Are most people familiar with the meaning of the world "kibitzer?"
I know it as a Yiddish word that essentially means: a person who gives unwanted, usually uninformed advice to someone who is involved in performing some task; the kibitzer has no responsibility regarding the task being performed, successfully or unsuccessfully. (My definition.)
Example: A plumber fixing a broken pipe at someone's home is harangued by the homeowner at every step of the repair: "Maybe you should use a socket-wrench for that, ..." says the homeowner.
What's the relevance of this to a TPM post?
Many Obama fans are becoming disenchanted with some of his latest utterances, particularly his position on FISA.
IMHO, what we are seeing is the transition from Obama-as-kibitzer to Obama-as-likely-President of the United States.
Senators are kibitzers, a great job. Even primary candidates are kibitzers because they bear no real responsibility for anything they say.
But Barack is no longer either of the above. He is now one step away from being president, and he very much understands what that means. Hence, his positions will take the awesome responsibility of the Office he seeks much more into account. And no responsibility is more awesome than protecting the life and limbs of the citizens he governs.
All of us bloggers here (and elsewhere), all of the talking head commentators are kibitzers, same with the columnists. We say what we want, regardless of the consequences our opinions may produce because we bear no responsibility for those consequences.
Obama now does, as does McCain (and anyone actually holding the Office of the President.)
As he--Barack--gets closer to the White House, don't be surprised if his positions on national security began to drift toward the Right, away from the idealistic and simplistic policies advocated by the Left.
Will he become a Bush/McCain clone? No. But will he send signals to enemies of the United States (and they are out there) that he's no naive capitulater when it comes to the national security of the Nation he seeks to lead.
It's going to mean some disappointments to the Left and probably to libertarian Democrats as well. Be prepared, there's more along these lines coming from your candidate.