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Obama Embraces AntiConstitutional Claims of Bush

Bad news for progressives who are trying their darndest to keep alive the hope that Barack Obama’s presidency is going to bring about the change they were longing for when George W. Bush was in the White House. President Obama has decided to use George W. Bush’s claims that he has the power to imprison people for as long as he likes without criminal charges.

Like Bush, Obama is claiming this right even when the people imprisoned have been considered for criminal prosecution – and then rejected for prosecution because there isn’t sufficient evidence of a crime. Obama is, like Bush, granting himself the powers of judge and jury, usurping the role of both the Judicial Branch and the citizenry to check Executive Branch power.

It’s a thoroughly anti-constitutional move that progressives denounced when George W. Bush made it. Will they oppose Obama, now that Obama has reiterated his intention to preserve Bush’s policies?

In another repetition of Bush-era attacks against the Constitution, President Obama has declared that he will maintain George W. Bush’s state secrets policy. Bush stopped lawsuits that were attempting to force the government to provide information about unconstitutional spying against Americans and torture programs by invoking the claim that state secrets were involved – without ever providing a court with evidence that the claims were true. This action gave Bush absolute power against any legal action, placing him in the position of a despot.

Obama has done the same thing, and his White House has now issued a statement that they’re going to keep on doing it, with only one minor change. The Obama Administration says its use of George W. Bush’s state secrets doctrine will be altered slightly, with the Attorney General of the United States giving his promise to a court that state secrets are involved.

Still, there will be no evidence in court of state secrets. There will be no opportunity for the judge, much less the plaintiff, to challenge the assertion by the President. It’s a cosmetic change, without any real effect.

When George W. Bush committed these kinds of acts, progressives called for impeachment. Should we not call for impeachment of Barack Obama now? Should progressives not hold Obama accountable to the law, simply because they like him better than Bush?

When Obama keeps continuing a huge number of rotten policies that were invented under George W. Bush, what’s to like? This isn’t a case of President Obama needing more time to get things right. Once again, the Obama Administration has taken the time to review policies, and has decided to keep the worst aspects of the Bush years going strong.

5 comments to Obama Embraces AntiConstitutional Claims of Bush

  • qs

    I’m in an anti-Shillary mood this morning.

    At least she’s not in charge.

  • qs

    The article was referencing Hillary and Obama some with regard to the Bush legacy and Clinton legacies.

    I was reading this article by a CATO Institute research fellow in the American Conservative about the Clinton era called ”An Era About Nothing”

    It’s basically about how Clinton gave the neoconservatives most of what they wanted, and allowed the neoconservative right to kind of brew up in the shadows of his era because of it. So I don’t know if Obama would be served best if he does what they want him to do like Clinton.

    “O’Neill contends that an important feature of Clinton’s success was the “evil things” that didn’t happen under his watch, though they were seeded during it. “The new age of blood and iron ushered by President Bush II, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the three men of the apocalypse,” didn’t come out of nowhere, he writes. “Beneath the frivolity of the Clinton years dark forces had been gathering their strength, waiting for a chance to slouch towards Bethlehem, the opportunity that 9/11 would give them.” In little-read publications, think tanks, and “other shadowy venues, neoconservatives and their allies plotted to invade Iraq, alienate the rest of the world, and ruining the American economy by means of runway spending, massive tax cuts, and lax regulation—the trifecta of looters.” Or to put it differently, the many disasters of the Bush years were “incubating in the heart of Clinton’s America.”
    O’Neill concludes his study without any reference to the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. Obama is not even mentioned in the index. But my guess is that he would urge the new Democratic occupant of the White House to resist taking Clinton’s road down the political middle and accommodating Republicans. There are some signs, however, that Obama may be trying to do just that. By selecting leading Wall Street-friendly former Clintonites as his top economic advisers and choosing a veteran Republican figure as the Pentagon chief, Obama has demonstrated that, like Clinton, he has no desire to challenge the status quo in Washington, despite the fact that more and more Americans are becoming disenchanted with the political system. It would not be surprising if O’Neill’s next volume of “informal” history chronicled the many disasters that incubated in the heart of Obama’s America. “

  • Tom

    It’s becoming ever-more apparent (with respect to ideology) who occupies the White House. After appointing the same power brokers who caused the financial collapse to oversee it’s “reform” and continuing the Bush (needless, illegal, immoral, wasteful) wars, and now, in an illogical attempt to be “bi-partisan” (- i thought we elected him to go in a different direction -), bargaining with the insurance industry (the problem) with regards to the health-care issue, Obama is losing ground every day.

    i can’t wait to hear what he says to the G-20 (the goon squad)in Pittsburgh. Our economy is still hemorrhaging jobs, the dollar is declining in value against almost all other meaningful currencies, the citizens are being raped and pillaged by the Fed and Wall Street.

    It looks to me like the ship of state is not correcting course from the Bush days and that we’re about to sink into oblivion as a nation. We haven’t taken a leadership role on the most important issue concerning our survival as a species (strong climate change policy) and aren’t helping to improve our national plight as a debtor nation via a (once touted, implicitly promised) giant boost in clean energy jobs, and the great majority of the American citizenry (if not the global population) will be living in poverty within 5 years, if we keep going in this direction. for much longer.

  • Jim

    I think too many people couldn’t care less about the abuse of liberties so long as their chosen champion is in power. When Hero Bush was in power, Republicans couldn’t care less. With Hero Obama in power, most Democrats seem eager to look the other way.

    One important difference is that even with their party out of power, Republicans are still eager to see civil liberties dashed. At least you can count on Democrats half of the time.

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