July 23, 2008

The Sunshine Patriot

Grim at Blackfive tears Obama a new one:

They say "victory has a thousand fathers," but to Sen. Obama, the Surge is a bastard.

Grim is responding, at least in part, to Joe Klein's meltdown, in which the panicking journalist attacked John McCain for pointing out that McCain is willing to lose the election in order to win the Iraq War, while Obama has been committed to losing the Iraq War as a plank of his political platform since 2006.

Obama's shift was a calculated appeal to the far left progressive base, a move which eventually helped him lock-up the Democratic nomination. He has stuck to that commitment. Even now, as Obama made clear to Couric, he would not have supported the surge.

His record of statements related to the war on Iraq is extensive and well-documented. He was opposed to the war from the start as noted in his over-hyped 2002 speech, adopted the position in 2004 that a withdrawal without victory " would be a betrayal of the promise that we made to the Iraqi people, and it would be hugely destabilizing from a national security perspective" and a dishonoring of the sacrifice of American soldiers.

By 2005-2006, Obama had made his final evolution, changing positions again and committing to unconditional withdrawal for his presidential run; victory was no longer on his agenda.

On October 22, 2006, Obama proclaimed the urgent necessity for "all the leadership in Washington to execute a serious change of course in Iraq." That change was decidedly not in the direction of stepping up our war effort by sending additional troops—a shift advocated by some conservative critics of administration policy and at that point being seriously considered by the White House and the Pentagon. Quite the contrary: the change Obama had in mind was to initiate, as quickly as possible, a "phased withdrawal" from Iraq. There was to be no more talk from him about leaving a "stabilized" situation. Nor, for Obama, was the issue debatable. His latest predictive judgment was that "We cannot, through putting in more troops or maintaining the presence that we have, expect that somehow the situation is going to improve."

It is clear that since 2006, Obama had far less interest in winning the Iraq war than he did withdrawing American troops. Getting out was Barack Obama's primary concern. Winning was not. John McCain's charge that "I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign" is deadly accurate.

Joe Klein can shriek all he wants that McCain's line of attack is "scurrilous" and "smacks of desperation," but the simple fact remains that Obama's record, scant as it is, betrays his character. It shows him to be what Thomas Paine described during our own nation's founding war as a sunshine patriot:

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

When times in Iraq became toughest, Barack Obama wilted. When tyranny threatened, he committed to conceding the field. Being a politician, and a liberal at that, he proudly made his desire to run away from conflict and abandon the Iraqi people to whatever fate befell them part of the central core of his campaign.

"Vote for me. I shirk from difficulty. " he seemed to be saying. "Vote for me. I will not require sacrifice. Vote for me. I promise safety. Vote for me. I will bend to your will."

And such is the core of his appeal.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 23, 2008 10:44 AM

Now I understand what the auras around Obama's head in all the media photos are to represent: He's a sunshine soldier and lightworker!

Posted by: redherkey at July 23, 2008 11:21 AM

I think we just reached the tipping point in the Iraq war on the media front. They have finally found it easier to admit that we are winning in Iraq than to try to defend Obama's miserable record. By declaring Mission Accomplished, they can now remove Iraq as a major issue of the 2008 election.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at July 23, 2008 12:52 PM
By declaring Mission Accomplished, they can now remove Iraq as a major issue of the 2008 election.

That's OK, the Surge more or less did that already, the media is just following along.

This election, if I am any prognosticator (and I may or may not be), is gonna be about gas prices and Obama's steadfast opposition to new drilling. On that issue, as on Iraq, Obama is stuck between the desires of the majority of the voting public (get more oil on the market through drilling) and the desires of the rabid nutroots who provide much of the Democrats' financial support (who want America to go back to the horse and buggy day). He's gonna try his best to weasel his way past both groups, and I daresay he won't succeed.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 23, 2008 04:45 PM
...who want America to go back to the horse and buggy day.
Obviously we need to institute mandatory equine sports in high school. A few minutes with some of the horses I've met would cure them forever. :) Posted by: Grim at July 24, 2008 09:21 AM

Actually, Grim, I take that back... they want us to go back to pre-horse days... using horses to pull buggies would be "animal cruelty."

Posted by: C-C-G at July 24, 2008 04:57 PM