Thursday, July 3, 2008

Obama's Strategy on FISA

Was debating with a friend about Obama's support of FISA - I think no big deal, he thinks it undermines Obama's credibility entirely.

But then I started thinking about why Obama would support FISA since he had to know it would get MoveOn and their ilk up in arms. And then it dawned on me that's precisely WHY he did it. What better way to appeal to the center and center-right than to say: "The far right AND far left are both angry with me." In other words, it's not about FISA or telecom immunity at all. It's about sacrificing a relatively small issue to generate the backlash from the left he needs. It's like microfracture surgery - the doctor scrapes the bone to cause bleeding and create scar tissue to cushion the joint. He's scraping the left just enough to cushion his reception with a significant portion of the electorate outside his base.

It's not his centrist stance on FISA that will win him votes. It's that he doesn't look quite so beholden to the left.

I think that's a good rebuttal to all the pundits who try to argue that supporting the FISA compromise and tacking to the center substantively won't help. No it won't, but their overheated criticism surely will!

When given the choice between believing that Obama is tone deaf and doesn't realize what's obvious to the left-wing pundits, or believing that this black man with a Muslim name who is the frontrunner for president of the United States is playing the game at a more subtle level than they can even fathom, I'll go with the latter. These people are like financial pundits slagging Warren Buffett's stock picks. If Obama weren't the smartest guy in the game, we wouldn't even know who he was.

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