I’m wearing one of my Barack Obama t-shirts today. Yes, at work. I’m pretty sure I get to do that. If anyone complains I’ll double-check.
My t-shirt says (on the front), “I’m fired up” and (on the back) “He’s ready to go” with a picture of the White House. It’s red, which I find a bit ironic, since “red state” has come to mean a state that tends to go Republican, rather than Democratic. Prior to the mid-1990s, there was no “standard” method of color-coding maps, with different networks using opposing color schemes, some coding Democratic states in blue and Republican ones in red, and other networks or news outlets coding them in opposite colors.
But since the 2000 election, people have pretty much standardized on blue meaning Democratic, and red meaning Republican. So, again, irony (or conscious decision) for Obama’s campaign to sell shirts in red, white, blue, and even green.
I think electing a progressive President is important, but more important, I think, is getting more and better Democrats in at all levels of government. Especially Congress. I read Glenn Greenwald’s column yesterday about the calculations that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer appears to be pulling with the Bush Administration’s push for letting the telecoms off the hook for caving in on illegal surveillance. If you don’t know much about the topic, you really should read Greenwald’s article, above. I’ve been following it for a while and the fact that the Democratic leadership in Congress appears to be so scared of being seen as “soft” on “national security” that they would subvert the rule of law and allow the telecom companies (and, by direct extension, the Bush Administration) to get off without even a slap on the hand is infuriating.
Sadly, Obama seems to be against the proposed bill granting the billion-dollar corporations and the billion-dollar war criminals amnesty… but so far it’s just words.
After you’ve read Greenwald’s latest take, you may feel compelled, as I did, to drop some money towards an ad campaign (via ActBlue) to educate and warn people about this dangerous bill. When I gave yesterday afternoon, they had raised around $101,000 – as I write this, it stands at $154,758, with 2,699 contributors. That shows that there are people paying attention. But I don’t think it’s enough. So I’m asking my 300-400 readers to contribute, if they can, whatever they can. Even if it’s $5.
And if I have any conservative or Republican readers (doubtful but possible), let me point out a couple of things. One, the ad that Greenwald et. al. is raising money to buy will be running in Steny Hoyer’s district. Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer. Democrats police their own; we don’t try to make excuses when our leadership is acting against the interests of the country.
And, two, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a Democratic president or a Republican president that has unaccountable power. Neither one is good. No one is above the law, and I (and other Democrats) don’t put the party above the country. But, still speaking to my conservative/libertarian/Republican readers, since it’s a foregone conclusion that control of the House and the Senate will be remaining in Democratic hands, and I believe that the White House will be occupied by a Democratic president next year… Is this the kind of power you want in the hands of the opposing party? Give some money to help stop it, then, if the answer is “no”.