Sen. Church v. Sen. Obama

Via mcjoan, Senator Frank Church:

Personal privacy is protected because it is essential to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our Constitution checks the power of Government for purposes of protecting the rights of individuals, in order that all our citizens may live in a free and decent society. . . . When government infringes those right instead of nurturing and protecting them, the injury spreads far beyond the particular citizens targeted to untold numbers of other Americans who may be intimidated...

The natural tendency of government is toward abuse of power. Men entrusted with power, even those aware of its dangers, tend, particularly when pressured, to slight liberty. Our constitutional system guards against this tendency. It establishes many different checks upon power. It is those wise restraints which keep men free. In the field of intelligence those restraints have too often been ignored....

More . . .

The United States must not adopt the tactics of the enemy. Means are important, as ends. Crisis makes it tempting to ignore the wise restraints that make men free. But each time we do so, each time the means we use are wrong, our inner strength, the strength which makes us free, is lessened.

Senator Barack Obama:

I . . . believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. . . . In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. . . .

Frank Church chose to protect our civil liberties and the Constitution in the face of Executive Branch abuse. Barack Obama has chosen to capitulate in the face of Executive Branch abuse.

Obama's actions can not be excused on this matter. He has failed miserably.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Systematically our freedoms are being (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 09:47:08 PM EST
    decimated....good to see some still know what is supposed to be done, not caving in....

    Knew (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 09:56:27 PM EST
    Frank Church was a Senator 30 years ago and the principal author of FISA.

    Excellent reference (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by talesoftwokitties on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:09:05 PM EST

    And if alive today he (4.42 / 7) (#20)
    by talex on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:26:01 PM EST
    like any principled and loyal Democrat, definitely would not vote for Obama because of FISA.

    Church was a man who put principles above politics or other politicians. My kind of a man, and a role model of those times, and an example to follow for these times.

    He walked the talk.


    This is ridiculous. (3.25 / 4) (#47)
    by rjarnold on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:18:52 PM EST
    You're dead wrong when you say that any Democrat that votes for Obama is not principled or loyal.

    There are many things I don't like about what Obama has done, but he is still better than McCain on just about every major issue, so there are still plenty of principle-based reasons to vote for him.

    Comments like yours are just as obnoxious as those that say that any principled and loyal Democrat would vote for Obama. There are many different reasons for voting for any particular candidate, and you can't criticize a whole group of people as unprincipled and unloyal just because they vote a way you don't like.


    i can think a lot of people (5.00 / 5) (#66)
    by sancho on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:13:14 AM EST
    better than mccain that i would not vote for. better than mccain is not a reason to vote FOR someone. better than mccain is not an argument. its logic recalls "but hillary is worse" or "hillary does it too." better than mccain sounds like a justification to do anything to me. no matter how low--like selling out roe or fisa or the distinction between church and state--one can san still say "well, it is better than mccain would have done."

    site rules regarding langauge prevent me from continuing further.


    "Better than McCain" is a reason (none / 0) (#73)
    by rjarnold on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:36:09 AM EST
    to choose a candidate for some people. The bottom line is that the next President is either going to be Candidate A or Candidate B (unless the superdelgates change their minds which is very unlikely). And it is perfectly reasonable for someone to look at the candidates and decide to vote for the one that they perceive is better. You don't have to think this way, but there isn't anything wrong with thinking this way.

    I admire McCain's courage (none / 0) (#95)
    by Josey on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:03:23 AM EST
    in speaking out against Bush and the Repub Party line against torture, immigration, Rummy, management of war, Abramoff, etc. - before it was cool. And he paid a political price!
    The bottom line is the Repub Party had moved toooo far right, McCain called them on it, and became a target of rightwing radio and TV.
    otoh - Obama repeatedly trashed the "evil" Clinton administration and afer becoming the presumptive nominee, dumped Dem core values.

    Obama's flip flop on public financing was the last straw for me - and proof he'd say and do anything to WIN. But has shown no courage in fighting for the best interests of the people.


    well there isnt anything "wrong" (none / 0) (#113)
    by sancho on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 11:46:42 AM EST
    with thinking any way, if you want to push that point. there isnt anything "wrong" in saying that a vote for obama may do more to disenfranchise the democratic party than a vote for mccain would. but "not mccain" is not a winning argument. i think it makes some people feel that they are doing the right thing. "not mccain" is paltry moral salve. i hope it works for you. it wont work for the millions w/o healthcare. it wonk work for those who want to see "roe" preserved. it wont work for those who want to see the war ended. we've already passed on those options.  now all we have is "not mccain" as our "hope" and "change."

    You are right (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by talex on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:31:28 PM EST
    there are still some and Church was a great role model to follow for those of us who know what to do.

    Unfortunately those who "still know what is supposed to be done" are not yet in large enough numbers because they put candidate and party before principle and shame themselves.


    The average person does not get why (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by BernieO on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 06:24:47 AM EST
    this is critical to their freedom. It was different when Church made his statement. People were well aware of the spying that had been done by the Nazis and the Soviets - not to mention Nixon and J Edgar - to control dissenters and maintain power. But now that does not seem like a real threat, especially to younger people who did not live through those times and who rarely see them depicted in movies. I know a 27 year old woman from an east european country who has no memories of what it was like to live under communism, so how would younger Americans have a clue?

    So we make a big show of celebrating the fact that people fought and died to secure our rights yet the majority of Americans apparently does not grasp why  spied on by our government is a threat to our democracy. And - as usual - Democrats do nothing to try to explain. People do not get that even if they have done nothing wrong  and will probably never be a target, this is a threat because the most likely way this will be abused is for the party in power to spy on its political opponents, giving them ammunition to keep the other side from gaining power. It will only be a matter of time before some president uses this power to wiretap to come up with some excuse to spy on his or her political opponents. In my lifetime Hoover used information he had gathered to blackmail presidents into doing his bidding. How is it that we do not tell people about this proven danger?


    The Democrats (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by koshembos on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 09:52:59 PM EST
    Not only Obama crossed the enemy lines and joint our oppressors, most Democrats in congress did so as well. The question is are we ripe for a dictatorship more than any time before?

    Most Democrats in the House (5.00 / 7) (#5)
    by DFLer on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:01:22 PM EST
    voted against it. Pelosi, Emmanuel, Hoyer....other "leaders" voted for it.

    Then why... (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by anydemwilldo on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:44:52 PM EST
    Did they bring it to the floor.  Don't let Pelosi off the hook here.  She could have stopped this easily.  She didn't.

    If you're referring to (none / 0) (#108)
    by PamFl on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 09:40:58 AM EST
    FISA, look closely at the democratic votes. They were split down the middle, with just enough going over the line to enable it's passage. Doing so gives the Dems plausible deniability and they can blame certain Dems for caving. Their votes were calculated, negotiated, and politically expedient.
    If one follows the Dem voting habits, particularly on the expansion of Presidential powers and erosion of Civil Rights in the name of the War on Terroism, it becomes more obvious. When the Repubs had the majority, it was easy to blame them. Since achieving a Dem majority in 2006, they have had to be more subtle about their voting strategy.
    I'm a Dem, but it bothers me that they don't "walk the walk". After 2 years in the majority, their actions, or lack thereof, seem more calculated than spineless.

    It strikes me that he is running to the right (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 09:54:30 PM EST
    of Chuck Schumer on this. Especially given his earlier filibuster promise. One of the two is wrong about the politics of this, and I feel strongly that it's Obama.

    A very disappointing show.

    No Dem 'leader' kabuki is to trustworthy on this (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:31:22 PM EST
    ... when their record as a group is so disappointingly against core Dem values, against the Liberal bedrock of freedom, and disgraces ALL voters who deserve a functioning, meaningful opposition no matter who's in power.

    When Obama leads a filibuster on this and/or whups Dems into hanging together to stop this latest cave and givaway, I'll know that Schumer was being straight up.

    I'll know he wasn't just doing the usual Dem Cowardly Lion gnufffff'n'rrrow at the camera that 'leadership' spread amongst themselves because they're even too chickensh!t cowardly to admit they're chickensh!t cowards.

    DISCLAIMER: On a personal basis, I think Schumer's a lovely man but he's lost his sense of priorities and he's lost his way.


    Is Obama intellectually dishonest (5.00 / 13) (#6)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:03:07 PM EST
    or is his campaign disorganized?  On FISA and much else, the Philly News wants to know:

    Obama's very bad June suggests two possibilities: He may be one of the more unprincipled politicians we've seen recently - remember, Obama once mocked the Clintons for their prevarications, saying "They don't tell you what they mean." Or perhaps his mistakes are honest - which would make the Obama campaign one of the more intellectually disorganized enterprises in recent presidential history.

    It's unclear which prospect is greater cause for concern.


    It's as searing as what we saw in the New York Times -- but with an even longer list of "mistakes.". How many others are expressing editorial concern?

    It's this... (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by masslib on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:10:39 PM EST
    "He may be one of the more unprincipled politicians we've seen recently"

    My feeling is that it is GWB redux. (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by hairspray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:59:10 PM EST
    Very good strategizing how to win, but then not much else to stand for.  The fact that Obama had no long term committment to particular causes or even A cause should give one pause.

    Good question -- in which issues (5.00 / 8) (#41)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:06:42 PM EST
    is he invested deeply?  After long hours on a subcommittee, in proposing bills, etc.?

    Obama made a major speech on race but does not seem, from what I see of his record, to have been a civil rights activist.  He made an antiwar speech, as we have heard repeatedly, but does not seem to have been a peace activist.  In terms of his time in Congress, he is chair of a subcommittee on foreign relations -- but he never has called a meeting, so it would seem there in not investment in that area.

    What is his societal/political cause?  


    It is a sad state of affairs when the only thing (5.00 / 8) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:17:43 PM EST
    I'm fairly sure that Obama will stand firm on is his expansion of the faith based initiative program. I also think the money in this program will probably be disbursed based on political patronage more than real community need.

    Oh, BTW did I mention that I really don't like this program.


    I read recenlty that a few of the old (5.00 / 7) (#48)
    by hairspray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:22:00 PM EST
    line AA Democrats who supported Hillary are finding young turks challenging them for their seats. Some eventually came around to Obama but not fast enough.  New politics? Change?

    Do you remember where you read this? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:30:47 PM EST
    That would be interesting reading, esp. to know the source.

    here's the link (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:43:13 PM EST
    or a link, not sure if it's the same one

    NYT article


    Thanks! n/t (none / 0) (#79)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 01:57:35 AM EST
    It was just before the SC primary (none / 0) (#109)
    by PamFl on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 09:55:50 AM EST
    when Clyburn jumped to Obama. Jessee Jackson Jr. was quoted in an interview, saying that some politicians might find themselves being challenged in Nov. Can't find the newspaper articles-in second article, he confirmed his statement. Why do you think the AA politicians quickly switched. The few that continue to support Sen. Clinton have been harrassed, threatened, and strong armed ever since.

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by sancho on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:24:58 AM EST
    is his cause and corporate power is his means. And vice versa of course.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#25)
    by talex on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:34:13 PM EST
    Don't you just love the way the Philly News and others try to float what they know is not true. A sneaky way to be an apologist.

    Well they endorsed him ...brilliant (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:15:56 PM EST
    confirmed for us that Sen. Barack Obama's vision of change - and the way he plans to pursue it - is what we need right now. Badly.

    How could the press not ask the questions, do the vetting, just do the work?

    We're screwed.


    Doesn't bode well for an Obama win in PA (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by shoephone on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:20:56 PM EST
    I just cannot figure out why he's doing all these turnarounds and panders. They're coming fast and furious, as if he is on some sort of deadline to call in whatever markers he thinks he has before the convention.

    Is it Axelrod? Is it Plouffe? Or is it Obama, trying to prove his mettle at running a "change" campaign?

    Whatever else happens, Frank Church is still a  statesman.


    Hmmm. Article approached but didn't go there .. (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:29:09 PM EST
    two possibilities: ... one of the more unprincipled politicians we've seen recently ... Or perhaps his mistakes are honest - which would make the Obama campaign one of the more intellectually disorganized enterprises ...

    I think he's a glib, shallow panderer. If he's too "bored" to use opportunities like seeing through a full term as Senator to deepen his service and leadership qualities, he only adds "lying sack" to the other lamentable personal negatives on vivid display.

    I didn't consider the possibility that he might genuinely be a complete flake too.

    My baby sis, who's in the prime Obama demographic, has already taken that No. 2 train to the end of the line. She says Obama comes off as a smiling talentless cretin, and always gives him a mental Fauxhawk to go with his screamers. (She calls him Change-aya and adds the Sanjaya song when she sends me a goofy pic/story of Obama in flake-mode.)


    No concern, but merriment and mirth (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by makana44 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 01:02:12 AM EST
    as the WSJ gets in some major snark in Bush's Third Term:

    We're beginning to understand why Barack Obama keeps protesting so vigorously against the prospect of "George Bush's third term." Maybe he's worried that someone will notice that he's the candidate who's running for it.

    I don't think Democrats get it. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Grace on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:27:12 PM EST
    Obama has the Democrats votes.  There is no one else left to vote for.  

    What he now needs to get is the Conservative Republican votes.  He needs to move way over to the right to do this.  

    FISA?  Check.  Expand Faith Based Initiative?  Check.  Pro gun?  Check.  Anti-abortion?  Check.  

    Pretty soon, Obama is going to look like a McCain/Bush clone, only maybe even more to the right and with ideals that you just can't pin down.    


    Well first of all (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by talex on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:37:25 PM EST
    Obama doesn't have 'All' the Democratic votes.

    Secondly, the more he moves right the more Democratic votes he will lose.

    At this point I would classify him as center-right and that is not going to get all the Democratic votes at all.


    He needs to keep the youngun's (none / 0) (#39)
    by hairspray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:02:16 PM EST
    and the independents and the moderate Republicans on his side.  Thats all.  The conservatives only make up 30-40% and cannot swing the election without the aforementioned.

    The youngun's don't get it. (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Grace on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:50:45 PM EST
    They think he's moving over to the right but he's going to move right back to the left once he wins the election.  All of this stuff is pandering to the far right so he can get their vote.  

    Moderate Republicans are probably pretty happy with the move to the right and Conservatives are probably thinking "Hey!  What's this?" because they don't like McCain.  

    I'm viewing this entire election campaign with glazed eyes at this point.  There is really no candidate for me to vote for at this point.  

    I went over to here and looked at Obama's record while he's been in the Senate on abortion matters.  He missed the vote on 3 out of 4 bills.  (It's interesting to look at how many votes he's missed since he became a Senator like 13 out of 20 Environment related votes, etc.)  


    If Obama wins by running hard to the Right (5.00 / 7) (#64)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:06:08 AM EST
    when will he move to the left? Certainly not during his first term He'll want to be re-elected. So, he won't want to rile up all those evangelicals and Republicans he got by going Right. So, an Obama win means, at the least, no progressive action until after Nov. 2012. And that's assuming his run to the right is just an election tactic.

    And, in order to hang on to those right wing voters, he will have to make good on all these right wing positions he is now staking out.

    Just how does this make Barack Obama a Democrat? And why would a Democrat vote for him?


    Wow! Well that sure screws up the idea (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Grace on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:58:05 AM EST
    that he's going to go back to being a Democrat once he gets the votes!  

    Well... Unless...  

    Unless he isn't content with being President.  He sure seems to like to run election campaigns but it doesn't seem like he likes to do the work once he gets the positions.  

    Maybe there is something better he can run for in 2012?  Like "King of the World" or something like that...?  Maybe?  ;-)


    It's not just the youngguns who (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:25:05 AM EST
    really know he's flip-flopping. I have friends who are only voting dem. no matter what because "at least there'd be a dem in the white house" is the usual answer. They pay no attention to anything political. The Obama's of this world hope (and some pray)that the "we the people" aren't paying any attention to anything they are doing, and that no one will "pull back the curtain" and expose all this. Ahhhh to be Toto!~!!

    no, he doesn't. (none / 0) (#97)
    by cpinva on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:17:35 AM EST
    Obama has the Democrats votes.

    in my state (va) and many others, there will be a write-in option on the ballot. i will avail myself of that option, should the SD's still be under the influence, come august.


    I agree with what someone said in (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:13:03 PM EST
    another post about if McCain wins, he now has the power of this FISA law...and the dems have given it to them. Personally, it's  just a bad if Obama wins. I don't want him to get that kind of power.
    He's just not mature enough to handle it!

    Nobody is mature enough to handle it. (5.00 / 10) (#10)
    by masslib on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:14:12 PM EST
    That seems a solid corollary to Church's point (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:20:48 PM EST
    This post? (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:20:59 PM EST
    You phrase it better -- and we need to "refine" this argument to make it more strongly and everywhere.  There was a time when Church and Congress did not want any administration to have such powers.  

    FISA is for the Pentagon (none / 0) (#19)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:22:17 PM EST
    and that's what's scary.  It's not for the executive.

    Point taken. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Cream City on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:45:11 PM EST
    But the Pentagon and the White House are hardly separated as much as I, for one, might wish.  

    Nor as much as the best of our military might wish.  


    It's for both (none / 0) (#29)
    by talex on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:40:06 PM EST
    The Executive, i.e Commander in Chief, is in charge of the Pentagon.

    I still cannot reconcile Obama's position (5.00 / 12) (#12)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:16:21 PM EST
    with that of a Democrat who is supposed to be grounded enough in constitutional law that he teaches it to law students.  He's supposed to know that the constitution is about protecting the people from the government - heck, I know that - so why does it seem as if that bedrock principle passed him by?  

    Reading Obama side-by-side with Frank Church seems to reveal Obama as devoid of understanding, and gives rise to serious concerns about his views on executive power.

    Really, I just don't get it.  I've tried, but it's not happening for me.

    He taught (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:39:25 PM EST
    Civil Rights under the Constitution, not constitutional law, as I understand it.

    But whatever he taught or knows about the Constitution, he cares more about moving to the right because he believes he must so that he can be President.  Even his loudest cheerleaders in the MSM are calling him on all of his blatant political moves given he claimed to be the new politics.  I call him on this as much because I don't think it is necessary to win, if you are willing to lead, by treating the American public as having basic intelligence and explaining to them why this FISA bill does not make us more secure.


    Well, (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Grace on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:59:08 PM EST
    Even his loudest cheerleaders in the MSM are calling him on all of his blatant political moves given he claimed to be the new politics.

    Maybe this is "the new politics"?  

    Maybe new politics means you can be both pro-gun and anti-gun?  Maybe you can be both pro-choice and anti-abortion?  Maybe you can have different values depending on which group you are talking to?  

    This is a change, isn't it?  No one has ever campaigned in such a contradictory manner and won -- but maybe Obama will be the first one to win?  And this will be "the new politics"?


    I don't think that is correct, (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:00:54 PM EST
    but even if it were, you cannot teach "civil rights under the constitution" without teaching constitutional law.

    It is also a required course in law school.

    He has no excuse.  None.


    I agree with you there's no excuse (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 01:12:49 PM EST
    I just like to correct the record because too many are repeating idea Obama taught Constitutional law and using it to bolster his credentials, and in some cases (not here on TL), to claim Obama knows what he's doing on FISA & other constitutional issues and Dems should assume Obama knows what he's doing, has read and understood the case, etc.  

    he's a rookie all over (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by thereyougo on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:17:49 PM EST
    I hope his base gets on his case and herd him back to the democratic fold.

    It would be nice for him to flip back to what he promised pre P.Nom.

    ok maybe he didn't promise, but still. His word is supposed to be his bond. He shouldn't keep trying to be everything to everyone. Its the best way to lose support.

    Herding him back? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:19:57 PM EST
    That's not the problem.  Even if he did, would you trust that once he's in the WH he'll do the right thing, or will he do what Hoyer and Pelosi decide for him.  That's the problem and that's why we need a divided government.

    A divided government sometimes (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by hairspray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:27:02 PM EST
    works best, not always as we saw with Clinton. But the Democrats really are in a mess right now if Obama turns out to be a moderate conservative.  The voices of progressivism will be obliterated for certain.

    Obama the opportunist (5.00 / 12) (#14)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:18:09 PM EST
    I'd rather have a candidate I can support because that candidate truly believes that the policies he/she spouses matter.  I would not trust Obama to go through with any of the policies his staff wrote on the back of an envelope to make himself appear close to Clinton.  Those are policies she's supported all her life.  Now Obama is moving to make himself appear close to McCain.  I baptize Obama BOpportunist.  He has no sense of what's right, but what sells.  PUMA! I'd rather lose to McCain that give my vote to someone who does not deserve it. Btw, there is a new CNN poll that shows 40 percent of Clinton supporters are not behind Obama.  The pundits continue their wrong opinion that the reason we don't support Obama is disappointment. It's too bad that the poll does not ask those supporters if they supported Clinton from the get-go.  I bet a good percentage are individual like me that after their first choice decided to support Clinton.  No, it's not disappointment but disgust of the candidate the DNC chose.

    Reminds me of a quote (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:32:39 AM EST
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

    And it's still true, more than 200 years since Edmund Burke said it.


    I hardly post here, but this is my take (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by NYC26 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:39:16 PM EST
    This whole problem of FISA, the Iraq War, economic, are brought because the bank elite (NWO), and Obama is a puppet, and can't be trusted.

    Looking up and down the comments (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:44:52 PM EST
    I see that a tremendous amount of issue activist leverage was incinerated by Clinton suspending her campaign.

    Perhaps it was not wise of her to do so.

    Another debate right now between the two of them might yield yet even more insight into both the candidates.

    If not, perhaps some bold words and a "present" vote.

    I'm afraid the DNC (5.00 / 7) (#43)
    by Lahdee on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:14:29 PM EST
    disagrees with you. Obama now, Obama next, Obama in a really big stadium looking rock starish, wearing his flag pin and proudly displaying his defense of the homeland by the light of his cell phone.

    OMG No! (none / 0) (#54)
    by RalphB on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:38:26 PM EST
    Where is Jules Feiffer's dancer? (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 02:41:05 AM EST
    I think the Democratic leadership was leaning heavily on Hillary. With one side of their mouthes they were saying that Hillary should be left alone to make up her own mind. On the other side the heavy handed comments were unending. Hillary was a team player but at the same time she was being slandered as a divider. It just seemed brutal to me. I'm sorry she suspended her campaign too, but at the same time, I don't see how she could put up with the harrassment as long as she did.

    And then Michigan... that just seemed so unfair to me. After that, it just seemed obvious to me as I'm sure it did to Hillary that the Democratic leadership had made their choice. They didn't care about the will of the people. They had decided and they were prepared to go to any length to see to it that Obama was the nominee.

    Well... so this is what we have now. This is the person that the Democratic leadership was so hot to put in charge... someone who is willing to capitulate on FISA... someone who is willing to support faith based initiatives to win the vote of the radical Christian right... Where is Jules Feiffer's dancer now that we need her to twist and spin our frustrations?


    one good thing (none / 0) (#106)
    by ccpup on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 09:10:25 AM EST
    about an Obama loss in November will be the inevitable house cleaning at the DNC.

    Buh-bye Dean and Brazile.


    Activist? (none / 0) (#56)
    by anydemwilldo on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:43:32 PM EST
    When was Clinton ever susceptible to "activist leverage"?  She was a centrist, heir to a centrist tradition.  I'm just curious at what point she bent to activist pressure?

    It's OK to dislike Obama over the FISA stuff.  But don't make Hillary into a liberal activist that she is not.  If you really want an uncompromising liberal, you should seriously be voting for Nader.


    Well it appears now (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:55:59 PM EST
    This heir to the centrist tradition has been outdone by Obama.

    In this race to the center, yes, Clinton lost.

    Obama gets there faster and with more reckless abandon.


    Clinton Less Centrist than Obama for some time (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by andrys on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:24:45 AM EST
    Progressive Punch's in-depth analysis of voting:

       Obama's progressive score: 88.05%     Rank: 25/100

       Clinton's progressive score: 90.82%     Rank: 20/100


    Problem is Obama has missed many votes (none / 0) (#112)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 11:39:04 AM EST
    with one of the worst voting records in the Senate.  Somewhere, I saw a comparison that factored in that, and Obama did not fare as well as in this one.

    I pegged BTD as more Poll Dancer than Peeler ... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Ellie on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:59:45 PM EST
    ... and definitely not in the Oboiz Chorus Line.

    However, on the issue of personal privacy, I'm absolutely down with the principle that one's vote is nobody else's beeswax until cast, and even afterwards except for the scrupulous counting of it.

    BTD always plays it close to the vest, though.

    Not dressing you down here; this is more of a passing innoculant and reminder for the Obama fans who descend daily, imperiously demanding explanations of how HRC supporters intend to vote and just in case we're thinking blah blah blah how dare we blah blah blah.

    What I wouldn't give for TL to put up a swear jar so I can unfurl a simple, elegant F.O. for such occasions.

    i've said it before (5.00 / 10) (#45)
    by Turkana on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:17:07 PM EST
    i'll undoubtedly say it again: btd, i sometimes think you're just not fired up and ready to go.

    If I never hear that slogan again, I'll be happy (5.00 / 7) (#52)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:33:30 PM EST
    That and so many other empty slogans (none / 0) (#86)
    by andrys on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:27:35 AM EST
    Turn the page!

      (That's what elections are for -- in fact, for 'change'
        with some hope, too often smashed.)

    This is our time!

    This is our moment!

    Change you can believe in!

      (That's all it was about.  Empty empty empty.
       and very sly, and it continues.)


    barack obama and the bill of rights (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by aunt rebecca on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:02:18 AM EST
    when i looked closely at obama last year and was surprised at how conservative his views were.  i then looked at which corporate entities contributes to his pac.  the security and banking industries are his major funding sources for his pac.  he supports ethanol as a major piece of his energy policy--altho ethanol is a very expensive fuel and uses a lot of energy to turn corn into fuel.  he is pro-gun and for the death penalty, has no understanding of universal health care--note his attacks on "mandates"--
    obama is a new democrat--he is not drifting to the right--he has always been on the right.  i will hold my nose and vote for him.

    This just makes me ache... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 02:19:38 AM EST
    "The United States must not adopt the tactics of the enemy."

    This seems just so fundamental to me. It is at the foundation of our culture, of what we are as a nation.

    If BO capitulates on FISA, how far will he bend? On what other issues will be also bend? Torture? Bush is trying to hurriedly erase his tracks at Guantanamo. Will BO allow that a pass as well? Nancy Pelosi has already given it a pass by removing impeachment from the table. I wonder if BO isn't just hoping the American people will just forget what has been done in our name as a nation under Bush and Cheney.

    What's wrong with BTD saying what he thinks? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by andrys on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:08:56 AM EST
    Why can't he do that without a 3rd degree treatment ?

      He felt the media was stronger for Obama and that does continue to be true.  Right now most of them are excusing him or sighing over how wise he is to try to get the votes of those on the other side.

      So, BTD and others will have very conflicting thoughts about all this.  That's his right, and I prefer to 'hear' his thinking as it goes.

      There's little denying that McCain is a horror-show right now, but Obama is drawing close because he appears to be totally devoid of principle whatsoever, while selling his fancy medicine (no FDA trials or anything -- all it requires is you 'believe in' the salesman).  As he smiles and preens.

      At the same time I've little doubt he would trend more toward my thinking on issues, but I've no faith in his character, so I don't plan, at this point, to vote 'for' him.   I just do not trust this man.

     And especially I do not plan to vote, essentially, for  the DNC's actions this year, especially Brazile and Dean, who acted like the Mafia in their methods, with such pride over them.  That's -not- a party I would align with.  It was against the DNC charter to do what they did, reassigning delegates, and especially taking them away from a candidate who had earned the votes.  It was a slap in the faces of party regulars.

      Obama is a living representative of this kind of open connivance and disrespect for decency when choosing a 'party' candidate.

      And he's living down to all of it.  Far faster and more deeply than even I would have expected.  This is likely the most cynical candidate I've seen for the presidency.  

    He's been telling you who he is from the beginning (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by DandyTIger on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:11:18 AM EST
    Remember all of the W.O.R.M. Those were usually after he would say something rather conservative. People would rush to say what he really meant. But in reality Obama said what he meant. He's a pol  of course and will say what works with the current crowd on a particular day, but if you're listening, he always lets you know where he really stands on things.

    One of my favorite things Maya Angelo said about people (not in a poem at least) is that they will always tell you who they are, if you just listen. The problem, she said, is we don't tend to listen, we tend to hear what we want to hear. But the person really is telling us who they are.

    Listen to Obama now on FISA. That is who he is. He didn't fail. He is who he is. You have to look elsewhere for who failed.

    So when he said he'd filibuster it (none / 0) (#87)
    by andrys on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:30:13 AM EST
    he meant that he wouldn't flibuster it ?

    not the point (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by DandyTIger on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 04:16:35 AM EST
    of what I was trying to say. Yes, he's a pol, and yes, he's pandering. And yes, he's flip-flopping. I was trying to get at something slightly different which is if you really listen to what he has been saying, you will actually notice some of these conservative stances some are just noticing now. Of course when he says I'll filibuster you tend to believe him unless you listen to him talk around and around the subject, then you start to notice he might really mean something else.

    Sadly this is the problem with someone with little or no record. You can't just look at the record and get an overall feeling of where he's heading. You have to do some guessing. Mostly we've seen people make a lot of assumptions and do a lot of tap dancing around what he says -- to the point of really absurd what obama really means discussions.


    It's a sorry state of affairs (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 06:51:39 AM EST
    for the Demomatic's when the prevailing reason to vote for a candidate this election cycle is "He's better than McCain". For at least the last two years we have had the opportunity to build a strong party based on principles. We now have a candidate that is an impressive speaker. Unfortunately he's chosen to use these talents to appease the opposition rather than convince them of the merits of being a Democrat. If he is a man of vision he should be proud of it rather than hiding from it.

    Yep (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:25:57 AM EST
    Sorry to say, but McCain just isn't as "scary" as W. I would have crawled over cut glass to vote against W. but McCain not so much.

    Sen. Obama pivoted hard right for 5 reasons. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by wurman on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:42:08 AM EST
    One can only hope that the Obama Campaign doesn't get whiplash from turning their bus hard to the right, especially with all those folks under it.

    1. The headcount shows that Obama cannot win the election with his core supporters; not enough of them & they don't turn out in high percentages.
    2. Get Out the Vote won't work because you never know who the new voter will choose.  [I joke that the Democrats registered a million Florida voters between 2001 & 2004, then 600,000 of them voted for Bu$h.]
    3. Internal Obama campaign polling almost certainly shows that the zealous trashing of brandname "Clinton"  (on behalf of Dean, Kerry, & Kennedy) guaranteed many Hillary supporters will NEVER vote for Obama.  [This is now evident in national polls also.]
    4. The campaign staff learned or discovered in the primaries that they cannot win elections with money--they have to "convert" voters.
    5. The state party chairs are telling them that losing millions of registered Democrats, & those membership fees, is destroying the local campaigns.

    As many on this thread point out, Obama could have stayed on message & kept all but a small percentage of the PUMA refugees.  His campaign staff are scared, though, so they've turned hard to the right (not the center) in a gamble to pick up enough voters to win the general election.

    It looks very much as if they are going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (another old Democratic party cliché, but so apt for the new politics).

    All along through the primaries (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:58:29 AM EST
    Obama talked about getting the Reagan dems and the repub. lites. This has always been his strategy. Every 4 years "they" expect "us" to just follow and do as they say. Some have legitimate reasons for voting for him, others cannot fathom what will happen to this country with him in the white house, and others, are voting country this time, not person, not party, not coming home!!! If GWB is spying on us, and Obama is for the current FISA laws, imagine how much farther he could take it. Again, when you stand for all sides of every issue, you stand for nothing at all. Big Brother is here and the Constitution be damned!!

    The People demand leadship (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by pluege on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:30:34 PM EST
    the continuous crises of leadership of the bush years has most Americans (75%) and indeed nearly the entire world screaming for American leadership. The 2006 Democratic-controlled Congress has failed in every way in this regard. Virtually every republican pol remains the antithesis of this crying need for leadership.

    People flocked by the millions during the primaries irrationally to Obama for one reason and one reason alone: they thought (through the prism of their hope) that he was the leader they so desperately long for to lead them out of the morass of criminality, incompetence, lies, and deceptions that are the bush regime and today's conservative movement.

    These people misconstruing Obama for the leader they want were wrong. They let their desire get the better of them by projecting onto Obama characteristics and capabilities he does not possess. Obama could some day have been a great leader, but he is no where near so today.

    The past 2 weeks have demonstrated without a doubt that there is no underlying foundation of inner strength, experience, and wisdom guiding Obama. He is a pol. He is tacking to the center because a bunch of hack political consultants told him that is the way to win. What they and Obama DO NOT UNDERSTAND is that winning is NOT the goal - leadership is.

    The people demand leadership. Winning would follow in a landslide from leadership. Leadership on defending the Constitution and the rule of law, leadership on ending the travesty of the Iraq invasion, leadership on the corruption and perversion of the media and the Washington political culture, leadership on moving the US from corporate contrlledd greed to quality of life for its citizens through quality healthcare for all, quality affordable education, an oil-free economy.

    The people are screaming for leadership. Even if Obama could hear them, he has not the tools to answer their call.

    Yup (none / 0) (#30)
    by talex on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:41:50 PM EST
    Two post back to back today:

    We can not remain silent to these abuses. As citizens, we must speak out against the FISA Capitulation. Those who would put candidate before principle here shame themselves.

    Then one post later:

    I'll be voting for every Democrat on the ballot.

    It's like the last gilded age. (5.00 / 11) (#34)
    by masslib on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 10:46:02 PM EST
    Maybe a socialist will run and win a big chunk of the vote again.  It's almost hysterical.  At a time when Dem's are poised to take both houses of Congress and the Presidency the presumptive nominee seems to be stuck in the past.  He's for post-partisanship.  Post-partisanship is for when your Party is in the minority.  This would all be funny if it were not so sad.

    Glad to see you left the big (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by hairspray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:11:07 PM EST
    Orange as I did.  Have you seen Anglachel's journal dated July 01?  Its a stunner!

    Mass, sorry that the link didn;t work. (none / 0) (#44)
    by hairspray on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:15:32 PM EST
    Google the journal and date and ask for "no where else to go"  Don't know why I didn't get the right url.

    I read everything Anglachel writes. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by masslib on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:37:30 PM EST
    I've read the piece.  It's great.  I took a peek at Cheetopia to see how they were reacting to Obama's abortion stance.  Needless to say crickets.

    Well, not quite. (none / 0) (#94)
    by Cassius Chaerea on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 07:40:58 AM EST
    Even though the lack of official response has been, as usual, appalling, dhonig finally got fed up and posted the story over there. So far it has about four hundred comments and is on the rec list. As expected, about one quarter of the comments are from Obama goons wanting to force dhonig off the site.

    Talex (none / 0) (#57)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:50:41 PM EST
    Actually, I think the second sentence is from an update Jeralyn did to BTD's original post.

    Yes your are right (none / 0) (#104)
    by talex on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 09:02:09 AM EST
    I missed the 'update by TL'.

    The "I'll be voting for (none / 0) (#60)
    by zfran on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:56:44 PM EST
    every Democrat on the ballot" I believe was Jeralyn's add-on to BTD's post. Someone correct me if I misread that part of that post.

    Yes your re right (none / 0) (#105)
    by talex on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 09:02:40 AM EST
    I missed the 'update by TL'.

    Ben, read through the thread (none / 0) (#67)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:14:37 AM EST
    and then take a deep breath.

    the logic of church's (none / 0) (#68)
    by sancho on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:19:37 AM EST
    statement is clear. obama betrays it. i know your favorite langauge is "WORM." an ugly toungue that. but maybe i'm just tone deaf to postpartisan cadences. i keep hearing thirties era italian (when the state and the govt. were one) and then i start to lose the sound.

    The best way to fix eavesdropping is..... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Veracitor on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:34:46 AM EST
    ......to get elected President.  Whatever passes through Congress right now can be reversed if we broom the Republicans.  It's smart not to give them an election issue in the interim.

    Personally, I don't trust Obama (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by rjarnold on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:56:38 AM EST
    on this particular issue. I think that this would be a tempting power to abuse.

    The best way to fix SPYING ON AMERICANS (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:42:14 AM EST
    is to continue to make it be against the law to do so without a warrant and allow the lawsuits against the telecoms to proceed so that we can uncover how far Bush's ILLEGAL activities went. IOW protect our 4th Amendment rights and uphold the rule of law.

    Of course, this is exactly the opposite of Obama and our Dem leadership is doing. To support them in their efforts to ignore their oaths of office and their coverup of Bush's illegal activities is to condone their actions and give them your stamp of approval for eliminating your Constitutional rights.  


    Faith-based approach to Obama's election (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:45:44 AM EST
    I guess this is why I'm having so much trouble with him. I'm not religious and I can't rely on a faith-based argument that he'll do the right thing once he's elected.

    That's what Obama says about everything (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by PamFl on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 10:21:40 AM EST
    Wait until I'm President, then I'll change all of these bad laws. No President can change anything alone, that is, unless he uses executive priviledge, executive orders, or the unitary powers claimed by Bush/Cheney/Rove.
    Do you really think he will give up these powers or use them for our benefit? The Dems have longed for this kind of control for years.
    We won't know what he will do, that's the problem.

    You must have missed comment #9 (none / 0) (#75)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:53:09 AM EST
    "If McCain wins, he now has the power of this FISA law...and the Dems have given it to [him]."

    So if your guess isn't good, the Republicans are not "broomed" but empowered even more than before.  Okay with you?


    Frank Church? Who's that? (none / 0) (#81)
    by SoCalLiberal on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 02:37:05 AM EST
    Clearly we're in a new era with a new Democratic Party and we don't need to think about issues or principles, we just need to think about what sounds good.  :)

    Filibuster (none / 0) (#88)
    by andrys on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:31:32 AM EST
    Spelling that right this time.

      Worse than saying he'd say no to immunity, he now "supports" the bill that proposes this but says that later when he's prez he can turn that back around.  Sure.

    He's in it to win, why aren't you Dems getting it? (none / 0) (#91)
    by JEFO on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 06:27:50 AM EST
    Obama can't forever rally behind the left political causes and hope to get elected into the White House.  He's doing what Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry didn't do, and that's play to the center and be candidate for citizens to both sides of the party isle.   I see Obama as a wise politician here, he knows that he will need more than far left Democrat support, he will need to get independents and some conservatives. I applaud his recent actions with FISA because unlike a lot of you Democrats on here I have faith in his judgment to bring a Democrat back into office.

    Democrat's (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 07:18:14 AM EST
    Registered hundreds of thousand new voters. Hopefully these people signed up because they believe in the principles of the party. The Republican image is in the tank. Right now Republican's are even running away from their party. I don't see any gain for Obama in poundint the Republican drum. I don't believe that the majority of American's favor the government subsidizing churches. I don't believe that they consider the Contitution a quaint document we ocassionally refer to. And I also don't believe the majority of American's have any interest in government intrusion into their personal lives. (The backlash of Teri Shivo should have taught them that). But it takes a leader to point out why these things are wrong.

    Well...with thousands+ (none / 0) (#119)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 02:28:25 PM EST
    of new voters, Independents, Republican lite and African Americans, he doesn't really need you and me and the Democratic left, does he?

    We can yell and scream and write letters and see our congresspeople but not much will happen. The only thing that will change the direction is the MSM.  They go after him and he's done.

    He's was so right when he kept repeating change change, change over and over again. Those who wanted to believe it didn't even ask what that was.

    So, in reality, change is what he is doing but not what some of us are "looking for"..


    Then why support Obama? (none / 0) (#96)
    by Saul on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:15:13 AM EST
    Obama's actions can not be excused on this matter. He has failed miserably.

    Is this not enough to question whether one should support Obama?   To rationalize and say well he is the only democrat nominee we got and I wish there was another one and yes he is better than McCain, is like saying I picking the better of two evils.  Every day I read more negative things about Obama than positive things as they are posted here on TL.  Maybe he will not be who the delegates vote for at the convention if this trend continues.

    Confused about FISA (none / 0) (#107)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 09:38:10 AM EST
    I am way confused now.  I was keeping up I thought on this bill, and in the last few days have become confused again.  Certainly the spirit of the bill, from comentaries I have read is disconcerting.  I would love to see a item by item comparison of the Pre-9/11 version(I am not sure if this is the right date) vs. Post Bush first messing with FISA vs. this revision, and see what things are different and the same, and what they mean.  Is there a good objective source?  Is this fight mostly about the letting the telecom companies off the hook?  And outside of a slap on the wrist, what are we looking to do to these telecom companies, other then not letting them do this again?  

    P.S.  I am looking for information, if you don't have it, and just want to say how ignorant I am for not knowing, please don't comment.

    An excellent source for information (none / 0) (#111)
    by RalphB on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 10:36:46 AM EST
    on the FISA brouhaha is Glenn Greenwald at Salon.  He is straight up on these issues.

    Edgar's right about Greenwald (none / 0) (#114)
    by tree on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 11:49:55 AM EST
    being a good source. Likewise, the ACLU
    site is very informative.

    Short answers: Number one, its more than telecom immunity. Even without that, the bill is horrendous, expands surveillance, and is not necessary. FISA is not expiring. Only the Protect America Act I expired, and it was the one that Obama voted against earlier.  

    Number two, without the right to sue the telecoms in court, we may never get to know the extent of the law-breaking. And given telecoms retroactive immunity sets a terrible precedent that breaking the law because  government officials tells you its OK will net you absolutely no negative consequence, whereas following the law and refusing the government request will get you investigated. See Quest, the only company to refuse to act illegally. Telecom immunity will further encourage companies to break the law.


    Oops, sorry RalphB (none / 0) (#115)
    by tree on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 11:54:21 AM EST
    I meant "RalphB"s right..."

    Thank you (none / 0) (#116)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 12:01:21 PM EST
    I will go get me some edumucation :)

    You're welcome. (none / 0) (#120)
    by tree on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 03:52:40 PM EST
    I forgot to mention the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is presently suing ATT.

    Edumacation is a good thing. :-)