OPEN LETTER: Obama and the Democratic leadership have ‘compromised’ the Fourth Amendment

I submitted the following “comment” to the Obama campaign on July 9, as well as e-mailing it to a few dozen people.

“Obama/Dem capitulation on FISA:

Unconscionable by any reasonable perspective I can imagine.

Far more disturbing than much other “shift to center” stuff I’m also unhappy about.

If someone like myself concludes (certainly possible by now) that despite all his intelligence and moral depth, Barack has chosen to pair the rhetoric of hope with catastrophic “realism” (only way to get accepted, elected blah blah blah)….

…then its likely that many more centrist or even conservative-but-potential-Obama voters will suspect he is a slick faker, or has shaky principles at best.

If that happens, then his most pragmatic and realistic advisors will not only undermine any serious possibility of change, but perhaps even help elect John McCain in this seemingly most anti-Republican of times.

I hope someone out there is still listening, because there is a completely different way to put this: Barack must LEAD. That does not mean saying things I agree with. It does mean taking certain risks in using the campaign to promote serious democratic debate — about nasty realities from Irag/Afghanistan/Iran/Pakistan to hardcore poverty to uncivil liberties to the planetary economy.

These discussions can not be based on just what people already know, or think they know and believe. The worse things become, the more “triangulation” becomes pandering becomes incompetent (at best) leadership. That I should be raising these questions in reflecting upon the Obama campaign is already a deeply disheartening reality.

Please. How bad must things be before you act from an understanding that “transformation” is not some stupid lost-cause idealism, not some equivocal Clinton-like policy, but where the walk will meet the talk?