Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jan/10

2

Obama’s post 12/25 dilemma

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 It’s going to be amusing to see President Obama try to triangulate between the public outcry for tougher terror screening policies in the wake of the 12/25 attempt and his natural allies on the civil libertarian left.  Senator Dianne Feinstein sent Obama a letter last week criticizing a policy adopted under President Bush that, in her words, “limits the circumstances under which the government adds an individual to the [no-fly] watch list.”  That standard is “too restrictive,” she said, and “should be changed.”   Any standard that the Bush administration implemented was of course crafted under pressure from the ACLU, among other influences, which has been suing TSA and NSA almost non-stop since 9/11, not to mention from the New York Times, which has been waging its own campaigns against connect-the-dots technologies and intelligence-gathering.  Those parties have now either conveniently forgotten their own role in limiting government action or have been reduced to meaningless bromides (“The American Civil Liberties Union calls for the implementation of effective security policies that pose the most minimal threat possible to Americans’ privacy.”)  If Republican policies are now to be judged by Democrats as  “too restrictive”  due to a single instance of someone slipping through the cracks, or conversely, if a Democratic administration is now to be judged by Republicans as “soft on terror” due to those same circumstances, and if Obama has joined the chorus arguing that any failure to connect the dots is, in his words, “totally unacceptable” (a stance which David Brooks mocks here), Obama can satisfy the demand for after-the-fact action only by sticking his finger in the eye of the left.  The cries of betrayal could be louder than after the Afghanistan surge decision.

10 comments

  • Hot Air » Blog Archive » Quotes of the day · January 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    […] which David Brooks mocks here), Obama can satisfy the demand for after-the-fact action only by sticking his finger in the eye of the left. The cries of betrayal could be louder than after the Afghanistan surge […]

  • John · January 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    He’ll ask for more money for his pals in the TSA, institute a few meaningless reforms that will make flying less convenient, but will not effect safety. Then the MSM will praise him for taking the “reasonable, centrist course” and not bowing before “extemists on both sides of the debate”.

  • Gary Rosen · January 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Good analysis, John, you only forgot “then after the next terror attack he will blame it on Bush and the MSM will sagely agree”.

  • Party hats off, skeptic hats on! (Okay, you can keep on the party hats, too) « Poliskeptics · January 3, 2010 at 8:46 am

    […] consider a point made at Secular Right. It’s going to be amusing to see President Obama try to triangulate between the public outcry […]

  • James · January 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

    We are living in what future historians will call a Phony War, one which will end when our enemies succeed in inflicting tens of thousands of deaths in a single strike.

    Following that event the survivors will wonder why the ACLU and its like-minded ilk had any influence whatsoever on American policy.

  • Black Death · January 4, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I know what you mean, but “civil libertarian left” is really an oxymoron. Nobody on the left truly believes in civil liberties, except when they can be invoked to defend core principles such as political correctness. A good example is the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax, in which three (white) students were falsely accused of raping a (black) female stripper. In that case, 88 leftie professors published a manifesto that the defendants were automatically guilty, based on class, race and gender factors – no presumption of innocence, no due process, no trial by jury – just white defendants, black “victim,” and, presto, guilty as charged! Those who cling to the naive belief that the left cherishes civil liberties should observe how individuals who wish to discuss such non-pc topics such as human biodiversity and race-based crime statistics are treated on university campuses.

  • Don · January 4, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I can’t agree with you all more. The only thing that the “civil liberties left” wants is for angry white guys with guns to roam political rallies, hang Obama in effigy, and shoot Federal Marshals. Then they can move to take away our guns the same way that they have pushed multiculturalism down our throats.

  • Clark · January 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I think Obama is going to have to track left this year, much as Clinton had to. This will definitely infuriate the base which are already pissed off at him for not pushing progressive enough. To the point that they are yelling about obstructionist Republicans and fillerbuster despite having got through a slew of major liberal bills including getting much of what they wanted in the medicare expansion other than single payer. The way the base is overreaching really reminds me of the social conservatives a few years back. If Obama doesn’t track right he’ll end up like George Bush.

  • Secular Right » After-the-fact pseudo-wise man watch · January 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    […] am amazed that Obama has so quickly gone forward with national origins scrutiny at airports; I obviously misjudged his fealty to the civil libertarian left.  The arguments against such commonsensical security […]

  • Mountain Dew · January 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Is there a “civil libertarian right”?

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