There is perhaps nothing more difficult in politics today than to go on the record voting against the majority. Voters are inundated with commercials and rhetoric about a candidate’s voting record, without context or clarification. John Kerry’s infamous quote, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,” became an indictment of Kerry – as if voting against a bill until it met his standard for being ready to be passed into law was a bad thing.
The News this last week was dominated by two stories – the circumstances surrounding the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys from around the country, and a continued effort by congressional Dems to begin to bring an end to the war. In both cases Obama was outspoken for the losing side of the debate, long before it was fashionable to do so.
In 2002 Obama was openly critical of the war. He spoke against it using unequivocal language and through a medium that would limit his ability to back away from the statement later. It wasn’t a press release, or a print interview, where he could claim to have been misquoted, but an on-camera interview. He had firm beliefs about the war and was not afraid to express them.
2005 brought the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the office of Attorney General. The position is one that requires both a steadfast belief in our nation’s laws, and a willingness to defend them at all costs. On the of Gonzales’ confirmation Obama addressed the Senate regarding his unease with Gonzales becoming the AG. Obama voted against confirming Gonzales, despite knowing Gonzales’ confirmation was simply a formality.
Perhaps it isn’t time to call for Alberto Gonzales’ head, or begin a complete withdrawal from Iraq. However, as Americans call for an end to the war and grow weary of excuses from the Department of Justice we must take a closer look at those leaders who tried to stop us from making these questionable decisions in the first place. After all, we deserve a leader that will make the right choices, not just the easy ones.