Thursday, July 17, 2008


Put your money where your principles are

I have some political donation money to spend.

Let’s see:

  1. Barack Obama, whom I supported in the primary election, voted for the Presidential Spying Bill, in the end. One might argue that it was going to pass anyway, and he was just avoiding political trouble with a vote that didn’t matter anyway. But it did matter: one stands on one’s principles, or one falls.
  2. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have, since the bill was signed into law, filed suit to challenge it.
    The ACLU contends those blanket powers to grab international communications of Americans without specific court orders violate the Fourth Amendment and would stymie journalists who often speak to confidential sources outside the country.
    That’s standing on principles — the principles this country was founded on.


Where do you think my donation money will go now? To Senator Obama? Or to the ACLU and the EFF?



Dr. Momentum said...

I can't give you an easy answer because I don't boil the election down to one issue like this.

I think Bush has been a disaster and McCain will continue this disaster. Do I think Obama can escape all of the corporate interests that plague both parties? Honestly, I do not.

But I remember keenly my feelings in 2000 about how Al Gore was not progressive enough for my liking, almost feeling that this centrist "uniter" Republican guy who promised to work with the Democrats was probably not too much worse than what we'd get with a corporate centrist Democrat.

I voted for Gore, of course, but I was hopeful when Bush took office. Boy, that didn't last long. Lickity-split he came out against science and reason. And it went downhill from there.

I have a different prospective on compromise today.

Anyhow, the ACLU needs the money, too. So good on ya, either way.

I'm still a strong Obama supporter, but I, too, thought he could continue without my donations if he was going to make stupid election-year votes.

But I've changed my mind on that. I really don't want these Republicans continuing in the executive branch.

Barry Leiba said...

I don't boil it down to one issue either — and I often criticize one-issue voters as being short-sighted. But I posted recently, as you know, about a list of things that BOb has been angering me with lately, all of which are examples of his moving to the right after wooing us by being lefter than Hillary.

Yes, of course I'll vote for BOb (though, really, because of our horrible Electoral College system, my vote doesn't really matter anyway, because I live in New York), because I think, too, that McCain would be waaaaay worse (and, really, I do agree with Obama on many things). It's just that I'll choose to spend my money elsewhere.

The real question, though, is whether that is a bad choice. I've pointed out that my vote is worthless... so maybe my money is the only thing that could make a difference in who's chosen as our next president, and maybe if I give it to the ACLU instead of to BOb... that's really how I'll help give the election to the Bad Guys.

I really don't know.

Jim Fenton said...

I'm also troubled by Obama's vote on the FISA Update bill, primarily because of the telecom immunity provisions that completely undermine the checks and balances in the FISA process. I seriously doubt that anyone would have let FISA expire; the Democrats just blinked first.

This is just one of many issues, but it makes me a lot less enthusiastic about financially supporting Sen. Obama's campaign. Here in California, I'm similarly unhappy with Sen. Feinstein for her vote for the bill.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Obama's raining money hand-over-fist, it seems. I took my $40 a month and donated it to the ACLU and told the Obama campaign why. If they convince me they need it, he'll get more - I can go without a couple of books - but right now that's my only way of making a statement to him about how disappointed I am.