Look: I always said that Barack Obama was not a liberal. It's sad, though, that the constituency for civil liberties in this country is so pathetically weak that Obama (and other people who should know better) can trash it so easily in the quest for the support of more powerful groups:
Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans that would expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and — in a move sure to cause controversy — support their ability to hire and fire based on faith.
This practice is nothing more than an unconstitutional boondoggle, a way to buy the support of evangelical voters by channeling tax money to churches for the operation of questionably effective social programs. If all that was involved was patronage, well, that's just politics. But this combines the stale odor of patronage with the acrid smoke from the torching of our civil liberties. As he demonstated with his sell-out on warrantless wiretapping and telecomm immunity, Obama seems to have no problem inhaling those fumes.