Here we go again. A new Reuters/Zogby poll shows Barack Obama has converted a seven-point lead over John McCain last month into a five-point deficit as of last week.
How'd he manage it? Simple: He turned to Democratic centrist advisers touting strategies that have produced decades of electoral disasters.
Like John Kerry and Al Gore before him, Obama, after winning the primaries as an anti-war liberal, has gone Republican-lite. First pledging unquestioning support for Israeli intransigence, he has subsequently threatened to attack Iran, to put more troops in Afghanistan, has backed away from genuine health-care reform and other progressive domestic goals, and even supports warrantless domestic spying.
You would think, having watched Democratic presidential candidates Kerry and Gore blow two elections for the party, Obama would have tried something different. Sadly though, he and Democratic Party leaders seem hopelessly in thrall to powerbrokers who favor war, free-market nostrums and corporate welfare.
Obama became the first African American with a real White House shot by appealing to the Democrats' liberal base. Now Zogby says his liberal support has plunged 12 percent. Worse yet, Obama's young and unaffiliated voter support is also down 12 percent. Some of these folks are turning to Republican presidential nominee McCain, whose 40 percent backing among the young now approaches Obama's 52 percent.
Count me as one who has soured on this smooth-talking eel of a candidate.
It's not a matter of turning to McCain, who, if anything, is more dangerous, inept and ingenuous than President Bush.
But how can any progressive vote for someone who flips from opposing a war to saying he would keep troops in Iraq for another five years?
How can any progressive vote for someone who won't vow to defend the Constitution by reversing all of President Bush's abuses of power and by prosecuting those who have committed crimes in the White House? How can any progressive vote for someone who favors a puny 20 percent tax on dividends and capital gains?
Clearly Obama is eschewing liberal positions to appear "safe" and uncontroversial.
The predictable result? A precipitous slide in the polls and Loserville.
If Obama continues like this, we'll end up with President McCain.
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