Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Things I've long assumed I'd be disappointed with

The people who supported Barack Obama during the primary were called many things by Clinton supporters, most of them implying that we were unthinking cultists ready to take Dear Leader's commands and execute them without question. And you know, it's true: just look at the glowing, fawning language I used when I decided Edwards' exit left me no option but to support Obama:
So I'm left with Obama. Squishy, vague, homophobe-coddling, coal-supporting Obama. Right on the war -- and that earns him so much from me, much more than Edwards' learning curve -- but wrong on a lot of other things. But not a Clinton, and seems the best suited to actually grow the ranks of the Democratic Party.
Yup, that's me, the unthinking cultist.

In truth, there's always been a lot of stuff making me wary about Obama, but those things have been -- and are -- outweighed by several factors, including his obvious skill as a politician, his judgment in foreign policy, and the fact that I think he's best suited to win the election by actually grabbing votes from the other side.[1]

But given the recent Democratic collapse over FISA (huzzah to retroactive immunity!) it seems like an opportune moment to pre-empt the disappointment I'll feel later by listing the things I assume President Barack Obama will disappoint me on.

1) Energy. Yes, Obama will be much better on energy and the environment than John McCain. But Obama's still got too many ties to the Illinois coal and ethanol rackets to push for an objectively good energy policy.

2) FISA. In case you missed it, the Bush Administration and major telecom companies have been spying illegally on Americans for years. And the Democrats are poised to let them all get away with it, because they don't want it as an election issue. It's difficult to see how this turns out at all well for Democrats -- are there really millions of GOP voters demanding that they be spied upon? But the writing has been on the wall for almost a year now -- the House Dems were ready to cave on this a while ago. The only hope now is a Senate filibuster, and there seems to be little chance of that. Anyway, this is not the issue I expected to see a lot of leadership on from Obama, somehow. Which is a shame, because it's exactly this kind of politics that Obama's been able to insulate himself against effectively.

3) Gay rights. What can I say. I guy who'll take the stage with bigots who think homosexuality is a disease to be cured doesn't give me a lot of confidence.

I'm sure I'll add to this list as time goes on, but those are the biggies right now.

[1] And yet, some Democrats seem to find the prospect of Obama winning independent and GOP voters even more terrifying than a McCain victory. Seriously. I'm still selectively maintaining my no-names policy until certain parties re-enter the saneosphere, but yes some diehard Clinton supporters are literally writing that the prospect of the Democratic Party winning seats in red states make them more concerned that the party will be more conservative because, duh, it's winning seats in the conservative parts of the country.

Democracy really is a bitch. It would be so much better for American Democrats if the Democratic Party could get more voters without actually having to get more Americans to vote for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe you omitted "unreconstructed ME policy" both in terms of selling the Palestinians down the river on Jerusalem (more to follow, no doubt) and the ritual belligerence being shown towards Iran.

Plus ca change...