If you care about civil liberties, vote for Ron Paul [Most commented]
President Obama's supporters can't see past his persona, writes Jonathan Turley in Thursday’s Op-Ed pages. "Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured," he writes. "It's almost a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, in which a hostage bonds with his captor despite the obvious threat to his existence."
Among his offenses, writes Turley:
Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. His administration has fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.
But perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama's personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush.
The comments on our discussion board overwhelming agree with Turley.
The scary truth…
People hardly ever like hearing the truth. This article isn't an Op-Ed, it is the bare knuckled truth pummeling reality into America.
…or an exaggeration?
Turley is exaggerating a bit for effect. Obama is the first president we've had who comes into office with real-world experience on an international scale: his parents having been "white" and "black," his having lived abroad, and his having lived in a multiculturally tolerant diverse area of the United States (that is, Hawaii). Obama is in a much better position to understand this concept of "civil liberties" than many, in the way U.S. ethnic minorities have had to for decades, that when people talk about "civil liberties" they are not necessarily talking including the civil liberties and privileges of citizenship for U.S. ethnic minorities.
We'd like Obama to have done more, but it's a bit of a challenge when you're having to deal with political extremists like the Tea Party Conservatives who would hysterically put matters like the place of birth (For Christ’s sakes! How much time was wasted!) ahead of more pressing matters like civil liberties, healthcare, and jobs.
We got what we voted for, and the MSM is partly to blame
Elections have consequences. You get what you voted for and the media did not vet Obozo at all. Nope, they elevated him to Messiah and there is only one direction to go from there (it ain't "up"). The man had no experience in running anything. But the mainstream media won't (to this day) give up their love affair with a far left wing liberal trying to play to the middle. He thinks of himself more of a king, rather than how the Constitution defines his role. His wife hates our flag and made that very clear on 9/11 when she poo-poo'd the ceremony in NYC by saying "all that for a flag?". Yeah, Michelle, all that ceremony for a flag most of us love. There is nothing worse than seeing people in the White House who dislike America, bow to foreign leaders and want to "fundamentally change America". They have screwed with our way of life, our Constitution ("We have to pass the bill before we can see what is in it") and our freedoms. Good job, Liberals! You got him in there and now you reap what you sow! Congrats!
Only a fool would vote for Obama a second time
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
I won't vote for Obama again.
What's the alternative?
this is all very true. however, what's the alternative? Elect republicans who REALLY believe in Guantanamo etc? They're the ones who built it!
Neither side deserves our votes
Why would a Republican be worse? By your own calculations, Obama has started from where Bush left off and made things worse. What do you imagine that a Republican would do that is worse, still?
And it's not just civil liberties. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue, and he involved us in Libya. His economic policies, despite occasional liberal rhetoric, have been substantively very conservative as well -- epitomized by having Geithner as his Treasury secretary.
For sure, if the Republicans nominate Romney, no sensible person looking beyond the rhetoric could think that there would be any material difference policy-wise between them. As for the other Republican candidates, well, you can imagine a scenario where they really go off the deep end, but nothing concrete is really foreseeable to distinguish them, policy-wise, from Obama on civil liberties.
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have anyone or anything good to offer Main Street Americans. They do not deserve our votes. If there is no good third party candidate, I'm going to stay home in November 2012.
--CBS from the West
Do Ron Paul and Gary Johnson have the answer?
Thank you for pointing out the president's shortcomings as per civil liberties. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are the only politicians brave enough to bring up civil liberties, which probably accounts for the 'barely' part of you saying civil liberties are "barely relevant" to candidates or voters. Ron Paul said in the 2008 debates, "why shouldn't we be talking about these things." This country as a whole hopes for something different and lament the status quo politicians, but are so hesitant to vote for exactly what they've been hoping for. Register as a republican, vote for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, then switch your registration back to whatever you want -- this is the time to do it.
Ron Paul for president
Everyone is hating on Ron Paul, but he has already stated he would abolish the TSA, end the wiretapping, the wars, and the illegal prisons. He also said he would make Dennis Kucinich the head of the "Department of Peace." He isn't far right and he isn't your cookie cutter Repub. Allowing the states to mandate regulations and social services returns power to the people, unlike the behemoth Federal government.
Photo: Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas). Credit: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press