Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

Obama over Clinton

One of my sisters was trying to make a decision this morning, and asked me why I favor one over the other. My response is after the cut...

Yeah... me being North Side but voting South Side... primarily two reasons:

Back in the initial burst of hysteria following September 11th, Hillary voted for the USA PATRIOT act, the single worst violation of American civil liberties since at least the Jim Crow era. The law is bigger than the phone book, and it was rushed through Congress so quickly that nobody had a chance to read all of it. That's so grotesquely irresponsible, it isn't funny. In the few days of debate the law got, we found some bad things in it. In the months after it passed, we found out it was far, far worse. The ACLU links to a bunch of summaries and analyses. Wikipedia also has a decent writeup.

The short summary is this: the act granted the federal government sweeping new powers to investigate and detain people, and removed a lot of judicial oversight. You've heard a lot about the warrantless wiretap program on the news (which predates 9/11, by the way.) Another example: They got the ability to walk into places like the *library*, for chrissakes, demand your records, without ever having demonstrated to a judge that there is probable cause you've done something wrong, and made it a federal crime for the librarians to tell you it happened. This is why many libraries now dump their records as soon as you return books you've borrowed. The banks (who the law also applies to) haven't been so considerate. Power without oversight to check it? That's a sure recipe for abuse...

That anyone would vote for something that big, and that dangerous, without saying "Hey, let's be smart and not rush into something rash" absolutely disqualifies them from office. It passed the House 357-66, it passed the Senate 98-1, with only Wisonsin's Russ Feingold having the sense and the nerve to say "WTF?" The only way I'll cast a vote for Hillary is if she wins the nomination, because there's nobody on the Republican side worth trusting. Not John McCain, not Ron Paul, nobody.

(Her record on the Iraq war is shitty too, but that's another screed.)

The other side is, like a lot of people Obama actually inspires me. It's not "me me me", it's "we", he's expressed some good ideas, some good plans for the future, that reflect wisdom and compassion, which we've sorely lacked in government. And yeah, he does it with an eloquence and passion in the same vein as people like John Kennedy and MLK. If we ever needed that kind of leadership, it's now. People have tried to call bullshit on it, that he's an elaborate act, but I think his history supports him. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review... that kind of person gets to write his own ticket. Big money, no whammies, no shit. And he didn't go to Wall Street or Washington or the like. (Or LaSalle Street... he interned with a big downtown firm.) He went to work in a practice doing civil rights litigation. *Decent* money, but nowhere near what he could've made. His wife made an interesting point during the rally at UCLA on Sunday. They didn't pay off their student loans 'till AFTER his second book hit the best seller list. And they've been out of college as long as I've been out of junior high.

And honestly, he comes without the baggage that Hillary carries. If we elect her, it's going to be four or eight more years of the bullshit personal-haterd politics that had under Bill. A lot of influential Republicans truly *hate* her, and that'll be the focus, not the merits of anything she tries to do. We don't have *time* for that, we gotta get shit *done*...

How often do we get a chance to vote for a *good* person who has the tools (and maybe a chance) to *do* something? If Obama isn't it, he's as close as I think we're going to get...

And with that, I gotta go vote and get my ass to work.

Tags: 2008, election, politics

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