Saturday, July 5, 2008

Avoiding Temptation

This has been a very challenging week for a former Hillary supporter now working for Obama. Many of the progressive blogs I found difficult to read during the primary because they were so pro-Obama have been very critical of Obama's positions this week on FISA, the death penalty, late-term abortion, handguns, etc. I have had to struggle hard with the temptation to say, "I told you so," and to eagerly search for the next trenchant criticism, enjoying the vindication of my trepidations about Obama.

I firmly believe all Democratic presidential candidates need pressure from the progressive wing of the party. Yet I am suspicious of my eagerness to jump into the fray. Part of my Catholic upbringing was the exhortation to avoid the near occasions of sin. I am an Anglican now, not a Catholic, but I do understand what they were warning against. For example, the day Obama clinched the nomination and I switched my support to him, I stopped reading the Hillary website and some of the pro-Hillary blogs like Confluence, which have been taken over by PUMA. I have avoided any PUMA blogs or posts, and refused as moderator to approve their comments on my Obama groups.

It distresses me that no one is trying harder to make McCain take responsibility for Bush's high crimes and constitutional violations. Criticisms of Obama's FISA position should attack Bush's abuses in more detail. I need to keep reminding myself that I have always been to the left of the Democratic presidential candidate and disappointed at their move to the center. My commitment to Obama is still very new, so I don't feel confident of my ability to dialogue with PUMA's for example without catching some of their Obama hostility.

In the last week, I have been spending more time reading blogs critical of Obama than working for Obama online. This week I plan to go to two local Obama organizing events; I hope I get back on track. Please don't misunderstand me. I do feel it is vitally important to fight against the FISA bill. I just know that for me too much Obama criticism will dilute my still tentative enthusiasm and commitment.


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