Debate over Barack Obama\'s centrist positions CHARITY VIDEOS - DONATION VIDEO CLIPS - ORGANIZATIONS

The picture of Obama as a big-time leftist was always wrong -- and more a function of the Clintons\' need to marginalise him than of any accurate portrayal of his record. His 2002 speech against the Iraq war aired a prescient worry about unintended consequences, not a deep reluctance to use military force in any circumstances.Obama has long been a committed Christian, even of a more liberal, mainstream variety than the Republican leadership. His embrace of faith-based programmes is therefore utterly unsurprising to anyone who knows him. (The one key difference between Bush\'s faith-based programmes and Obama\'s is that Obama\'s forbids religious charities from using public money to discriminate in hiring on the basis of faith.)\n\nObama also explicitly favoured the death penalty for child rapists and murderers in his book The Audacity of Hope. These are not, for the most part, U-turns or manifestations of cynicism. They are pragmatic adjustments made by a Democrat who wants to win.\n\nThis election will be about who can deliver the most change in a way that least disturbs an anxious electorate. McCain reassures in as much as he is obviously not a simple heir to Bush and Dick Cheney. But his refusal to countenanceany tax increases or entitlement cuts in a debt-laden America, and his visceral hostility to diplomacy and nuance in the politics of the Middle East, worry many who have been rattled by the reckless rigidity of the Bush years.\nhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/andrew_sullivan/article4275040.ece\n Why, exactly, did you prefer Obama over Hillary Clinton in the first place? Their policies were almost identical — except his health care proposal was more conservative. You liked Barack because you thought he could get us past the old brain-dead politics, right? He talked — and talked and talked — about how there were going to be no more red states and blue states, how he was going to bring Americans together, including Republicans and Democrats. \n\nExactly where did everybody think this gathering was going to take place? Left field?\n\nWhen an extremely intelligent politician tells you over and over and over that he is tired of the take-no-prisoners politics of the last several decades, that he is going to get things done and build a \"new consensus,\" he is trying to explain that he is all about compromise. Even if he says it in that great Baracky way. \n\nMost of the things Obama\'s taken heat for saying this summer fall into these two familiar patterns — attempts to find a rational common ground on controversial issues and dumb-avoidance.\n\nOn the common-ground front, he\'s called for giving more federal money to religious groups that run social programs, but onlyif the services they offer are secular. People can have guns for hunting and protection, but we should crack down on unscrupulous gun sellers. Putting some restrictions on the government\'s ability to wiretap is better than nothing, even though he would rather have gone further.\n\nDumb-avoidance would include his opposing the gas-tax holiday, backtracking on the anti-Nafta pandering he did during the primary and acknowledging that if one is planning to go all the way to Iraq to talk to the generals, one should actually pay attention to what the generals say.Touching both bases are Obama\'s positions that 1) if people are going to ask him every day why he\'s not wearing a flag pin, it\'s easier to just wear the pin, for heaven\'s sake, and 2) there\'s nothing to be gained by getting into a fight over whether the death penalty can be imposed on child rapists.\n\nHis decision to ditch public campaign financing, on the other hand, was nothing but a complete, total, purebred flip-flop. If you are a person who feels campaign finance reform is the most important issue facing America right now, you should either vote for John McCain or go home and put a pillow over your head. However, I believe I have met every single person in the country for whom campaign finance reform is the tiptop priority, and their numbers are not legion.\n\nMeanwhile, Obama has made it clear what issues he thinks all this cleverness and compromising are supposed to serve: nationalhealth care, a smart energy policy and getting American troops out of Iraq. He has tons of other concerns, but those seem to be the top three. \nhttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/opinion/10collins.html?_r=3&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Barack, Child, control, cuts, death, debate, economy, energy, flip, flop, gas, gun, interview, Iraq, john, Mccain, NAFTA, Obama, oil, penalty, prices, rape, speech, tax, taxes

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