Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am inclined to support Barack Obama, but haven't made my decision, yet. As an undecided voter, the events of the past week have given me pause.
On July 9th, Barack Obama voted to increase the Federal Government's ability to spy on Americans and granted immunity to the telecoms who had violated their consumers privacy in the past.
First, a little background: in 2002, the NSA asked AT&T multiple telecoms to turn over millions and millions of phone conversations of Americans communicating with people overseas. The telecoms complied. George Bush has been trying to get these acts legalized ever since.
The FISA Amendments Act gave the NSA eavesdropping in emergencies without court approval, provided the government files required papers within a week. It also granted retroactive immunity to the telecoms. Both parts of this law are likely unconstitutional. The retroactive immunity is Ex Post Facto. The allowed search is an unlawful search. We'll see if the Supreme Court is comptent enough to overturn the law. My money is on the telecom immunity being overturned and the actual spying powers being upheld.
Barack Obama voted for the FISA Amendments Act. John McCain didn't bother. Now I'm not sure which bothers me more. The fact that Barack Obama who holds himself up as a champion of individual liberties would support such a rancid piece of legislation. Or the fact that John McCain wouldn't bother to show up to such an important vote. Both are reprehensible.
Let's try to analyze their motivations a bit. Obama would like to be able to say that he is tough on national security and terrorism. It may be misguided, but some people actually think that terrorism is the biggest challenge that we face.
As to McCain's motivation for not voting? I haven't a clue. Maybe he feels that Yea or Nay, the vote could be held against him. I'm not sure how wither vote could be worse than abstinence given that he has supported unlawful electronic searches in the past. Oh well, I never fucking understand why McCain does what he does. Senility maybe?
So who do I vote for? Not McCain. He'll lead us into war with Iran. Obama? Maybe. There is a third option: