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Monday, February 04, 2008

BAGeL Radio Endorses Obama


The Bush Administration has undermined everything I was brought up to believe in about America: truth, justice, and the rule of law were, we were told, what separated us from the Evil Empire and the other bad guys.

An unyielding rebuttal of Bush Administration malfeasance is required to reverse the misguided trajectory this country is on. Politics as usual will not undo the damage done by the Bushists to our political system, financial stability, national security, and our position in the world.

Against the outlaw authoritarian machine that has bulldozed our democracy these past seven years, compromise is a losing strategy. When negotiating with reasonable people, compromise can work. When negotiating with people who pride themselves on drawing a distinction between their world and the "Reality Based Community," compromise moves us away from real world solutions.

Lies must be met not with compromise but with uncompromising reality.

So who will be a more effective at doing just that, Clinton or Obama?

Hillary Clinton is part of the entrenched establishment. Her main selling point is her experience negotiating the system. To me this may be her greatest weakness -- the system has been gamed, and playing within it will produce no positive results. Her reliance on focus groups has repeatedly pushed her to compromise her principles instead of fighting for what is right.

Let us also remember that she and her husband are universally loathed on the other side of the political aisle, so chances are slim that she will be allowed to get much done (remember her health care efforts in during her husband's first term in office?).

On the other hand we have a relative neophyte in Barack Obama. He brings to the table vision, hope, integrity, and from what I can tell, unwavering good judgement. His opposition to the illegal invasion of Iraq was loud, clear, and early, while Mrs. Clinton still to this day refuses to acknowledge that her vote to authorize the Iraq invasion was a mistake. Their respective stands and record on the war is a big deal when considering the general election because John McCain, who will be the Republican nominee, is running on a platform that calls for sending more troops to Iraq so that we can "win." Obama provides a distinct anti-war choice for Independents and undecideds, Clinton offers...the voting record of a hawk.

Obama has energized voters of all age groups like no politician in my lifetime. One of the goals of right wing politics has been to marginalize voters, making them feel like their votes don't count, and that they can't make a difference. Even if he doesn't win the nomination, Barack Obama has done more in the past year to counter that attack on representative democracy than Hillary Clinton has done all of her "35 years of change" combined.

Energizing the electorate, making people believe that their participation in our democracy helps to shape our future -- a tonic for the toxic Bush agenda.

While Mr. Obama's words almost invariably ring true to me, I find at times that I profoundly disagree with Mrs. Clinton. During one of the debates, Wolf Blitzer asked if America was safer today than it was 7 years ago thanks to Dubyah's War on Terror. Mrs. Clinton answered yes, she did believe that we were safer. If she does believe that then she is dangerously misinformed. If she doesn't believe that, but said it because she and her handlers feel that she needs to project herself as extra-strong on national security because she's a woman, then she is a liar who is misleading her supporters. A flase assertion like that reinforces and propagates the lies of the Bush Administration.

That one terrible answer, while not the only reason, does a good job of encapsulating what makes it impossible for me to support Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Obama. After being lead off cliffs by lies for the past seven years we need the truth, not some triangulated version thereof.

Go Barack!

[cross-posted at bagelradio.com]