Guest Column: Letter to Senator Obama: First two actions disappointing

Note: This letter was sent to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama Jan. 20.

Dear Senator Obama,

I was deeply disappointed with your first two actions as a senator. The first was voting to certify the election of George Bush against compelling evidence of vote fraud. The second was your vote to confirm Ms. Rice for the position of Secretary of State, in spite of her lies and general incompetence—she was, it should be remembered, in charge of National Security when the WORST failure of national security in our nation’s history occurred.

As a new face, with a huge voter mandate, and as an African-American, you had little to lose politically had you reversed your vote. I asked you a question at the Rockford Public library, following your election, about voter suppression, and it was clear even then that you do not seem willing to stand up for principle. You said, at the time that “We all have an interest in seeing that George W. Bush has a successful presidency.”

Excuse me, but are you aware that Dubya’s idea of a successful presidency is gutting Social Security, invading Iran, tax breaks for the rich, and exporting our manufacturing jobs to China? Excuse me, but I, for one, do NOT have an interest in seeing this agenda passed. Neither do most of your constituents.

America is desperately looking for principled leadership, and many—myself among them—thought you might be able to provide it. It appears that I was mistaken. I do not think that Martin Luther King, were he alive today, would be appeasing the neo-conservatives. He would not be a “get along, go along” Democrat. What happened to the man who once voted against the Iraq War? That didn’t turn out to be a political miscalculation, now, did it?

Barbara Boxer seems to be the only Democrat in this terrible political environment with a spine. I do hope you grow one and live up to what many thought was your full potential.

P.S.—I note that your online constituent response form does not include “Voting Rights” on its pull-down menu. This also seems to indicate a lack of awareness and principle about the issues that concern your constituency.

Daniel McGuire is a Rockford resident.

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