7/24/2008

Ideology Uber Alles

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." Watching Barack Obama swing back and forth on issue after issue (he certainly is the candidate of change) he certainly takes opposing positions. The problem with that is that it's impossible to know what is real and what is merely spoken for election purposes. As Jim Geraghty is fond of noting, every single statement and promise from Obama has an expiration date. But the few clues that appear point to a hard left worldview.

But there are areas of consistency. In his ABC interview this week, Obama said that even knowing the surge had worked, he still would oppose it. That's a startling statement. His desire to get us out of Iraq (and once again, leaving the battlefield doesn't mean the war is over unless the other side agrees) overrides everything.

We saw the same tendency during the debate with Hillary where he told Charlie Gibson that even though cutting capital gains taxes increases revenue to the government, he not only opposed rate cuts but wanted to raise them because "some people make too much money."

On most things, Obama says whatever he thinks people want to hear. But on some questions his far left ideology is more important than anything else. By far the most liberal candidate for national office since Henry Wallace, Obama has huge advantages going in to the fall. Yet so far those haven't translated into the expected commanding lead in the polls. Will it? Time will tell. But if Obama's ideology continues to peek out from behind the curtain, (or if John Toto McCain finds his courage and pulls the curtain back) enough voters may see through the hope and change happy talk to prevent his election.

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