Why Bi-partisanship Can Really Suck
by J. Andrew Zalucky
I know this isn’t really a scholarly or “sophisticated” reference here, but I think this recent segment on Morning Joe was definitely worth watching. I normally would not expect Joe Scarborough to focus so closely on civil liberties like this, but I have to say I was genuinely impressed by his comments. This might make you think: “Oh, so he doesn’t like the idea of being killed without trial, without due process, or without even being charged with a crime…how does that make him special, isn’t that just common sense?”
Well…you’d hope so.
But you wouldn’t think so with the swarm of unprincipled Democrats (don’t call them Liberals, they’ve forfeited that title) prostrating before President Obama and conservatives like Erick Erickson and Michelle Malkin rallying behind him. This is the same man that conservatives called a “tyrant” and the product of some Manchurian Candidate conspiracy when it came to other issues. But when it comes to something like the government’s use of violence, nothing.
“Yay! See? The two sides can come together, yay America!”
In other words, bi-partisanship can really suck, especially when it comes to our civil liberties and limits on the government use of force.
What’s truly sickening here is the fall-into line attitude that Democrats have taken on this issue, due to some impulse they have to trust the President more than someone like Bush. What they all fail to realize is that, even if (and it’s a gigantic IF at this point) President Obama takes these undeserved powers and uses them fairly and carefully, there is NO guarantee that his successors will do the same. In a way, to focus too much on the consequences of Obama still in the White House would be missing the point. Fine, maybe he won’t expand the militarism we’ve used abroad for domestic security operations, but that’s not the point. The point is that he’s created a precedent, barring an impeachment or challenge from the Supreme Court, that will outlast his own time in office.
Even worse is to see Obama supporters on Twitter attacking Liberals who have dared challenge their “transformational” President on his foreign policy record, saying things like “It’s people like you would let a new 9/11 happen” or accusing us of being “soft on the terror” and “unwilling to do what it takes to protect America”. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. And all this jingoist BS, from people who go around calling themselves “Progressives”.
One things that might help explain this is video of Glenn Greenwald speaking at a conference in CT (that I now feel really stupid about missing) on this and other issues:
Their are two things at play here that I think Glenn points out perfectly, one is that Democrats have simply begun to just tow the line for their President, and two- that the next generation coming up through high school and college now have no consequential memory of what the world was like before 9/11. Having been born in 1987, I have a pretty clear memory of the 1990’s, the Clinton-era, and a number of other hallmarks of the decade leading up to those attacks. Take a high school sophomore living in the United States today (someone ten years my junior) and the 90’s will barely be shadow to them.
This is the reason why the endless, limitless nature of the “war on terror” is so dangerous, because eventually it will become the new normal.
What we need is a strong opposition movement of principled Liberals, Libertarians, and those Conservatives who are passionate about defending the constitution. Articles, protests, campaigns of awareness, and of course, the choices we make with voting and campaign contributions will all be a part of this. But first, one must, as I said in my election article, drop the facade of party allegiance.
It was Senator Lindsay Graham last week who disgracefully jumped to Obama’s defense saying:
“It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly.
He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.”
It’s a start.