On the Lesser of Two Evils

I just got finished writing an email to the Obama campaign.

The issue that matters most to me in this election is the restoration of our civil liberties. I was originally planning to vote for Dodd in the primary, but he dropped out before my state voted. I've never donated a dime to a politician, but came closer than I ever have in my life to donating to Dodd. My reason for even considering it had to do with his very principled stand over retroactive immunity for the telecoms that broke the law and wiretapped American citizens without warrants. Dodd's fight was weakly supported by Obama and Clinton, and outright opposed by Harry Reid, and so that is a good way to rank those three -- Obama and Clinton are ok, and Reid needs to be stripped of his leadership role, and even better, outright voted out of office.

Over at Salon, Glenn Greenwald has been writing about this topic often, and has really done excellent work reporting on the issue and also motivating people to fight against the Congress whenever they take up this legislation. Unfortunately, it appears a lost cause now (as he predicted months ago), and part of the reason is that Obama has failed to lead and take a stand. Even worse, he appears to be simply covering his butt by issuing half-hearted statements to appease people like me, while knowing full well that he could take real action if he wanted to do so.

After realizing that Dodd wasn't going to be competitive, I reluctantly became an Obama supporter. I admit to being inspired by a lot of what he and his team have done, and I had gotten to the point where I thought that voting for Obama was actually going to be a vote for a candidate I genuinely supported, rather than the usual lesser of two evils vote.

With his failure on this issue, though, he squandered every ounce of my support and really has revealed himself to be yet another in a long line of lesser of two evils candidates. Maybe one of these days a real leader will actually run for office in this country, but I'm not going to hold my breath.


On begging for help

Please someone, anyone, offer me alternative internet service. There is yet another reason to despise Comcast, and this one elevates them to an entirely new level of sleaze. It pains me that I pretty much have no choice but to continue giving them my money.

Glenn Greenwald has been writing extensively about the fight against granting the telecoms retroactive immunity. It's an issue that is important to me, and I was impressed with Chris Dodd for putting everything on the line to fight against retroactive immunity. He won my support with that position.

Greenwald and some other folks have decided to actively work on this issue, and they have been going after blue dog democrats that have been enabling Bush. They took a poll about which blue dog to go after first, and after raising something like $75k in a short amount of time, put together an ad campaign to alert the constituents of a PA democrat that he's been voting for the Bush policies, including granting immunity to telecoms. Well, this guy lives in the heart of Comcast country, and Comcast has been very generous in donating to him.

Radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers have been playing the ad, but anyone want to guess which fine, upstanding cable company came up with a bunch of bogus reasons to refuse to run it? Yes, our comcastic friends refused to run a political ad critical of a congressman for taking money from telecoms (including them) to grant them immunity from prosecution.

Read Greenwald's column for more details. I'm going to go fire off a note to Verizon *begging* them to bring FiOS to my neighborhood.