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February 08, 2012

Frustrated Liberal: The Left's Hypocrisy on War Is "Repulsive"

Gleen Grenwald serves a useful purpose for the Obama Left.

He can rant at Obama, and then those on the left can nod their heads and say "I agree," and then go back to supporting Obama to the hilt, contented that they've demonstrated their consistency by nodding their heads for one second.

It's a purgative. By agreeing, your sins are forgiven, and you may then get back to sinning, in the form of worshipping Obama and his/Bush's war policy.

During the Bush years, Guantanamo was the core symbol of right-wing radicalism and what was back then referred to as the “assault on American values and the shredding of our Constitution”: so much so then when Barack Obama ran for President, he featured these issues not as a secondary but as a central plank in his campaign. But now that there is a Democrat in office presiding over Guantanamo and these other polices — rather than a big, bad, scary Republican — all of that has changed, as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll today demonstrates:
The sharpest edges of President Obama’s counterterrorism policy, including the use of drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad and keeping open the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have broad public support, including from the left wing of the Democratic Party.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the brig at Guantanamo Bay and to change national security policies he criticized as inconsistent with U.S. law and values, has little to fear politically for failing to live up to all of those promises.

The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay. . . . The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.

Repulsive liberal hypocrisy extends far beyond the issue of Guantanamo. A core plank in the Democratic critique of the Bush/Cheney civil liberties assault was the notion that the President could do whatever he wants, in secret and with no checks, to anyone he accuses without trial of being a Terrorist – even including eavesdropping on their communications or detaining them without due process.

But President Obama has not only done the same thing, but has gone much farther than mere eavesdropping or detention: he has asserted the power even to kill citizens without due process....

Beyond that, Obama has used drones to kill Muslim children and innocent adults by the hundreds.... But that is all perfectly fine with most American liberals now that their Party’s Leader is doing it....

You get the idea.

There should be a word for "agreeing without actually agreeing." The comments at Salon are "in agreement," in this sort of agreement I mean. If your "agreement" does not include any actual action, you don't really agree with the proposition at all.

I guess there is a word for it already -- hypocrisy, the tribute that vice plays to virtue.

Either they really found these things "repulsive" -- literally, inducing a vomit reflex -- under Bush, or they did not, and were just lying in order to secure political power.

But it cannot be the case that they were literally repulsed by Bush's policies -- driven to hair-tearing anger -- and yet can look past it in Obama, albeit with a meaningless "Tut tut" of weak disapproval.

They were lying then or they're lying now -- and probably both.

Thanks to @slublog.


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posted by Ace at 05:48 PM

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