It was inspiring to watch Maria Shriver announce her support for Barack Obama today. We had some hope when I was younger of a new and optimistic way of government. That hope died with Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Daily Kos had a nice posting by the same title as mine. You can find the whole piece here, but I’m copying the questions that the Democratic nominee must answer. It is not “politics as usual,” Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, I want my country back.
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.