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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Obama Is Bush Number Two

I could barely write the headline without laughing myself silly, but it seems the harshest criticism the far far far far left can heap upon Obama is that he is like George Bush.

The Wall Street Journal calls Obama's actions "Another Friday, another bow to Bush's antiterror legacy."

President Obama's endorsements of Bush-Cheney antiterror policies are by now routine: for example, opposing the release of prisoner abuse photographs and support for indefinite detention for some detainees, and that's just this week. More remarkable is White House creativity in portraying these U-turns as epic change. Witness yesterday's announcement endorsing military commissions.

The first thing I usually do when seeing a story like this on memorandum, is head over to farthest left blog that is discussing the piece to see the ranting, whining, howling and raving.

I wasn't disappointed when I clicked on Salon's hack in chief, Glenn Greenwald:

Can anyone deny what the NYT and Post are pointing out today? This is what happened this week alone in the realm of Obama's approach to "national security" and civil liberties:

Monday - Obama administration's letter to Britian threatening to cut off intelligence-sharing if British courts reveal the details of how we tortured British resident Binyam Mohamed;

Tuesday - Promoted to military commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, who was deeply involved in some of the worst abuses of the Bush era;

Wednesday - Announced he was reversing himself and would try to conceal photographic evidence showing widespread detainee abuse -- despite the rulings from two separate courts (four federal judges unanimously) that the law compels their disclosure;

Friday - Unveiled his plan to preserve a modified system of military commissions for trying Guantanamo detainees, rather than using our extant-judicial processes for doing so.

It's not the fault of civil libertarians that Obama did all of those things, just in this week alone. These are the very policies -- along with things like the claimed power to abduct and imprison people indefinitely with no charges of any kind and the use of the "state secrets privilege" to deny torture and spying victims a day in court -- that caused such extreme anger and criticisms toward the Bush presidency.

What would it say about a person who spent the last seven years vehemently criticizing those policies to suddenly decide that the same policies were perfectly fine or not particularly bothersome when Obama adopts them? How could that be justified? What should one say about a person who vehemently objected to X when Bush did it, but then suddenly found ways to defend or mitigate X when Obama does it? Just re-read that first paragraph from the NYT article today. What should a rational person say in response to what it describes?

The articles he is referring to can be found here and here.

Notice how loud the howls get when something is done to keep our country safe and the only time they praise Obama is when he does something that endangers our national security.

The problem though is Obama himself, he made promises to his supporters, and although I agree that our court system is not geared to handle terror suspects and agree with his decision about the military tribunals, his supporters do have reason to complain.. he lied to them.

Another problem here is his supporters themselves..... were they really naive enough to believe his lies to begin with?

Obviously they were considering how loudly they are complaining now.

Note to unhappy Obama supporters- Suck it up, you wanted him, you got him, you swallowed his lies, hook, line and sinker and never questioned him and howling now isn't going to change a thing.