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By Geoff Metcalf

July 8, 2008

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Preaching to the choir is easy. Both Democrats and Republicans do it…almost as much as Libertarians. Traditionally a chronic menu of red meat (or tofu) is used to win the party nomination.

GOP primary candidates focus on God, Guns, and Abortion.
Dem primary candidates cling to the gospel of the 60’s and anti-war, anti-‘them’ rhetoric.
However, eventually both strident opponents have to deal with the annoying empirical reality that ‘most’ Americans do not subscribe to the fundamentalist dogma of either the left or right.

Barack Obama, who has been reiterating the “change” refrain like a minister calling for an “Amen!” is now amending and revising his doctrine…kinda/sorta. And the sycophant faithful who embraced the certitude of their rock star candidate don’t like that change is subject to change. Once again, words apparently do have meaning…

The New Barack Obama:

1. Iraq may take longer?
2. Pro Gun
3. Pro Religion
4. Pro Death Penalty
5. Pro expanding eavesdropping programs
6. Anti-public campaign funding

Once upon a time, Bil Gilbert wrote (about John Audubon, the bird guy), “Audubon biographers and scholars [have noted], by various euphemisms, that all great men have their flaws, and their man’s principal flaw was that he, well, he lied a lot.”

So Obama is in good company with Audubon, Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and yes, equal numbers of republicans.

"There appears to be no issue that Barack Obama is not willing to reverse himself on for the sake of political expedience," said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the national Republican Party.

That is to be expected from a GOP party operative, but when I asked a gay, liberal, democrat, grass roots, guerrilla in San Francisco about the Barack flip-flopping, the response was both inimitably critical and unprintable in most venues beyond HBO scripts.

Despite his remarkable success is packaging and selling the form of his candidacy, that annoying substance thing threatens to undermine, abrogate and morph “change” into “flip-flop.” Ouch!


Routinely, candidates of all stripes use the General election campaign to tweak their messages for broader appeal and acceptability. It may be smarmy, but frankly, it is not such a bad thing (except for the fact it reveals the duplicity of the primary spitting matches).

Sen. McCain has made a career out of eschewing the partisan gospel and frankly has been running for the General election from the jump. Republicans who don’t like his moderate RINO (Republican in Name Only) views will hold their noses and support the party nominee as the lesser of available evils. However, Obama has been accenting positions that are flat out abhorrent to his legions on the left on several issues.

On Iraq, Obama now says his upcoming trip might lead him to refine (amend, change, dump) his promise to quickly remove U.S. troops.
He suddenly supports broader government authority for eavesdropping program
And legal immunity for telecommunications companies that cooperated with Bush eavesdropping policy.
Obama became the first major-party candidate to reject public financing for the general election in the wake of his earlier promises to accept it.
Both ways on gun control.

A strident handgun control proponent, he now says he favors

* both an individual's right to own a gun
* And government's right to regulate ownership.

How’s THAT for being “flexible”?

He also now says "mental distress" won’t cut it as a health exception to permit a late-term abortion, saying "it has to be a serious physical issue". Abortion rights faithful are still trying to recover from such blasphemy.

Despite systemic dysfunction in John McCain's camp, Bush's lousy approval ratings and polls at only 17 percent of the public saying the nation is moving in the right direction, Obama remains unable to build a solid lead over McCain.

Real Clear Politics shows Obama with 4%-6% lead and these numbers are before the masses get hip to what Obama is actually now saying.

Obama made his bones on opposition to the war in Iraq and magnetic oratory. It was key to his defeat of Hillary and made him a favorite of anti-war activists (now high up in the Democratic Party).

In the wake of Republicans goading him to change his Iraq withdrawal policy…he did. After his remark at a news conference about refining policy hit the fan, he called a do-over four hours later to "try this again."

In his do-over he said, "I will bring this war to a close. ... I am not searching for maneuvering room with respect to that position." The wiggle room he is seeking now is WHEN…

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It seems reasonable to conclude that Russia, China, North Korea, the Saudis, and the EU may be less inclined to provide neophyte President opportunities to amend, refine, spin, and/or correct strategic policy mutterings?

After months of enjoying the support and softball handling of the main stream media, now Obama’s inexperience and lack of substance is catching up to him.

� 2008 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

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So Obama is in good company with Audubon, Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and yes, equal numbers of republicans.