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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Liberal magazine The Nation pens an open letter to Obama:
Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance--including, most notably, your vote for the FISA legislation granting telecom companies immunity from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, which angered and dismayed so many of your supporters.

Here are key positions you have embraced that we believe are essential to sustaining this movement:

§ Withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable.

§ A response to the current economic crisis that reduces the gap between the rich and the rest of us through a more progressive financial and welfare system; public investment to create jobs and repair the country's collapsing infrastructure; fair trade policies; restoration of the freedom to organize unions; and meaningful government enforcement of labor laws and regulation of industry.

§ Universal healthcare.

§ An environmental policy that transforms the economy by shifting billions of dollars from the consumption of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, creating millions of green jobs.

§ An end to the regime of torture, abuse of civil liberties and unchecked executive power that has flourished in the Bush era.

§ A commitment to the rights of women, including the right to choose abortion and improved access to abortion and reproductive health services.

§ A commitment to improving conditions in urban communities and ending racial inequality, including disparities in education through reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and other measures.

§ An immigration system that treats humanely those attempting to enter the country and provides a path to citizenship for those already here.

§ Reform of the drug laws that incarcerate hundreds of thousands who need help, not jail.

§ Reform of the political process that reduces the influence of money and corporate lobbyists and amplifies the voices of ordinary people.

These are the changes we can believe in. In other areas--such as the use of residual forces and mercenary troops in Iraq, the escalation of the US military presence in Afghanistan, the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the death penalty--your stated positions have consistently varied from the positions held by many of us, the "friends on the left" you addressed in recent remarks. If you win in November, we will work to support your stands when we agree with you and to challenge them when we don't. We look forward to an ongoing and constructive dialogue with you when you are elected President.

Stand firm on the principles you have so compellingly articulated, and you may succeed in bringing this country the change you've encouraged us to believe is possible.

I'm all for an open letter, but I disagree with their approach (if not the policies they suggest). Those aren't the changes "we can believe in".

They're the changes The Nation already believes in, and is seeking to have a Presidential candidate discover the wisdom of those positions. Many of them Obama already espouses, and there's absolutely no reason to raise the ghost of the FISA spectacle again. I'm not interested in squelching dissent, but when are folks going to get it? November 4 is all that matters. Elect Obama first, then address your beefs.

1 Comments:

Anonymous juana alicia said...

Dear JKS,

I am a Latina artist trying to reach the bilingual community on behalf of the Obama campaign!
I am trying desperately to contact someone who can identify the photographer who took the pensive Obama photograph attached to your article, "A Crisis of Faith", so I can get permission from the photographer to use it at a source on my new Obama Poster Design. I am a Bay Areamuralist (juanaalicia.com) and would like to contribute my support to the campaign in the form of this artwork on posters. With just days to go before the election, I really want to get this out onto the streets. PLEASE HELP!
It seems a shame for this to sit on my
drawing table! Thanks so much!


Juana Alicia

October 27, 2008 at 2:54 AM  

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