Fourth of July Flopitis
The question is no longer on what has Obama backtracked,but rather on what has he not?
The political problems with Obama's flopitis are twofold: one, it is coming late in the season. To defeat Hillary he went hard left in the void left by Edwards. But the primary dragged on so long, that when he just recently flipped and flopped to leave the hard left on NAFTA, Trinity Church, Rev. Wright, FISA, gun control, campaign financing, death penalty, Iran, Iraq, Jerusalem, etc. he did so in the near summer, not late winter. The result is that his formerly left positions were showcased longer than most go-to-the-center politicians and thus his abandonment of them more striking and fresh in our memories.
For each inoperative "I can no more disown Rev. Wright" statement, there comes another each day about not quite pulling out of Iraq or wire-taps sorta okay, or NOT meeting John McCain "anywhere, anytime." Every opportunist knows that in presidential politics such shamelessness should be over and done with by March.
Second, to employ a well-known Obamism, Obama 'raised the bar' so high with his 'hope and change' sophistry about transcending lobbyists, tawdry campaign financing, et. al. that he is now being hoisted on his own petard — flip-flopping is the normal sort of rank opportunism, but for a messiah it is tantamount to sacrilege and heresy.
Some of us have been ad nauseam suggesting Democratic buyer's remorse soon, and still stand by that prediction. The problem is not that the Left will abandon him; they won't, and will gladly put up with an Iraqi war-fighter, huge private cash raiser, wire-tapper, free-trader, and gun-rights/death penalty advocate if he brings them all back to power. (But watch their furor if Obama sinks below McCain in the polls.) Instead the rub is that Obama's new legions of hopers and changers won't register, work, and turn out in sufficient numbers if they feel that they've been had and made to look silly, and Obama is just another Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale/John Kerry. Nor will all this triangulation necessarily win the "clingers" vote, even though the about-faces are done on their behalf.