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July 13, 2008

Obama's FISA Screwup

-- by Dave Johnson

"I no longer believe."

The issue of our Congress giving the big telecom companies immunity from being sued for illegally enabling the Republican Party to listen to our calls and read our emails is a very, very big deal to non-Republicans. Republicans, of course, are happy as clams about it. (They are also happy as clams that America now tortures people.)

I have talked to a number of friends who were major Obama supporters during the primaries, and not one of them is happy today because of Obama's reversal on telecom immunity in FISA. He had pledged, promised, sworn, committed to oppose telecom immunity -- then after securing the nomination reversed himself and voted for it.

So today I'm cruising the internets and come across Dave Winer, another Obama supporter. He articulates my own thoughts well. Obama's FISA screwup (Scripting News),

First, the conservative pundits who say that Obama turned his back on the extreme left by voting for the new FISA bill have it wrong. He turned his back on people of all persuasions who believe in our form of government.

. . . He was right if he assumed he had our vote. I will not vote for McCain to prove this point. But I'm also not going to give him any more money. I'm going to save that for causes I believe in.

I no longer believe there is a cause to Obama other than getting Obama elected. It's up to him now to prove otherwise. The FISA vote can be undone, but he has to actually do the undoing.

And go read the discussion as well. Some excerpts:

"I no longer have any confidence in my understanding of who Obama really is."

"I have never seen a lucid explanation of why Obama voted this way. What does he hope to gain?"

"I too lost a lot of (maybe all) respect for Obama when I heard about his FISA vote.. Even Hillary voted against it."

"If Obama loses his base, the steam will go out of his campaign with a great rush. There are strong indications that this has already happened."

"His campaign would have been elevated and energized by doing the right thing. Instead, now survey the ruin among his base and his declining contributions."

This was about the Constitution, not politics. I think many of us are just sick of the kind of "Impeachment is off the table" political calculation that got us into this mess. I think Obama can turn this around but only if he commits to solid principals and demonstrates that he means it.

Posted by Dave Johnson at July 13, 2008 10:15 AM

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I agree, but please read this: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/11/can_progressives_unite_or_will/ . Obama has some defects, but there's too much at stake to not fully support him.

Posted by: Mary at July 14, 2008 10:06 AM

It's just sickening.

We need a VOICE speaking for the people and for realism! I viscerally resist any deliberate pulling back from Obama; but the truth is I feel betrayed, at at a very basic level.

I like the comment you quoted above: "I no longer have any confidence in my understanding of who Obama really is." And the further truth for me is that I no longer have confidence that he will speak the obvious truths and act on them - and that is what I was voting for.

Posted by: Larry at July 14, 2008 1:04 PM

Being an independent, I waited for the Democratic primary to end before I jumped into the game.
I would rather shoot myself than vote for McCain.
I was all set to jump on the Obama ban wagon, even give some of my money to him, then came the FISA vote.
I'll still vote for him, but he has become the lesser of two evils now, instead of the candidate of hope.

Posted by: snds4x4 at July 14, 2008 3:46 PM

I think Obama can turn this around but only if he commits to solid principals and demonstrates that he means it.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. He's a DEMOCRAT! Your gullibility is unbounded.

Posted by: richard at July 14, 2008 6:36 PM

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