Monday, May 31, 2010

Obama and the Hopey-Changey Fairy

A few weeks ago, Timmy highlighted an article by Glenn Greenwald that ran through some of the continued abuses and illiberal actions by the wonderful new Obama-Caring government of the US.
The most recent liberty-abridging, Terrorism-justified controversies have focused on diluting the legal rights of American citizens (in part because the rights of non-citizens are largely gone already and there are none left to attack).  A bipartisan group from Congress sponsors legislation to strip Americans of their citizenship based on Terrorism accusations.  Barack Obama claims the right to assassinate Americans far from any battlefield and with no due process of any kind.  The Obama administration begins covertly abandoning long-standing Miranda protections for American suspects by vastly expanding what had long been a very narrow "public safety" exception, and now Eric Holder explicitly advocates legislation to codify that erosion.  John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduce legislation to bar all Terrorism suspects, including Americans arrested on U.S. soil, from being tried in civilian courts, and former Bush officials Bill Burck and Dana Perino -- while noting (correctly) that Holder's Miranda proposal constitutes a concession to the right-wing claim that Miranda is too restrictive -- today demand that U.S. citizens accused of Terrorism and arrested on U.S. soil be treated as enemy combatants and thus denied even the most basic legal protections (including the right to be charged and have access to a lawyer).

This shift in focus from non-citizens to citizens is as glaring as it is dangerous.  As Digby put it last week:
The frighting reality is that not even Dick Cheney thought of stripping Americans of their citizenship so that you could torture and imprison them forever --- even right after 9/11 when the whole country was petrified and he could have gotten away with anything. You'll recall even John Walker Lindh, who was literally captured on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban, was tried in civilian court. They even read him his rights.

I think this says something fairly alarming about the current state of our politics.

No shit.

Even further back, the wife highlighted the fact that Obama has not even restored the freedoms that Bush removed through the Patriot Act, for example—a piece of legislation that Obama specifically promised to repeal.
Having campaigned on a platform that consisted largely of reversing the mahoosive mistakes of the Bush administration, once in office, he immediately set out to… not reverse any of them. Patriot Act? Still there. Guantanamo? Still there. Wars? Still there. Bailouts and stimuli? Still there.

Bella even commented on Obama's approval of extra-judicial killings of US citizens on foreign soil.
Several weeks ago I saw a story on a blog somewhere about Obama’s authorising the assassination of an American citizen abroad (sans due process, naturally) because he was suspected of terrorist activity. I didn’t write about it then because I was sure it was a right-wing conspiracy lie.

Apparently it’s not.

Other restorations of our civil liberties include proposals to deny terrorist suspects arrested on US soil their Miranda rights, strip American citizens accused of terrorism of their citizenship, and treating American citizens arrested for terrorism as enemy combatants and barring them from trial in normal American courts.

I’m a bit confused about this, because while I obviously think restoring civil rights is a wonderful thing, these plans all sound to me like stripping Americans of every possible legal and Constitutional protection based solely on an accusation of a particular crime.

Perhaps the definition of ‘civil liberties’ has Changed™ since 2008. Perhaps, as appears to be the case, this legislation has been proposed by eeeevil Republicans. But if the latter is so, why are the good and kind Democrats in charge not screaming bloody murder about it? Why are they not swearing with their every last breath to use their Congressional majority to kill these bills stone dead?

And why, in the name of all that is holy, has the era of Hope and Change not only not reversed any of the rights-abuses perpetrated by the previous administration, as was promised, but perpetrated new ones itself?

So, I think that it's fair to say that Obama has not been an unmitigated boon for the citizens of the US: indeed, when touching base with friends and relations in that country, the wife reports that even Bush wasn't hated as much as some people loathe Obama.

And, it seems, they have good reason. Because one thing that The Boy Blunder most definitely is not is some kind of libertarian, liberal, liberty-loving chappie who definitely won't take more freedoms away from the US people.

But despite the litany of shit (of which the horrors listed above are but a fraction of the infractions), via Obo, I see that The Keepers Of The One True Libertarianism™ have decided that any libertarians who don't praise Obama—even had they not noticed the story—for allowing openly gay people in the military are, in fact, traitors to the cause.

Which is slightly bizarre because only a few weeks ago, The Keepers Of The One True Libertarianism™ were complaining that libertarian bloggers who extended a cautious welcome to the stated intentions of Our New Coalition Overlords™ were, in fact, traitors to the cause.
All my fellow libertarians are either celebrating, silent, or seemingly willing to give the new guys a go.

What does this mean? Well, it means there will be less reason to listen to libertarian bloggers and less reason to visit their sites.

And where is the fun if there is no counter-authority sentiment, no insurgency, no angry voice of revolution to rally around? People have flocked to libertarian bloggers because they generally attack 'the Man' and create a vibe.

So, welcoming the promises for more freedom, fewer laws and more transparency in the people who have taken over our government is a betrayal of the libertarian cause because Our New Coalition Overlords™ are "statist, high taxation, anti-individual, social democratic, social engineering, tinkering, meddling authoritarians. I.e. more of the same."

However, failing to "applaud and give credit" to Barack "The Man" Obama—a man who is so far from being libertarian that he... Ah, fuck it. The man's authorised extra-judicial killings of his own citizens merely because they have been accused of a crime, for crying out loud!—because the Obama's US has "taken an important step" that "paves the way" to allow openly gay people into the military (replacing the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy) is "weirdly partisan and aggressive" and a failure "to support and encourage the rights, freedoms and liberties of people regardless of their wealth, standing and status as property owners".

Well, here we go, boys: I wouldn't want anyone to question my commitment to libertarianism, least of all you two, so here's my tribute to The Boy Blunder.
"Well done, Obama, for offering this derisory fig leaf of freedom to gay people, whilst fucking everyone else up the arse with the rest of the tree."

As for the whole issue of gays in the military...

OK? 'Kay? 'Kay.

1 comment:

John Demetriou said...

Sean Gabb isn't part of Boaty & D. So the point is?

Sad to hear this, Felix. Oh no, an anonymoron idiot thinks B&D are cocks. What is a boy to do.

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