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Obama Losing Voters Over FISA Support 1489

Corrupt writes "I've admired Obama, but I never confused him with a genuine progressive leader. Today I don't admire him at all. His collapse on FISA is unforgivable. The only thing Obama has going for him this week is that McCain is matching him misstep for misstep."
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Obama Losing Voters Over FISA Support

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  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:39AM (#24134087) Homepage Journal

    Man, you got more issues then you can even imagine.

    • by voltel ( 1323287 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:42AM (#24134193)

      Man, you got more issues then you can even imagine.

      Whatcha smoking? All politicians are honest, it says so right here in "All the government wants you to believe about Politicians". Now, I need to get back to rolling over and wagging my tail for the politicians who are fighting all thems terrorists.

  • Who supports FISA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 463190 ) * on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:39AM (#24134091) Homepage

    Are there any American citizens (who understand what FISA is) that actually support it? I would think that even the right should be against it. If conservatives want to restore traditional American values, then surely preventing the government from using new technology to conduct widespread domestic spying is conducive to that goal.

    With both congress and the president's approval rating hovering at below 20%, it is clear that the will of the people is not being represented. The only plausible explanation for FISA is that it is intended an means for the executive branch to seize an even greater imbalance of power, and/or to cover up widespread criminal activity that took place in the last eight years.

    • by martinw89 ( 1229324 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:45AM (#24134271)

      Yes, and in the true sense of "conservative," one would want to LIMIT the power of the government. But the problem is that "conservative" today is a way to masquerade as someone one's not.

      And don't get me started on the other side of the pond; they're just playing like they're fighting the bad politics.

      • by rockout ( 1039072 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:11AM (#24134997)
        The problem is not who supports FISA or what FISA really means to the average American; the problem for Obama is one of perception.

        If he votes against this bill, he loses far more votes in the middle of America (both the literal and political middle) than he's going to lose from the left (and the coasts) by voting FOR the bill. That doesn't excuse his vote for it, and I wish he had voted against it, but giving McCain and the right an easy attack point ("Look! He's soft on the terrerrsts!") probably isn't something he can afford at this point.

        Sadly, the best we can hope for is change after he's actually elected president, because being perceived as soft on terror while he's running for president may actually cost him that position.
        • by martinw89 ( 1229324 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:31AM (#24135565)

          And that's exactly my point. Politicians are striving for "looks" rather than the best interest of our country on both sides. In the primaries, when looks were not influenced by the political right as much, Jeremiah Wright suddenly became a problem for Obama. But Barack didn't do the best for his "looks" at first, he went to great lengths to not personally attack Wright. Anybody remember his speech? That speech inspired me a great deal; in fact a little of that hope caught on with me.

          But now I see that Obama is not going to hold press conferences on important matters and deliver well written speeches. His biggest group of supporters did not want him to sign this bill yet it seems that his campaign put more thought into a crazy mega church preacher than our government spying on us. To them, it was a simple logical decision. This can be soft on terror, so don't do it. Yes Obama made that small attempt at amending the bill, but there was no big speech, there was no hope. It was literally "I'll try, but don't expect much. Sorry guys."

      • by Snocone ( 158524 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:40AM (#24135801) Homepage

        Yes, and in the true sense of "conservative," one would want to LIMIT the power of the government.

        You misunderstand "conservative". The true sense of "conservative", and the only one it should retain for political discourse to have any objective meaning whatsoever, is to avoid change. Thus it is correct to label as "conservative" those who defended absolute monarchy against its removal, and those who defended the Communist Party of the USSR against its removal, although both of those are as far from limited power as one could imagine.

        And, indeed, a great deal of the positions referred to as "liberal" in current U.S. political discourse are, in fact, conservative. A misunderstanding helped not in the slightest by the universal usage of "conservative" as a synonym for "evil" by those self-identifying as "liberal". And vice versa, of course.

        Limiting the power of the government is most correctly -- or at least, most understandably -- referred to these days as a "libertarian" policy. This is also referred to as "classical liberal", to distinguish the original philosophy referred to as "liberal" from its current meaning, which it seems in the vast majority of cases works out to "utterly totalitarian, but in service of ends we feel are good, namely stomping out any disparity among individuals".

    • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dlrowcidamon)> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:45AM (#24134281) Homepage
      Are there any American citizens (who understand what FISA is) that actually support it? I would think that even the right should be against it. If conservatives want to restore traditional American values, then surely preventing the government from using new technology to conduct widespread domestic spying is conducive to that goal.

      The right has this weird shifting thing going on. When they're in power the government is always right, and law enforcement should be able to do anything it needs to do. When they're not in power the government is eeeeevil, and law enforcement is made up of "jackbooted thugs."
      • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:02AM (#24134729)
        My parents were big time republicans, my dad was in the leadership for his city's republican party. They would always talk about how the government needs it, and the president wouldn't do anything bad, etc.. I would always ask (this was over a year ago) if they were then OK with Hillary Clinton having those abilities, (man do those republicans hate her!) and they would get really, really mad. I think it finaly sunk in to them that they can't trust one person to follow the laws we have created, but everyone from that day on. Seems to have really changed their opinions on the matter. (My dad even became gung-ho for Ron Paul!)
    • by SputnikPanic ( 927985 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:46AM (#24134289)

      Today's Republicans are not conservative, plain and simple. They're as "big government" as the Dems, the only difference is the flavor of said big government. I used to say that I leaned Republican and some issues, but now that's no longer accurate. I lean conservative on some issues, including this infuriating FISA bill.

      • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:12AM (#24135047) Homepage Journal

        Today's Republicans are not conservative, plain and simple. They're as "big government" as the Dems

        • That's why I prefer the terms statist and non-statist. You either want a big government intervention or you don't.
        • Democrats want the government to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor.
        • Republicans want the government to redistribute the wealth from the poor to the rich.
        • Democrats want the government to censor the politically incorrect.
        • Republicans want the government to censor anything 'immoral' or 'indecent'.
        • Democrats want a mommy state.
        • Republicans want a theocracy.

        Take your pick.

        • by pla ( 258480 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:47AM (#24135985) Journal
          Take your pick

          Okay, how about "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary..."?
    • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:50AM (#24134421) Homepage Journal

      Apparently so. Every time I see this discussed online, there are people who say things like "the telecoms shouldn't be punished for doing as the government asked", ignoring the illegality, that Qwest didn't go along, etc.

      • by pla ( 258480 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:26AM (#24135433) Journal
        Every time I see this discussed online, there are people who say things like "the telecoms shouldn't be punished for doing as the government asked", ignoring the illegality, that Qwest didn't go along, etc.

        Funny, that.

        Most small-scale human-committed crimes occur either spontaneously or out of necessity. Killing a cheating spouse, stealing to make a living, downloading Chinese Democracy, that sort of thing. Harsh punishments thus do not act as a deterrent to such crime. Simple as that. People either do not consider the consequences before hand, or decide the benefits outweigh the risks.

        Now here, with the telecoms, we have a situation where harsh punishment would very much deter similar future cooperation with illegal requests from the government... And yet, as far as I can tell, that seems like exactly the reason our congresscritters don't want to punish them? Because it might make them actually obey (or at least think twice about) the law next time a black helecopter lands in the CEO's back yard?


        I have to agree with the FP on this one... I weakly supported Obama as not too offensive to most of my views. I feel rather strongly on this issue, however, and his vote in this situations has reduced him from "passable" to the all-too-common "lesser of two evils".
    • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:24AM (#24135393) Journal

      Careful there. When you say FISA, I think you mean "the emasculation of FISA". Until yesterday FISA was supposed to provide judicial oversight of all domestic surveillance. This is what most Americans want. After yesterday, I don't know what FISA's supposed to do anymore.

    • by drmerope ( 771119 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:28AM (#24135495)

      I would think that even the right should be against it. If conservatives want to restore traditional American values, then surely preventing the government from using new technology to conduct widespread domestic spying is conducive to that goal.

      Apparently you do not understand the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act []

      This roe over domestic spying is a smear no more fair or accurate that the swift boat campaign against Kerry. It simply is not a true characterization of the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP). The whole idea behind TSP is that NSA intercepts communications over US based fiber infrastructure originating at foreign sources. Any intercepts of US persons are accidents and discarded. Further, no evidence accidentally collected on a US person may be used in court, nor may it be communicated to any officer of government investigating any crime but terrorism.

      Calling this domestic spying does severe semantic damage to our language, and THAT is a danger to our freedom. Newspeak people.

      FISA's role in this endeavor is whether TSP requires court orders preceding each and every intercept. The FISA courts cannot authorized "domestic spying". There is not a domestic spying component to these programs.

    • by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:30AM (#24135543)

      While I strongly object to the telecom immunity provisions, I support the substantive amendments to FISA regarding the wiretapping provisions. Of course, I would certainly vote against the bill as-is.

      The rationale for amending the substantive provisions of FISA is pretty straightforward: the original statute had a bug where purely international communications passing through the US could not be bugged on US soil without a warrant, but if you tapped the very same cable in int'l waters, it was legal. This distinction makes no sense whatsoever -- the location of the wiretapping equipment should not be relevant.

      Secondly, neither the original FISA nor any other provision of law ever prohibited interception of a foreign to foreign phone call, even if the physical interception happens on US soil. That same foreign-to-foreign communication would require a warrant, however, if it was written in a email that was retrieved from storage inside the US. Again, a distinction that makes no sense -- the mode of communication ought not to be relevant.

      Thirdly, the new bill still provides that a court order is necessary if a target is inside the country OR a US citizen. In fact, the old FISA did not require a warrant to target an American citizen outside the country, whereas the new bill does -- an expansion of protection for our citizens traveling abroad.

      If anyone wants to show me any provision of this bill that provides for the warrant-less wiretapping of American citizens, I'd be glad to see it. Until then, that characterization is unfounded. See the analysis at Balkinization (who opposes the reforms, btw, so you can't accuse me of getting information from a friendly source!): []

      Of course, it's utterly contemptible that Pres. Bush didn't go to Congress in 2001 and get the law fixed instead of just ignoring it. That fact, however, is strictly independent of the merits of the reforms. Simply pursuing a goal illegally (immorally and in unbelievable disregard for the rule of law) does not actually materially change the merits of the goal itself.

  • Bills (Score:4, Informative)

    by pclinger ( 114364 ) * on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:40AM (#24134119) Homepage Journal

    When you vote for a bill you don't get to pick and choose what sections you are voting for. It's all or nothing.

    Obama voted for an amendment which would remove the telecom immunity provision of the bill, but it didn't pass. So instead of voting to take a way a tool in our war on terror, he voted for the bill as a whole. []

    As his campaign manager said:

    Sen. Obama has said before that the compromise bill is not perfect. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, Sen. Obama chose to support the FISA compromise."

    Opponents, including Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., argued that a legal exemption is at best premature, because details of the wiretapping program are not yet fully known. But a Dodd amendment that would have stripped out the immunity title received just 32 votes, all of them from Democrats, including Obama, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt.

    • Re:Bills (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rinisari ( 521266 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:50AM (#24134413) Homepage Journal

      If you don't like the entirety of something, you shouldn't vote for it!


      Eventually, someone will hold you responsible for the part(s) you didn't like, and all you can say is, "But I didn't like that part," to which they will respond, asking, "Then why did you vote for it?"

      This is why legislators like Ron Paul vote against things: if they don't like the whole thing, they vote no, no matter how important any one part of the whole is.

      • Re:Bills (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Knara ( 9377 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:03AM (#24134763)

        The problem is that, unlike many state legislatures, the US Congress has no rule (nor will it ever) against adding riders on bills that are not related to the main proposal. Additionally, there's only so much time to actually legislate during a session, so mashing bills together is pretty necessary.

        It's not an ideal system, but running the federal government more or less requires it.

        Also, I think there should be some sort of phrase that describes invoking Ron Paul, sort of like Godwin's Law.

    • Re:Bills (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:51AM (#24134445)

      the only 'tools on terror' are the blooded ones that can't seem to read or comprehend history.

      there is NOTHING that wiretapping will do to prevent those that hate us from doing damage to us. any 'terr-a-wrist' worth his salt is already using subchannels, hidden info in plain sight (steganography) or just regular old pedestrian encryption.

      at this point, the door locks only keep honest people out. and tracking honest people is NOT going to bank you any 'terr-a-wrists'. its only going to harm the freedom base of the people you are TRYING TO PROTECT.

      the logic is flawed: "we must vote for this or we lose the WHOLE bill". yeah, so? then lose the whole friggin bill, then! this all-or-nothing shit is bad for us and always has been. justifying that we need SOME 'tools' is just ignorant when the tools you are using have NOTHING to do with what you are advertising them as. same as using a garden hose to solder circuit boards. yes, a hose is a tool, but it won't do any good in soldering. wiretapping won't catch a single 'bad guy' but it sure will ruin what we had left of our right to free speech.

      we don't even have to wait a generation to see the chilling effects. already, everyone I know is CAREFUL about what they write online (or their e-journals), what they say over the phone and even what photos they take and publish. if that's not a chilling-effect in operation, I don't know what is.

      roll back the WHOLE notion of wiretapping. its not useful, its intrusive and its too abusable against non-criminals (ie, us!). the 'benefit' is not clear and the abuse is all too clear. this 'tool' should be destroyed and never used again. yes, I'm really serious - the right to free speech is near to the right to breathe air and drink water. it should be considered HOLY and not fucked with. kill our ability to communicate freely and we are not a free society anymore.

      • Re:Bills (Score:5, Interesting)

        by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:37PM (#24137153)

        there is NOTHING that wiretapping will do to prevent those that hate us from doing damage to us. any 'terr-a-wrist' worth his salt is already using subchannels, hidden info in plain sight (steganography) or just regular old pedestrian encryption.

        Yeah, so those people in the industry (imagery analysts, linguists, cryptographers, et. al.) should just do nothing? Something tells me you have no insight to the amount of success our intelligence experts are having against the "terr-a-wrists". Do you even realize that run-of-the-mill, junior ranking enlisted soldiers are exploiting those things you say can't be exploited EVERY...SINGLE...DAY (to include your bonus word of steganography)?

        My company provides a suite of tools that exploit all these supposedly amazing tricks the enemy is using, with great success. To sit back and say "nothing can be done" is defeatist and capitulatory.

    • Re:Bills (Score:5, Informative)

      by maztuhblastah ( 745586 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:53AM (#24134487) Journal

      So instead of voting to take a way a tool in our war on terror,

      Don't be deceptive. FISA has worked fine for 22 years -- there's no reason it suddenly needs to be updated now. The only thing this bill removes is judicial oversight and accountability. It's not as though it's challenging to get approval for a legitimate tap from the FISA court -- they've only ever rejected a handful of requests. It's also not about the need to tap in an emergency: FISA makes provisions for that too. Taps can be placed for 72 hours without a warrant in the event of an emergency, all that has to be done is that the tap be reported and a warrant sought after the 72 hours.

      No, this bill is about removing judicial oversight, removing accountability, and removing the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.

      • Re:Bills (Score:5, Informative)

        by n0-0p ( 325773 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:04PM (#24136391)

        As I've commented elsewhere, the original FISA bill was written 30 years ago in the days before large global networks. As such, there has been a growing ambiguity as to whether the law dictates the manner of collection on systems inside the U.S. or just the parties targeted. The intelligence community has spent nearly 20 years trying to get clarification on this issue. Now they have it, along with additional oversight measures to prevent abuses.

        Judicial review hasn't been removed, so the USSID 18 targeting criteria remain as strong as ever. Further, a warrant is still required to collect on any U.S. citizen or person located inside the U.S. While the emergency period has been extended past the PATRIOT Act's 72 hours to a full 7 days, a warrant still must be applied for and approved within that window regardless of the duration of collection.

        On balance, it's a reasonable bill with reasonable protections. The telecom provision is bunk, but not a deal-breaker because oversight is expanded and criminal liability still exists. Of course, the effectiveness of the oversight will need to be assessed over time. But I don't understand why anyone who's read the different FISA bills and is familiar with title authority would be freaking out over this.

  • Lesser evil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:41AM (#24134151)
    The only thing Obama has going for him this week is that McCain is matching him misstep for misstep.

    That's why we always vote for Lesser Evil, not the Greater Good.

  • Democratic Party (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:41AM (#24134155)

    I've admired Obama, but I never confused him with a genuine progressive leader. Today I don't admire him at all. His collapse on FISA is unforgivable. The only thing Obama has going for him this week is that McCain is matching him misstep for misstep

    Well, now that Obama has the party nomination, he can't possibly manage to get anything done. Now he has to support all the things Hillery wanted done, while making sure that he seems Conservative enough to attract some of the republicans that don't like McCain. If Obama tries to be different, he risks alienating long-time democrat supporters, if he tries to be the same he risks alienating all the people who want to vote for him for change.

    • by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:46AM (#24134287)
      If Obama changes his opinions on issues, you KNOW the Republicans will be pulling out the old "flip flop" card from the 2004 election. The only thing we really have is our credibility, I want a poltician who's not willing to trade that in for votes. I really thought Obama might be that candidate. Maybe he still will be, who knows? but this really isn't a good sign at all.
  • Here's a hint: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tyler.willard ( 944724 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:41AM (#24134161)

    If a higher office candidate has a "D" or an "R" next to their name, they aren't progressive.

    That probably goes for any letter, but those two in particular.

  • Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:42AM (#24134181)

    FTFA: "Every time I wonder whether I can ultimately vote for Obama in November, given all of his political cave-ins, McCain does something new to make sure I have to."

    Thanks for propping up the good ol' two-party system there with your thinking, ma'am. Seriously, there are other bloody candidates out there, and if you don't think you should vote for Obama or McCain, then vote for one of them! It really gets tiring listening to the thinking exhibited by most people, which locks us into the hellhole of a political party system we have.

    Change starts with you, and all that.

    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:50AM (#24134393) Homepage

      The best hope we have of ditching the (current) two parties would be to reform the current election system, and support IRV or priority-based voting.

      The gist would be that you could vote
      1) Nader (only as an example!!!!)
      2) Obama
      3) McCain
      4) Paul

      If you wanted Nader to win, but would be happy with Obama, and *really* didn't want Ron Paul in office. If Nader fails to reach a simple majority, your vote goes to Obama. If he fails to reach a simple majority, it goes to McCain, and so on and so forth.

      Personally, I'm pretty irked at Obama about this, but it's not going to change how I vote. Looking at the bigger picture, Obama's got a whole lot more going for him than against.

      The EFF announced a new round of court cases today to challenge this law, which should hopefully make it through to the Supreme Court, where the law is almost certain to be struck down, even with a conservative majority of justices.

  • by Devout_IPUite ( 1284636 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:43AM (#24134199)

    the greater of two evils starts winning. If everyone always voted for the lesser of two evils instead of holding themselves politics, the evils would diminish instead of grow.

  • Fudged the bucket (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 ( 980931 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:43AM (#24134207)

    The guy seriously fudged the bucket with me. I actually had some amount of faith in this dude.

    This was the big test to see if he would collapse under the pressure of the telecoms. More money was offered so he decided to go with it.

    I am very upset over this but I should not be surprised. He is just another politician. (But lesser of the two evils)

  • by MasterOfMagic ( 151058 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:48AM (#24134347) Journal
    Senator Obama: Because of the miserable failure that George W Bush has been, I have been placing the candidates for this presidential election under strict scrutiny. Until yesterday, I was proud to tell my friends that I supported Barack Obama for President of the United States. Now, I fear that my interests and your interests are not aligned and I can no longer lend you my support. Yesterday, while you did vote for the Dodd amendment, you failed to support a filibuster, and you failed to vote against the revised FISA bill that does for the telecom companies who have implemented surveillance against the American people what Gerald Ford did for Nixon. Being President of the United States means sometimes taking an unpopular stance on an issue despite the outcry of the public. It sometimes means thinking in the long term instead of the short, 24-hour sound-bite news cycle. What you have done today is embolden the elements of the government that tapped Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and handed them a fresh set of excuses to listen to the phone calls and Internet traffic of the American people. Maybe things work differently in Washington. Maybe the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the president have sworn to Representatives and Senators not to listen to their calls. Maybe the Republicans have sworn to the Democrats not to sabotage them like in the '70s during Watergate. Out in America, away from the halls of power, what protection does the citizen have against those who would gladly violate their expectation of privacy? Might I remind you that the president that suggested this bill also lied to start a war, approved the torture of innocent civilians, and believes himself to be above the law. What you did today was sell The People down the river for political capital. I hope you are proud of yourself. I am not proud of you. You are no different than any other politician, using the politics of fear to get what you want. The only sort of Hope you offer is False Hope - the worst kind because by the time it is identified as such, it is too late. A humble citizen, MasterOfMagic (I put my actual name, but I'm not going to post it here)
  • by maynard ( 3337 ) <> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:50AM (#24134401) Journal

    It went to the ACLU instead.

    I've left the Democratic Party and I won't vote for Obama any longer. Both parties are completely irresponsible and don't deserve any support. Further, I'd support general strikes and mass protests to demand our supposed "inalienable rights" back. They've been alienated from me, a citizen, and I'm pissed off about that.

  • A multi-cave (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pzs ( 857406 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:51AM (#24134427)

    It's not just FISA, there's also the death penalty for child rapists [] (is that "progressive"?), pulling out of public financing [], and even being inflammatory on abortion [] despite being pro-choice in the past [].

    I think I agree with the Huffington Post []. Is this the guy everybody got excited about?

  • I am a libertarian (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kipin ( 981566 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @10:51AM (#24134431) Homepage
    Who supported Dr. Ron Paul and came to the conclusion that I would vote for Obama because I believed he would change the world's opinion of the United States.

    However, after his vote on FISA, I have decided to throw my vote to Bob Barr, whereas I was previously planning on voting for Obama.

    I hope others who were planning on voting for Obama decide to do the same.

    The political culture in this country scares me, and I am very afraid of where we are headed. It is a shame to see the Constitution mocked like this. The only hope I have left is in the judicial system which I hope has the balls to stand up to the power grab and strike it down as unconstitutional.
  • by telbij ( 465356 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:01AM (#24134685)

    he is "no doubt" a progressive, just one who now supports the scandalous FISA "compromise" and Antonin Scalia's views on gun rights and the death penalty, no longer plans to accept public campaign funding, and wants to make sure women aren't feigning mental distress to get a "partial-birth" abortion

    The rest of those things don't bother me much at all. I don't expect to share that many viewpoints with anyone, to me those are all small potato personal value judgements that people can reasonably disagree about.

    The FISA bill is what is really disappointing. It's amazing how overnight it's completely destroyed my opinion of Obama. When is a politician going to have the courage to stand up and point out the simple absurdity of shredding our own constitution, trampling human rights, and sparing no legislation to cover our own asses to fight a threat that is statistically insignificant? The terrorists must just be laughing in their caves right now. Are we such pussies in America that we can't rely on real intelligence and police work to fight terrorists?

    This isn't a partisan issue at all, it's the absolute insanity of our times. Obama really sounded like he understood that, then he turns around does the exact opposite. It's not about flip-flopping per se, it's about pretending to know what the biggest, scariest, most obvious problem is in this country, then turning around and pandering to bamboozled middle america huddled in fear thanks to 7 years of fear-mongering by an incompetent who was just trying to muddle through a job that was way wayyy beyond him. If Obama had stuck to his guns (if he even understood the point of what he was saying), he could have used the bully pulpit to bring rationality back to America ala "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Unfortunately now his rhetoric has become hollow. I still think he may redeem himself as president, but his most powerful tool, his voice, is now castrated.

  • by Alzheimers ( 467217 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:06AM (#24134849)

    Tell him so. []

  • centrist (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:18AM (#24135197) Homepage Journal
    As bad as this is, it is likely necessary. It is called moving to the center.

    McCain likely has 10-15 states because he is conservative, older, and his opponent is not white. Obama might have 5-10. Therefore Oboma has to reassure the people by making them aware that he was born inside the contiguous united states, in fact the heartland, unlike his opponent, and he will not shake things up too much.

    Which means allowing this miserable fiasco to continue, at least for a while, and not waste too much time looking back. The republicans can waste billions of dollars on impeachments, et al, beacause they have the support of the people who live on beliefs, not facts. And this is where the issue is.

    George Bush was elected on a platform of Christianity, that he had been saved by the power of Jesus. People trust him. He is not too smart, and, like the populous, often works from beliefs rather than facts. So he was elected instead of Gore, who is more of a let's explore the possibilities type of guy, even if the possibilities do not come to fruition, it was fun talking about them. But that is too complex and too easy to attack. In any case, many people trust Bush and think that anything he does is ok.

    More importantly, many people believe that foreign terrorists are the danger, or at least non-christrian terrorist, and specifically every Mosque in the world is base for attack on the US, which makes Mosques on US soil an issue. Many people trust Bush to do anything to fight against these threats, and protect the American Way of Life. In fact, the only reason Bush is having trouble now is that he has failed to protect our way of life, we are now forced to buy small cars, and the weak dollar means that we can no longer be so arrogant. But that does not mean Bush is not the most moral man in the country, and what he does comes from a good place.

    So Obama voted for an act that in the scheme of things is probably no worse that anything else Bush has done in his best effort to end the traditional transparency and public responsibility that should characterize a democratically elected government. He did this as insurance against a Bush style ad in which is is implied that black men should be kept in prison indefinitely [], because giving them a second chance at rehabilitation is too dangerous. He did this as insurance against the late Jesse Helms type ad, in which it is implied that if a black man has power, no white will be able to get a job [].

    At the end of the day Obama is unlikely to be any more or less moral than any other president. I like him because, unlike many in the US, I like to have leaders who are intelligent and can think and articulate their own thoughts so the rest of the world does not think we are all uneducated bigoted red necks who run to our churches at the first sign of trouble, or at least to our guns.

  • by Knara ( 9377 ) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @11:19AM (#24135229)

    Perhaps you want to actually read what the man has to say about it []:

    I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those of you who oppose my decision to support the FISA compromise.

    This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration's program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That's why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

    But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility

    The Inspectors General report also provides a real mechanism for accountability and should not be discounted. It will allow a close look at past misconduct without hurdles that would exist in federal court because of classification issues. The (PDF)recent investigation uncovering the illegal politicization of Justice Department hiring sets a strong example of the accountability that can come from a tough and thorough IG report.

    The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once Iâ(TM)m sworn in as President -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

    Now, I understand why some of you feel differently about the current bill, and I'm happy to take my lumps on this side and elsewhere. For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions. No tool has been more important in focusing peoples' attention on the abuses of executive power in this Administration than the active and sustained engagement of American citizens. That holds true -- not just on wiretapping, but on a range of issues where Washington has let the American people down.

    I learned long ago, when working as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago, that when citizens join their voices together, they can hold their leaders accountable. I'm not exempt from that. I'm certainly not perfect, and expect to be held accountable too. I cannot promise to agree with you on every issue. But I do promise to listen to your concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn your ongoing support to change the country. That is why we have built the largest grassroots campaign in the history of presidential politics,

  • Wake up people. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crhylove ( 205956 ) <> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:09PM (#24137929) Homepage Journal

    This is just ONE of MANY examples proving that Obama is a total stuffed shirt who only says the right things, and almost never does them.

    If he was a REAL candidate of hope and change, who actually gave even a passing nod to the constitution, or even any of the tenets set forth by Franklin, Jefferson, and the other geniuses who set up our system, he would not be a "realistic" candidate, and he certainly wouldn't get so much air time on corporate TV.

    All you Obama fans had a real guy representing the stuff you really wanted. His name was Kucinich, and his wife is totally hot.

    Oh, and he's the one in congress delivering impeachment papers day after day, too.....

    But what he doesn't have is CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSN, and Rolling Stone completely sucking his cock. There's a reason for that, too. He's the real deal, unlike stuffed shirt Obama, who talks the talk and then sells the constitution out for corporate and political power every time. Just like the FISA thing.

    You people claiming it's a simple mistake that he will work to correct are idiots. The FISA thing is an OBVIOUS choice, actually talked about DIRECTLY in the fourth amendment.

    You people claiming Republican's are far worse are also idiots. They are exactly the same. They just don't even SAY the right things. Well, they say the right things for old people and people who talk to invisible men in the sky, but then they vote pro corporate and pro fascist just like the Democrats. There is NO difference. The party lines are both the same: The bottom line for Viacomm, AOL/Time Warner, Bertelsmann, News Corp, and Disney.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner