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What it Means for Barack Obama to Have Lost My Vote

Last week, I indicated in a video that because Barack Obama had not only broken his promise to oppose the FISA Amendments Act through filibuster, but had also turned his back on the Bill of Rights in general and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in particular, Barack Obama had “lost my vote.”

I’ve been feeling that I ought to explain what that means. And I ought to explain what I mean by “means,” too. Obviously it doesn’t “mean” much of anything to Barack Obama’s chances of winning the presidency. No presidential contest in any state has hinged on one vote, so what I do nominally with my vote won’t determine whether Barack Obama is or is not the next president. I’m speaking in a much more limited sense of definition. What do I mean by Barack Obama having “lost my vote”?

I mean this: earlier this year, after Barack Obama had followed through to a considerable extent on his pledge to oppose the FISA Amendments Act, and after he had made a point of highlighting human rights and civil rights and the Constitution in a series of repeated speeches, I had not only decided to case my vote for Barack Obama in the Ohio primary but had decided to vote for him in the general election as well. My mind on these matters was made up, not only because Obama’s pledges put him in a better policy position than Hillary Clinton or John McCain, but because they put him by himself in a good policy position, period. It is about time we had a presidential nominee who makes it a priority to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic. You know, that Oath of Office thing.

It still is about time we had a presidential nominee who makes it a priority to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and with Barack Obama playing flip-flop and running to the camp of anti-constitutionalists like um, er, a really fast thing that runs, we’re going to get worse than nothing from Barack Obama. Obama is committing to help enact into law, and then exploit as president, unconstitutional violations of Americans’ civil rights. With that reversal, when I say that Barack Obama has “lost my vote,” I mean that I have lost my decisiveness in support of his candidacy. Barack Obama had my vote in the bag. Now he doesn’t.

I don’t mean that I will vote for John McCain. That would be absurd, considering that John McCain is more anti-Constitutional than Barack Obama. You can pretty much bet that unless a squirrel hits McCain on the noggin with an acorn tomorrow and somehow reactivates his conscience, triggering a wholescale reprioritization of his platform, McCain will not get my vote.

So if I’m not voting for John McCain, and Barack Obama has not won my vote, what could I do? I don’t know what I will do, but here are some possibilities:

1. Vote for Barack Obama. Obama will have to affirmatively do a number of things to win my vote back. Most centrally, he’ll have to somehow convince me that he does not consider the Constitution to be a suggestion.

2. Vote for a third party candidate. Yes, this is an option. But yes, the third party candidate will have to meet the sniff test too. Don’t hold your breath on this option — but I can tell you I’m looking around.

3. Not show up to vote. This is different than voting for John McCain, because voting for John McCain actively negates another person’s Obama vote. Not voting at all has half the effect.

And in the meantime…

4. Not contribute to Barack Obama’s campaign. In the 2004 campaign, I ended up donating more than $1200 to the John Kerry presidential campaign. I haven’t yet sent any campaign contributions to Barack Obama, and I am not inclined to do so now. That’s because:

Regardless of how I vote…

5. I will always criticize Barack Obama when he does something that merits criticism. The sheep-like mentality that we all need to just put our heads down, shut up, bury our doubts and go with the herd is something I struggle against. I am not a robot, I am not a brainless tool, and I believe with a passion that the phrase “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism” applies to dissent directed at Democratic party figures, too.

9 comments to What it Means for Barack Obama to Have Lost My Vote

  • coli

    so basically your going to waste you vote over one issue that he has been consistent on.

    http://sensiccho.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/mccain-keeps-crying-over-gen-clark/

  • WASTE?!? Barack Obama is the waste, Coli.

    The FISA Amendments Act is not just ONE issue. If you thought about it, you’d realize that it’s about many issues.

    It’s about abuse of power. It’s about a broken promise. It’s about the rule of law in the United States. It’s about checks and balances in the government. It’s about the politics of fear. It’s about the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

    No, those things are not worth compromising on. Barack Obama has lost my trust, and unless he admits his mistake and changes course, I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM.

    Why, Coli, are you so ready to allow a politician to walk all over you?

  • W. Lewis

    If you wanted someone to protect the constitution, you should have voted for Dennis or Ron.

  • Well, Ron Paul doesn’t exactly protect ALL the Constitution, especially the “General Welfare” part where Congress is concerned.

    I know it sounds naive, but when Barack Obama stated strongly during the primaries that he would reassert the Constitution, end abuses, and filibuster against the FISA Amendments Act, I actually believed him.

  • Jim

    Obama has been highly inconsistent regarding the Constitution, coli. Adherence to the Constitution is the foundation of our political system. It is “one issue” just like oxygen is “one element.” W. Lewis, Ron Paul has made an active stand against the first amendment, so no, he’s not a reasonable alternative.

  • I don’t see the big deal as a person who actually reads obama’s policies and positions i think i would know if he was consistent and he has been. stop whining. And as a constitutional law professor i would definitely vote for him as someone who can uphold the constitution rather then mccain.

  • Have you read the FISA Amendemnts Act, Coli? Have you actually read it?

    It’s your right to say that the fourth amendment in the Bill of Rights is not a big deal. It is my right to fight against your apathy and Barack Obama’s cynicism.

    This isn’t a whine. It’s a protest. I’m not about to let your arrogance stand in the way of my freedom.

  • Todd M

    I was (key word was) a hard core republican conservative and two time Bush voter,i sincerely apologize to you all and the rest of the world for my mistake.Anyway my point is i was a sheep and i never will be loyal to a party again.I will not vote for Barack or McCain and i only was interested in one candidate through this whole pathetic primary and that was Ron Paul but now he has dropped out.My only option and i certainly don’t see it as a bad one is 3rd party and i will do it with glee.I guess just for once i would love to see people from the right and the left come together as voters and just clean house,it might be a foolish hope but i would stand right beside someone on the left to protest and vote every single one of these clowns.

  • Tom

    Todd, i’m with you in your hope and i’d suggest looking into Ralph Nader’s candidacy – go to his website or listen to his speeches on U-tube, etc. He’s all about ending the lawlessness of corporate control, reining in the military, and reestablishing the Constitution. i voted for him the last two times and of course it did no good at all, but he’s the only REAL choice left.

    We need to clean house and get on the right track. By this i mean we need to gear our entire country up for changing the way it’s headed (economic collapse, massive joblessness, scarce resources, and poverty for most of us). We MUST go in the direction of combating climate change by investing heavily in green tech, renewable energy, infrastructure repair and maintenance, education, health and welfare issues, and the removal of lobbyists from influencing the governmental process. Otherwise, we’re toast.

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