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Posted by on Jul 1, 2008 in Politics | 24 comments

Manufacturing a flip-flop

For the past week or so, Barack Obama has been accused nearly non-stop of “shifting positions”, “moving to the center” (or to the right, depending on the source), and/or “flip-flopping”.

While there have indeed been a couple of shifts, there’s also a massive amount of disinformation coming out about Obama. He was not, for example, sweepingly against the death penalty. Furthermore, his position on NAFTA warped in Ohio; his recent statements are how I understood him all along. (Yup — he pandered in OH. Everybody did. It was ugly.)

Accusations of shifting and flip-flopping are part of the well-traveled political road, so most of this latest yammer is a big wide yawner. But this piece from ABC is a bit different:

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Gregory Wallace Report: Barack Obama aligned himself with welfare reform on Monday, launching a television ad which touts the way the overhaul “slashed the rolls by 80 percent.” Obama leaves out, however, that he was against the 1996 federal legislation which precipitated the caseload reduction.

Really? He was against the legislation? ABC says so, therefore it must be true (my emphasis):

When implementation of welfare reform came before the Illinois state senate in 1997, Obama cited a lack of job training, insufficient oversight, and provisions blocking legal immigrants from receiving benefits as his reasons for opposing a federal welfare overhaul imposing work requirements and time limits.

Except that ABC is wrong. Obama didn’t oppose the implementation. Not only was he part of the bipartisan negotiating team that created the successful bill, he stood in the Illinois legislature and said this (my emphasis again):

I strongly urge that — although we’ve taken a good step on this bill, that we look at this carefully and continue to make a commitment to ensuring that all Illinois’ children and all Illinois families have an opportunity to succeed in this economy. Nevertheless, I think this is a good start, and I urge support of this bill.

Read it yourself. Obama’s statement starts on page 42.

He did not support the welfare “status quo” (i.e. he supported reform), but he did have concerns about details and ramifications — specifically about what types of training (there was a protection clause for union workers), adequate oversight (that’s a bad thing???), and the bill’s exclusion of immigrants here in the country legally.

It looks to me as if the MSM via ABC is willfully lying about Obama’s positions here.

Can we please retire the tired, and patently false meme about how the MSM is in the bag for Obama now?

Cross-posted from Polimom Says…

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