Opinionated @ CFE

Progressives, Civil Liberties, and Hypocrisy


I remember a time not that long ago when progressives and libertarians could find at least one point of agreement: defending civil liberties from the abuses of unchecked executive power. In the last couple of years, however, progressives aren’t talking much about civil liberties and the libertarians are the last ones left keeping a watchful eye. And thank goodness we are.

fter almost two years, Obama’s record on civil liberties is at least as bad as his predecessor, if not worse. Gitmo is still detaining, FISA is still wiretapping, organizations that try to deliver the president’s promised transparency are vilified by the White House, we’re virtually strip-searched and actually molested in the next escalation of security theater, and those who try to expose the government’s illegal and immoral acts are tortured at the hands of the military. But progressives, by and large, are keeping their mouths shut. I’m only left with one conclusion: the vast majority of progressives are raging hypocrites. Now that the president has a D next to his name, the criticism has all but vanished.

So what’s the deal, progressives? Where’s the outrage now that the new boss is doing what the old boss was doing, only worse? Until you start openly criticizing Obama at least has harshly as you did Bush, you have no credibility on civil liberties.

4 Responses to Progressives, Civil Liberties, and Hypocrisy

  1. I agree. And the same can be said for republicans who hate Obama for his unAmerican ways, while defending all that W did as ‘patriotic.’

    They’re truly similar, and both sides have dumbfounded me with their belief structure.

  2. The progressive blogs I read are keeping track of President Obama’s broken promises. Those include Guantanamo, preventive detention, the extra-judicial assassination program that even targets American citizens such as Anwar al-Awlaki, ongoing torture and warrantless surveillance, whistle-blower prosecutions while the DOJ refuses to investigate Bush administration crimes, and abuse of the state secrets privilege to get court cases improperly dismissed.

  3. It’s been frustrating to see so many grow quiet on this front since a “D” took the White House. Some progressives have kept it up though. FireDogLake blog and Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com have never backed off (in fact, Greenwald, a long time progressive activist and civil rights attorney states that without a doubt Obama has actually be worse than Bush on the civil rights front).

  4. Some Progressives have their heads in the sand. Others, as rmwarnick notes, are keeping tabs. Still others, such as your truly, have been saying since day one that he ain’t no Progressive, he’s a Chicago Democrat. Which puts him just slightly to the left of Center and too willing to triangulate.

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