoCalInfidel on June 20, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Obama’s not really all that brilliant. Brilliant politicos don’t accuse a much-sought-after base of being bitter bigots.

His team of handlers are smart, the media’s in his pocket, and his supporters are entirely oblivious to his flaws and obscene policies. He makes missteps constantly, but the media ignores them and his supporters just keep pumping in more coinage.

amerpundit on June 20, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Obama is a product of the Chicago Democratic-Daley machine, so why should Machiavellian manuevers, as well as blatant tactics such as getting the signatures for primary opponents invalidated, suprise anyone?

He was also an Alinsky “community organizer”: the end [power] justifies the means. Whatever it takes, he’ll do it.

The true end in sight is the Supreme Court. Take that (and 2-3 new appointments), and the liberal agenda on abortion, homosexual marriage, capital punishment, separation of religion and state, union organizing and political contributions, criminals’ rights, terrorists’ rights, and the submission of the constitution to international law and international courts of criminal law and “human rights” will be enshrined as precedent.

Wethal on June 20, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Michelle scares me more!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on June 20, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Wethal on June 20, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Don’t forget elimination of the electoral college and private ownership of guns. Both are integral to their plan.

JiangxiDad on June 20, 2008 at 2:45 PM

He’s still naive, just not when it comes to politics.

Esthier on June 20, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Fraud.

raiderdav on June 20, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Just win, baby?

DrSteve on June 20, 2008 at 2:50 PM

I don’t see how anyone can call this disciple of Saul of Chicago either naive or virtuous. The guy is a total fraud.

ninjapirate on June 20, 2008 at 2:55 PM

A political animal that out-slicks Slick Willie???

I fear for our country. Time to keep assets liquid, and stock up on necessities and weaponry. :)

rockbend on June 20, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Has anyone noticed how silent the Clinton “machine” has been since her “dismissal”/suspension from the race? It would be so nice if her “support” for Obama consisted of a tin foil hat and a malfunctioning teleprompter that turned Obama into a bobble-head.

Rovin on June 20, 2008 at 3:01 PM

He’ll say and do what he has to in order to get elected, just like every other politician in America.

Wrong. Honesty is not an option.

T J Green on June 20, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Rovin, there is a headline up saying that Clinton will appear with Obama next week. I expect she’s holding back some until Obama agrees to push his donors to help her pay off her debts.

Wethal on June 20, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Probably 137 people in the whole world have even heard about this issue, and your average Hussein sycophant couldn’t care less even if he knew about it. Anyone who cares about it has already identified him as a fraud and a zero.

So there.

Akzed on June 20, 2008 at 3:14 PM

His team of handlers are smart, the media’s in his pocket, and his supporters are entirely oblivious to his flaws and obscene policies. He makes missteps constantly, but the media ignores them and his supporters just keep pumping in more coinage.

amerpundit on June 20, 2008 at 2:40 PM

That’s because they are all a part of the Cult of Change, with Messiah Obama as their new Jim Jones. All they see is his charisma and charm and none of the dangers that are so inherent in his proposed political policies.

You know, I was thinking as I was picking up a kiddo at day camp a few moments ago how much we’ve been creeping towards socialism over the last 40 years or so. It’s a shame my kids won’t know what true freedom is. Obama is the beginning of the end, IMHO.

pullingmyhairout on June 20, 2008 at 3:25 PM

It’s not about WHAT he is saying. It’s about HOW he is saying it that has them swooning.

Repubs are falling into the same dead end that Hillary’s camp wandered into. Commercials have to be made touting Obama’s oral gift. A gift that he is using, that allows him to have no position on anything. This gift lets him change any previous view while his audience/supporters faint. We need constant before and after speeches on a split screen highlighting his seamless transitions.

As the old song said, “A point in every direction is no point at all”. That is Obama. His ever so silky delivery allows/makes it so. Worst part? He knows it. I’m the flim flam man, the best you have ever seen. Jive is my game.

patrick neid on June 20, 2008 at 3:25 PM

His followers won’t make him pay for his dishonesty, inexperience and mediocrity. That makes him brilliant? Well, Jim Jones got his followers to committ mass suicide. Too bad HE’S not around to run for President, huh?

jl on June 20, 2008 at 3:30 PM

A political animal that out-slicks Slick Willie???

rockbend on June 20, 2008 at 2:58 PM

I was thinking the same think. Although, in the beginning, I think we all had an inkling of what type of person Billy Jeff really was to one extent or another, from his time as governor. The day when President Obama looks straight into the camera and has his “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” moment, will come as a shock to the ObamaNation.

BohicaTwentyTwo on June 20, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Like others have said, I’m not so sure one needs be all that worried about Obama’s intellect, it is apparently the stunning lack thereof belonging to a good 40% chunk of America, in the form of his ‘apologist until the day they die supporters’ that is alarmning.

They behave like Jihadists, it is a bit un-nerving. We joke about the messiah, but for a lot of his supporters this is no joke. He can do NO wrong.

saus on June 20, 2008 at 3:50 PM

If they get a Dem supermajority, we will be looking at The New Deal times Eleventy.

wordwarp on June 20, 2008 at 3:51 PM

wordwarp, if they get a Dem supermajority, we will be looking like Blair-Brown’s UK, except the state church won’t be Anglican, it will be Our Lady Gaia of Perpetual Guilt.

Wethal on June 20, 2008 at 4:03 PM

OBAMANOMICS: Change that makes no sense.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on June 20, 2008 at 4:34 PM

Obama is indeed shrewd, but shrewdness alone doesn’t make him capable of running a lemonade stand, never mind a nation.

This passage from TPM is barf-worthy:

MoveOn’s 527 has been dormant since 2005, but the group had held open the option of starting it up it for the 2008 election — until Obama’s success with small donors showed that huge sums could be raised without it.

The move could also make it tougher politically for John McCain and the GOP to benefit from 527s, which can raise money in unlimited sums, on his side. While he has generally disapproved of such activity, he recently said that he couldn’t control negative ads by such groups.

“The hope is that Republicans will match this, so that the voices of ordinary Americans can drive this election,” Hogue said.

The very idea that people read this BS and eat it up is as nauseating as Obama himself.

Buy Danish on June 20, 2008 at 5:31 PM

Comrade Obama has his agenda for sure.
He is largely an unknown but his arrogance,
marxist leanings, his associates and his voting record tells me more than his rhetoric that seems to change weekly.

If Johm McCain was an axe murderer he would be honest about it. Obama is neither honest or worthy of my trust.

If Ron Paul was Obama’s opposition I would vote for scary Ron over Obama.

I am not mesmerized or charmed by Obama. There is more to his meteoric rise to celebrity status than what we know. I’m not buying it!
Obama is just a tool. I will vote for McCain because it a vote against Comrade Obama.

old trooper on June 20, 2008 at 6:15 PM

wordwarp, if they get a Dem supermajority, we will be looking like Blair-Brown’s UK, except the state church won’t be Anglican, it will be Our Lady Gaia of Perpetual Guilt.

Wethal on June 20, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Friggin’ Brilliant! And dead on accurate too.

techno_barbarian on June 20, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Half a billion dollars!?! Can we just write that off as Slavery Reparations and finally close that chapter in our nation’s history?

boko fittleworth on June 20, 2008 at 6:58 PM

If they get a Dem supermajority, we will be looking at The New Deal times Eleventy.

wordwarp on June 20, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Or will it be 91,100?

misterpeasea on June 21, 2008 at 11:41 AM