Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Little Perspective Would Be Helpful

Yeah, I'm going to be the guy that ruins everyone's party.

Now that President Obama either has been canonized as Saint Barack I or has been consigned to the 10th circle of Hell for his same sex marriage evolution, I'll point out that he's still got a terrible record on K-12 education and civil liberties.  By the way, Mitt Romney would probably be worse on both.

A few days ago, Conor Friedersdorf compared Obama to Lucy as she holds the football for Charlie Brown to kick.  He concludes,
Obama has a whole roster of would-be kickers, and a habit of teeing up the ball only to callously pull it away.

Don't progressives see this? 
•Obama tricked the cannabis community into thinking his Justice Department would go easy on medical marijuana in states where it is legal, broke his promise, then misled voters about his options.
•Obama tricked anti-war voters into thinking that he wouldn't order American troops into battle unless there was an imminent threat to America or a declaration of war from Congress, then went to war in Libya, violating the War Powers Resolution, even though neither condition was met.
•Obama tricked transparency advocates into thinking he'd celebrate whistleblowers and set new standards in open government. He has prosecuted whistleblowers as aggressively as any president in history, and presided over a dramatic escalation in what the federal government does in secret.
•Obama tricked executive-power critics into thinking he would roll back the excesses of the Bush Administration. He has transformed those excesses into matters of bipartisan consensus, and gone farther in some respects, as when an American citizen was killed extra-judicially on his order.
•Obama tricked immigration-reform advocates into thinking he was a fellow traveler, then upset them with Secure Communities, record-breaking deportation levels, and a failure to improve immigration detention.
•Obama tricked Iraq War opponents into thinking that he would exit the country by the withdrawal date that George W. Bush negotiated. The Iraqi government wouldn't let him keep troops in the country beyond that date, although he tried to break his promise. Now the Obama Administration pays a small army of private-security contractors to protect America's presence in that country.
•Obama tricked critics of indefinite detention into thinking that he abhorred the practice, only to sign a bill that institutionalized it.
•Obama tricked critics of signing statements into thinking he wouldn't issue them. But he's done so on many occasions.
•Obama tricked critics of the state-secrets privilege into thinking he'd reverse Bush-era uses of the tactic. Instead he's continued it.
Presidents and Congress have been stealing our civil liberties since 9/11, if not before, by distracting us.  It happened again yesterday.

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