And then there is his change of heart with respect to a number of crucial issues. He pledged during his campaign to increase taxes on American's making over $250,000; now he's decided that he'll merely let the current tax break expire in 2010. He pledged during his campaign to take on the oil companies, to tax their profits heavily; now he's indicated he won't implement that tax. He indicated during his campaign that he would begin, on his first day in office, to end the war in Iraq; he has now indicated that he will begin to work on a plan for a responsible withdrawal. And he's stacking his cabinet with folks who were openly supportive of the war--Democrats and Republicans alike.
It's a little interesting as a conservative libertarian; is Obama really having a change of heart? Is he tempering his extreme ideas under the realization that his actions have far reaching impact; a major change has the potential to cause our often delicate equilibrium to swing wildly out of control. Perhaps he's second guessing his commitments on the campaign trail. If that's the case, then I have to applaud him; he has more character than I'd given him credit for.
It takes some guts to step back and check yourself in the face of such vocal and vehement opposition (the left-wing bloggers are going crazy, chomping at the bit--I'm waiting to hear the calls for impeachment from his own supporters). But my biggest fear is that this pressure will cause Obama to cave (pressure from voices like John Aravosis over at Americablog.com--you'll remember him; he's the guy who was vociferously calling for a boycott of the State of Utah as well as all contributors to the Yes on 8 campaign here in California. He's a true American, as open-minded as they come, that John).
That can't happen. I don't guess that my reach is nearly as far as Mr. Aravosis' reach, but I have to do my part. Speak out, do your part to show your support for Obama's newfound caution, his new willingness to step back from the dogma we were all subject to during the campaign, and to think through the impact of his actions. His seeming determination to step cautiously, and seemingly, more moderately, than any of us could have hoped. Go to his website and voice your support for this new direction. He's got links there to a variety of methods to contact him; use them. Add a voice in the growing chorus of folks who are crying out in opposition to the bloggers like AmericaBlog and OpenLeft.
And send a link to this post to everyone in your address book. Edmund Burke said it best:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Don't be one of the folks who looks back sometime later in life knowing that you were one who did nothing. Speak out; do your part.