Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bravo, Senator Obama...

...for reminding us that you can pander as abjectly as your colleague, Senator John McCain. As I've written elsewhere, this was an especially sordid move when every poll shows that the Democrats will not just keep but expand their Congressional majorities. So why are they afraid of being called Soft on Terror by chicken hawk Republicans?

Glenn Greenwald, who's been following this story since 2005, sums it up:
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.
But, hey, Obama wants to be president, and stands an excellent chance of winning, so why wouldn't he support cool new executive powers allowing him to pursue deeds worthy of his most soaring rhetoric?


Tal said...

Your political posts have been very good and relevant of late. If anyone reads this comments section, perhaps the most salient, OTM quote in the above-quoted Greenwald post:

"The excuse that Obama's support for this bill is politically shrewd is -- even if accurate -- neither a defense of what he did nor a reason to refrain from loudly criticizing him for it. Actually, it's the opposite. It's precisely because Obama is calculating that he can -- without real consequence -- trample upon the political values of those who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law that it's necessary to do what one can to change that calculus. Telling Obama that you'll cheer for him no matter what he does, that you'll vest in him Blind Faith that anything he does is done with the purest of motives, ensures that he will continue to ignore you and your political interests."

Alfred Soto said...

Thanks. You know me: incidents like this summon my most pronounced contrarian traits.

Tal said...

It's sad that this term is so significant because of its coinciding with the appointment of supreme court justices, otherwise liberals would be taking him to task instead of blithely supporting Such Nonsense.