Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Democratic Convention, so far...

Okay, we all knew Michelle Obama would be great.  Hell, she'd probably be a better candidate than her husband.  Bill Clinton did a bang-up job last night, and, as always, I have a giant crush on Elizabeth Warren — the only Democrat with the guts to openly chastise big finance.

So far, there has been no Clint Eastwood style embarrassment — which is not to say there has been no embarrassment.  Obama caused it himself by antagonizing roughly half the delegates, caving in to right wingers by insisting on a change in the party platform.

Is Jerusalem the recognized capital of Israel?  Not according to many years of US foreign policy — but, hell, it's in the Republican platform, and we can't risk antagonizing the Jews, can we?  And how in hell did the platform committee write a platform without even once mentioning GOD?  Crap, the Republicans mentioned "God" somewhere between eight and twelve times, depending on who was doing the counting.  (It's really hard actually to read party platforms.)

(As you read this, vast numbers of Evangelicals are rooting for the Israelis to nuke Iran and bring on the Apocalypse.  Obama, of course, really really wants to win a second term — not necessarily because he has a grand vision for our future, but because he is driven to win.  Needless to say, the same is true of Romney.  As Socrates observed a few millennia ago, anybody who really wants power really shouldn't have it.)

Last week, I got a call from an Obama fundraiser.  I did not contribute my measly twenty-five or fifty bucks, although I noted I recently had contributed more than once to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Kirsten Gillibrand campaign, the Elizabeth Warren campaign, and the campaign of my local, hard pressed Congressman.  (I hope some of that does some good.)

Asked the one thing the President could do to make me like him enough to give him money (okay, it wasn't phrased quite like that), I said "Give me back the civil rights I had before 9/11 — and close Guantanamo."  Yes, it was more than one thing, but the fundraiser didn't complain.

Since then, the (Obama) Justice Department has announced it will not be pressing charges against any CIA torturers.  The CIA continues to insist that only three "high-value" prisoners were waterboarded, although a recent report by Human Rights Watch contradicts that assertion.

Four years ago, Obama said he wanted to "look ahead, not behind."  When I look ahead, I want to see the torturers and all those who aided and abetted them in jail.  Fat chance.

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