Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Obama following in Bush’s footsteps

By Alex Perry

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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 protected]


5 Responses to “Obama following in Bush’s footsteps”

  1. Laser Gunfighter on February 19th, 2010 10:06 am

    I think this shows that much of the criticism of Bush was disingenuous. The Obama administration has extended many aspects of the Patriot act that was severely criticized by the left and there’s hardly a peep about it from them now.


  2. Michael Foley-Röhm on February 19th, 2010 7:09 pm

    You must not know many liberals, because I know of plenty who are upset at this.

    Obama was supporting the so-called “PATRIOT Act” and the NSA spying during his campaign and many of us were angry even then at this blatant betrayal of liberty.

    Quite frankly, many of us voted for Obama simply because McCain (and especially Palin) were so horrible, especially Palin, a woman who is either astoundingly brilliant (as she herself claimed, she reads ALL magazines and newspapers, including presumably all scholarly publications (I recommend Scandinavian Studies, and so does Palin, as she must read it along with ALL others!), the usual suspects of Time, etc., Model Airplane News, Iceland Review, Miniature Donkey Talk, Biblical Archaeology Review, and all overseas publications like Der Spiegel, Der Weltwoche and of course Radya Caldaya) or astoundingly stupid (unable to name even a single source of political information that she reads). Guess which I think is the more correct assumption?

    Bush was not “protecting us from terrorists.” Just look at the many abuses of the so-called “PATRIOT” Act. Bush lucked into a terrorist attack that allowed him to pass acts under the guise of protecting us.

    What Obama needs to do is hand the keys over to someone who cares about true liberty from an oppressive government – and no Democrat or Republican, with a handful of exceptions, will EVER do that.


  3. Big Jimbo on February 20th, 2010 9:52 am

    Perry- another political article? We have heard this so many times before, about republicans and democrats and Bush and Obama. Do you know how boring it is to read these things? And where do you get your information? You didn’t dig any of this up! You just copied a lot of weightier commentaries on the issues and though you’d go gun-crazy and blast them into the collegian. Once again, thanks but no thanks, guy.


  4. Alex Perry on February 21st, 2010 8:18 pm

    Big Jimbo-

    I would love to see some of these commentaries that you think i copiedthis from. I wrote this column after i saw it on the news last week, it was first i had heard about it.

    this column is just me outlining some basic facts than me giving an opinion on the situation. it is in no way copied from anything.

    I personally dont find this subject boring i think it is very controversial and interesting. if you find it to be boring you can just not read it.


  5. anon on March 26th, 2010 4:28 pm

    it`s booring, alex, because you add no substantial insight about the real issues at hand. You fial to even name the programs and bills discussed (PATRIOT Act), and resort to trivial partisan bickering. You seem to have no opinion on the warentless wiretapping program other than Bush`s policies are good because they protect America and Obama`s policies (which as you state are the same on this issue) are bad because he`s a democrat. perhaps if your editorials contained more substantial opinions and analysis than “right good left bad” readers would find them interesting rather than tedious.


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