I am not looking forward to the next election cycle. I mean, I think everybody hates election exhaustion. But this will be an exceptionally trying time for anyone who believes that America should have better alternatives than a center-right party and a right-right party. The "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" certainty of those who insist that anyone on the left has to vote for Obama is already getting ginned up.
(You've got to hand it Balloon Juice: no other blog in history has been so adept at perfectly defining bullshit and how it operates, and then turning around and engaging in precisely that kind of bullshit. A fun game you can play with Balloon Juice is to go through its wonderful lexicon, then turn to the posts on the front page and see how many of them are guilty of the sins the lexicon identifies.)
The Balloon Juice crew has been holding Andrew Sullivan's feet to the fire over the absurd Ryan budget, which is important, but holy moly. I would give that a good fisking but honestly it's all too wearying. Suffice is to say that this kind of discourse-politicing argument is going to become increasingly commonplace, until "YOU MUST VOTE FOR OBAMA" will become a mantra in the progressive blogosphere. Get used to it.
I'm sure I'll articulate why I can't support Barack Obama for the presidency in 2012 at great length in the future. In the meantime, at this particular moment, I'll just express one argument that by itself is sufficient for me to walk away from Hope and Change. I went to see Glenn Greenwald speak this past week, which was excellent. And in his discussion I had a moment of simple awe, as I remembered, and then finally really wrapped my head around, the fact that the Obama administration has asserted its right to murder American citizens with absolutely no due process or review of law at all. I mean, really think about that, for a little. What civil liberties can really remain at all, if the government retains the right to kill you at its whim? None of the rights enumerated in our constitution matter one bit if the government can simply murder you without cause or review. The police need a warrant to search my glove compartment if it's locked; the executive can send an agent to put a bullet in the back of my head completely with impunity.
This is a decision made and announced by fiat by the Obama administration. As Congress has abandoned any interest at all in protecting civil liberties, those issues are especially damning to the President. For that reason alone-- not even just civil liberties, but that one issue, the assertion of a universal and unchecked right to assassination-- I would never support the Obama candidacy. That alone, for me, is enough.
Update: It's been credibly argued to me in a back and forth with an emailer that it's stupid and counterproductive of me to talk about Balloon Juice as a whole when I'm responding to a post by a particular member. (She was much more polite than that, but that was her point.) So I apologize for that.