Although the New York Times tells us today that dissatisfaction with Obama's FISA stance is the provenance of hairshirted liberals and bloggers on the internet doing their Youtubing and hoping (Comments from Left Field has more, including some ruminating on the question why the dissatisfied elements of the GOP base are never "far-right"), there's something that we fair hippies are allowed to be dissatisfied about: Obama's completely consistent position on Iraq.
I reference Margaret Carlson, who I'd actually forgotten existed until until MoDo quoted her today pulling the same schtick she has for the past decade plus: being the renowned hostess of elite, A-list parties who, because she has funny glasses and a librarian haircut, gets to weigh in on how utterly weird and alienating to regular people Democrats are.
That someone is Obama. His familiar line is to say he will be as careful getting out of Iraq as President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were careless about getting in. He put 16 months as a deadline for removing troops.
That was in the Democratic primaries. In the general election, he's ``refined'' his timetable depending on what the generals on the ground have to say.
To the potent and vehement antiwar members of his party, this was like saying he'd stay 100 years, so he's carefully walked his refinement back. He told an audience in Powder Springs, Georgia, this week: ``Don't be confused. I will bring the Iraq War to a close when I am president.'' Assuming he meant ``in my first term,'' that's 48 months, not 16.
Oh, the Obama rule, I almost forgot: in lieu of explicit, mind-numbing detail that would put even the tenacious, insightful press corps to sleep, assume Obama's fucking up. We, the liberals who have powered Obama's campaign to the same heights as other internet phenomena like the "Which Pirate of the Caribbean are you?" quiz, are ANGRY and MAD and HUNGRY FOR COOKIE. Shit, that last one's just me.
Except that, well, we aren't. Among the Grr, FISA crowd (myself included), we all understood the plain meaning of the words that came out of Obama's mouth: the strategic goal of exiting Iraq would remain in place, and the tactics to do so would be subject to the recommendation of the commanders on the ground. We aren't angry precisely because we're capable of sustaining two (or more) narratives in our head at once without worrying that it becomes too hard to follow. Carlson, the NYT article, even conservative columnists are all looking at us and telling us not only that we are angry, but that we have their permission to get angry.
This turns the corner from the erroneous description of what us proles believe to erroneous prescription of what we should believe. I'm sure that next we'll see stories of us abandoning Obama in droves based on the non-flip-flop in his Iraq agenda, going back to our Second Life accounts and launching virtual flying dildo attacks on Ron Paul HQ. Even those of us who have some level of dissatisfaction with Obama on particular issues aren't the ones pressing him on Iraq - it's the media, who insist that the use of any non-identical phrasing in regards to any issue constitutes a change in position that must be explored with proctological thoroughness. Their complete lack of comprehension is to stand in for ours, and when they're stuck holding the bag on a nonsense story that should provoke a certain response so, apparently, are we.
I, for one, refuse to be held hostage by the media. Well, except for Rick Sanchez, who seems likely to let me escape in a wonderfully comedic romp that involves him getting hit in the head repeatedly with various household objects.