Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Editorial for the Day

How Obama concludes the war in Iraq or pursues the war in Afghanistan, how he tries to rescue the financial sector, revive the economy, reform health care, handles the Israel-Palestine issue, and so on - these are all genuinely policy issues; nothing actually (except the wars) requires the President to even take any action; we can disagree with Obama but continue to support him.

On the issue of the rule of law and constitutional liberties however, the President is mandated to act in certain ways, and the choices he has are much more constrained because he is an officer of the Constitution. When he makes a choice outside those limits, he merits our opposition, and importantly, he loses our trust. These are not issues on which we can agree to disagree. As we note that accountability for illegal surveillance by the government has been lost in part because of Obama's votes in the Senate and his actions as President, we hope someone in the White House is paying attention. Political support on specific issues and policies is easy-come, easy-go. Trust is hard to come by and easy to go.