Monday, November 19, 2007

Lessig on Obama

Larry Lessig, professor of law at Stanford Law School and an authority on copyright law in the digital age, has a great blog post on why he's supporting Obama. There's much that Lessig likes about Obama:
First ... I know him, which means I know something of his character. "He is the real deal" has become my favorite new phrase." Everything about him ... is what you would dream a candidate should be.
Then there are Obama's policies that Lessig likes a lot:

Clearly on the big issues -- the war and corruption. Obama has made his career fighting both. But also on the issues closest to me [technology] Obama has committed himself to important and importantly balanced positions.
In stark contrast, Lessig sees serious problems with Clinton's candidacy:

The parts I can't get over all relate to the issues around corruption.
That's very interesting, coming from Lessig. Lessig made a name for himself in the area of digital copyright, going on to found Creative Commons (a tool that lets authors mark their creative works with the freedoms they want it to carry). But recently, Lessig decided to focus his research on a completely new topic: corruption.

But that's not the half of it:

...the part that gets me the most about Senator Clinton is the eager embrace of spinelessness. ... Our party seems constitutionally wedded to the idea that you wage a campaign with tiny speech. Say as little as possible. Be as uncontroversial as you can. Embrace the chameleon as the mascot. Fear only that someone would clearly understand what you believe.
And what of the "fact" that Clinton appears to have a stranglehold on the Democratic nomination?

"Don't be ridiculous. This isn't about misplaced courage. Barack is going to win this one easily."
All very interesting. I missed seeing Obama live last week. But I'm looking forward to watch his appearance on video.

3 comments:

Ashish said...

I know I will get in trouble for quoting Maureen Dowd, but she does have some great points to make in today's NYT.

Couple of clips:

1) Making an economic speech in Knoxville, Iowa, earlier that day, the New York senator had touted her own know-how, saying that “there is one job we can’t afford on-the-job training for — that’s the job of our next president.” Her aides confirmed that she was referring to Obama.

Pressed to respond, Obama offered a zinger feathered with amused disdain: “My understanding was that she wasn’t Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, so I don’t know exactly what experiences she’s claiming.”

2) “She hasn’t accomplished anything on her own since getting admitted to Yale Law,” wrote Joan Di Cola, a Boston lawyer, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal this week, adding: “She isn’t Dianne Feinstein, who spent years as mayor of San Francisco before becoming a senator, or Nancy Pelosi, who became Madam Speaker on the strength of her political abilities. All Hillary is, is Mrs. Clinton. She became a partner at the Rose Law Firm because of that, senator of New York because of that, and (heaven help us) she could become president because of that.”

OK, I get in double trouble for quoting the Journal being quoted by Maureen Dowd!

How strange is this game where W and Laura are now supporting Hillary?

AV

Pandu Nayak said...

Yes, I read Maureen Dowd's op-ed this morning. She really lambasted Mr. Clinton, didn't she.

Rajesh said...

I am glad Maureen Dowd picked up this rebuttal. The media has yet again bought into what is being offered up by the political machine without any questioning. What are they afraid of- not being invited to the next Clinton press conference ?
On the topic of Obama being the real deal, I liked this New Yorker piece
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/11/26/071126fa_fact_lizza


“Hillary is running, in many ways, a textbook campaign. But it’s a textbook that I think is inadequate to the moment. It’s a textbook that says you don’t answer tough questions directly because it may make you a bigger target in the general election—that you tell people what they want to hear but avoid telling some hard truths.”

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