Thursday, July 10, 2008

Notes of a Non-Party Animal

George Bush signed the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act into law today. Barack Obama, who had promised to support a filibuster against any version of that law that granted immunity to telecommunications companies, not only did not support a filibuster, he voted for the bill. (Hillary Clinton did not.) Avedon Carol quotes a blogger who writes,

We may win the Presidency, and regain control of the government, but this is still Nixonland, and we still have an administration and a Republican Party that openly breaks the law, and we still have "opposition" leaders unable or unwilling to enforce it. These are the facts on the ground and we had better understand this as we continue to try to take this country back.

Well, at least he puts "opposition" in quotes, since Obama has now established for once and all that he is not "opposition", he's collaboration. But as I pasted this passage in, I noticed the writer's repetition of "we" -- "We may win the Presidency, and regain control of the government", and so on. Who's "we"? As a non-party animal and a temperamental non-joiner generally, I keep forgetting that Party is the sea in which so many of these writers swim. If Obama wins the November election, "we" will have won the Presidency because the Democratic Party will have won it, and for many people the Democratic Party is "we." As for regaining control of the government, I thought the Dems already did, in November 2006. We've -- oops, I've seen what that means, just as I did after 1992. And "take this country back"? Again, that has to be referring to the Democrats, who as the collaboration party already have it. But maybe Joe is talking about The People, who've never had the country to begin with.

It's too early to say that phony Obamamania has bitten the dust. I'm sure Obama's fans will continue to make excuses for him, that he's just doing what he has to do to get elected, and once he's inaugurated he'll say what he really wants to say and do what he really wants to do. That's what I'm afraid of. (See saurabh's May 31 comment here, which I quoted at the end of this post.) I'm not like so many of Obama's blogosphere fans, who profess surprise at what they see as Obama's change of position. Like many others who've been paying attention, I've distrusted Obama for a long time -- ever since he became a political star at the 2004 Democratic Convention, in fact. I've written here numerous times about my objections to him and his fans, so there's no need to go into detail. When Obama insisted that he hadn't changed his positions at all, he was telling the simple truth. Will his fans believe him?

P.S. I erroneously wrote when I first posted this that Obama had promised to filibuster FISA (instead of supporting a filibuster) if it granted immunity to telecommunications companies. Thanks to the friend who corrected me.