Along with many other progressives, I'm struggling with what I'll call the Obama dilemma: how to balance the impressive qualities of the man with his legislative record.
At Daily Kos, political analyst (and Kos fellow) mcjoan demands some answers before she'll commit to any of the two remaining Democratic candidates.
What I want to know is that you will renounce the doctrine of preemptive war.
What I want to know is that you will get our troops out of Iraq before the end of your first term in office, without leaving permanent bases.
What I want to know is that you will find bin Laden, that you will take seriously the threat that al Qaeda still poses and that you will know where and how to fight them.
What I want to know is that you will take care of the men and women who gave their all for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, that you will end the shameful lack of funding, services, and treatment these brave men and women face when they come home, and that you will ensure they get the help that they not only need, but deserve.
What I want to know is that you will unequivocally renounce the use of torture and will agree to abide by the Geneva Conventions and international treaties on the treatment of prisoners of war.
What I want to know is that you will shut Guantanamo and every secret prison down as soon as humanly possible, and that the detainees in them will receive justice.
What I want to know is that you will end the warrantless and illegal surveillance of American citizens by our intelligence agencies.
What I want to know is that you will hold any corporation that aided government in illegally spying on American citizens accountable to the rule of law.
What I want to know is that your cabinet and executive offices will not be stacked with bumbling ideologues and cronies.
What I want to know is that you, your Vice President and every one of your executive officers will be subject to the rule of law, just like everyone else.
What I want to know is that you will respect Congress as a co-equal branch of government.
What I want to know is that you will never attempt to circumvent Congress's laws with signing statement.
What I want to know is that you appoint qualified Supreme Court justices who believe in the rule of law and in the fundamental privacy protections for all Americans under decided law.
What I want to know is that you are going to break the stranglehold of dependence our country has on foreign oil.
What I want to know is that you will make rebuilding New Orleans for all of the people of New Orleans a top domestic priority, and that another debacle like this administration's response to Katrina will never happen on your watch.
What I want to know is that you see and understand just how massively off-track our country has gone, and that you have some idea about how to right it, and the ability to do so.
I want to know that you will be willing to tell the American people what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear.
I want to know that you can be a leader.
I want to know that you will give us our country back.
These questions are to both Clinton and Obama, but Clinton is pretty much a known quantity, while Obama, apparently by design, is a chimera cloaked in a fog.
Veteran activist Tom Hayden has found a way to solve the dilemma: by endorsing the movement Obama has generated, rather than the man or the politician.
… I have been devastated by too many tragedies and betrayals over the past 40 years to ever again deposit so much hope in any single individual, no matter how charismatic or brilliant. But today I see across the generational divide the spirit, excitement, energy and creativity of a new generation bidding to displace the old ways. Obama's moment is their moment, and I pray that they succeed without the sufferings and betrayals my generation went through. …
Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla is looking hard at Obama, and doesn't really like what she's found inside that fog. She quotes from a revealing article in the New York Times about a bill Obama introduced to deal with safety and accountability at nuclear power plants after a company in his home state of Illinois failed to notify the community after a leak.
Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama