Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama Swings and Misses!

My dissappointment with the nominee and his anemic response to the FISA/Telecom capitulation is acute.

This is an important issue which presents him with a tailor-made opportunity to show leadership and he whiffs on it.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon gets to the heart of the matter:

"...This bill doesn't legalize every part of Bush's illegal warrantless eavesdropping program but it takes a large step beyond FISA towards what Bush did. There was absolutely no reason to destroy the FISA framework, which is already an extraordinarily pro-Executive instrument that vests vast eavesdropping powers in the President, in order to empower the President to spy on large parts of our international communications with no warrants at all. This was all done by invoking the scary spectre of Terrorism -- "you must give up your privacy and constitutional rights to us if you want us to keep you safe" -- and it is Obama's willingness to embrace that rancid framework, the defining mindset of the Bush years, that is most deserving of intense criticism here."

"...Making matters worse still, what Obama did yesterday is in clear tension with an emphatic promise that he made just months ago. As the extremely pro-Obama notes today, Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, back in in September, vowed that Obama would "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." MoveOn believes Obama should be held to his word and is thus conducting a campaign urging Obama to do what he promised -- support a filibuster to stop the enactment of telecom amnesty. You can email Burton here to demand that Obama comply with his commitment not just to vote against, but to filibuster, telecom amnesty:

"...What Barack Obama did here was wrong and destructive. He's supporting a bill that is a full-scale assault on our Constitution and an endorsement of the premise that our laws can be broken by the political and corporate elite whenever the scary specter of The Terrorists can be invoked to justify it. What's more, as a Constitutional Law Professor, he knows full well what a radical perversion of our Constitution this bill is, and yet he's supporting it anyway. Anyone who sugarcoats or justifies that is doing a real disservice to their claimed political values and to the truth."

So, yet again I will call my Senators, E-mail my Senators, fax my Senators (Hi Barbara, Hi Dianne, remember me?!) and generally make my concerns heard. I expect the usual polite hearing from Sen. Boxer's office and the usual rude dismissal from Sen. Feinstein's.

I don't know what to expect from Sen. Obama's office, but he is now on my list and the reception I get will be reported here.

I expect a Democratic nominee, especially this year, to stand up, stand for something and say:

"No more! Never again!" And to make it stick.

Keep your eye on the ball, Sen. Obama. We need a hit.

Catch you later.....

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