Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barack Obama and Progressive Netroots Rage

Anyone who's followed the FISA debate this week will have seen the violent froth around the blogosphere, which is a good indicator as to how totalitarian are those on the extreme left of the political spectrum.

For example, Sam Stein,
at Huffington Post, discusses just how angry were some leftists with Barack Obama's support for the congressional compromise on government surveillance:

Only weeks into the general election campaign and already a notable tension is beginning to materialize within the Democratic Party. At question is Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with the progressive netroots, the online community that helped aid the Senator's rise to the presidential nomination, but has since seemingly played second fiddle in terms of courted constituencies.

Obama's decision to embrace a compromise on FISA legislation -- a virtual slap in the face to some progressive bloggers demanding no legal immunity for telecommunications companies -- was the catalyst of the recent chatter. Other concerns arose days prior when Obama cut an advertisement on behalf of a conservative southern Democrat whose primary challenger was favored by the liberal blogosphere.

But for some progressive activists, the issue is not simply one of policy, but a concern that Obama's willingness to snub their political wishes is far more endemic.

"You can see it with FISA. He really doesn't feel that much kinship with the priorities of the netroots and I don't think he has made any secret of that," said Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake. "I have to say he is very consistent. He has gone outside the netroots for his strategy... People who feel betrayed right now, I'm not sure why, because it is extremely consistent with what they should have expected."
Stein notes that not all of those in the radical leftosphere are upset with Obama, which further enrages those steaming at Obama's apostasies. In addition to Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald's been going off on anyone who's not taking HIS position on FISA's alleged extreme criminality.

Rick Moran,
at Right Wing Nuthouse, in his post on the "progressives" and FISA, really captures the essence of the far-left's rage:

The hysterically exaggerated, intellectually dishonest portrayal of the workings of the NSA surveillance program by many on the left is something I have catalogued on this site since its existence was revealed by the New York Times way back in December of 2005.

To be honest, the netroots have made themselves ridiculously easy targets for ridicule.

My own reservations about the program remain. Reasonable, honest people can debate how this program skirts the law and may – depending exactly how it works which is something that to this day remains hidden – cross the line of legality. The fact that debate raged in the Justice Department over the legality of the program with many career prosecutors opposed while others supported it should demonstrate to any reasonable person that at worst, the Terrorist Surveillance Program was an extremely close call.

Not so scream the netnuts. To the hysterical three year olds who make up the “reality based community,” facts don’t matter nor does it cross their infantile minds that such a surveillance program is even necessary. The program is illegal – no debate is allowed.

To such an incurious crowd we are now about to hand the reigns [sic] of government.

What is most worrisome is that they have so much invested in denying the reality of the terrorist threat – that the whole thing was dreamed up by Bush to seize power and become dictator – that one can legitimately question just how serious these mountebanks will be about national security. No doubt they will be relentless in their pursuit of terrorists – after we’ve been hit again. Cold comfort for those Americans who die as a result of their “terrorists are innocent until they commit an overt act” mindset.

Holy Christ! Even Barack Obama thinks the NSA surveillance program is indispensable to our national security. Of course, Obama has no better idea that the program is or was illegal despite his claims to the contrary. He is simply “playing the rubes” in the netroots community as Ian Welsh tells it at Firedoglake:

The FISA Cloture vote just passed. The Senate will now consider the motion to proceed with the bill, then they’ll head to the bill itself ... Various motions will be put forward to strip immunity, odds are they will fail. Then a number of the 80 who voted to restrict debate will vote against FISA so they can say they were against the bill. However this was the real vote, and the rest is almost certainly nothing but kabuki for the rubes.

Obama and McCain were both absent, as was Clinton. Unimpressive, but unsurprising, though I suppose I’m disappointed by Clinton (Obama has made it clear he didn’t intend to try and stop the bill.) Clinton and Obama will claim there was no point since it wasn’t close. But, with their leadership, it might well have gone the other way.

The folks who actually voted for the Bill of Rights are listed below. Remember, after the debate there’ll be a larger number of people who vote against this bill, but this was the real vote, and those Senators are just playing the rubes.

In less stressful, less partisan times, it may have been possible to debate the necessity for this surveillance program and even whether or not it actually steps over the line of legality, although how any definitive answers could have been arrived at with key parts of the program still classified and unknown to all but a very select few in government would have been problematic indeed.
Note again Moran's key point: These are the folks we're about to hand the reins of government.

Of course, we've still got the fall campaign, but I'll be relieved if Obama, upon taking office, really does diss the radical lefties. Such a turn could be the biggest act of political statesmanship since Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon.

See also, "
Netroots Jilted by Obama FISA Stand."