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MSNBC (NYT): As a law professor, Obama stood apart


Heisenberg

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Gee. Another Obama puff piece. Imagine my surprise:rolleyes:

Yes Sarge, maybe learn to read an entire article before you make stupid comments.

There are several negative things mentioned about Obama in the article - but that would require reading instead of speculating.

:rolleyes:

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I think it paints a picture of Obama that is very fair - he is a very ambitious politician and he has definitely avoided taking strong stands.

Epstein's view reinforces what others have said about him:

“I don’t think anything that went on in these chambers affected him,” said Richard Epstein, a libertarian colleague who says he longed for Mr. Obama to venture beyond his ideological and topical comfort zones. “His entire life, as best I can tell, is one in which he’s always been a thoughtful listener and questioner, but he’s never stepped up to the plate and taken full swings.”

It's pretty clear that Obama avoids taking strong stances on issues, and he likes to search for complication and compromise ... everything from his "present" votes to his "flip-flopping" show this character - he doesn't like to reveal where he stands, and maybe he doesn't really stand anywhere on a lot of issues.

The piece also reveals that he has always been very ambitious, and has been planning on a life in politics since very early on ... the calculating and arrogant picture that the right is trying to paint is probably not that far from the truth.

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Yes Sarge, maybe learn to read an entire article before you make stupid comments.

There are several negative things mentioned about Obama in the article - but that would require reading instead of speculating.

:rolleyes:

What? That no one can ever pin him down on his views? :obvious:

That's about all I saw

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Everything I've heard, read, etc. about Obama has the same theme at it's core: this guy is raw ambition. He wants power, status and control and has lived his life in such a way as to shield himself in order to obtain those goals. I worry that he won't know what to do with the highest office in the land should he win it. He's spen this whole life grabbing for a bigger piece, what will he grab next?

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Everything I've heard, read, etc. about Obama has the same theme at it's core: this guy is raw ambition. He wants power, status and control and has lived his life in such a way as to shield himself in order to obtain those goals. I worry that he won't know what to do with the highest office in the land should he win it. He's spen this whole life grabbing for a bigger piece, what will he grab next?

Looking at his policies they seem to have a theme of compromise. I think where he defines himself as the uniter isn't that far off. Teaching in a predominantly conservative institution has to have had an affect. I imagine that he is very very balanced in his views.

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Looking at his policies they seem to have a theme of compromise. I think where he defines himself as the uniter isn't that far off. Teaching in a predominantly conservative institution has to have had an affect. I imagine that he is very very balanced in his views.
Well, Epstein seems to believe that the University didn't affect Obama much at all, since he didn't really seem to socialize with his conservative colleagues...

I do think you're right that Obama's beliefs are based on compromise, but he is almost too balanced in his views ... to the point where he doesn't really have his own stance on anything at all. In some ways that's good for a politician, because he just then represents the views of the electorate, but in other ways it can be kind of a puzzle to figure him out.

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Well, Epstein seems to believe that the University didn't affect Obama much at all, since he didn't really seem to socialize with his conservative colleagues...

I do think you're right that Obama's beliefs are based on compromise, but he is almost too balanced in his views ... to the point where he doesn't really have his own stance on anything at all. In some ways that's good for a politician, because he just then represents the views of the electorate, but in other ways it can be kind of a puzzle to figure him out.

That he has no firm stances scares the hell out of me,and this article simply reinforces my own observations.

It does make for a good politician...a oxymoron if I ever heard one ;)

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Everything I've heard, read, etc. about Obama has the same theme at it's core: this guy is raw ambition. He wants power, status and control and has lived his life in such a way as to shield himself in order to obtain those goals. I worry that he won't know what to do with the highest office in the land should he win it. He's spen this whole life grabbing for a bigger piece, what will he grab next?

You could say this about every politician.

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FDR's biographers say he had a similar personality. Did a lot of listening and asking questions, but you could never pin him down.

But my question on this type of person (not necessarily FDR or Obama or anyone else specific) is how do you trust them? If they have no real strong, firm beliefs and you don't know where they stand, how do you trust them to run our country. To me, it indicates the type that might just play to the most poular public opinion and approval poll type politics which is a recipe for disaster (like, say,going into Iraq when maybe we shouldn't (Bush and most of America) or wanting to pull out early when its very premature (Obama and most of America).

Obviously compromise and moderation is sometimes good and necessary for any progress to happen and bills to get passed, but I want to know where a man (or woman) stands before I'll trust them. Flip flopping, changing opinions, and doing whatever seems best at a particular moment in time reeks of opportunism and not truly finding what's best for America. Americans certainly don't know what's best for America on every issue or else we would just vote on everything ourselves, so simply playing to their opinions and riding the fence is wrong (I understand many will do this to get elected, but it aint right). Unfortunately, most politicians aren't completely genuine and have to play the game to get elected, so we may never know where some of them truly stand until they're in office. Even so, we still might not ever know because if they can just win the affection of the public and seemingly help America in the short term, they will be celebrated and carried off into the sunset, even if some decisions hurt the country in the long term, when they will be likely forgotten or irrelevant.

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FDR's biographers say he had a similar personality. Did a lot of listening and asking questions, but you could never pin him down.
Yeah, it's not necessarily a bad thing ... heck, people say the same thing about me sometimes. There's nothing wrong with a healthy fear of commitment ... :paranoid:

But it definitely makes things harder to predict. Obama's plan are generally a basket of policies that are still open to compromise. We'll get out of Iraq in 16 months ... more or less. We'll get universal health care ... or at least close. We may get social security taxes for those making over $250k, but Obama won't tell us how much. It's hard to tell what the priorities will be, and Obama always reminds us that the circumstances could change. At least with McCain, we know that we're guaranteed the Bush tax cuts and an invasion of Iran. :silly:

That he has no firm stances scares the hell out of me,and this article simply reinforces my own observations.
That's not to say that we know nothing about what Obama will do. He is very clearly a liberal, and he has clearly adopted the Democratic platform. There's no real dancing around the differences between McCain and Obama on taxes, health care, Iraq, and a host of other issues. Specifics will be based on what he can get through Congress or what he can sell to the American people, but it's no mystery what direction he will be pushing.

I would actually say that the majority of politicians have some of this quality in them ... only a small fraction of our elected officials are really ideologically driven. People who are politicians can't hold to rigid views on every topic and must be willing to compromise ... Obama is better at it than most.

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I really don't think it is legitimate to say that Obama is not wedded to any principles, or that people cannot tell what he stands for on big issues.

It is more accurate to say that he is not wedded to any particular solutions/policies to reach those goals.

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