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You know, I've been skeptical of Obama's candidacy for the Presidency all along. I just don't buy that if we talk nicer to Republicans all our problems will become manageable.

But I had seen encouraging signs lately. Even BTD, that arch-Obama-skeptic, had some nice things to say after Obama took on the Christian Coalition.

Unfortunately, the Obama I distrust was on display again today in the front-page story Dem Candidates React. The Obama quote runs:

"This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law. This is exactly the kind of politics we must change so we can begin restoring the American people’s faith in a government that puts the country’s progress ahead of the bitter partisanship of recent years." [Emphasis added.]

You see, it's all about politics and partisanship– which is to say a matter that honest people can disagree about.

We heard so much about Bush's vaunted moral clarity in the Fall of 2001 and later. It seems to me that this should be an occasion for moral clarity too. On a matter like this I want something stronger from our next President.

But it's all of a piece with the story noted in this comment.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid out list of political shortcomings he sees in the Bush administration but said he opposes impeachment for either President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.

The comment I made in response to that applies here too, I think.

Originally posted to Demi Moaned on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:58 PM PDT.

Poll

Obama's statement

32%29 votes
67%61 votes

| 90 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Comparisons (10+ / 0-)

    I deliberately omitted reference to the comments of other candidates as I wanted to focus on the merits of Obama's statement on its own.

  •  his statement seemed very Liebermanesque to me... (12+ / 0-)

    specifically the parts you bolded.

    :-p

  •  beyond weak (6+ / 0-)

    "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 11:59:30 PM PDT

  •  Iraq (7+ / 0-)

    What is really disgusting to me is that not a single Democrat condemns as immoral a "president" who started a war based on lies, which has killed and maimed thousands of Americans and Iraqis...

  •  Agreed.. (8+ / 0-)

    Although I wouldn't single out one of the candidates.  Collective weakness on this issue...Let's be fair.  

  •  Obama conflates Politics (7+ / 0-)

    with the Rule of Law.

    ...cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law.  This is exactly the kind of politics we must change.

    Commuting criminal obstruction and perjury penalties is not about playing Politics, it is about subverting the Rule of Law.

    From his statement, Obama appears not to know the difference.

    What a catalyst you turned out to be,
    Loaded the guns then you run off home for your tea. - Paul Weller.

    by Night Owl on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:15:10 AM PDT

    •  no, Obama is accusing Bush (5+ / 0-)

      No, Obama is accusing Bush of conflating politics with the Rule of Law.  

      This is a common theme of Obama's.  As Obama describes it, the Bush administration has repeatedly subverted law (Plame, wiretapping, etc) and rejected competency (Katrina, Iraq War, US Attorneys, etc), and they did all this for cronyism and partisanship.

      Obama's message is that this type of politics must end.  The change needed is not that there should now be a new team -- just as full of cronies and partisans but now Democrats -- but that the conduct of Government based on partisanship should end.

      I remain undecided for the primary.  I am increasingly leaning Obama though, and this theme of his is one of the reasons.

  •  Yeah, just ignore the first part, (7+ / 0-)

    This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration

    That is an important thing to say.

    THIS act (this one, now it's finalized) CEMENTS this administrations record of compromising our national security.

    That's the point we should be making.

    Libby, Bush, and Cheney outed a CIA agent and her front company Brewster Jennings because they were refuting Cheney's Iraq and Iran lies. Period.

    Just because the VP and the POTUS are the only two people in the nation who can out a CIA agent (or order it) doesn't mean they can still serve. They're traitors. No other Presidential administration has ever outed a CIA agent like this before.

    Traitors. Not by law... but in spirit certainly. And anyone who defends them now are party to it.

    And that goes for the Republicans. All of them should be on record. Congress should hold a vote to say whether they support this action or not.

  •  It seemed as good a moment as any (4+ / 0-)

    for him to show he can be confrontational.

    Who is there left to offend by pulling your punches on this one?

    _________________________________

    We need an Adult. Clinton '08.

    by Edgar08 on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 12:30:35 AM PDT

  •  His statement was full of Lieberman (2+ / 0-)

    talking points.  Obama resembles Lieberman more and more everyday.

  •  Senator Obama, go Cheney yourself (3+ / 0-)

    I've given your campaign a lot of money. Yeah, I'm one of those 258,000 suckers, and I know I'll get an email from you tomorrow, followed by fundraising phone calls.

    I feel sorry for your volunteer's, Senator, because they'll get a serious bitchin' from me.

    I have only one message for you Sir. Impeach the White House mafioso, or just shut the f* up and get out of my face.

    Cheers,
    dsinha

  •  Oh my look at Obama's blog (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Persiflage, Demi Moaned

    voted twice for Obama -- my lily-white, working class neighborhood on Chicago's southwest side swept Obama to victory in his primary against the Daley machine candidate.

    But Obama will lose my support and my financial donations if he does not moving seriously in support of the Kucinich efforts to first impeach cheney, then bush.

    And that's just for starters: I want to see Nuremberg-style war crimes trials (+ convictions + life-long prison terms) for the cheneybushcriminals and their entire Cabal. That includes Rice and Powell.

    It's irresponsible to whine about insufficient votes to convict. These cheneybushcriminals are dangerous sociopaths and traitors to our constitution/rule of law. To ignore this FACT makes every member of Congress an accessory after the fact!! It enables their pathology. Enough!!

    I will not sit silent and let this continue. We have resisted and denounced bush regime crimes for over 7 years, dating from the coup of 2000. I have great respect for Mr. Obama, but his cautious stance is grating on my already-frazzled nerves. WHAT MORE WILL IT TAKE for the Senator to stand up and STOP THE CHENEYBUSHCRIMINALS????

    I am currently travelling in Europe, and you can imagine my dismay, and the disgust of my european friends, upon reading Obama's statement that impeachment would only constitute a "tit for tat"!!! Such shallow condescension to we the people!!

    Mr. Obama, Sir: Do you really think your constituents are incapable of recognizing the difference between Clington's trumped-up "crimes" and the VERY REAL CRIMES of this cheneybush cabal?

    Yes, I know Senator Wellstone and family were murdered by "poor weather" for standing up to Darth Cheney. I know Dem leaders in Congress got anthrax letters from "unknown" sources, aka Darth Cheney -- and you do indeed have a family to protect. But you signed on for the fight, sir.

    Show us a lot more spine and I may get excited (again) about your presidential campaign. Until then, remember that you are currently MY SENATOR...and I, along with nearly 80% of American voters, want steps taken to PROTECT US NOW from the cheneybushcriminals. Thankyou.

    "I would not describe us, though, as a Christian nation I guess the word "Christian" is what bothers me, even though I'm a Christian" John Edwards

    by Chaoslillith on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 02:50:30 AM PDT

    •  Some more (0+ / 0-)

      can't believe it! So many posts that continue the partisan politics and advocate wasting energy on a dying administration! Let's put the focus where it needs to be...on the future, a future that's different than the mess we have now. Let others put their energy in the past while the Obama campaign moves forward.
      Re: Let's focus, here  |  Report to Admin Reply
      By Chandra from Everett, WA Jul 3rd 2007 at 1:25 am EDT
      The problem is this is about partisan politics. It's about the Dems ducking and hiding and playing it "safe" while our constitution and our nation are being torn apart. Every time Bush pulls one of these types of lawless stunts our freedoms, laws, and values as a nation are destroyed just a little bit more. And the politics of cyniscm that Barack speaks about will be all that we are left with, no matter what party you belong to.
       
      Why so many anti-Obama People  |  Report to Admin Reply
      By JMRDenver Jul 2nd 2007 at 11:23 pm EDT
      Barack is really doing well. Therefore we have all kinds of people coming on the Obama Blog trying to start anything to make Barack in appear in a "bad light."

      Who should we impeach first Bush or Cheney? (a) Bush-Cheney becomes President. (b)Cheney first-Bush gives him a pardon. Which do you want? Now please choose A or B.

      In today's troubled world exactly who is going to be in the White House protecting American interests. Rove, the Sec. of State or who.

      Obama supports need to keep focus and leave the crazy talk/subjects to the media folk and others. Work to get Barack Obama elected in 2008, starting with IA and NH primaries.
      Re: Why so many anti-Obama People  |  Report to Admin Reply
      By Jim Jul 2nd 2007 at 11:26 pm EDT
      You can't pardon impeachment...It's the only thing the President can't use his pardon power on, besides state offenses. It is limited to convictions for Federal crimes. Other than that, I agree with everything you said.

      "I would not describe us, though, as a Christian nation I guess the word "Christian" is what bothers me, even though I'm a Christian" John Edwards

      by Chaoslillith on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 02:52:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  whoops! (0+ / 0-)

      You beat me to it! Thanks for posting some of the comments from Barack-ers.

    •  Oh, my, look, JE fans have double standards. (8+ / 0-)

      some blogger got Outraged and some JE fan repeated it even thought JE is against impeachment too.

      File it under This Hour's Double Standard for JE Fans.

      December is the new September.

      by Inland on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:27:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The hypocrisy (0+ / 0-)

        is beginning to smell.

      •  I just thought it was hilarious to see (0+ / 0-)

        to be honest I am irritated at JRE about this too. It is just an interesting overlay to Obama's huge quarter.

        "I would not describe us, though, as a Christian nation I guess the word "Christian" is what bothers me, even though I'm a Christian" John Edwards

        by Chaoslillith on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 11:37:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I'll look for your comdemnation of JE (0+ / 0-)

          and we'll all have a good laugh over the hilarity of that and the sudden appearance of ice in Hades.  

          December is the new September.

          by Inland on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 02:08:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here you go (0+ / 0-)

            These are not all of the comments on Gonzo but you can see that Edwards was pushing for the investigation back in 2/06 which to me is pretty impressive. I am not all that thrilled about what he is saying about impeachment and it pisses me off to no end that Edwards will not back Kucinich on this. At least however he agreed that Bush should be censured and is willing to call Bush on all the bad shit he has done. I didn't find anything on his website about impeaching Cheney but there was a lot about how Cheney and Bush are in the pocket of big oil.

            Which is nice to see that truth getting pointed out by Dem who is now running for President. I hope Edwards will call for impeachment but perhaps his experience in defending Clinton during that circus has made him not want to put everyone through that again. It still pisses me off but it is what it is.

            Link

            "I would not describe us, though, as a Christian nation I guess the word "Christian" is what bothers me, even though I'm a Christian" John Edwards

            by Chaoslillith on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:46:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Who cares? (0+ / 0-)

      Who cares what some whacked out conspiracy theorist thinks....whether he be an Obama supporter, an Edwards supporter, or a James T. Kirk supporter?

      Yes, I know Senator Wellstone and family were murdered by "poor weather" for standing up to Darth Cheney. I know Dem leaders in Congress got anthrax letters from "unknown" sources, aka Darth Cheney -- and you do indeed have a family to protect.

      It is too easy to track down comments by the unhinged supporters of ANY candidate. Fish in a barrel, candy from children, etc. Not a very good tactic from any camp. I would hope that all camps would avoid it.

  •  can I get an amen?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grayslady, Demi Moaned

    Thanks Demi Moaned. I posted on yesterday's mega "Obama raised millions" topic and never got a straight answer to my question. Someone was contending that Obama's comments in USA Today on impeachment had been paraphrased, and I asked her/him to cite the source--the answer was "nobody knows exactly what he said." Uh huh.

    Just came from Obama's official site, where several supporters blogged their disappointment at that statement and at his milquetoast Libby statement. Some of the Barack Faithful, of course, argued for his position on impeachment--but not one of them suggested that he had in any way been misquoted.

    I also have to say that Obama never tripped my trigger on the issues. I understand that he can be a charismatic speaker, but I've never liked his seemingly single-pronged philosophy that we need to end divisiveness and "just" move forward. There can be no progress if we don't hold the Bu$h Crime Family to account for the atrocities they've committed in our name. None.

    May this be the beginning of the next American revolution.

  •  Mmmm, optimistic nonpartisanship (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter

    What a refreshing change from all the gauntlets being thrown down over the past six years by Democratic politicians.

  •  "Obama says, Despite shortcomings of Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    Administration, impeachment is not acceptable," says the headline from before Libby's commutation. But like I said several times earlier in the week, I will go see his people today and give them one chance to tell me how does Obama define
    grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority?

    "Well, we're a little disturbed by the situation in the Middle East, but other than that..." Cyril, Breaking Away (1979)

    by peaceloveandkucinich on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 04:30:37 AM PDT

  •  Oh dear lord. Is he supposed to fart flames (8+ / 0-)

    out of his ass to gratify people?

    This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law.

    I guess he should have demanded that Bush's heart be cut out with an obsidian knife or something.

    Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

    by Geekesque on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:15:08 AM PDT

  •  Bloggers value what bloggers do. (5+ / 0-)

    Why isn't Obama telling Bush to go Cheney himself?  My goodness, he isn't going to get on the Rec list that way.  

    Folks, we arent voting for Most Outraged Profanity.

    December is the new September.

    by Inland on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 05:24:51 AM PDT

  •  Obama supporter here (4+ / 0-)

    Well, actually, I'm undecided about my final pick. But I support Obama, Edwards & Kucinich & feel wistful about Feingold, Clark & Gore. (I'm kind of glad that Mike Gravel is in the race, but I wish he'd stop tearing down our candidates.)

    I'm furious about the commutation of Libby's sentence, but don't think you have a valid point about Obama's statement.

    Senator Obama is a statesman.  Telling Bu$h to go Cheney himself would not have been particularly stateman like. He is running to be the President of the United States of America.

    ```````````
    peace

     

    •  There are so many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peace voter, terrapin station84

      reasons why this diary is assinine.

      Although the diarist thinks it's about Obama it's actually about him/her and appeals to many of us.

      We're mad.  We're outraged.  We're furious and we feel impotent most of the time.  We look to our candidates to fight the battle and we see ourselves reflected in them.  It seems like insanity is upon us.

      None of the other candidates, save Kucinich, is for impeachment.  The other candidates words were no better nor worse than Obama's.

      And...they are appearing to be statesmen/women.  Gravel won't get elected and it won't be because his ideas are wrong.  It's because the nation would feel mighty uneasy with him at the helm.

      This diary never should have been written unless the diarist had expressed their frustrations in the "I" form and left out the blame part.  Anyone of us, who has chosen a candidate, could have displaced our anger onto someone else's candidate.  We could have found bits and pieces of their announcement that we could claim as weak.  

      I hope the diarist can see this and learn from the experience.

      We're all furious.

    •  Good comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peace voter

      You and I have very similar opinions.  Except I don't feel all that wistful about Gore.  But everything else--spot on.  Weird.

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