Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Left's FISA Orwellianism

As I noted yesterday, there's been an intense reaction by anti-administration extremists to the new FISA bill in Congress, which gained final Senate approval today.

Here's some of
today's outrage:

First, there's "
The FISA Capitulation Vote, Barack Obama, and These Orwellian Times," from Tennessee Guerilla Women:

Barack Obama promises that his vote to shred the Bill of Rights is not about politics but rather about his sincere belief that shredding the Bill of Rights is a wise and necessary move in order to protect we the people!

Big Tent Democrat, goddess love him,
calls the presumptive nominee on the orwellian bulls**t...
Glenn Greenwald's also pissed with the Obamessiah:

I've written many times over the last two weeks ... beyond the bill itself are the pure falsehoods being spewed to the public about what Congress is doing -- and those falsehoods are largely being spewed not by Republicans. Republicans are gleefully admitting, even boasting, that this bill gives them everything Bush and Cheney wanted and more, and includes only minor changes from the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill passed last February (which Obama, seeking the Democratic Party nomination, made a point of opposing).

Rather, the insultingly false claims about this bill -- it brings the FISA court back into eavesdropping! it actually improves civil liberties! Obama will now go after the telecoms criminally! Government spying and lawbreaking isn't really that important anyway! -- are being disseminated by the Democratic Congressional leadership and, most of all, by those desperate to glorify Barack Obama and justify anything and everything he does. Many of these are the same people who spent the last five years screaming that Bush was shredding the Constitution, that spying on Americans was profoundly dangerous, that the political establishment did nothing about Bush's lawbreaking.

It's been quite disturbing to watch them turn on a dime -- completely reverse everything they claimed to believe -- the minute Obama issued his statement saying that he would support this bill. They actually have the audacity to say that this bill -- a bill which Bush, Cheney and the entire GOP eagerly support, while virtually every civil libertarian vehemently opposes -- will increase the civil liberties that Americans enjoy, as though Dick Cheney, Mike McConnell and "Kit" Bond decided that it was urgently important to pass a new bill to restrict presidential spying and enhance our civil liberties. How completely do you have to relinquish your critical faculties at Barack Obama's altar in order to get yourself to think that way?
Once again, Greenwald's railing against the entire the non-Glenn-Greenwald power structure!

But he's got
some help, from Rachel Maddow and Jonathan Turley, who says he's "completely astonished by Senator Obama's position":

Jeff at Protein Wisdom puts some perspective on the left's outrage at Obama and the "evisceration of the Fourth Amendment." Obama's apparently a mere mortal in the centrist politics of the general election:

Of course, the irony here is that conservatives long suspected Obama would act in just such a way: after all, he has the cult vote locked up by virtue of his otherworldly luminescence (which, if certain anonymous sources high in the government are to be believed, is clearly visible from space — like a kind of magical negro version of the Great Wall of China), and really, what are the disappointed progressive Dems who “haven’t been listening” to his nuances going to do come election time, vote for McCain?

No, it was a veritable given he would act just as he’s been acting since securing the Democratic nomination — and today’s vote will likely prompt a
special squealing from the leftest regions of the blogosphere and media, whose penchant for eating their own was evident in the primaries. But in the end, they’ll vote for a guy who they see as abandoning his principles — either by rationalizing his tacking to the center as a cynical and necessary ploy to get himself elected, at which point he’ll then move leftward (progressives can call this the “wink and nod” general election campaign strategy; classical liberals / conservatives / honest folk can call it the “opportunistic, dissembling, do anything to gain power strategy”), or by forgiving him all his broken promises if only so that the left can have at least nominal control of the entirety of government, which is what they are after, anyway. Policy is always secondary to power — and policy talk is generally geared toward telling people what they want to hear in order to gain that power.

Just know that the whole FISA debate, for all the sound and fury, is a massive defeat for the netroots hordes and their extremist ideology of surrender.

The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

See also, Jake Tapper, "Obama's FISA Shift."