Liberals continue to abandon the Constitution on behalf of Obama

posted at 4:36 pm on August 1, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

Since the end of the Bush Administration, mainstream liberal opposition to expansions of Executive power has almost completely disappeared. It didn’t take long, either; as noted by Ed in February 2010, only 97 House Democrats opposed renewal of the Patriot Act. And as Adam Serwer pointed in Mother Jones back in May:

Liberals have been largely content to use Obama’s body count to defend his foreign policy record without confronting the moral implications of our vastly expanded covert battle against Al Qaeda and its affiliates…That’s a tragic abdication of responsibility that will have profound implications for national security in the future.

Serwer is correct, though admittedly both Democrats and Republicans have been hypocrites when it comes to changing political viewpoints – many Republicans in Washington were fine with deficits and the individual mandate until 2009, after all. However, this version of political partisanship is getting ridiculous, as two recent examples show.

First, just yesterday Serwer reported that some in Congress are beginning to remember the institution is a co-equal branch of the federal government. Serwer cites two measures making their way through Congress, and a little digging through the links he provides shows that while one Democratic Senator, Pat Leahy, joined with Republican Senators Grassley and Cornyn to put pressure on the President, all other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were satisfied to continue allowing Obama near-absolute freedom to kill American citizens.

The other was brought to my attention by my good friend Nick R. Brown. Nick has put together a video, seen below, outlining how a number of Bush-era Executive Orders on Iraq have recently been extended by President Obama. From Nick’s post:

If liberals are truly the party of peace, the party that stems from the generation of the ’60′s era mantra, “Question Authority,” and the party that protested in mass against the Bush-era wars, then why are we still not seeing the same outcry in regards to Obama’s continuation of Iraqi and Afghani policy and his new CIA led “secret” war in Pakistan using drones?

Again, hypocrisy is always a problem in Washington, but by and large the nation’s non-conservative media has decided to ignore this particular hypocrisy. One liberal has kept the pressure up on Obama, however, and was kind enough to e-mail a quote for this post. From Salon’s Glenn Greenwald (emphasis not added):

Many partisans seem to believe that Constitutional constraints are necessary only when a bad person — meaning someone from the other party — is in power.

Conservatives spent the Clinton years protesting secret wiretapping courts and government encryption powers, only to turn under during the Bush years and cheer for the implementation of every radical expansion of executive power and surveillance programs.

Meanwhile, liberals who spent the Bush years screeching about the evils of eavesdropping and detention without judicial review or transparency are now perfectly fine with Obama’s seizure of the far more extreme power of assassinating people without judicial review.

Everyone can learn from the admonition of Thomas Jefferson (“In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution”) and John Adams (“”There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty“).

 


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Wait – did they ever respect the Constitution?

Philly on August 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

G R E A T…!!!

KOOLAID2 on August 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

we’re more comfortable with Obama wielding this sort of power because he seems a hell of a lot more effective and responsible with it.
 
urban elitist on February 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

rogerb on August 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM

The left sometimes uses big words to make them sound like profound thinkers on the issue: like “I don’t believe in the immutability of the US Constitution.” What they are really saying is they want a dictatorial shortcut to full-out socialism and a way to more easily get around all the amendements (free speech, guns, religion) that the Constitution spells out. For them: you can amend the constitution, it never has been immutable, dimwits.

anotherJoe on August 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Liberals continue to abandon the Constitution on behalf of Obama

When have liberals ever given a damn about the constitution?

sharrukin on August 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

The patriot act does not bother me so much as failure to “take care the laws be faithfully executed”. E.g. the DREAM Act, waivers for individuals, non-recess recess appointments, repeal of the work requirement for welfare, etc., etc., etc. Even our local paper is now pushing for selective ignoring of the Tennessee closed primary law. If everybody (or elected officials) gets to decide which laws they are going to follow, there are no laws.

tngmv on August 1, 2012 at 4:46 PM

we’re more comfortable with Obama wielding this sort of power because he seems a hell of a lot more effective and responsible with it.

urban elitist on February 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

rogerb on August 1, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Now, that’s some funny stuff right there.

Thanks, rog.

Solaratov on August 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Liberals absolutely LOVE big government and big welfare.

Stands to reason where they’re at and where they want to drag the entire country down to.

FlatFoot on August 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Dustin, the title is not correct. One cannot continue abandoning something that one never accepted in the first place.

Archivarix on August 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM

We need OUR SARAH more and more each day.

Pork-Chop on August 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Liberals continue to abandon the Constitution on behalf of Obama

When have liberals ever given a damn about the constitution?
sharrukin on August 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

When the President is from the other party. That’s when.

RDH on August 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

In order to abandon something you would have originally had to have been on board.

The Notorious G.O.P on August 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Getting mired down in hypocrisy games does no one any good – except the Establishment Party.

Dante on August 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

tngmv on August 1, 2012 at 4:46 PM

“And everybody did what was right in their own eyes.”

chemman on August 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM

When have liberals ever given a damn about the constitution?
sharrukin on August 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

When the President is from the other party. That’s when.

RDH on August 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

And when they have a guy in the White House they are all for civility in politics, until they decide to unleash a spew of hatred on the designated bad guy, and then its back to maintaining that public civility.

sharrukin on August 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM

From the caption of this piece on the home page:

Election…Constitution…Election…Constitution…

The Democrats understand that if they win the Election, they can consider the Constitution void. Institutional Republicans believe that if they win the Election, they can consider it to be advisory.

Subotai Bahadur

Subotai Bahadur on August 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Meanwhile, liberals who spent the Bush years screeching about the evils of eavesdropping and detention without judicial review or transparency are now perfectly fine with Obama’s seizure of the far more extreme power of assassinating people without judicial review.

Oppression from the King is horrible, except when the King does you a favor. It’s great to have the King on your side. It’s even better to be King.

–His Majesty Hussein the First

Steve Z on August 1, 2012 at 5:17 PM

FDR, the fave of so many liberals & conservatives alike, didn’t like the Constitution either.
I actually think Obama is the black reincarnation of President Wilson.

Badger40 on August 1, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Liberals have one moral principle – that which empowers the Left is good, that which disempowers it is bad.

So, when Bush was President, sniping at him increased the chance of liberals being elected to office – so opposing his national security policies was “good”.

When Obama extends the same policies, it is empowering a liberal, and sniping at him only decreases the chances of liberals being elected to office – so it is “evil” to oppose Obama.

It would be easy to call this an example of situational ethics, but that isn’t really what is going on – liberals are just lying about their motivations. They are quite consistent in following their one moral principle.

18-1 on August 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

If liberals are truly the party of peace, the party that stems from the generation of the ’60′s era mantra, “Question Authority,” and the party that protested in mass against the Bush-era wars, then why are we still not seeing the same outcry in regards to Obama’s continuation of Iraqi and Afghani policy and his new CIA led “secret” war in Pakistan using drones?

Because, just like in the ’60s, liberals don’t actually care about civilans or war dead or atrocities any more than teacher’s unions care about kids. They are nothing but a means to a political end.

29Victor on August 1, 2012 at 5:33 PM

S h e e p!

KOOLAID2 on August 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

many Republicans in Washington were fine with deficits and the individual mandate until 2009

First part of this statement is correct. Too many Republicans drifted too far Left on fiscal responsibility. There can be no doubt. As for the mandate….that was a desperation alternative (proposed by -a few- Republicans) to HillaryCare AKA “single payer” from 20 years ago. If “many” Republicans were “fine” with the mandate they surely could’ve sailed it right through along with the Leftist policy known as Medicare Part D with bipartisan support. But they didn’t.

visions on August 1, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Conservatives spent the Clinton years protesting secret wiretapping courts and government encryption powers, only to turn under during the Bush years and cheer for the implementation of every radical expansion of executive power and surveillance programs.

I understand the sentiment here, but let’s all remember that we had an event on 9/11/01 that might have changed a few minds on the subject.

Odysseus on August 1, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Liberals aren’t the party of peace. They’re the party of America losing its wars. Whether it was pulling the rug out from under the ARVN, just when they were starting to have real success against the North, or undermining our current war efforts, so that while we may win on the battlefield, we’ll loose the peace. Liberals only care about increasing their power and shrinking ours.

Iblis on August 1, 2012 at 6:34 PM

“Question autonomy.”

Akzed on August 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Conservatives spent the Clinton years protesting secret wiretapping courts and government encryption powers, only to turn under during the Bush years and cheer for the implementation of every radical expansion of executive power and surveillance programs.

Yes, well, a little something happened on 9/11/01 that created an urgent need to increase our wiretapping activities. For conservatives, it had nothing to do with the fact that a Republican was in the White house instead of a democrat and everything to do with a bunch of Islamic idiots declaring some kind of holy war upon our nation! On the other hand, it was democrats who were willing to risk our national security to stop our own government from protecting it’s citizens because a republican was in the white house instead of a democrat. In a time of crisis, it was the liberals who were looking for partisan advantage and cheap political points. Who is this moron Glenn Greenwald?

Dollayo on August 2, 2012 at 3:38 AM

And I thought this post was going to be about the 1st Amendment (Chick-fil-A) and the 5th Amendment (Harry Reid > Mitt Romney.)

There’s just so much Anti-American rhetoric coming out of the Democrat Party today, isn’t there.

MNHawk on August 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM