fr-ford-rumsfeld-carlucci-390.thumbnail.jpgAndrew Bacevich writes today that "Democrats and Republicans alike are counting the days until the inauguration of a new president will wipe the slate clean."

But it won’t wipe the slate clean, not by a long shot. And as Bacevich goes on to note, the toxic residue of the Bush legacy will not be easily purged.

Yet like Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party, purged it must be. Bacevich goes on to write that the burden is on Obama to do so — because it’s not like McCain is up to the task:

The challenge facing Obama is clear: he must go beyond merely pointing out the folly of the Iraq war; he must demonstrate that Iraq represents the truest manifestation of an approach to national security that is fundamentally flawed, thereby helping Americans discern the correct lessons of that misbegotten conflict.

The task seems quite daunting when you consider that the people Obama must work with in order to achieve this goal are the very people who got us into war in the first place: the foreign policy establishment, the DC chattering class and the cocktail weenie media who dominate the big megaphone discourse in this country.

But that is the task before him, if his campaign as an "outsider" and an agent of change is more than just a convenient campaign slogan (as it was for Bill Clinton).

Obama’s flip-flop on FISA is of concern to so many in the netroots because it starts to cast doubt on the sincerity of his promise to bring about change. If there is no accountability, if there is no day of reckoning, the same people will just regroup and repackage themselves and revisit the same horrors upon us once again.

Those who mint conventional wisdom are patting Obama on the back for having the "courage to stand up to the far left," like he snubbed us by not showing up to our Fourth of July barbecue or something. There is no appreciation of the fact that what we’re asking him to do is not engage in some trivial piece of vanity but to stand up for the constitution, and let the rule of law take its course without allowing big money and a bunch of guilty legislators to game the system.

John Dean writes today:

[I]f Obama is a man of his word, he should explain to his Senate colleagues that when elected President, he will “immediately” request that his attorney general investigate the criminal activity of the Bush Administration in violating the FISA statute, along with the telecommunications firms who aided and abetted these violations.

It would give many supporters some reason for hope.

The  group on MyBarackObama.com telling Obama to stand strong on FISA is now over 8,000, well on its way to be the biggest self-organized group on the site.  It would appear that a growing number of his supporters care about this issue deeply.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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