Sunday, June 20, 2010

When the left was paranoid

I'm off to spend the afternoon with my Dad so I'm just going to repost something I wrote for the DetNews that's been on my mind for a while:

Commenter Jerry L brings up a point I've been thinking about lately. It's true that some of the paranoid fantasies of the far right sound very much like the fears liberals expressed during the Bush administration. The difference is, it was the Bush administration that put all the policies in place under the theory of unitary executive power.

It was Bush who dismantled habeas corpus. It was Bush who destroyed Posse Comitatus. It was under Bush that the surveillance state was created, civil liberties were diluted and the power for the president to designate anyone, even an American citizen, as an enemy combatant who could be held indefinitely without due process was allowed. It was the Bush administration who gave Halliburton a contract to create detention camps in case of an "immigration emergency." In other words, Bush gave us good reason to be paranoid.

Liberals pleaded with the conservatives to join us in fighting these things. We warned them that the next president would likely be a Democrat and inherit these powers and programs. As I recall, conservatives called us treasonous for criticizing Bush and "stuck on stupid" for suggesting that such precedents were dangerous. Back then they believed Rove when he said there would be a permanent Republican majority.

The far right conservatives are now threatening violence over things that fear might happen, not programs that are actively being created. They want to abolish constitutional amendments and established protections they don't agree with. But they want to create those changes they prefer by force if they can't win a majority by election. Liberals didn't do that. I can't think of one instance where a leading liberal media figure or a Democratic party leader suggested that the solution should be an armed insurrection. Dissent is still patriotic, but calls for a civil war over political losses, simply isn't.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. Seems to me the right-wing rhetoric is getting scarier and scarier. Check this list and ask yourself if you've ever heard anything even a quarter as seditious from any mainstream, respected Democrat. I never have.

12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Sorry, I'm not going to read a new scary list. I see enough of it in my usual rounds. It's clear to me they're melting down and their high profile heroes are egging them into violence, or at least the contemplation of it.

8:39:00 AM  

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