May 27th, 2008

Obama’s doublethink

Jack Kelly (and others) has noted that Obama is giving a mixed and contradictory message on Hugo Chavez and whether to isolate him or to negotiate with him.

But that’s not a unique situation for Obama; for example, he’s got more positions on Iran than the Kama Sutra. Obama seems to have no trouble holding and/or promulgating mixed or even contradictory messages. It’s his specialty, in fact, one of the ways in which he’s going to bring us all together.

Like the fictional O’Brien in 1984, Obama appears to subscribe to the idea that in the service of a cause (in this case, his own election) one ought to practice doublethink.

Here’s a definition:

[Doublethink is] the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . . . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth….That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved using doublethink.

See, it’s easy if you know how.

And Obama has a mentor in the shining example of his Democratic nominee predecessor John Kerry, who (as I observed the other day) wrote the following sentence in his latest op-ed. The meaning seemed obscure at the time, but now I understand; doublethink! Just change “Ahmadinejad” to “Chavez” and you’ve got it:

Dialogue helps us isolate Ahmadinejad rather than empowering him to isolate us.

31 Responses to “Obama’s doublethink”

  1. Lynda Says:

    Ah, John Kerry. What an embarrassment he must be to thoughtful Americans.
    Here he is, sounding like a complete idiot, in what is quite possibly, the most ignorant and ill-informed political endorsement I have ever heard – see if you agree.

  2. gcotharn Says:

    I first noticed this with Bill Clinton; then Kerry also, then HRC, and now Barack: they get on both sides of issues.

    They will say one thing to an audience in Pennsylvania. Later, they will say the opposite to an audience in Wisconsin. When challenged on a position or a statement: Why did you say Iran is a small threat? … They will call up the opposing viewpiont: I’ve have said Iran is a serious threat and IT WILL BE TRUE! They WILL have said that! And it works in the opposite direction: Why did you say Iran is a serious threat? Answer: I have said Iran is a small threat. And no one ever calls them on it! Ever ever ever.

    HRC is a master at this. However, the improvising Barack is setting new standards … via asserting opposite opinions on back-to-back days – as he actually did with his opinion of the threat posed by Iran. It amazes that Barack is so arrogant as to believe he can get away with it. And yet: might he get away with it? My head spins.

  3. huxley Says:

    Neo — So what do we do with these people and those who vote for them? Their positions are incoherent and unsupported. When challenged they respond at best with false equivalences and subject-changing, or outright ad hominems. When inconvenient facts show up–the surge’s success or the disappearance of global warming–they move on to the next thing to complain about.

    We need debate in this country but there must be some attempt at good faith on both sides. I know that everyone makes mistakes and can get carried away, but it’s hard for me to see much good faith from the Democrats and their supporters.

  4. Trimegistus Says:

    This sort of — hell, let’s be honest and call it what it is: systematic lying — is part and parcel of the liberal mindset.

    Liberals don’t like things as they are. They don’t like the way our country is. They don’t like the way humans behave. In short, they don’t like reality. And history is part of reality, so they never hesitate to change that, too.

  5. gcotharn Says:

    I draw a delineation with Al Gore. To the best of my recollection, Gore snuggled up to both sides of issues as best as possible – but did so in a logically defendable fashion. I see instances of McCain doing the same, i.e. immigration. McCain is snuggling up as tightly as possible on both sides – yet he is doing so in a logically defendable fashion.

    In contrast, what WJC, Kerry, HRC, and Obama do and did is not logically defendable in any respect.

  6. Thomas Says:


    Here is another quote for you:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    –Joseph Goebbels

  7. Cappy Says:

    Huxley raises a good question. Neo may be in a good position to help answer it. Like others here, many of my close relatives engage in doublethink egregiously. Are they nuts or just irritating?

  8. The Thomas Chronicles » Obama Doublespeak Says:

    […] But then this might be cleared up with the practiced doublespeak from the Obama camp, or the practiced doublethink of many of his […]

  9. Truth Says:

    “Ahmadinejad” to “Chavez” and you’ve got it:

    Is it the problem Ahmadinejad? or the Iranian regime?

    let see

    Senator, since 1979 the Mullahs of Iran have killed upwards of one million Iranians, not to mention the nearly one million sacrificed to the 8-year-long Iran/Iraq war. And what the Iranian people have withstood in terms of outrageous human rights violations is shocking; public hangings, stoning, flogging, cutting off limbs, tongues and plucking out eyeballs are an everyday occurrence across Iran. All are meant to strike fear of the ruling Mullahs into people’s hearts.

    May 24, 2008 – by Iranian human rights activists in exile: Manda Zand-Ervin & Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi

    Finally I need to note that those in the Iranian opposition who try to call all Western forces as the supporters of dictatorship in the Middle East are not only wrong but they are helping the supporters of tyranny both among the Western forces and among the Middle Eastern forces. Their black and white view of the West, and not seeing the Western forces that do care about human rights in the Middle East, created the tragedy of their support of hostage-taking and their attack on Carter’s human rights in the past, and doing the same today, will end in another tragedy, or perhaps a comedy, because their position is helping those who scare the West about the prospect of instability and disintegration in the Middle East, and they help such dark forces in their attack on federalism and full democratic republics in the Middle East.

  10. gcotharn Says:


    The underlying contention that it is somehow more virtuous to meet with Ayatollah Khamaini(sic) is laughable.

    Obama does not deserve your defending him. If you defend him: you are being his useful idiot – as even he obviously realizes the foolishness of his statement, which is why he is frantically walking the statement back in every way he can short of outright repudiation.

    Just say the truth Truth: Obama arrogantly improvised a foolish statement, piled on by declaring long time U.S. policy foolish and ridiculous, and now feels trapped into not repudiating his own foolishness.

  11. Blog Quote of the Day « Obi’s Sister Says:

    […] 27, 2008 at 6:07 pm (Blogs and Blogging, DimWitDems, Election2008, Politics) Neoneocon: But that’s not a unique situation for Obama; for example, he’s got more positions on Iran […]

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    This sort of — hell, let’s be honest and call it what it is: systematic lying — is part and parcel of the liberal mindset.

    No, not really. It’s the mindset of the perpetual revolutionary who defines world peace as no opposition to communism/socialism.

    If the end result was actually described and the actual path to that end described, socialists would be relegated instantly to the dust heap. This has ALWAYS been true, so they have always held dual mind.

    Orwell based his thing on this, not that reality based their thing on Orwell. This is the mind that makes it possible to torture people all day, then go home and make pleasant home movies, like the German leaders did, and camp guards.

    Before we forgot our history, there was lots of this dual mind stuff. Because its impossible to live the contradictory life of party politics if you are actually loyal to the party positions and not only the party. This difference caught western socialists by the pants lots of times since they really were swayed by party positions, not by only the party no matter what position it takes (that changes later so now you get correct party position of feminists who don’t protest genital mutilation much any more since multiculturalism and its ability to divide the population is worth more than the other issue).

    True party men would, could, and did change direction instantly. Which is why it was advised to read Pravda in the morning so that one wouldn’t say they were hungry when the newspaper reported record food supplies…

    The whole concept of communism was to work on the means to power and control and remove all interference (one world government), and not much on good governance.

    The result was the administrative feudal state… which was expert at turning over every other state eventually over time (including the united states the big prize), but abysmal at self governance, rule of law, social contracts, culture, religion, freedom, and a whole lot more. everything else lacks because control is the most important thing. (not even power or ownership).

    Liberals don’t like things as they are. They don’t like the way our country is. They don’t like the way humans behave. In short, they don’t like reality. And history is part of reality, so they never hesitate to change that, too.

    You have the wrong order to it. socialism is a politics of envy, jealousy, and such.

    The people that are attracted to socialism are the fringe, the incapable, the lazy, the sociopathic, the incompetent, and so on.

    They are all bought off by a few who use the new power to steal. They are appointed jobs that their abilities would not allow. The few do better than they would otherwise (or presumably otherwise), and so they feel they owe everthing to that. The more the state grows the more people are in the statists voting back pocket.

    The descrition of the lies of convenience for each group was a great way for sociopaths to achieve power. They say whats convenient to manipulate the outcome. They don’t have merit, this behavior shorts wisdom acquisition, and their lies show a disregard for reality in the material in favor of the reality of the personal.

    They are constantly cultivating the personal form of something. So that each person can throw away the part that they don’t like and be accepted into the whole.

    The surprise is when they later are put in a place when that part they threw out comes into play and they didn’t think that they were ‘serious’.

    This is the same mentality of a person who uses drugs so much that they forget they are illegal. They forget that the police are going to be reacting in a very serious way and that they are actually deadly serious.

    Same thing with the power they are granting through socialism. The key is not to use it but keep asking for more. its like fuel, or dispensed drugs. The person dispensing the power will not give enough to lose the dispensing. So they give one pill or only a few gallons. But if the one receiving it works for more at the same time doesn’t use it to its full implication, they then, when things are critical, take all they have that is unrealized and run across the goal line changing the whole system forever, irretrievably lost.

    This is how the game works.

    We will not accept the whole program, but the more we acvcept the more thye can pull against the majority. Which is the reason for minority politics. To empower a minority with enough control that they can change things without the masses having enough power to prevent that.

    Like others here, many of my close relatives engage in doublethink egregiously. Are they nuts or just irritating?

    No they are adapting… this double thing is induced by things that cause dissonance. You can read about the process of unfreezing, moving, then freezing at a new place and how its done.

    They do this to avoid dissonance… its painful… so things are set in opposition so that the prize is a simple isolated truism – we are all the same… tied to it is the goal of utopia…

    We are all working for a better world right? so if you start seeing things that fail to show that we are the same, then you experience dissonance. This is uncomfortable, and so you have a choice… explore and find out and question the authority that gave you that falsehood as truth…. or just not accept the things that cause dissonance and put your trust in the people you think are experts and gave you that truth…

    If you have been raised that belonging and not being independent (feminine) was more important that being an individual who can distinguish themselves and stand alone (masculine), then your going to want to deny reality and accept the warmth and comfort of the gilded cage.

    This comes from our basic biology… a woman needs to see what a man has to select the best she can, if he is a groupist who doesn’t compete, none of her choices look good. She is hypergamous and so wants someone to life her contribution up.

    the men favor a world in which everyone stands on their own and in which they can show their stuff. of course all this is anathema to socialism, since if everyone is equal there is nothing to excite women to even want the partners that are available.

    Women are a lot more fluid in these systems. Their inability to force outcomes and their value creates a system in which when their group loses, they often were not killed. So they became more accommodating and more fluid. Later this helped the whole marriage game in that women tend to leave to the partners home (the reason that males are favored).

    We all have this very wide ability to adapt. That’s been seized on to claim we are blank slates. Which is very untrue, but it does serve the political power purpose of causing the people to accept as natural this dual thinking.

    How else could people in germany that knew the local store owner for generations not do anything when they were loaded like animals to be taken away? how else could everyone live in Russia and pretend that people didn’t disappear around them?

    You see, the very horrors that some people can subject a majority too has yielded a being that has defensive mechanisms and fluidity of being so that they can survive and cope.

    While Russia was and is much more oppressive than the west, people still have babies and live long enough to do so. So on some level, the ones that find some way to cope with this kind of thing survive longer…

    Given the brutal nature of reality we come from, such brutality adaptations were in us way before society existed. Its in our fear of strangers, distrust of others in situations where there is no feedback, and so on.

    Here is what ariel cohen says about what totalitarian rule did..
    Crime Without Punishment Ariel Cohen Reexamining Russia It has long been obvious to all who grasp the disastrous legacy of communism that building democracy in Russia will be no easy task. Seven decades of totalitarian rule, which obliterated private property, economic markets, civil society, mutual trust, and any real concept of citizenship, are not a promising foundation on which to build democratic institutions

    The dual mind was necessary to survive such a society… a place where you literally couldn’t trust your own mother because of the way the screws were always turned.

    Here is the whole problem in a nutshell.

    A persons life has been defined as so important to them, that to do anything nor for them is an act against the self. A very selfish form of living.

    The dual mind then becomes a necessity to prevent others from derailing the persons most important self life. “I will not fight in a war because nothing is worth dying for” is an example of that.

    Now if a person adapts dual mind, they can literally deny anything, and so do not have to act when they see all these little dissonances.

    If they don’t, then they add up the dissonances, and then come to a conclusion. They either have to give up and accept the outcomes with no ability to change it or want it. like a train slowly bearing down on them they have to just find a way not to pay attention to it.

    Or they have to act. They have to abandon the life that is most important to them and change its plan and direction and then do something about it.

    This is the outcome of selfishness as a virtue… envy as a virtue… gluttony as a virtue… as Nietzsche pointed out… (and we have been following).

    This is why you cant wake them up…

    The minute they wake up, their lives stop being theirs and their hopes and things become less certain.

    Right now before dissonance, they get to sleep, they get to live their live, save a tin can and find meaning.

    You show them, your taking away their life, their meaning, and forcing them to then desire to act in a way that would help their tribe, but end up badly for them.

    And so every one sits and hopes that when the rain comes, not much water will fall on them in their little spot and they can just sit out the storm.

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    more of those lies of convenience that sociopaths are so good at (though we usually see it more when they are caught, then they say whatever will free them. funny thing about politically correct stuff, it feeds the sociopaths the right cover to get away with things like killing their mates)

    anyway… now obama made up some more crap

    Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz. He said the family legend is that, upon returning from war, his uncle spent six months in an attic. “Now obviously, something had really affected him deeply, but at that time there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain,” Obama said. “That’s why this idea of making sure that every single veteran, when they are discharged, are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and given the mental health services that they need – that’s why it’s so important.”

    Either Obama’s uncle served in the Red Army, or he’s spinning Clintonesque lies about Auschwitz to sell his government programs. Hey, it’s for a good cause…but it’s not enough for him. It has to be personal. It has to be all about him.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    if you have access you can read paul ekemans “why we dont catch liars”

    or you can search the literature on “Duping Delight”

    which is that the professional sociopathic liar gets a pleasure kick by playing these games and getting away with it.

    In 1970, Otto Kernberg coined the term, “malignant narcissism”; he pointed out that the antisocial personality was fundamentally narcissistic and without morality. Malignant narcissism includes a sadistic element, creating, in essence, a sadistic psychopath. In this essay, “malignant narcissism” and psychopathy are employed interchangeably.


    without empathy the candidate gets things wrong. he imagines things that just arent real. like people clinging to guns and religion.

    he has no empathy for their fear. so he cant understand what they fear and so irrationally uses some feed lines to try to give an answer to move things on…

    in high performing sub clinical sociopaths, this is a telling sign. (i figured out my distant cousin by watching him and realizing that he never knew how to emotionally act, but always waited for the group to establish the right response then he would jump in)

    its this behavior that makes some narcisists think that their condition is catchy… they copy to hide, and so others must copy too.

    If there’s any “projective identification” going on it is the psychopath’s, who believes that everyone is really just like him; there is also massive grandiosity in that he believes he has the power to self-replicate by transforming others into carbon copies of himself and his world.

    Some pathologically disordered narcissists and psychopaths create a cult like atmosphere: in this “cult” there is pressure to conform after manipulating your reality. You may find yourself doing things you normally wouldn’t. Part of it is due to disinhibiting behaviour. The rest is due to groupthink (simplistically speaking) and brainwashing and subtle forms of intimidation which include guilt-making and shunning.

    They are not “forcing” you into a role- they are enforcing the role they presume everyone plays. They are not capable of distinguishing between their delusions and a human being standing before them. Again, it is grandiose of a psychopath to think that they have the power to force you into a “role” and that it is a given that it is always successful.

    in terms of underlying logic, we are the ones filling in the gaps. It is all smoke and mirrors. There is only significance without substance in his facile claims.

    that last paragraph sounds like the mass movement… he doesnt say things, and we fill in the blanks with what we want…

    he is going to get the power to give and to recieve, and grant and take away life. and will have a god role (which is what socialism makes of the state).

    while this wasnt from a text on politics, i can find very few and none that could be copied and posted without being disliked even more for long posts.

  15. Young men who don’t like mustard | The Anchoress Says:

    […] Neoneocon on Obama, Chavez and “doublethink”. […]

  16. expat Says:

    I just saw a Yahoo headline on Obama. Apparently , he is fine-tuning his message on Iran. I tend to think that boy wonder had to stay after school for some tutoring. Which leads to questions about the quality of his tutors.

    BTW, There are some German reports today about Mr. Cosmopolian making a grand tour of the continent. The government person speculated that a speech at the Brandenburg Gate would make a strong impression on the voters. Barf!

  17. harry McHitlerburtonstein the COnservative Extremist Says:

    I dont think there is anything sinisterly organized about the inconsistencies. Its like as neo recounted about a co-worker who is willing to ignore Obama’s relationship with Rev Wright, period, end of story. They just dont care.

    Liberals wanna see the unicorn. They want it to be real. Obama is the guy who can deliver it to the masses and anyone who says it isnt true is employing “Rovian” attack techniques.

    Omaba’s right with them. He’s bought his own rhetoric. His rise in politics has been meteoric and reltively easy, therefore, running the most powerful nation on earth with the power of good intentions alone should be a snap…

    Nobody on the left, and few in the press is going to care that Obama can’t keep his stories straight and Obama’s going to say what sounds right at the moment. I think the presidency is going to come quite a shock to him.

  18. Perfected democrat Says:

    “I think the presidency is going to come quite a shock to him.”

    I hope we have adequate safeguards inside the White House, the military, and Washington to prevent the Obamadorks from compromising national security at the very highest level. This is a bum who fraternizes casually with an authentic fifth column in this country and who are very close friends of our most dangerous enemies. People need to change the expression on their faces…

  19. Perfected democrat Says:

    The Manchurian Candidate 2008 and his trojan horse may be no exaggeration at all, we could end up looking naive as hell in several years. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… People need to change the expression on their faces…

  20. Truth Says:


    The underlying contention that it is somehow more virtuous to meet with Ayatollah Khamaini(sic) is laughable.

    I don’t know from where you come with this?

    Who give damn care what this lunatic criminal a terrorist leader Ali Khamenei?

    Do you know him well? do you know what he doing in Iran from support and leading those terrorist forces inside Iran and Iraq now!!!

    “The Bush administration’s campaign to isolate Iran and Syria has backfired as the two Middle East hardliners ended up this week sidelining the United States, analysts said.
    Supported by Iran and Syria, Hezbollah bolstered recent military gains in a deal with Lebanon’s pro-western government while Syria emerged from the shadows with the announcement of indirect talks with Israel, they contend.
    For Brookings Institution analyst Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian scholar and dissident, both events flow from a broader plan orchestrated by “puppet master” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.”

    It might useful to put these word about these Ayatollah like lunatic Khomeini from some one who met with him:

    Without Khomeini, we would not be where we are. What a pity that, when pregnant with him, his mother did not choose to have an abortion.
    Oriana Fallaci

    Read my comment my point was about regime not a single stupid figure within the regime in Iran which never stopped for more than 20 years of burning US and Israeli flags and burn effigies of Sharon and Bush, chanting “Death to America” — “Death to Israel.”.

    You need to read what this criminal who hide under stupid name Ayatollah.

    Obama does not deserve your defending him. If you defend him: you are being his useful idiot –

    I don’t, do I care who will win in US? Nah… At all whoever come to WH that not my interest it’s yours and your business not mine you live with it.

    I don’t know if I speak different language? from where you get this gcotharn, so you need to consider your word who is “being his useful idiot” here?

    My concerns here are the Bias Treatment of Iran’s Nuclear Case comparing with Iraq.
    All we know Bush and before Clinton have used the force and all the tools against Iraq till 2003 war when were UN inspections on the ground telling there were no WMD and all sites monitored by UN and all that, while Iran now shooting she had Uranium and starting enrich program and Bush in one of his speeches said he will not wait for Iranian for months and now almost one years past, more over instead od hit Iran facilities we saw that Syrian was hit on claims of Nuclear sites!!.

    Is their more Biased Treatment than that?

    In his State of the Union address to the nation in January 1980, Jimmy Carter said these words:
    Let our position be absolutely clear. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt correctly surmised that the United States would eventually become dependent on imported oil as our domestic reserves were drained, and so he set out to establish American control over a major foreign source of supply—eventually selecting Saudi Arabia to assume this role.

    Bush Administration’s decision to use military force to remove the bloody dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Of the many American illusions and delusions surrounding this war, the Administration’s calculations with respect to Iran were among the most wildly off base. Instead of generating a liberal, secular democracy whose reverberations would drive out Iran’s clerical oligarchs, the disastrous Bush policies fostered a sectarian Iraq that has helped empower Iranian hardliners. Rather than serving as an anchor for a new era of stability and American preeminence in the Persian Gulf, the new Iraq represents a strategic black hole, bleeding Washington of military resources and political influence while extending Iran’s primacy among its neighbors.

    How the Iraq War Has Empowered Iran
    Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy The Brookings Institution

  21. Perfected democrat Says:

    Baloney, freedom is germanating in Iraq, it was the best place to start this crusade for the defense of the western and free world. The Bush bashing is typical of the Dimocrat’s 20-20 vision in hindsight. Where are you from Truth? If you won’t say, is it because you are scared, or dishonest?

  22. Perfected democrat Says:

    Doublethink, doubletalk, duplicity… blah, blah, blah… As Mao said, I believe, “Power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. That’s the bottom line in dealing with gangsters. During Bush’s seven years in office the equation has changed from an unhindered Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya… to American-coalition occupied Afghanistan, Iraq, and a defanged Libya. Three down, two to go, one way or another…

  23. Truth Says:

    two to go, one way or another…

    There is doubt with one for some hidden reasons.

  24. Truth Says:

    it was the best place to start this crusade

    Please list those reasons that made you think Iraq best place to start this crusade.

    what about North Korea?

    Btw, “crusade” do you mean a religious war ?

  25. Vince P Says:

    Crusade has no religious meaning to anythign being done in modern times

    It means launching a motivated and high-energy campaign to solve a problem

  26. Truth Says:

    Drew Gilpin Faust: Why We Love War
    Jon Wiener

    Drew Faust, the historian who has been named Harvard’s first female president, has been praised for her “people skills,” but she’s also done brilliant intellectual work on a crucial question for our time: why we love war. A Civil War historian who has published five books, Faust wrote recently about why war is “history’s most popular subject.”

    In an article published in 2004 in the journal Civil War History, Faust explores the place of war in American politics and culture today. War, she writes, “offers an authenticity and intensity of experience” missing elsewhere in modern society. It provides “a moment of truth,” when soldiers and civilians alike “have to define their deeply held priorities and act on them.”

  27. Truth Says:

    Vince P… honest Muslim/Islam hater?

  28. Vince P Says:

    Truth: Honor-killed your sister?

  29. Truth Says:

    how bad, hysteria comes from some one can’t control him nerve for his dishonesty.

  30. Mitsu Says:

    It seems a tad unfair to implicitly criticize Obama for a view expressed by John Kerry.

  31. Mitsu Says:

    That is, I don’t see any way in which Kerry is a “mentor” for Obama. He’s not closely associated with the Obama campaign and as far as I know not closely associated with Obama himself. His views were always poorly expressed and somewhat muddled, especially on foreign policy. While I don’t entirely agree with Obama and I do agree with some of your criticisms of him — I don’t agree with your general conclusion about him. Obama seems to me to have the right attitude in considering dialogue with our enemies, he needs to be prepared and cautious, of course, but I think his evolving positions are indicative of his thoughtfulness and willingness to learn. Kerry, on the other hand, always seemed to be simply triangulating based on his perception of political expediency. Changing opinions in itself is not a bad thing, it’s whether you’re changing them because you’re learning and re-thinking a problem deeply, or changing them just because you think people will like you better if you do. I think Obama does much more of the former, Kerry more of the latter, and they are worlds apart in terms of their intelligence and I think ability to govern.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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