Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Two Faces of Obama on Civil Liberties

Obama's civil liberties speech

The speech was fairly representative of what Obama typically does: effectively defend some important ideals in a uniquely persuasive way and advocating some policies that promote those ideals (closing Guantanamo, banning torture tactics, limiting the state secrets privilege) while committing to many which plainly violate them (indefinite preventive detention schemes, military commissions, denial of habeas rights to Bagram abductees, concealing torture evidence, blocking judicial review on secrecy grounds). Like all political officials, Obama should be judged based on his actions and decisions, not his words and alleged intentions and motives. Those actions in the civil liberties realm, with some exceptions, have been profoundly at odds with his claimed principles, and this speech hasn't changed that. Only actions will.


Obama is not impressing me very much of late. I am still thrilled to have him over McCain, but it's getting to a point where that isn't saying very much.

You know, it being Mouseland and all...

Given a choice between being duped by one candidate or being duped by the other, I chose to be duped by the candidate whose policy claims where closest to my own political ideals.

And ultimately, that's turning out to mean almost nothing. That "almost" there is really just a hold out for hope without any real meaning.