Now it starts

/ 20 June 2008

I’ve been saying to Mary for most of this year, “I love Obama and hope we can elect him president. But if we do, the peace community will be in for a rude surprise, he is not nearly as progressive as he appears.” I’m not sure why I thought that, but my gut tells me it is true. That’s part of what may make him appealing and electable in a general election. The right paints him as a wild lefty, but he isn’t.

Well, the disillusionment starts today. Obama released a statement on FISA that certainly disappoints me. I want Obama to lead the charge against this hijacking of our rights and awful precedent of retrospective immunity for breaking the law. Instead we get this:

It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.

He does say that he will “work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.” But it is clear he will support the bill even if that attempt to remove immunity fails.

Boo, hiss. But my eyes were open when I started supporting Obama, and I will continue to enthusiastically support him. Even though my heart hurts a little bit right now.

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