Young Democrats of Harford County

For Democrats of all ages and other like-minded folks in Harford County, Maryland.

Obama 08

Posted by Annie on June 5, 2008

It’s a great day.  What more can I say!?

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3 Responses to “Obama 08”

  1. So, three weeks have passed and we’re learning a lot more about Barack Obama. Here’s my take:

    As we all know, Obama is the first candidate in the history of our public campaign financing system to opt out of the many tens of millions of dollars that were available to him in favor of the hundreds of millions he believes he can raise for himself. Of course, he broke his previous promise to accept public financing. But his explanation is also disingenuous. The Washington Post (6/25/08) said this about his desire to fund his campaign through small donations from ordinary people:

    “Ordinary people, that is, if your definition of ordinary people includes bundlers who can collect six- and even seven-figure sums for your campaign. Because even as he was rhapsodizing in public about ‘the grass-roots values that have already changed our politics and brought us this far,’ Obama was privately cozying up to Hillary Clinton’s major fundraisers.

    Earlier this month, he dispatched his campaign manager, David Plouffe, to woo Clinton bundlers in Washington and New York. This week, Clinton will introduce Obama to nearly 200 of her major bundlers, including some who have raised $1 million or more, in a meeting at the Mayflower Hotel.

    ‘This group could represent 50 million, if not 100 million, bucks,’ said one top Clinton strategist.”

    Obama says he needs these millions to counter attacks from independent conservative groups who are no doubt preparing to swift-boat him. The only ads I’ve seen, however, are MoveOn.org ads that attack John McCain by name. If Obama really represented “change we can believe in” couldn’t he had publicly asked MoveOn not to start the mud-throwing, and publicly challenged McCain to say the same thing to his conservative supporters?

    There are many other issues, of course. During the West Virginia primary, Obama emphasized the importance of “clean coal,” as if a rock we have to blow up a mountain to get so we can burn in a giant furnace could actually be “clean.” Immediately after he won the nomination, he told AIPAC that he would work for a two-state solution in the Middle East, while promising Israel that “any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided” – defining the outcome of Israeli/Palestinian negotiations before they actually begin. Palestine also considers Jerusalem to be its capital, so why would it ever enter into negotiations sponsored by someone who would say that?

    Obama supports passing a bill that “effectively gives legal immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on calls and e-mails for years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, without the approval of a special, secret court.” (AP, 6/25/08)

    Obama supports state-sanctioned murder, also known as the death penalty. “While the evidence tells me that the death
    penalty does little to deter crime, I believe … that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment” (Barack Obama, “The Audacity of Hope”)

    Republicans take the same stances on all of these issues, as do Democrats who really want to change things but know they can’t go too far before they alienate their support from the center. On what issues does Obama actually represent change?

    During the primary, since I’m not a Democrat and didn’t need to decide between either candidate, I made a serious effort to listen to Clinton and Obama supporters and find out why they supported the candidate they did. I came to believe that most people who supported Obama (and Clinton as well) believed that their candidate of choice were out to do the things voters wanted them to do – end the war, feed the poor, etc. – even though their voting record didn’t support that thought. I saw a lot of voters projecting their values onto a candidate and making beleive that the candidate had done things they hadn’t actually done. One writer wrote:

    “We chant in unison with Obama that we want change, we yell ‘yes we can,’ and then stand dumbly by as he coldly votes away our civil liberties. The Democratic Party, including Obama, continues to fund the war. It refuses to impeach Bush and Cheney. It allows the government to spy on us without warrants or cause. And then it tells us it is our salvation. This is a form of collective domestic abuse. And, as so often happens in the weird pathology of victim and victimizer, we keep coming back for more.” (http://www.alternet.org/story/89301/)

    Are you still as firmly behind Barack Obama as you were before all this happened? If so, why? I promise I won’t argue before everyone’s had a chance to write.

  2. Actually, just one more thing before I sit and wait to hear from some Obama supporters. From USA Today (6/27/2008):

    “The Senate passed a $162 billion war spending plan Thursday, sending the President Bush legislation that will pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan until the next president takes office.”

    The war funding was approved 92-6, with two Senators not voting. All six of the Senators who voting against further funding of the war were Republicans. Both Obama and Clinton voted for more funds, as did Mikulski and Cardin.

    I hope you can see why I don’t take Democratic promises to end the war seriously, and wonder why Democrats do.

  3. piperj3cub said

    I, and I say this as a hard-core DEM, have to agree with Brian on the case of Obama’s support of the death penalty, his support of the bill that gives telecom corporations immunity, and of course on his voting for the war funding bills. Sadly, I think that the Democrats in general are so afraid of the Republican reprise, that they support bills that they know their base does not support. This has been the most frustrating aspect of being a Democrat over the past 8 years. DEMs appear to damn scared to honestly question the Republicans and this presidency, afraid of a public response that almost certainly will not come! This is an ongoing sign that the Republican Party defines political debate today, and that it will take a considerable change in demographics to alter that. If you use the Democratic Party stances as a guide, one would assume that the majority of Americans support the Death Penalty, are pro-life (another Republican driven name), are unwilling to cut funding for the war, and are in favor of the Patriot Act. The Democrats are tip-toeing towards control of the presidency and congress, tip-toeing through the field of conservative land-mines carrying a pack of progressive ideals. the DEMs appear to be afraid of allowing any of those progressive ideals spill out in fear that they may set off a conservative mine.

    That of course is not only the approach now, but also the approach over the past 14 years of losing national campaigns. It took a failed war to really turn things for the DEMs in 2006, and a multitude of other disastrous fall-outs from the Bush administration to make the Democratic victory possible in 2008. I cannot help but feel that the Democrats would be best served by behaving as if they are strong, intelligent, and intellectual; to not let religious and financial conservatism run the debates as they have for so long. Ideally, Barack Obama would move away from things like ‘faith-based’ initiatives and other centrist and right-wing concepts and use his presidency to promote progressive ideals; health care, living wage, fair education, and intelligent foreign policy.

    Alas, I am growing less and less optimistic of this every day.

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