Obama and FISA flip

I was going to refrain from criticizing Obama for being a centrist, venal politician until after he was elected1, but the FISA travesty is just too disgusting. Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for crying out loud, you’d think that would be enough of an education about nuance, but apparently not.

During the Democratic primary campaign, Mr. Obama vowed to fight such legislation to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. But he has switched positions, and now supports a compromise hammered out between the White House and the Democratic Congressional leadership. The bill is expected to come to a vote on the Senate floor next Tuesday. That decision, one of a number made by Mr. Obama in recent weeks intended to position him toward the political center as the general election campaign heats up, has brought him into serious conflict for the first time with liberal bloggers and commentators and his young supporters.

Many of them have seen the issue of granting immunity to the telecommunications companies as a test of principle in their opposition to Mr. Bush’s surveillance program.

“I don’t think there has been another instance where, in meaningful numbers, his supporters have opposed him like this,” said Glenn Greenwald, a Salon.com writer who opposes Mr. Obama’s new position. “For him to suddenly turn around and endorse this proposal is really a betrayal of what so many of his supporters believed he believed in.”

Jane Hamsher, a liberal blogger who also opposes immunity for the phone companies, said she had been flooded with messages from Obama supporters frustrated with his new stance.

“The opposition to Obama’s position among his supporters is very widespread,” said Ms. Hamsher, founder of the Web site firedoglake.com. “His promise to filibuster earlier in the year, and the decision to switch on that is seen as a real character problem. I know people who are really very big Obama supporters are very disillusioned.”

[From Obama Voters Protest His Switch on Telecom Immunity – NYTimes.com]

Its About Judge Ment
[It’s About Judge Ment – Obama graffiti, West Loop ]

Does Obama’s caving in to the Bush administration mean I won’t vote for him in November? No, probably not, but I’m with Markos Moulitsas, aka Kos, on this2 – I just can’t muster much enthusiasm for Obama at the moment.

Markos Moulitsas, a liberal blogger and founder of the Daily Kos Web site, said he had decided to cut back on the amount of money he would contribute to the Obama campaign because of the FISA reversal.

“I will continue to support him,” Mr. Moulitsas said in an interview. “But I was going to write him a check, and I decided I would rather put that money with Democrats who will uphold the Constitution.”

  1. all liberals probably realize that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama are very liberal, but we hoped that a Democrat could be elected, and our country would move ever so slightly to the left. []
  2. for the first time in what seems like forever, but probably isn’t []

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