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Mon

21

Jul

2008

Positional Vertigo
Monday, 21 July 2008 11:57
by Jayne Lyn Stahl

In a move today bound to make anyone think Congress has a touch of positional vertigo, the Senate voted, by a 3 to 1 margin, to give the president a belated birthday gift, and pass his FISA reform bill with the retroactive immunity clause in tact. Notably, Sen. McCain was missing in action because he is "campaigning."

A provision by Senators Dodd, Feingold, and Leahy which would nullify telecom immunity was struck down by a 2 to 1 margin.

While more Democrats voted against the bill than for it, 27 to 21, the fact that Sen. Obama was among those willing to go along with retroactive immunity disappoints even the most obdurate among us.

Those cynical among us might suggest Obama isn't the only one suffering from positional vertigo; the Democratic party is, too. Yes, and those among us who feel betrayed by an Obama movement interruptus have every right to be outraged, and incensed, at the massaging, and tweaking, of the candidate to make him cable-ready on election day. Indeed, some who say that his malleability will be his demise may be right. But, all things must be taken in context.

Trying to appear strong on "homeland security" is clearly one strategy to defeat the McCain national security campaign on steroids. That said, watch for the fault line in any party platform that works in the interest of expediency, not authenticity, as well as for memorabl examples of past defeat arising from candidate Dukakis trying to look authentic mounting a tank, and candidate Kerry shining Vietnam war medals.

To think of Barack Obama massaging the Patriot Act to win the hearts of faux moderate Republicans, and midwest ranchers, is, frankly, unsettling. Keep in mind, though, that presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican, are answerable to their party's platform, as well as to their party's bosses. And, in the end, all politicians are answerable to the voters. Yes, after today, we know that Sen. Obama is telling the truth when he says he is not perfect, and history will know it, too. We will take candidate Obama up on his invitation to hold him accountable after we elect him president, and hold him accountable we will, knowing that, in the end, there's more at stake here than who hangs his hat in the Oval Office like, for instance, the prospect of making lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court, dissolving Roe v. Wade, and then, of course, there's the prospect of having a wannabe general posing as president of the United States.

-- http://ladyjaynestahl.blogspot.com
 
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PF said:

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How will "we" hold him accountable?
The only "accountability" that politicians have to voters (and even this is marginalized by the documented manipulation of electronic voting tallies in 2000, 2004, and 2006) is during elections. What we know now is that Obama supports spying on Americans, that he will use private businesses to achieve that end, and he wants to expand the army and the Middle East wars. Why would anyone opposed to imperialist war or supporting personal privacy vote for him?

Oh, right, Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court. Yet Mr. Obama has also openly and visibly sided with the conservative wing of the court on gun control and capital punishment. So why do we think he will appoint someone to the left of Judge Roberts or Judge Alito?

Try taking some real political action instead of making excuses for this fraud. Voting is the most passive, and least effective, excuse for political engagement. Yes, it makes white liberals feel good about themselves for voting for an African-American, even a militarist like this one. Is that enough?
 
July 23, 2008
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