Gail Collins wrote in The New York Times what I've been thinking about Sen. Obama but couldn't quite express; I wish I had written it -- but with a little less twee.
...But if you look at the political fights he’s picked throughout his political career, the main theme is not any ideology. It’s that he hates stupidity. “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war,” he said in 2002 in his big speech against the invasion of Iraq. He did not, you will notice, say he was against unilateral military action or pre-emptive attacks or nation-building. He was antidumb.
Most of the things Obama’s taken heat for saying this summer fall into these two familiar patterns — attempts to find a rational common ground on controversial issues and dumb-avoidance.
On the common-ground front, he’s called for giving more federal money to religious groups that run social programs, but only if the services they offer are secular. People can have guns for hunting and protection, but we should crack down on unscrupulous gun sellers. Putting some restrictions on the government’s ability to wiretap is better than nothing, even though he would rather have gone further.
I would take exception to Sen. Obama's caving on the FISA issue. I believe that should have been something he took a stand on for a few reasons.
1. Wiretapping without warrant is constitutionally wrong. You can try to explain it to me six ways from Sunday and I still will disagree.
2. My boss had to sign a document yesterday and I noticed in the attestation, language to the effect of "I declare that I will uphold the Constitution..." I believe throughout the United States, all attorneys, when passing their state's Bar, have to attest to the very same thing. Sen. Obama, along with the right-wing activists (yeah, I said it) on the Supreme Court, had to attest to the same thing. Again, wiretapping without warrant is contrary to the Fourth Amendment and each and every attorney in Congress who signed off on the FISA bill as it stands, has broken their vow; interpretation be damned.
3. Telecommunication companies who followed Bush's requirement that they break the law have highly paid, very smart lawyers. Those lawyers broke their vow.
I gave another $25 to Sen. Obama's campaign on Monday, I think. I had all kinds of incentive because he is offering 10 lucky winners the opportunity to go to the convention in Denver. I wanna go. In the Tell Us Your Story opportunity they give everyone a chance to get their two cents in with their money (smart beyond belief by the way), I wrote the following:
Sen. Obama, though I am dismayed by your stance on FISA, I am still an avid supporter. I am a supporter not because you're the lesser of two evils, but because I trust that you will captain the ship with wisdom, energy, wit, humility and intelligence. Your presidency is what I believe my country needs. I believe you are up to the task and you have my support; in $25 increments.
I do hope, though, you can see your way clear to change your stance on FISA. I'd point you to Glenn Greenwald losing his mind over the issue, but I'm sure your campaign is more than aware.
In my opinion, guarding the Constitution is the right thing to do, even if it loses you the election. I couldn't be any prouder of you, but that would ring my patriotic soul greatly if done by my preferred candidate and a fellow citizen of my country.
Thank you for your attention.Think I'm gonna win?
I'm not as screechy as Glenn Greenwald, but that's my story. I'm sticking to it. But I never expected to be happy with every choice Sen. Obama makes. Because he's my preferred candidate, I trust that his judgment is sound in the big picture.
Ronald Pagan, prolific and malleable commenter over at Jezebel made a good point about supporting Sen. Obama, as I believe Spencer (I can't seem to link to him right now) and Greenwald (Salon-Greenwald-any post at all) did as well. When your candidate is wrong, you have to be able to call him on it. Blind support is dumb. Sen. Obama hates dumb.