2008-07-04 / Letters

Troubling Election Season

Dear Editor,

I am writing to comment on recent troubling developments in the presidential race.

After what was described by many pundits as a interminable race in the democratic primary between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, Obama emerged as the presumed candidate of the Democratic party.

For the record, I am a strong supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

For months all we were told by those in the media was how Senator Obama was a new type of candidate, that he was a non-political politician, that he was above the fray, and that he was running to change politics as we have known it within the Washington beltway. Obama portrays himself as transcending traditional divides

You all must have heard thousands of times how he was a NEW type of politician, Senator Obama was billed as a "reformer" cast from the same mold as was Robert F. Kennedy. He was certainly said to be from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

I never bought into this theory, I never saw or heard how his campaign rhetoric really explained how he planned to do anything of substance nor did I hear any semblance of what he had already accomplished, all I heard was flowery vacuous speeches in front of mostly young enthusiastic crowds, ala a rock star.

Now within weeks of virtually securing the Democratic Party nomination, he has thrown the progressive principles he was supposed to stand for out the window.

For starters, he has decided to break his promises to run his campaign outside of the federal campaign finance limitations. Foregoing, his prior commitments to run his campaign within the campaign finance laws for which he until recently advocated.

Barack Obama's decision not to take public funds for the general election was a total reversal of his previous positions, as the huckster/wizard in "The Wizard of Oz" says, "in the vernacular of the peasantry", it's nothing short of a flip-flop, a sheer calculation designed for political expediency. Obama's decision here reflects a Washington "business as usual" attitude toward politics. All of a sudden, Obama, after agreeing for 2 years with the public financing of presidential campaigns, he now says that "the system is broken".

And secondly and most importantly, he has decided to vote in favor of the Bush/Cheney cabal corporate mindset and has chosen to trample upon the US Constitution by supporting the FISA bill, which can be summed up as the Telecom Immunity Act.

There is absolutely no need for a new FISA bill, the facts are that the current law allows the President to engage in secret wiretapping, even to the extent of waiting three days after beginning a wiretap to ask permission from a secret court. There is no imminent security threat nor any loophole that demanded additional action, as far as I can ascertain.

As reported in "The Politico" on June 20 - It's official: Obama will back a filibuster of any Senate FISA legislation containing telecom immunity, his campaign has just told Election Central. The Obama campaign has just sent over the following statement from spokesman Bill Bur ton: "To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

Then in a stunning reversal of everything we were told he was against, he supports the very bill he just two weeks before spoke out against.

Lets be clear, this Act totally eviscerates the Fourth Amendment to our sacred Constitution and allows the telecom industry to operate outside the law and helps the federal government spy on each and everyone of us.

This is in my mind, it is a total capitulation to a lame duck president who is at historic lows in popularity with the American people. Senator Obama has embraced and is pandering to the extreme right wing zealots. It is surely a prime example of him helping to inch our nation closer towards Fascism - the merged efforts of government and corporations that answer to no government. Senator Obama has chosen to "retroactively immunize corporate criminals," instead of standing up for our Constitution and the common man .

I can't say strongly enough how I feel the Senator has cowered to the ultra right wing Republican thugs and I believe these actions display a demonstrated weakness and a monumental lack of strength.

In closing, if Senator Obama cannot show courage now and stand up to those who would harm our basic American freedoms, as our forefathers clearly articulated in the Constitution, how can we trust him to stand up for the American people in this violent and ever stringent world of terrorists and enemies throughout the world.

DAVID QUINTANA

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