Of course, Barack Obama's stance on the FISA "compromise" bill has sparked debate and some anger. There has been some polarization as well: "hey, don't you want to win this November? Lay off!" and the "blind loyalty is bad; look at what it has done to the Republicians" and to our country.
More below the fold.
Of course, Obama has put himself in a tight spot, to say the least. Even the Republicans are taunting him as being "spineless" and are openly saying that it is just a matter of time that he caves in on Iraq as well.
The article I linked to goes on to say that changing one's mind isn't always a bad thing; in fact one of the knocks on President Bush is that he "stays the course", even if the course leads off of a cliff. Sometimes, one needs to admit that the current course is wrong, or that a previous decision was bad.
Example: Remember George H. W. Bush going back on his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge? In fact, he had to raise taxes at that time; it was the right thing to do.
But the danger is, of course, is that one just goes around telling groups what they want to hear, regardless of their intentions. In fact, Obama has campaigned on the "Tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear" theme.
So what about this blind faith versus benefit of the doubt?
Blind faith is, IMHO, just going along without thinking and pretending that doubt isn't there. That does no one any good and can be dangerous. Look at where that got this country recently.
On the other hand, there is "benefit of the doubt".
Giving the benefit of the doubt can be a wise course of action in many circumstances. Consider the following:
- Benefit of the doubt is temporary, and the leader's right to the BOD is based on performance.
- The leader often has access to information that the rest of us do not have (yes, Bush and the Republic party leaders used this one on us)
- The leader has been known to have good, honorable intentions (this doesn't apply to most of the Republic party leadership)
- The leader is a brilliant person (this certainly doesn't apply to our current President, no matter what Harriet Miers thinks :-) )
- The leader has had a history of displaying good judgment (true for BHO, false for GWB)
- The leader has produced good results in the past (BHO's campaign proved itself; GWB's administration has been a comedy of errors)
So, where I disagree with Obama on the FISA bill and where I have voiced my disagreement, I am, at this time, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It is beyond question that he knows far more about the details than I do, and it is reasonable to assume that he is smarter and has better judgment than I.
So, for me, he gets the benefit of the doubt, for now. He could certainly lose that, but he hasn't as yet.
A political aside
This might turn out ok. In this issue, BHO might be having a Sister Souljah moment ("standing up to those liberals") and we might be having one as well: our vocal displeasure is proof that we are seeing him realistically. We aren't a group of deluded, hypnotized followers. We can and will disagree with him from time to time.