One Note On Politics…

I don’t really post about politics here; I focus more, instead, on my academic work, looking the culture of the blogosphere, etc. But I do follow politics (rabidly), and now have an outlet. It’s a new blog I am co-authoring, called “Obama Letdown Watch.”

To explain, it’s essentially a watchdog blog, and we’re hoping to make sure Senator Obama follows through on his promise of a “new kind of politics.”

Obama’s reaction to the FISA bill currently in Congress, and his willingness to vote for the bill when he previously said he would be against telco immunity, was really what prompted the creation of the blog. But what really solidified for me what I was doing with it, and why, was Obama’s reaction to the recent SCOTUS ruling on the death penalty. He agreed with the (conservative) minority of the court, stating:

I disagree with the decision; I have said repeatedly that I think the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstance for the most egregious of crimes…

The statement on FISA is a letdown — it’s definitely not taking a strong stand, definitely not a new kind of politics. The SCOTUS ruling, though, isn’t. Why?

Because Obama is not a liberal.

I know he’s being painted as one. The Republicans are calling him “the most liberal member of the Senate.” (Funny how whoever the Dems nominate to run for President turns out, coincidentally, to be the most liberal member of Congress…)

But Obama’s not a liberal. He’s a center-left politician. Which is fine — politics is all about compromise; there’s no room for expectations of purity.

But delivering on a new kind of politics isn’t a liberal thing or a centrist thing. It’s about being honest and transparent. And if Obama cannot deliver on that, well, it would certainly be a letdown…

OK, so that’s it for politics. Anything else, you can find on the Obama Letdown Watch blog. Hope you come visit.

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