Sunday, July 20, 2008

Avoiding Lloyd Bentsen's quote.

I understand the pressure on Obama to move to the center during the general election cycle and I'm sure his advisors are telling him to appear strong on foreign affairs and terrorism, but Hillary Clinton managed to vote against the new FISA and it's retroactive-and-prima-facie-unconstitutional retroactive telecom companies immunity. But that's not the leader that had me excited about public service in America again. That's not the leader that voted against the Iraq war (Hillary Clinton didn't manage to vote against that, when Barack Obama did.)

It's a disappointment when I find that an inspiring leader is on the opposite side of an issue from the ACLU. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against this new FISA; from their complaint: " none of the safeguards that the Constitution demands. It permits the government to monitor the communications of U.S. Citizens and residents without identifying the people to be surveilled; without specifying the facilities, places, premises, or property to be monitored; ...; without obtaining individualized warrants based on ... probable cause".

I find myself largely agreeing again with Dave Winer here and here and I will similarly be redirecting my donations henceforth (but not my vote). I'm also disappointed in Obama's non-acceptance of public campaign funds and a couple other reversals; I think the other party can make more hay out of his flip-flops than his progressive positions; "Change You Can Believe In" -- do You believe in it, Mr. Obama? I would hate to think that we could apply Llyod Bentsen's most famous quote. I hope Obama gets back on point, and stays there.

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