Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Letter to Barack Obama on up-coming bill to revise the Fisa law

I just sent the following letter to Barack Obama. Let's see what response I get.

I have been very excited about your campaign: until now. Your decision to endorse the Bush-initiated legislation to expand the government's domestic spying powers and providing legal protection to the telecom companies that worked with the NSA's domestic wiretapping program seems to fly in the face of the kind of new leadership you have promised. It also reverses your promise to stand up against such legislation. This does not bode well for your campaign. It also doesn't keep faith with those of us who have supported you from the begining. Letting Gen. Clark "twist in the wind" when he raised a question you should have raised didn't help your image either.

Remember that Sen. Clinton voted to back Bush on the issue of the invasion of Iraq (and later to label Iran's Kutz force as a terrorist organization) in order to enhance what one of her supporters called "her testicular fortitude." Her advisors felt she need to enhance her image as one who can play with the boys in their current testosterone-laden foreign policy. See how much good that did her. Don't go down the same futile road.

So far you have let John McCain define the narrative of this campaign. If you continue to do that you will pay the same penalty John Kerry paid in '04. The presidency is a position of leadership. You need to take control of the Party in Congress. The Democrats' strategy of appealing to a mythical "independent" vote, at the expense of your real base, has done them no good in 2000 and 2004. If you keep following instead of leading, you will follow the Gore (of 2000) and John Kerry right out the door of the White House.

Your claim that you shifted your position to support the Bush legislation because it is the best you can get. That just isn't leadership. You need to stand up for what we thought you believed in. That's leadership. That's what we expect from you. And that's what we need to continue supporting your campaign, which is still filled with hope. But Hope can turn to disappointment if it's not fulfilled.

Thanks for your time,
I am still in solidarity with you,
Dan Cohen


Andrew said...

good letter and very informative for the supporters of Barak Obama to keep vigilant and not get overly excited about his campaign, because he is still a politician :(

Contested Terrain said...

He is very much "still a politician," but there are politicians and then there are politicians. What I'm concerned about is whether we can have any influence on Obama. We'll see.