Friday, April 17, 2009
This is not something that can be asked and answered in a single post, but in response to my post TPI asked me "in what way is Obama's agenda destructive of civil liberties?"
I'm not going to get into a huge argument about this, but here's my very rudimentary and basic answer: Bush massively reduced the right to privacy via the Patriot Act. He violated our right to be free by torturing suspected terrorists. He violated our right to fair trial by holding detainees for years without a hearing. He violated our right to success by promoting discrimination against arab-appearing Americans.
Obama has not had 8 years to violate our rights, so his list is obviously shorter and less heinous. But what I was getting at with my loaded "but no less invasive to civil liberty" is Obama's two-fold attack on our right to bear arms and our right to prosper. I am not defending the Bush Administration's bungling of the economy, and I did not support their spending spree. But Bush's econ policies seemed...I dunno...like a snowball to Obama's avalanche of money. I'm not one of those hypocrites who says "$300 billion is okay, but $1.2 trillion is too much." I ranted against bailouts from the beginning. Bailouts rob people of the right to fail, of the rights of other intrepid people to establish efficient businesses in the wake of a bad business' colossal failure. Bailouts rob people of the right to spend their money at places they wish to, by forcing it into the hands of businesses that do not necessarily deserve it. Bush, and then Obama, used (and continue to use) "bailout or else armageddon" fearmongering to push upon the American people debts that we will eventually have to pay.
And you have to be either completely in Obama's pocket or have no access to the internet to know that about 15 seconds after Obama was elected, his website dropped their pro-gun talk and took up the liberal, anti-gun mantle. I know, I know, TPI, you don't think Obama is anti-gun. But the problem is that Obama isn't going to stand in the way of the people who are vengefully trying to remove guns from the hands of those of us who have the Constitutionally established right to them.
Obama might not be the bad guy in the anti-gun surge that is building steam in the Democratic party, but I don't see him telling Nancy Pelosi to sit down and shut up.
Anyway, we are looking at the sum total of Bush's legacy...Katrina, Patriot Act, Guantanimo, Iraq, etc. and we get the opportunity to go "wow, what a jerk." But with Obama, we're looking at it the ski slope from the top, and we really don't know what the ride will be like. But so far, Obama hasn't really seemed like "the ultimate defender of liberty" but more like "the ultimate enactor of progressive agenda".
Posted by Alex Waller at 11:29 AM