To the readers of Wizbang:
I write this to you as a lifelong Democrat, as someone who has always stood with the Democratic party and all it has stood for. Ever since I could legally vote, I have cast my ballot for the Democratic nominee — Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton (twice!), Al Gore, and John Kerry. I even managed to persuade my parents to vote for Walter Mondale when I was too young to vote myself.
This year, I found myself filled with hope and promise for the future. Barack Obama was, to me, represented the greatest chance for our nation to finally fulfill its promise and lead the world to a better, brighter, fairer, more just age. I argued endlessly with those who would not or could not see this, trying to show them what I had learned.
Now I find I deeply regret my actions, and hope that those I had argued with so vehemently will forgive me.
I find that Barack Obama is not the man I thought he was.
When I first started believing in Barack Obama, I thought he stood for so many of the things I believed in. But since then, he has betrayed nearly every single progressive belief I hold.
When the Bush administration first announced that it was trying to grant the telecom companies immunity for potential violations of privacy laws, I was as outraged as any of you. This was an appalling violation of Americans’ rights to receive phone calls from suspected terrorists abroad, and these companies needed to pay for their egregious acts. I stood proudly with Senator Obama in vowing to hold them accountable for cooperating with federal law enforcement officials. He even swore to filibuster immunity if it ever came to a vote.
And then we were cruelly betrayed by Senator Obama, who in the end sided with those who would grant those corporate thugs absolution for their deeds. Forget filibustering, or even just voting “present” — he voted AYE!
When the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns went to the Supreme Court, I was confident that the right of the district to make this action to stem the flow of death on its streets would survive, and — perhaps, eventually, if we gave it just enough time — would reverse the steadily rising murder rate and eventually bring peace to our war-torn capitol. Senator Obama, too, backed this power.
And then the Supreme Court stabbed us all in the back and struck down the law, I — like so many others — was outraged. But not Barack Obama. No, he came out and said that he supported — SUPPORTED! — the Court’s decision! I ask you — how many people have to die from illegal guns before we all wake up and take away the legal ones?
I was excited when Obama vowed to accept public financing for his campaign. He was raising record amounts, but we all know the corroding influence money — especially in such quantities — has on politics. But then he reversed himself and tapped into the floodgates of funds, and who knows what sorts of promises he has to make to keep the money coming?
I also loved it when he went after those hired guns, the lobbyists. True, I’d have been happier if he’d vowed to take on the folks who hire the lobbyists — after all, one doesn’t “shoot the messenger” unless youre the king of Sparta, and there’s a deep pit handy — but it was a good start.
And then he went and picked Joe Biden as his running mate. Biden’s son is a lobbyist,, and both Biden and McCain steered millions in taxpayer money to Biden’s son’s clients.
This was NOT the sort of “change” we Democrats need.
When President Bush put forth his ill-conceived “surge” strategy in Iraq, I was proud that Senator Obama saw it for the sham — the “lipstick on a pig,” if you will — it was and opposed it.
Then, when what absolutely no one could have foreseen happened — things got better in Iraq — Obama jumped on the bandwagon and lauded this move, which anyone can see was utterly unrelated to the surge.
And let’s not forget that Obama was opposed to this war from the outset, and promised to withdraw American troops practically as soon as he was elected. What happened to that promise? What happened to that candidate?
I’ve completely lost track of Obama’s stance on NAFTA. This agreement wreaked havoc on good American union jobs, and he was right to want to scrap it — or, at least, renegotiate it. But now he’s saying that it’s just fine. Excuse me, Senator, but no, it isn’t. Just ask any union leader.
The final straw, for me, was his response to the current financial meltdown we’re experiencing. At a time when we need bold leadership and decisive action, Senator Obama said he favored a “wait and see” approach before saying what he would do.
Pardon me, Senator, but it was the “wait and see” approach by many of the Republicans who held Congress for so long that let the current disaster keep growing and building until it all started to unravel in the last few weeks. Sure, a few Republicans like John McCain did make some doom and gloom pronouncements over things, but they were just wildly guessing about the ultimate impact of such decent, humane, common-sense programs as Bill Clinton’s expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act, and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were right to fight off those greedy, mean-spirited attempts to rein it in and keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from going too far.
As a lifelong Democrat, sickens me to say this, but I find I can’t vote for Barack Obama this November. I’m going to hold my nose and vote for McCain-Palin, and hope that this sends the message to the leaders of my party: we want REAL change, from a candidate we believe in.