Barack Obama will support the FISA re-write that, though labeled a compromise, is actually a victory for President Bush and the telecommunications industry. As the Washington Post acknowledges, this amounts to a reversal of position for Obama. It follows on the heels of his reversal of position on accepting public funding of his presidential campaign. In both cases, Obama has made the smart move, while confirming that he is not remotely a man of principle.
As I’ve said before, Obama is a default hard-leftist with a streak of opportunism as big as all outdoors. Some, notably David Brooks, take solace from that streak of opportunism on the theory that it will serve the country well if Obama becomes president. There’s something to do this. For example, it’s likely that a President Obama would want the powers that the FISA re-write confers. But it’s also true that if Obama becomes president, and (as is likely) has a solid Democratic majority in Congress, his opportunism will not constitute the same constraint on his hard-leftism that it is today.