Sunday, June 22, 2008

Help Us, Obama-Wan

Help us, Obama-wan. You're our only hope.

Image credit: screenshot by Cujo359 (See NOTE)

I've read several articles in the last couple of days hoping that Barack Obama will step up and nip this latest attempt to gut FISA in the bud. Like Princess Leia, they hope to inspire him to become a leader and stop this travesty. Some are hopeful, many sound resigned, but frankly, to me it's hardly worth bothering.

This is why I didn't support the guy in the first place.

There's no question that Obama, as the party's soon to be nominee, could stop this thing in its tracks if he wanted to. He'd just announce that it would happen over his cold, dead filibuster. Or he'd ask to put a hold on the bill. Even the dimmest majority leader, a category that probably includes Harry Reid, wouldn't risk an open fight with his party's presidential nominee. So if Obama had told Reid that the grotesquely-named "Protect America Act" was a non-starter, it would sit in committee until the end of the session.

But Obama won't do that. He made a living for a while as a constitutional lawyer. He knows how dangerous this act is. But Obama won't risk alienating Reid, whose help he might need later, nor some of the other opportunistic bastards who support the bill. Nothing lasts longer in politics than a grudge.

So Obama will vote against the bill, and maybe he'll even make a really inspiring speech about how wrong it is, but he won't put his foot down. I feel as safe in predicting this as I felt predicting that the Mariners wouldn't get anywhere near the post-season this year. As Jane Hamsher once wrote, we're led by moral pygmies. Nothing about that will change next year.

He won't risk a confrontation, even when he knows it needs to be done. His entire career has been built on avoiding risk. This is why I'm not going to go out of my way to support the man. There are too many good people who need all the support they can get to waste on someone who won't stand up.

If you want that to change, Senator, you know what you need to do tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure I'll see the Mariners in the World Series before I see you do something like that.

NOTE: Star Wars and its many sequels and prequels is a copyrighted work of Lucasfilms and a bunch of other folks. No one associated with this film endorses, supports, or is even aware of this article.

UPDATE: Christy Hardin Smith has another good article about the state of the FISA campaign - and it's been a campaign, folks. It's worth it just for the links. I'll pass along Sen. Russ Feingold's fact sheet on FISA.

UPDATE 2: The PAC Versus Retroactive Immunity is still accepting donations. If you haven't donated yet, please do. Small donations ($10, even $5) are welcome. This is a concrete way to show politicians that we mean business, in a language they understand.

UPDATE 3 (Jun. 25): Looks like "Mr. Present" lived up to his name today. He didn't vote on cloture, which passed easily. Now the Senate can get down the task of boning us once and for all.


One Fly said...

And you're probably correct Cujo.

Cujo359 said...

Yes, I hate it when I'm right.

One Fly said...

I just want to see somebody do something if that means anything.

Cujo359 said...

Well, yes, I agree. Unfortunately, the only way I think this thing is going to be stopped is either several prominent Senators ask that it be tabled, or someone with a lot more influence than Chris Dodd does it. Dodd's been in the Senate a long time, and he seems to be pretty well established. Even while he was a Presidential candidate, though, Reid blew him off.

Dana Hunter said...

You know what? All I wanted to do was bask in the beauty of life, and here comes the Senate, ready to crap all over civil liberties, wipe up with what's left of the Constitution, and flush the whole thing down the sewer Bush is happy to turn this country in to.

Now I get to drag my sorry butt out of bed two hours early and start manning the phones... telling Senators to do the jobs they swore to do to begin with, and Obama could've let me sleep in with a whisper. I do love the man, and I think he'll make a decent president, but he's certainly having fun proving himself a politician.

I'm just glad I've got you fighting beside me, Cujo my dear!

Cujo359 said...

Don't it just suck, though?

I'm pretty sure Obama will be somewhere between mediocre and crummy as President. He's not going to start taking risks when he's in the White House. At least, it's bloody unlikely.

I'd be happy to be wrong about that (see above comments), but "Mr. Present" didn't get that name for standing up.

One Fly said...

I just saw Dodd & Feingold will fillibuster. Listen to the repugs bawling already.