Obama and Civil Liberties

Supporters of Obama likes to praise his advancement of civil liberties. Unfortunately such claims are entirely false as Obama has been busy eroding civil liberties since taking office:

Most troubling, however, is the state of our freedoms. Indeed, during Obama’s first term, our civil liberties were utterly and completely disemboweled. The great irony, of course, is that this happened with a self-proclaimed constitutional law professor at the helm—a man who was supposed to understand and respect the rule of law as laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

Not only did Obama continue many of the most outrageous abuses of the George W. Bush administration (which were bad enough), including indefinite detention and warrantless surveillance of American citizens, but he also succeeded in expanding the power of the “imperial president,” including the ability to assassinate American citizens abroad and unilaterally authorize drone strikes resulting in the deaths of countless innocent civilians, including women and children.

The article goes on to cover 17 of the more egregious civil liberties violations that have occurred under Obama’s watch. What’s interesting is considering how many people make political decision in this country. During 2004’s presidential race many of John Kerry’s supporters expressed outrage over Bush’s wars and civil liberties violations. They brought up the wars in the Middle East, the PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo Bay, and numerous other despicable situations caused by the Bush administration. When McCain ran against Obama in 2008 Obama’s supporters were brining up Bush’s actions again and claiming McCain would continue down the path to tyranny.

Fast forward to today. Obama has proven to be another George W. Bush. Since taking office in 2008 Obama has continues the polices put into place by the Bush Administration and added some of his own including signing a bill that grants the president the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without trail. You would think Obama’s supporters would have turned against him during the 2012 presidential race but he managed to maintain a great deal of support. How could a man who ran on a platform of civil liberties and undoing the tyrannical policies of the Bush administration continue to have the support of his 2008 followers? Simple, a majority of voters in the United States care more about teams than issues.

Most Americans have pledge allegiance to one of the two major political parties. While some of these party loyalists may periodically vote for somebody on “the other team” to convince themselves that they’re not party shills they generally vote party lines. If “their guy” doesn’t support their issues they’ll concoct reasons to support him. I saw some rather interesting concoctions during the 2012 race from both sides of the political fence. Those who were expressing support for Romney claimed he would support gun rights (even though his has a history of doing otherwise) and fix the economy (which a president has no ability to do). People on the other side of the fence claimed Obama would bring forth a new era of gay rights (which he’s shown no intention of doing) and ensure healthcare would be available for all (which he won’t). One of my Obama supporting friends even implied that people opposing Obama were racists.

Nothing will be changed in this country through the political system. As George Carlin pointed out the public sucks:

When people are more concerned about which party gets into office than finding solutions to the problems facing people there’s now hope of improving things. So long as people care more about “their guy” getting into office than stopping the wars, fixing the economy, and defending civil liberties the wars will continue, the economy will languish, and civil liberties will keep eroding. American voters have spoken and they resoundingly said they want “their party” in power regardless of his policies.