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"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?  A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

That song was written before I was born but its message is still so, maybe even more so, pertinent today.  Joe DiMaggio isn't around to help us escape from our collective funk, but this country could sure use leadership with the courage of its convictions.

This nation is still sitting in the shadow of its recent past of torture and extraordinary rendition.  We still have a prison operating where hundreds of people that have never realized their constitutional rights to address their charges with a defense in court for almost nine years still sit in their cells.

And we have a state that has a law on the books that essentially makes it OK for police to request papers just because of the color of their skin or the accent in their diction.

With this backdrop comes the headline on the New York Times front page "Governors Voice Grave Concerns on Immigration."  

BOSTON — In a private meeting with White House officials this weekend, Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration  law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.

So once again for the Dems, it seems that it's coming down to ducking and running for cover.  Imagine if President Johnson's hand had been staid by political calculation rather than signing the Civil Rights Act because he didn't want to lose a generation of southern states?  He signed the bill because it was the right thing to do.  He was a true leader on this domestic issue (not withstanding the whole issue of the Vietnam War, but that's another diary).  The halls of both chambers of Congress also should be commended for its passage.

That was then.

Currently, we have a reality of a country adrift.  The decision by the Obama Justice Department to sue the state of Arizona was the right thing to do - a beacon in the inky morally compromised waters of our nation's recent past of treating people without any regard to our founding father's beautiful Bill of Rights.

What we don't need at this point in the process is a bunch of lily livered politicians treating their own careers as more important than our nation's principals or than basic human decency.

I want to live in a country and be a part of a political party that I know will stand up for human rights; and against mob rule.  

I will be waiting to see how the Obama Administration handles this latest round of pressure from his governors.  Watching... turning my lonely eyes to someone I thought would lead our country out of depths of a lawless dark well left by the last team of despots.  

We're waiting Mr. Obama.  Lead your team back into the side that fights for the people and the rule of law rather than just personal political power.  The history books will look kindly on you if you do.  Stand your ground.

Originally posted to MaryAEnglish on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 08:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    What good is a man who won't take a stand? What good is a cynic with no better plan? - Ben Harper

    by MaryAEnglish on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 08:51:25 PM PDT

    •  100% agreed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom

      Every time some idiot politician suggests caving in to Republicans out of fear that doing the right thing will lose them votes in November.... I think "Boy, they're not only craven and self-interested, they're also stupid!"  I think this because caving in to Republican positions does not win votes.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 10:33:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely said (0+ / 0-)

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 08:57:48 PM PDT

  •  Don't be in a funk. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama, FiredUpInCA

    I'm not in a funk. This is it. It's work. It's always work, a long row to hoe, a circuitous journey... Eat well, take vitamins, have only rational expectations, and work hard. Because this is it.  

    •  Not in a funk here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amk for obama

      Don't be in a funk. I'm not in a funk. This is it. It's work. It's always work, a long row to hoe, a circuitous journey... Eat well, take vitamins, have only rational expectations, and work hard. Because this is it.

      I'm not in a funk either. I haven't scheduled myself to be in one and am baffled by the constant mediation on gloom that Daily Kos is these days.

      Healthy food, Alive! whole food multivitamins and a couple of cups of raw cacao are a better option in my opinion. Add to that a couple of heavy doses of historical perspective about midterms and what power you actually have over circumstances beyond your control (the economy, BP gusher) and it clears the mind of the counterproductive fog that despair brings. A cap is going to stop the gusher, not depression. Silly season polls are less effective on voters than a friend explaining why it's important to vote.

      He never said he could fix all of these messes on his own or in 18 months. All of us who want a better way forward, have to help like-minded folks stay positive and in the fight, in order to get things done.

      •  Isn't ironic that the gloomers and doomers (0+ / 0-)

        are urging the prez to fight when they themselves have given up their fight and by their mournful attitude depressing the others who are willing to fight?

        All said and done about the rethugs, I admire their loyalty to their leaders, however scummy, corrupt lying bastards they are.

        BP - Proving Oil and Water do mix.
        A Presidency Among the Vuvuzelas.

        by amk for obama on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 03:45:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Americans have no leaders. Some can be leaders... (0+ / 0-)

          ...some have leadership skills, and we all can benefit from leadership in others as well as organizational leadership, but that's not submitting to leaders in any intellectual or material way like the military with rank and "duty to follow".

          Especially politicaly, Americans don't possess "loyalty to leaders."

          Even in a hierarchical org, like the GOP, it's not "loyalty to leaders" so much as organization.


      •  I don't know what you mean by doom and gloom (0+ / 0-)

        Being well, efficiently, with a results orientation, means proaction, identifying problems early, collaborating over problem understanding, and attacking them proportionally, based on impact and risk and consequences.

        Progress also requires all of the diversity in attitude and talents that exists.

        What you may call doom and gloom, I may call being alert.

  •  Obama just isn't into drama... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama, FiredUpInCA

    it seems he likes to solve problems quietly and without stirring up a lot of emotions.

    •  It seems he likes to "solve" problems (0+ / 0-)

      sneakily, by cutting backroom deals with, say, Pharma, the hospital and insurance lobbyists and Wall Street, and he likes to step quietly on the little people when they aren't looking by "quietly" forming an undemocratic Catfood Commission, unaccountable to the "lesser" people, where 14 of the 18 members do not support Social Security and one of its 2 co-chairs is a rabid, hateful opponent. Obama always like to have a "cover" when he is screwing over the "lesser" people, such as Olympia Snowe for killing the public option opt-in, Lieberman for killing expanded Medicare, Baucus for writing the inital corporate-friendly HCR bill, the Coast Guard for instituting a police state in the Gulf, BP for taking the blame for the clean up... that no-drama Obama, always scheming in quiet.

      Don't let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

      by virtual0 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 11:09:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is my personal feeling (0+ / 0-)

    on the matter. I've read the Arizona law. I don't think they have any intention of trying to enforce anything like that. The whole thing is smoke and mirrors folks. They are going to use this come November and trot out how the federal government is trying to take everything over. Mark my words. It says right in the law that the officer must have reasonable suspicion. Talk to a lawyer and ask them how hard that is to prove. If they try to do this they are asking for a bunch of lawsuits, lawsuits they can't afford. I'm telling ya, it's a set-up.

    It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

    by AKA potsi on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 09:26:20 PM PDT

    •  reasonable suspicion is whatever the police say (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem, neroden, DeepLooker

      it is. in the late sixties & early seventies in phoenix, you got pulled over if you were driving, or stopped if you were walking down the street with long hair. ask anyone who had long hair in phoenix during that time & i am sure it wasn't just phoenix. why were you stopped & searched? "routine stop" they called it. we called it being hassled & it happened all the time. seems the police had a reasonable suspicion you had drugs if you had long hair.
      talk to a lawyer & ask how hard it is to prove a police officer's suspicions are unreasonable. "probable cause" is different & is the only actual constitutional reason for detentions, searches & seizures.

      Everybody takes me too seriously. Nobody believes anything I say. - Philip Whalen, The Madness of Saul

      by rasbobbo on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 09:46:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now is Not the Right Time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Democratic governors are right about this, and President Obama knows they are. If immigration is made a major issue in the upcoming election, Democratic candidates will suffer even more at the polls. That is because a large majority of the voting public (which includes many traditional Democratic Party voters) want the border closed as the number one priority of any new immigration legislation. Recent poll after recent poll amply demonstrate that.

      Furthermore, in order to pass comprehensive immigration policies, President Obama knows full well that he'll need to have some Republicans on board with his proposals - people like John McCain, etc. - who are currently tacking to the far right on immigration issues in order to be reelected. They also do not want to give the President a victory on this issue so close to the critical election ahead.

      However, once the election is over, it is likely that these Republicans will move to the center once again, since they know that voters have very short memories.  

      Therefore, I fully expect that comprehensive immigration will be brought up during the lame duck session, and that it will pass. After all, all the principal parts of such a bill have already been tacitly agreed upon by both sides of the aisle.  

    •  there's no reason for suspicion at all (0+ / 0-)

      'Reasonable suspicion' is very easy to establish, since the Supreme Court has gutted the search and seizure restrictions in the Bill of Rights, and the US constitution remains unmodernized.

      What's problematic is to have a law, whether it's used or not (laws that are not implemented are also bad for the institutions of government), which puts into the position of criminals ordinary people who are doing nothing wrong in any of the usual senses of doing something unethical or immoral or violent.

      What's also problematic are the motivations behind passing such a law. Anyone seriously interested in creating a more humane context for crossing national borders and guaranteeing employment would see that this sort of law is not effective, nor addresses the problems that there are.

      •  You all might be right (0+ / 0-)

        and I might be 180 out on this one. But it seems like a set-up to me. I know when I was doing law enforcement, we were told over and over that our suspicion better be rock solid.

        It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

        by AKA potsi on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:36:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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