The great effects of small differences

February 10, 2008 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Barack Obama, Democratic Party Presidential Primary, U.S. Politics | Leave a comment

Chances are, if you meet someone who is willing to concede that Sen. Barack Obama is a man who does, in fact, run on a platform high on substantial policy proposals, he/she will at some point include the caveat that those policies are vastly similar to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

In many cases this is true, but every once in a while you reach a fork in the road; a point where Obama & Clinton’s votes diverge and where you get the sense that an Obama Presidency, whilst inevitably flawed, might still bring a decency and humanity that we have not seen in Pennsylvania Avenue in quite a while. Case in point: there is only one person in the race who voted against the continued trade in cluster bombs & land mines:

Cluster bombs and landmines are particularly terrifying weapons that wreak havoc on communities trying to recover from war. They are fatal impediments to reconstruction and rehabilitation of agricultural land; they destroy valuable livestock; they disable otherwise productive members of society; they maim or kill children trying to salvage them for scrap metal.

Over 150 nations have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It pains me that our great nation has not. But in the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas.

Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.

Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban

Yes We Can. Yes We Must

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