Obama following in Bush’s footsteps
Although it has been clear to me for some time that Obama is out of touch with the American public, I did not know he had also lost touch with his far-left liberal support. But, based on some surprising, recent news, it seems likely he is going to be angering some people in that end of the political spectrum as well.
However, before I discuss that news and its implications, I first want to layout the context for hypocrisy in the Obama administration.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration made it a top priority to restore the security of the United States. This obviously was – and remains – a demanding task given the countless threats that our nation faces on a daily basis from our many enemies.
Thankfully, George W. Bush was successful in restoring our security during the remainder of his eight years in office, and his efforts helped protect us from threats both domestically and abroad.
Despite this, many liberals took issue with some of the Bush administration’s tactics when it came to ensuring our nation’s security. There was a constant swirl of criticism and controversy that surrounded each and every one of Bush’s efforts to track down terrorists and prevent further attacks from taking place. In particular, I’m talking about the uproar that was caused by Bush’s Surveillance Program which gave the National Security Agency the ability to monitor phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity and other forms of communication without a warrant.
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the program at the time, insisting that the program was not intended to infringe upon individuals’ civil liberties, but instead was an effort to reduce the threat of terrorism.
Gonzales said, during a press briefing, “another very important point to remember is that we have to have a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al Qaeda, affiliated with al Qaeda, or a member of an organization affiliated with al Qaeda or working in support of al Qaeda. We view these authorities as authorities to confront the enemy in which the United States is at war with – and that is al Qaeda and those who are supporting or affiliated with al Qaeda.”
About the purpose, Gonzales said, “What we’re trying to do is learn of communications, back and forth, from within the United States to overseas with members of al Qaeda. And that’s what this program is about.”
That seems very fair, but that explanation seemed to not fly with liberals. They thought their privacy was being wrongfully invaded and they made a scene about it. Many complained the program was done secretly and would’ve never been approved by Congress. Bush was attacked for violating our Fourth Amendment rights, which give us protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures” as many believed government then had a green light to invade all of our privacy without any probable cause.
Although that is wildly inaccurate, considering Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid knew that before it was approved, it doesn’t take away from the real point liberals had. This is, of course, that our government needs to maintain a balance between its ability to ensure our nation’s security while at the same time maintaining our civil liberties. Although liberals seemingly took that point too far in many criticisms of Bush, the extent to which government should have power to do this remains a legitimate debate.
As shocked as you may be, I was not one of the people who complained about Bush’s tactics. What you may find shocking is that Obama may not have been either. It became clear recently that the Obama administration supports the ability for our government to track, without a warrant, the location of all individuals by using their cell phones. The administration stated that they believe warrantless tracking is legal because Americans do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when it comes to their cell phones’ whereabouts.
Obama rigorously attacked Bush’s policies during his campaign and yet, a year later, is basically fully endorsing one of the man’s most controversial programs. This is Obama’s hypocrisy at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
How can anyone who hated Bush defend Obama for this?
I just want to know where the liberals who attacked Bush are now. What do they have to say? Where is the liberal media that attacked Bush with such an overwhelming bias for so long that most people think the man was too dumb to speak coherently? I doubt these same people and media outlets are also accusing Obama of invading our civil liberties because he thinks he should have access to our whereabouts at all times without cause. Nor will these people confirm to me that they are hypocrites by remaining silent, much like many are about every other controversial thing Obama does.
Maybe liberals won’t be silent, but I don’t see how they can argue that the government knowing the whereabouts of every individual with a cell phone at all times without cause isn’t infringing upon our privacy and still argue that what Bush’s administration did in an effort to thwart terrorism was.
Much of Obama’s work during his first year in office is already considered out of touch with the views of most American’s based on recent polling. People in every political spectrum are worried about his reckless deficit spending and his desire for a government takeover of healthcare. And now his primary support, the left, has to watch him approve their privacy being taken away in the name of security.
At this point there is no reason for Obama to wait for 2012, he should just exit the White House and hand the keys to a Republican right now.
Alex Perry is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com.