Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Dreaded Question: Is Obama Selling Out?

Those of you who know me, know that I’ve been a diehard Obama girl since day one so it literally pains me to pose this question, but Barack's recent stances on oil drilling and FISA have certainly prompted a few “hmmms” from yours truly.

There’s no question that those on the left are not happy campers about some of his recent positions on these issues and the words “sell-out” and “flip flop” have been floating around the liberal political blogosphere for a few weeks now.

I had to seriously put on my thinking cap here, filter through the mainstream media’s portrayal of him as a flip-flopper and really delve into where I stand on this. And although I do not necessarily agree with Barack’s more recent stances on a few key issue areas, I can respect the fact that he is open to alternative solutions, particularly when it comes to America's fuel crisis. For God sakes, the man isn’t looking to drill us into oblivion, but has simply said that he’s open to putting drilling on the table if it’s part of a comprehensive package. At the end of the day, I don’t think it is a matter of selling out to the right as much as it is an attempt on his part to find common ground, strike a balance between liberal and conservative wants and ultimately do what’s best for the American people.

If his message is that we need a Prez who is willing to look beyond the political divide and be open to other opinions, then aren't his recent views keeping consistent with that message?

We say all the time that we want a politician to not simply pander but to take positions that are sometimes unpopular and controversial with conviction and integrity. But when our candidate of choice takes a position that is not our own, we quickly label him/her as a “sell out” and huff and puff about how they’ve betrayed us. I’m not just talking BO here. I’m talking generally. We just can’t have it both ways, my friends. Many of us laud and defend Barack’s idealistic statements on “bringing America together,” “bridging the gaps” and “working across the aisle,” but it gets murky when he practices what he preaches. For us staunch supporters, isn't this why we love the man? Because he doesn't display this sort of rigid Bush-Rovian it's-my-way-or-the-highway dogmatism.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying that Barack is perfect and his stances are 100% excusable. What I am saying is that we progressives should respect the fact that the man is thinking outside of the ideological box and is willing to consider other ideas when given compelling evidence.

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