I just had a discussion with a hypocrite. Wow! You should try it sometime.
This person is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat. The Democratic party could run a goat on the next Presidential ticket and this person would vote for it. And I just can’t stand crap like that. I’m an independent. I’ve voted for two Democrats for President and two Republicans for President. In local and statewide races, I’ve probably voted for just slightly more Democrats. When the news talks about an “independent” voter, I would like to think they’re speaking about someone like me, who votes for the person and their individual beliefs and backbone, rather than the party they represent.
Which brings me back to hypocrites. Their intellect and worldview has been on great display since this whole NSA story broke. In 2001, in the weeks after 9/11, when our leaders were talking about the Patriot Act and giving up some personal liberties and freedom in exchange for greater security, I was appalled. And the hypocrite that I referred above was appalled, as well. How could George W. Bush get away with this? What were members of Congress thinking? Further, could the public be so blinded by national tragedy that they would blindly follow along and discard rights to privacy and more?
So, when I spoke with my friend this week, I expected this person to still be appalled by the whole NSA narrative and the fact that the Obama administration had not only continued, but in fact strengthened these policies. But no. Instead, my friend said, “well, Bush started it. It’s clearly Bush and Cheney that are at fault.”
Now, here is where things get dicey, if you’re like me and try to see both sides of the coin. OK, Bush started it. He was responsible for the massive power grab that stole freedoms, liberties and privacy from the American people and placed it squarely with the executive branch of the government. So, yes, Bush started it.
However, while campaigning for President in 2007, Barack Obama said, “This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand… That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists… We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”
This is where hypocrites will begin to parse words. They will point out that Obama said “illegal” wire-tapping. The things the NSA was doing were legal, they will say. Congress approved, they will say. Even so, Obama also said, in the quote above, that the Bush administration was forcing a choice between liberty and security— and that this was a false choice. Interesting, indeed. Because this is what President Obama’s recent response was to the whole NSA whistleblower charade, “I think it’s important to understand that you can’t have 100 percent security and then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” Wowzers. Seems like Barry is presenting that same false choice that he accused Bush of presenting. This, after having run partially on the campaign plank of reforming these practices to reinstate our personal liberties.
I was mad when Bush did it. I’m mad that Obama continued to do it! However, my friend the hypocrite, the dyed-in-the-wool Democrat hypocrite, was defending the actions of the Obama administration. When I asked if this was also a defense of Bush administration tactics, the hypocrite said, “no, because he started it.” My answer? What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. If you’re upset with one administration, in this case, you need to be upset with both administrations.
And when questioned about leaker Edward Snowden? What did the hypocrite say then? Well, of course, he should be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, the hypocrite said! Never mind that Bush-era whistleblowers, who also exposed government wrongdoing, were celebrated by the Left.
This country is full of hypocrites. It would be nice if we could stop sending them to Washington, though. Washington needs more folks that are willing to stand up to the leaders in their own party and say, “No. Discard the fact that we are from the same party. Wrong behavior is wrong behavior. Bad policy is bad policy.” Because, just like my hypocrite friend, those same Democratic Congressman and Senators that were baffled by the Bush administration’s 2001-2002 power grabs are now defending that behavior today, because one of their own is guilty of it.
And that’s just not right.
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