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    July 03, 2008

    Here we go

    Posted by: Kevin

    Obama2 Obama is now backing off his promise to immediately pull troops out of Iraq.  Alas, the galling number of flip-flops continue to pile up.

    Are we still all ready to jump head first into Lake Obama even before the party conventions, and deal away all our leverage to a man who is willing to flip-flop even on the central and defining promise of his presidential campaign? 

    Are we so utterly powerless as a community that we must ignore such alarming signs of political shamelessness and unquestioningly trust this man as if he were the Second Coming?

    Perhaps it's time to call off the kool-aid drinking party and shed more light on exactly what deeds we can expect from Obama as opposed to sweet words.  I'd hate to think the man who slew the Clinton beast is now becoming one himself.



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    1. Lucrece on Jul 3, 2008 7:05:33 PM:

      He is first and foremost a politician. I am unsurprised by insidious actions on the part of politicians.

    1. Charlie on Jul 3, 2008 9:47:54 PM:

      The question isn't whether a politician will pander or flip flop, but to whom and how much. I think we all knew this was going to happen, whether we wanted to believe it or not.

    1. Martin on Jul 3, 2008 11:14:29 PM:

      You're all wrong. He always stated that he would listen to the commanders on the ground and would be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. That hasn't changed. In this ludicrously long election season, the situation in Iraq is changing. What was true before the Iowa Caucus is no longer true now and may not be true on January 20, 2009.

      He can't do anything unless he's elected you know. Idealogues make terrible presidents (a good point in case would be the current president). I want someone who thinks and responds to situations as they change and evolve.

      Read Obsidian WIngs http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/07/much-ado-about.html

    1. Allan on Jul 4, 2008 1:37:51 AM:

      Yep. Happy as a clam. Couldn't be happier!

    1. Jason on Jul 4, 2008 2:54:59 AM:

      What it proves is that his claim as a 'change maker' really was as nonsensical as Hillary and others of us always claimed. Should he win in November it will be business as usual, and he always knew that - he's just repositioning a little early to prove the point. He remains the lesser of the two evils in the general election, but has indeed cynically torpedoed the central argument against Hillary - that of doing whatever it takes to get elected.

    1. ClydeOnline on Jul 4, 2008 12:20:38 PM:

      The last thing I want to be is the prince of political correctness. I oppose political correctness, and I think many people can turn anything said about any black person into “racism.”

      Race-baiting and being racially oversensitive are counterproductive and don’t lead to the open, honest, productive, cross-racial conversations necessary to create racial understanding.

      However, the use of “Kool-Aid” in reference to Barack Obama suggests a lack of awareness of or concern about black stereotypes.

      In case one doesn’t know, drinking Kool-Aid is not only a reference to the Jonestown massacre of the late 70s, but is also is a stereotype of the most popular beverage drank by so-called “ghetto” blacks.

      Any Internet search the words “Kool-Aid” and “blacks” together brings up numerous examples of stereotyping low-income blacks as frequently drinking Kool-Aid.

      Because the intention isn’t clear with any variation of the statement, “Kool-Aid drinking parter,” the Kool-Aid double-entendre opens up the possibility of the statement being interpreted as a racially motivated statement against Barack Obama.

      Making a reference to drinking Kool-Aid doesn’t create the level of discourse and seriousness necessary for productive dialogue or debate.

    1. Kevin on Jul 4, 2008 2:06:55 PM:


      Get over yourself. I'm not even gonna touch the ridiculousness of what you're implying you think I might have said without knowing etc.

      You want PC? Go to another blog.

    1. Martin on Jul 4, 2008 5:16:54 PM:

      In defense of Kevin, I grew up in an affluent suburban community that was so white you could see it from outer space. There was one black family and he was the mayor, but I digress. In the 1970s, Kool-Aid was a staple. My mother, a nurse, forbade it in the house, so it became forbidden fruit for me and I never passed up a chance to have some at friends' homes. Friends whose parents were professionals with a big house, two cars, etc. Sorry, Kool-Aid is not race-baiting unless you personalize everything.

      Spike Lee used the Partridge Family in one of his movies. That was a TV show I grew up on. Was Spike Lee making fun of white people or did all kinds of kids watch that TV show?

    1. Hawyer on Jul 4, 2008 7:01:54 PM:

      TO: ClydeOnline on Jul 4, 2008 12:20:38 PM:


    1. Hawyer on Jul 4, 2008 7:10:59 PM:

      Re Obama's flip-flopping .....

      I do hope he keeps this to a minimum. HOWEVER, if the media jumps on him, their hypocrisy will be suffocating --- as compared to the REAL flip-flop man, McCain - whose diametric policy statements beggar the imagination --- and which for all intents and purposes have gone utterly unexamined by the mainstream media:


    1. ClydeOnline on Jul 4, 2008 7:11:55 PM:

      Kevin: No, I don't want PC. I explicitly said I don't want PC in my comment. Martin, I also didn't say Kool-Aid was race-baiting. The fact that some middle-class whites drink Kool-Aid too doesn't mean that drinking Kool-Aid is not a black stereotype. What I said was making a reference to Barack Obama and Kool-Aid is silly and racially insensitive at best. There are legitimate criticisms of Barack's positions, which Kevin rightly pointed out as shifting. If we want to be taken seriously, let's be serious and not talk about Kool-Aid. Otherwise, we are living down to stereotypes ourselves by being silly queens.

    1. Scott on Jul 4, 2008 7:51:02 PM:

      Hillary should have won. At least she would have been held accountable for flip-flopping. Barrack because he's black is less scrutinzed and whenever someone does question him there is a whole host of people screaming racism.

      I want Barrack to win but I know that once he gets into office he will be like George W. Bush: completely unaccountable.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 4, 2008 8:03:51 PM:

      To: ClydeOnline on Jul 4, 2008 7:11:55 PM:

      Clyde darling - if Kevin had wanted to make a racially-insensitive illusion, as a professional writer he certainly would have done so - like:

      Call off the fried chickin' eatin' do;
      -or- Call off the watah' melon eatin' shindig;
      -or- Call off the chitlin' eatin' roundup;
      -or- Call off the ripple drinkin' reunion.

      FYI the "drink the cool-aide" shtick derives from the 1978 People's Temple mass suicide of 900 American disciples (including men, women, and children), who followed a messianic nutcase named Jim Jones to form a colony in Guyana, by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.

      But you probably weren't born then. Jeez! If you're going to be racially sensitive, at least do your homework. OK?

    1. ClydeOnline on Jul 5, 2008 9:56:21 AM:

      Hawyer, it's not only what one intends that matters, the interpretation matters too. People frequently don't intend to make racially insensitive remarks, but the fact that the words they use can reasonably be interpreted that way is a hindrance to productive dialogue. I'm aware that "drinking Kool-Aid" has multiple meanings, and, therefore, multiple potential interpretations. I did my homework before making my comment. However, denying that "drinking Kool-Aid" is sometimes used in a racial manner is not intellectually honest. I think Barack should be criticized based on non-racial, serious, sound arguments, not references to drinking Kool-Aid. I also think Kevin is quite capable of making sound, serious arguments against Barack's positions.

    1. Lucrece on Jul 5, 2008 3:49:58 PM:

      Too late; the media has already jumped on him.

    1. tristram on Jul 6, 2008 1:25:03 AM:

      The truth is that Kevin and those who think like him are the ones who are drinking the Kool-Aid - as stirred and served by McCain's new Rover-boy team of right-wing zealots. As McCain has hurdled to the right, his media machine has gone into overdrive to distract the independent voters from the fact the guy is no longer a 'maverick' by trashing Obama for making the reasonable modulations to his position that will be necessary for him to win in November.

      Kevin, it's time for you to wake up and realize that Obama is not running against Hillary. He is also not running against McCain/2000. He is running against McCain/2008, the happy sock-puppet of the FRC and its theofascist allies.

      By trashing Obama you may well get your heart's desire - a McCain victory in November, so you can say "I told you so." But you'll also be getting a federal judiciary that looks like the Liberty University alumni association and a Supreme Court dominated for the next three decades or more by judges selected because they can be be counted on to criminalize abortion and sodomy, loosen Congressional constraints on the President's power and promote prayer in public schools and creationism in the science classroom.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 6, 2008 9:48:41 AM:

      tristram on Jul 6, 2008 1:25:03 AM:

      Well said.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 6, 2008 9:59:25 AM:

      ClydeOnline on Jul 5, 2008 9:56:21 AM:

      Sorry I am being so hard on you. BUT there is quite sufficient hateful rhetoric in today's world without trying to invent it for yourself.

      The "drink the Kool-Aide" terminology - however you may want to construe it for yourself - is simply NOT a racially-slanted slight. It bears no mainstream allusion to anything racial - it simply is used to characterize anyone or any movement whose ideology and adherence to a charismatic leader becomes its defining identity - ultimately foreshadowing its loss of critical thinking and its inevitable demise.

      I am assuming you are black - and I am also assuming you are gay. That is quite enough for your to deal with in George Bush's America. But you've got to keep your eye on the prize and not get sidetracked with "bumps in the night"

    1. Hawyer on Jul 6, 2008 10:32:28 AM:

      I vividly recall Andrew Sullivan's grandstanding on C-Span before the 2000 election - and not-so-subtly shilling for George W. Bush. I remember his snarky quip to a Democratic colleague that: "George Bush is perfectly qualified to be president." As only Andrew Sullivan could in his effete condescendingly British accent with his signature bitchy queen fillip.

      I'm thinking to my self: "How on earth could a homosexual man - however burdened by Catholicism and conservatism - remotely support George W. Bush - based on the Republican base who will have to be politically repaid with court appointees and right-wing legislation - both of which will survive our grandchildren - metaphorically speaking of course.

      Then only to quickly discover upon Bush's appointment - courtesy of Clarence Thomas whom his father gratuitously and cynically ensconced on the court for life - that W himself was himself a reactionary ideologue - and a stupid one at that.

      Then over the course of two terms - I watched Sullivan squirm and rationalize - only to declare W's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment a "deal-breaker"

      Well jeez Andy baby, you really owned that one, didn't you? Thanks for your invaluable perspicacity.

      Kev darling. You'll never be as influential and insightful as your queer conservative poster boy Andrew Sullivan, despite your effusive emulation. But if McCain is our next president, you will certainly look as stupid.

    1. ClydeOnline on Jul 6, 2008 10:06:52 PM:

      Hawyer, you are not being hard on me. You are simply denying race as a possible factor. This is common in America where people deny race sometimes matters. I believe in keeping statements reasonably interpreted as potentially racially motivated outside of intelligent, serious discourse. You deny that "drinking Kool-Aid" has a racial connotation, despite what any Internet search would prove otherwise. Furthermore, you make an assumption about the color of my skin, ironically proving my point. I regret to inform you that one doesn't have to be black to understand the importance of avoiding potentially racially stereotypical remarks.

    1. SteveW on Jul 7, 2008 8:33:36 AM:

      I'm having trouble figuring out what he said that was a flip flop. I keep hearing people saying he is changing is position (or some say he is preparing to change his position), but the only evidence I've seen of a change (or plan to change) his position is the following quote:

      "When I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I'm sure I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies," he said, according to CBS News. “I have been consistent, throughout this process, that I believe the war in Iraq was a mistake."

      Is that the the evidence of a flip flop? If so, it's pretty weak evidence.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 7, 2008 10:48:00 AM:

      TO: ClydeOnline on Jul 6, 2008 10:06:52 PM:

      You say "You deny that "drinking Kool-Aid" has a racial connotation, despite what any Internet search would prove otherwise."

      Since you won't give this up, please give me a couple url's that corroborate your position. While I didn't spend all day in the pursuit, I came up with nothing.

    1. Tim C on Jul 7, 2008 11:17:57 AM:

      Obama's pulling back off of a bug-out policy on Iraq is not a flip-flop, it's simply a maturing of a position in the face of reality. I supported Bill Richardson in the primary elections because I thought he had the best positions on a number of issues. Except for Iraq. He had a bug-out position. But I didn't worry about that because I knew that once the position met reality, the position would change. Same with Obama. No one with any knowledge of foreign policy, except for some on the far left, thinks we can just pull up stakes and bug out in a couple of months without causing tremendous problems on the ground in Iraq. Now that he not just one of many potential candidates, but is the Democratic candidate for President, he has to build a policy that is operational in the long term and what we are seeing is the metamorphosis of one-of-ten-candidates Obama's initial position designed for maximal appeal to the Democratic Party's base into an actually-implementable policy that the US, Iraq and the world can live with. I'm not concerned.

      "Drinking the Kool-Aid": Come on. Everybody know that refers to the 1978 cult suicide at Jim Jones' church in Guyana, and now means believing wholly or fervently in a position generally thought to be off-center. Racist? Please.

    1. ClydeOnline on Jul 7, 2008 4:21:11 PM:

      Hawyer, below is one of many URLs, associating "ghetto" blacks with drinking Kool-Aid. Most Boolean searches of blacks, ghetto, or Kool-Aid will bring up similar results.


      Tim C, I never wrote that saying someone is "drinking Kool-Aid" was "racist." Note the nuances of words. This is a big problem in rhetoric, since some people intentionally use vague language, so we are left to guess what they mean. There is a big difference between saying something is "racial" or saying something is "racist". The words racist and racism are thrown around too much. I don't think Kevin is racist, and I don't think Hawyer is racist. They probably just didn't know.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 7, 2008 7:02:34 PM:

      ClydeOnline on Jul 7, 2008 4:21:11 PM:

      We have more than beat this to death - and I am educated that in fact Kool-Aid is the preferred beverage of underage ghetto children, according to your intriguing website: StuffGhettoPeopleLike.com - a bit of research I would have never dreamed of consulting.

      However, if you will continue on the same page, you will find a link entitled "What is the Kool-Aid?"


      And you will see that the phrase as referenced in this original post does not carry racial overtones - only deprecating allusion to a close-minded ideologue of any stripe.

      Clyde - if you're looking for racial overtones, you can find them anywhere. But I still say, your umbrage here is misbegotten and distracting.

      TRUCE !!!

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