Wednesday, July 09, 2008


No liberal option


There’s just no real liberal option. Starting on 20 January 2009, our country will be run by one right-leaning president or another. It’s just a question of how far to the right he’ll lean.

I can’t possible choose Senator McCain, for many obvious reasons. That leaves me to choose Senator Obama (or to toss my vote in the bin by voting for some minor-party candidate who has no chance of winning, just to make a statement).

That means I have to vote for someone who opposes same-sex marriage.

But his campaign said that Mr. Obama’s opposition to the initiative, which will appear on the state’s November ballot, did not signal a change in position. He remains opposed to same-sex marriage, but supports civil unions and domestic partnerships.

That means I have to vote for someone who still wants restrictions on abortion, contravening the choice of the mother, and threatening her health.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says “mental distress” should not qualify as a justification for late-term abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.

In an interview this week with “Relevant,” a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain “a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother.”

Obama then added: “Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.”

That means I have to vote for someone who thinks that religion belongs in our government and the programs it supports.

Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms.
(and here)
“Now, I know there are some who bristle at the notion that faith has a place in the public square,” Mr. Obama intends to say. “But the fact is, leaders in both parties have recognized the value of a partnership between the White House and faith-based groups.”

That means I have to vote for someone who now supports making it easier for the government to spy on Americans, and giving immunity to companies that agreed to an illegal request for private information.

Senator Barack Obama’s decision to support legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants has led to an intense backlash among some of his most ardent supporters.

Thousands of them are now using the same grass-roots organizing tools previously mastered by the Obama campaign to organize a protest against his decision.

That means I have to vote for someone who agrees with the conservatives on the Supreme Court — the four Bush-41 and Bush-43 appointees — that the death penalty is OK in cases of child rape, going against the decision of the majority of the court, including the liberals and centrists.

Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said, “I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime, and if a state makes a decision under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances, that the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that does not violate our Constitution.” He added that the Supreme Court should have set conditions for imposing the death penalty for the crime, “but it basically had a blanket prohibition, and I disagree with the decision.”

To be sure, Senator McCain’s stand on all these issues is worse, much farther to the right, and to be sure, I agree with Senator Obama on other things. Still... what happened to Mr Liberal, Mr Change?



Ray said...

Still... what happened to Mr Liberal, Mr Change?

Let's face it, there are no liberal politics in this country, but only a spectrum of right-wingers.

Regardless of what Obama's political leanings truly are (and really, I have no idea), it is a sad fact that in order to get elected, he has to pander to at least some of the less extreme nutcases out there, and that certainly means wearing his religion on his sleeve. And of course, that renders farcical the part of the constitution which states No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States since, for all practical purposes, there now is such a test.

I am so disturbed by the stranglehold that religion has in this country that I am seriously considering relocating, either to Canada or back to the UK, where sanity seems to have a much stronger hold.

Barry Leiba said...

«back to the UK, where sanity seems to have a much stronger hold.»

Yes, it sure does.

Ray said...

where sanity seems to have a much stronger hold... with respect to religion in politics :-)

By the way, regarding the first item you pointed to in your response (concerning the restriction on photography), one of my hobbies is nature sound recording, and I discovered recently that it is against the law to record sounds in some national parks (perhaps all of them) here in the US. How bizarre is that?

Barry Leiba said...

Say what? I have to look up that law!

Barry Leiba said...

OK, I found this here (MS Word):
«21. (1) A person shall not take still or cine photographs or make sound recordings within a National Park for commercial purposes unless he is in possession of a valid Photography and Sound Recording Licence issued under these Regulations.»

So I guess they thought you were doing it for commercial purposes. Or else they were just over-enforcing.

lidija said...

Regarding your original question, nothing happened to Mr. Change. Not. A. Thing.

JP Burke said...

I try not to let the pandering get me down. But, I agree with Ray. We only really choose among a spectrum of conservatives.

Clinton certainly turned out more conservative than I expected when I voted for him both times. But I still thought he was the best president of my adult life.

Call me Paul said...

I think it a common occurence that one who was elected for his Liberal ideals discovers very quickly that those Liberal ideals sound great in theory but are mostly impractical, and in many cases impossible to implement. I am reminded of the fiasco that was the Bob Rae government in Ontario in the first half of the 90s.

William M. Irwin said...

"Be all you can be" must be Obama's new campaign slogan.

William M. Irwin said...

It looks to me as if Mr. Obama has decided to reframe himself for the general campaign. When running for the nomination, this is how his campaign was framed:

[Barack Obama is a fresh, articulate agent of change who will bring hope and a new direction to America]

Now that he has secured the nomination, he has apparently changed his campaign "template" to something like this:

[Barack Obama is a strong, tough leader who will protect America from terrorists, criminals, and immorality.]

Just look at the above examples of his recent takes on different issues and see if they don't fit this new "framing"!

The Ridger, FCD said...

You also have to vote for someone who threatens Iran ("We will also use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That starts with aggressive, principled diplomacy without self-defeating preconditions, but with a clear-eyed understanding of our interests. We have no time to waste. We cannot unconditionally rule out an approach that could prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We have tried limited, piecemeal talks while we outsource the sustained work to our European allies. It is time for the United States to lead.")

and puts Israel's interests foremost in the Middle East - even beyond what most Israelis say (eg, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided")

neither of which bodes well for our Middle Eastern policy.

Which is (all of it) why he's not getting any more or my money.