Saturday, August 23, 2008
Obama chooses longtime Sen. Joe Biden
Springfield, Illinois--It's great to be wrong about this choice! Senator Obama has made a much better decision than I thought he was capable of--he's no slouch, and an intelligent man. I do believe he's going to win thanks to this decision. While Biden voted to approve the use of force in Iraq, he was one of the first in the Senate who did so to admit it was a big mistake.
Biden isn't perfect--not by a long-shot--but he's better than most of the other possible choices that Obama could have made. Choosing Hillary Clinton would have been a bad idea of variety of reasons.
Namely, that the Clinton campaign was willing to do anything to defame candidate Obama to win. You cannot trust someone like that as a running mate under any conditions, and it's likely that Mrs. Clinton would have done a lot of back-stabbing.
Considering the new and expanded power of the office of the vice president under Dick Cheney, the damage could have been incredible to an Obama presidency, a potential death-blow (that we wouldn't know the details of for years). The wounds between both camps are hardly healed, but they might be with the voters.
For myself, the real tests will come in the first month of an Obama presidency. Some of the "fixing" is going to require going after the former members of the Bush II administration. I don't expect that there will be any significant or fundamental changes in their economy, their government (not really ours), the damage done to our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and our illegal presence in the Middle East.
The GOP is not solely responsible for all of this. The Democratic Party and their incumbents in Congress own a great share of the blame for standing down on their responsibility to rein-in a lawless presidency--the most lawless in our history, bar none. These precedents cannot be allowed to stand and their reversal must be part-and-parcel of a genuinely progressive agenda.
Now, the GOP is making all kinds of predictable comments on the Biden nomination that aren't going to float with any but the most ignorant authoritarian, but there are similar threads in the speeches of Obama and Biden that are sometimes troubling. How much they invest in these themes will be borne-out in their policies. But: it's good to be wrong sometimes. Senator Joe Biden voted against the revision of FISA and the telecom immunity provisions. The best part of all of this will be watching Biden beat on the GOP's incumbents. They've earned it, and-then-some.