Friday, June 27, 2008

My Continuing Political Education

I actually find myself agreeing with Charles Krauthammer, in broad outline if not in all the details. The last week or so has been educational, if painful, as Obama reversed his position on FISA and now agrees that the government should have vastly expanded wiretapping powers and telecom companies should be granted retroactive immunity (isn't amnesty a better term?) for illegally turning over private customer information without a warrant. After promising to filibuster any such proposal. And worse, Barack's statement explaining his new position starts right out with the rhetoric of fear, about how dangerous the world is and we should all be afraid. Greenwald's got all this documented; here's a good starting point.

I thought Obama was about change, not about more of the same be-very-afraid, we-have-to-take-away-freedom-to-protect-liberty rhetoric we've been hearing from the GOP for years.

I shouldn't have been surprised; not really. After all, he is, at the end of the day, a politician. One who came out of Chicago, where politics is a full-contact sport. And one who has to run to the center. But DAMMIT, in an election where 80% of the country thinks we're on the wrong track as a nation, giving the Republicans 90% of what they want is NOT necessary!

Is he still a better candidate than McCain? Yes. Am I going to vote for him? Probably. Am I going to contribute, to enthusiastically talk him up, to go the extra mile? Um, that's a bit more problematic.

There's an article up at Slate today about Obama's strategy to minimize evangelical opposition to him. It recognizes he probably can't get their votes, but he can reduce the likelihood they'll organize against him as a threat to the republic.

It works the other way, as well. He hasn't lost my vote, yet. But he's lost a lot of my respect, and some of my trust, and a lot of my enthusiasm. "Better than McCain" isn't much of a rallying cry.

No comments: