Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm so conflicted!

I like Barack Obama. I really do. And I shudder to think what would be going on today if he had lost the election and John McCain was in charge.

But I'm still troubled about a lot of what's going on in the executive branch.

I hope to get more clarity today when I get to speak with's Glenn Greenwald today on Air America radio (at 1 PM EDT). He wrote a scathing piece about President Obama's DOJ taking the powers seized by Bush & Co. and even expanding them. I know I won't like what I hear, but we need to hear it!

The powers I'm talking about here are the worst examples of the shredding of the constitution practiced by the former administration... domestic spying and warrantless wiretapping, denying habeus corpus to prisoners, blanket immunity from lawsuits for those who've violated the civil liberties of our citizens and, sadly, more.

I liked Bill Clinton too. He, like Obama, is smart. I love that the two of them can speak with authority about whatever issue is before them. Knowledge is power, and intelligence is an aphrodisiac. (Maybe that's what got Bill Clinton in so much trouble!)

But President Clinton made some fatal errors during his presidency. He signed the legislation that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which lifted the regulations that were put in place after the depression and could have prevented the dire economic situation we're now experiencing. He also signed the awful Telecommunications Act of 1996 that deregulated the broadcast industry and relaxed ownership rules -- which effectively destroyed the business in which I've worked for 25 years. Yet, I still like him.

So, it's OK to like President Obama, while criticizing some of his actions. I just know that I'd like him much, much more if he'd listen to the people who elected him, and do the right thing.