Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vapid Hacks

Trey Smith

That many Democratic partisans and fervent Obama admirers are vapid, unprincipled hacks willing to justify anything and everything when embraced by Obama - including exactly that which they pretended to oppose under George W Bush - has also been clear for many years. Back in February, 2008, Paul Krugman warned that Obama supporters are "dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality." In May, 2009, a once-fervent Obama supporter, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, wrote a column warning that Obama was embracing many of the worst Bush/Cheney abuses and felt compelled - in the very first sentence - to explain what should be self-evident: "Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House." The same month, former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith - who provided the legal authorization for the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program - went to the New Republic to celebrate that Obama was not only continuing the core Bush/Cheney approach to terrorism, but even better (from his perspective), was strengthening those policies far beyond what Bush could achieve by transforming Democrats from opponents of those policies into supporters.

And exactly as Goldsmith happily predicted, polls now show that Democrats and even self-identified progressives support policies that they once pretended to loathe now that it is Obama rather than Bush embracing them. On MSNBC, Obama aides and pundit-supporters now do their best Sarah Palin impression by mocking as weaklings and losers those who think the President should be constrained in his militarism and demonizing as anti-American anyone who questions the military (in between debating whether Obama should be elevated onto Mount Rushmore or given his own monument). A whole slew of policies that would have triggered the shrillest of progressive condemnations under Bush - waging war after Congress votes against authorizing it, the unprecedented persecution and even torturing of whistleblowers, literally re-writing FOIA to conceal evidence of torture, codifying indefinite detention on US soil - are justified or, at best, ignored.

So none of this - Obama's assassination program, his general embrace of Bush/Cheney radicalism, the grotesque eagerness of many Democrats to justify whatever he does - is at all new. But for some reasons, the events of last week made all of this so glaring that it could no longer be denied, and it's worth thinking about why that is.
~ from DOJ Kill List Memo Forces Many Dems Out of the Closet as Overtly Unprincipled Hacks by Glenn Greenwald ~
I will be discussing various aspects of this excellent column throughout today, but the point that irritates me the most in the snippet above is the fact that a majority of so-called liberals and progressives now embrace policies that are anything but liberal or progressive!!!!

It drives me absolutely crazy that a solid chunk of liberals/progressives condemned Bush for many of the same things they now are congratulating Obama for. When Bush was the prime author, such policies were very, very bad. Now that Obama is the head honcho, all those bad policies have magically been transformed into very good ones?


How disingenuous can you be! If a policy is detrimental, it shouldn't matter who is holding the reins. If you believe that Bush wantonly stomped on the US Constitution, how can you pretend that Obama isn't when the policies he supports are the same...or worse?

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