Health of the Republic: Down 7% to 5%

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while but net issues have been keeping me away. In any event, the recent passage of the so-called “FISA reform” (now with telecom immunity!) has sent the Health of the Republic tumbling downward. I had begun to be cautiously optimistic that American liberty might begin to recover now that we are approaching the end of the Worst Administration Ever.

But Senator Obama and the Senate Democrats blew this call. Somehow they believe there is a huge constituency for enhanced domestic spying, for rewarding lawbreakers, and for undermining the Constitution. I understand the political calculus, I think, but I’m pretty sure it’s flat-out wrong and it’s disturbing to see the “change” candidate get stuck in worn-out thinking. Usually, Sen. Obama treats Americans as smart and engaged. He is never better than when an issues is nuanced and charged. This time, he just surrendered to the “We must sacrifice liberty to survive the Evil Terrorists” meme.

I’m still going to vote for him and I’ll probably even continue to donate money. After all, the only hope of addressing the ills of this bill lie with a Democratic President and Congress — you can be sure McCain won’t do anything to rein it in. But something has gone out of my enthusiasm. The public finance thing and the slow withdrawal thing didn’t really faze me. But this was important.

It was a chance to lead, and he blew it — and we don’t have all that many chances left.