I'm still having a hard time believing that Barack Obama actually voted with the Bush administration to cripple the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, much less understanding why he would do such a thing. I know he's got a lot of very intelligent advisers. Did they identify a large group of swing voters who would be more inclined to support Obama knowing he was willing to trash the Constitution in order to create a false sense of security about terrorism? Was it larger than the group of committed supporters, like myself, whose support would be catastrophically undermined by the vote?
I made a very small contribution to Obama's campaign — the first time I've ever done such a thing. I feel now as though I was played for a sucker. I certainly won't be sending the guy any more cash. More than that, I want my money back. It's no wonder that Obama's fund-raising efforts have been redirected recently towards more traditional big-money donors. The little guys like me who got him where he is today weren't looking to finance an attack on the Bill of Rights. Maybe the fat cats will be less finicky about such things.
I can understand taking a “nuanced position” with respect to abortion, or gun rights, or the timetable of withdrawal from Iraq, because these are genuinely complex issue, but is it possible to take a “nuanced position” on the Fourth Amendment, one of the keystones of the American system — a “balanced positioned” somewhere between enforcing the amendment and abolishing it altogether? I don't think so. A watered-down Bill of Rights isn't a bill of rights at all — it's just a meaningless expression of good intentions.
This is all made even more mysterious by the fact that Obama had previously vowed to support a filibuster against any bill granting immunity to the telecoms for violating the Fourth Amendment. When such a bill came before the Senate he couldn't even bring himself to vote against it, as so many other Democratic Senators did.
The only conclusion I can come to is that Obama is a true Democrat, a true American progressive. He's committed, unconsciously at least, to losing. The American Left is all about losing. It enjoys complaint and grievance — it has no ambition to govern.
What else could explain the Democratic Party's effort to nominate Hillary Clinton in place of Obama? What else could explain the Clinton campaign's decision to play the race card repeatedly, in an effort to divide the electorate, and to continue with this tactic long after it was clear that Hillary wasn't going to win the nomination? What else could explain Jeremiah Wright's efforts to derail Obama's quest to become the first African-American President, or Jesse Jackson's bitter animosity towards Obama?
Indeed, what else could explain the odd cover recently published by The New Yorker, a leftward-leaning publication? Masquerading as satire, it merely sent an image out into the culture around which irrational suspicions of Obama could coalesce.
The truth is that the American Left is terrified that Obama might actually win this election, violating the only enduring image it has of itself — that of self-righteous loser. Obama, far from transcending outdated images like this, seems to be buying into them. My guess is that the vote to undermine the Fourth Amendment won't be his last effort to alienate his most passionate supporters, the only way he can lose a contest whose outcome ought to be a foregone conclusion by now.
You just can't underestimate the American Left's lust for failure.