I’m an Obama supporter. I’m no PUMA:
I just can’t figure out why if it is soooo important for the Democrats to win that the fingerpointers don’t pick the Democrat most likely to actually win. I mean, they still have a choice. If they are so concerned , they can petition the party to have a fair and transparent convention and let’s see who persuades the largest number of superdelegates. So what if the signs for the fall have already been made? It’s just stationary. Surely it is more important to pick the right Democrat, right?
I still think a Democrat who starts out with 50% of the general electorate against her, who refused to listen to reason on the Iraq war until it was far too late and who has exhibited essential weakness on Iran warmongering, would have been a poor choice.
So what’s my deal?
Obama recently decided to avoid public financing. Fine by me, although I admit, the idea of him going back on a campaign promise clearly tells me he made the promise for points, not for real.
He also seems to have increasingly bad taste in who he’s surrounding himself with:
Here are some statements by Ms. Rice in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq:
“I think he [then Secretary of State Colin Powell] has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.” (NPR, Feb. 6, 2003)
“We need to be ready for the possibility that the attack against the U.S. could come in some form against the homeland, not necessarily on the battlefield against our forces. And I think there, too, is an area where the American people need to be better prepared by our leadership. … It’s clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It’s clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that’s the path we’re on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side.” (NPR, Dec. 20, 2002)
“I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses. The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it’s a question of timing and tactics…We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions. (NPR, Nov. 11, 2002)
Of course, this sounds like Condoleezza Rice. But in fact all those quotes are from Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton administration and now part of Obama’s newly formed “Senior Working Group on National Security.” The quotes are from an examination of the Working Group done by the Institute for Public Accuracy, here.
Which leads me to the natural question. If what he says can’t be trusted, he’s a mushy centrist at heart, and he’s hiring people with very questionable judgment, then who will we have in office in 2010?
The stakes are depressingly high this time around. Ours is a country that arrests people wrongfully and tortures (there always seems to be a new angle on how we torture). A country that goes to war without cause. Our electoral system is a badly broken mockery of the principles of representation and liberty that ought to form the backbone of our daily experience as Americans.
Think about that last one for a moment. As an American we ought to feel empowered. Instead, be honest, we feel helpless and watched.
The leaders of the Democratic party and the candidates, all of them (even the ones who lost long ago), are smart people. They ought to be working together even if informally to figure out how to draw a sharp line away from the failed and costly policies of the current administration. Instead our party has been consumed by the supporters of two problematic candidates.
If we fail in November we are fucked.
If anyone over in Obama land is listening, he needs to make with the backbone. He needs to make a cleaner break with the old politics we are so desperate to be rid of.
The decision to skip public financing is one I support: I want to win in November. But poor decisions never occur in isolation of each other, and enough similar mistakes will create a credibility gap and fill it with the worst sorts of insinuations about motivation.
And please, go through the ranks, and dump the staff that don’t rise up to the expectations of rationality and compassion we expect from you. There is no shortage of intelligent and caring people to draw from in the Democratic party. You can do better. And as a leader, if you do, we all will.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Clinton, Credibility, Democrats, Iraq, McCain, Obama, Politics, Public Finance, Rhetoric, Susan Rice, War | 4 Comments »