I Warned You

Earlier, I predicted there was no way the Democrats would fulfill their promise to reign in the imperial presidency, since they hoped to have a President from their own party next term.  In practice, the party affiliation of the President seldom has much to do with their desire to increase executive power.  For example, while GWB and the Republicans rightly deserve a lot of blame for the worst parts of the Patriot Act, in fact most of that act was actually proposed by Bill Clinton circa 1995  (and, ironically, was defeated by Republicans led by John Ashcroft).  I am starting to believe that, like the expression there are no atheists in foxholes, we might equally well be able to say that there are no civil libertarians in the White House.

I told you so.  And here:

In the past 24 hours, specifically beginning with the moment Barack
Obama announced that he now supports the Cheney/Rockefeller/Hoyer House
bill, there have magically arisen -- in places where one would never
have expected to find them -- all sorts of claims about why this FISA
"compromise" isn't really so bad after all. People who spent the week
railing against Steny Hoyer as an evil, craven enabler of the Bush
administration -- or who spent the last several months identically
railing against Jay Rockefeller -- suddenly changed their minds
completely when Barack Obama announced that he would do the same thing
as they did. What had been a vicious assault on our Constitution, and
corrupt complicity to conceal Bush lawbreaking, magically and
instantaneously transformed into a perfectly understandable position,
even a shrewd and commendable decision, that we should not only accept,
but be grateful for as undertaken by Obama for our Own Good.

Accompanying those claims are a whole array of factually false
statements about the bill, deployed in service of defending Obama's
indefensible -- and deeply unprincipled -- support for this


  1. Yoshidad:

    Counting on Obama for change is positively delusional. See here: http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/06/20/old-obama-new-obama/

    He appears to be a conventional politician, committed to telling you what you want to hear, rather than expressing a commitment, or rousing a constituency for real change. I don't know if it's any consolation, but McCain is worse.

  2. Josh:

    –verb (used without object)
    4. to possess or exercise sovereign power or authority.
    5. to hold the position and name of sovereign without exercising the ruling power.
    6. to have control, rule, or influence of any kind.
    7. to predominate; be prevalent.

    –verb (used with object)
    5. to check or guide (a horse or other animal) by exerting pressure on a bridle bit by means of the reins.
    6. to curb; restrain; control.

  3. Dr. T:

    Democrats never were big lovers of civil liberties. So, it was no surprise that almost half of the democratic congresspersons voted for this bill. The bill also included amnesty for the telecommunications companies who illegally provided customer data to the federal government. I wonder how many contributions and favors (to both parties) occurred to help this pass?