The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Bill of Indictment

Anderson over at the Newshoggers lays it out:

  • Escalation in Afghanistan, a war which cannot be won
  • Increased immigration raids
  • Indefinite detention using the exact same rationale as Bush
  • Warrantless wiretapping
  • Refusal to investigate Bush war crimes
  • Covering up Bush war crimes
  • Backing renewal of the PATRIOT act
  • Continued extraordinary renditions
  • Right to hold people without trial
  • Right to use military tribunals with rules of evidence which violate fundamental rights like facing your accuser and seeing the evidence against you
  • Asserting the right to continue to torture if he chooses, at Bagram and Balad
  • Escalation of the Pentagon budget, both on-book and off-book

And much, much more.

Bush’s third term in almost all significant ways.  And Anderson is right, when lefties are having to try and make the case that Obama is better than Bush, it’s game over.  It shouldn’t even be close.  Bush is in the top 3 worst presidents of all time.  Being slightly better than him is a success?

Lesser evil, indeed


Go read.


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  1. S Brennan

    As Brennan said ~ 9 mos ago

    “Obama is Bush’s 3rd term”

    Brennan chuckles…although being wrong would’ve been better!

  2. Quiddity

    Most of those items are failures to follow the Constitution or treaties (e.g. Geneva) and I agree that they are bad. But what’s bad about “Increased immigration raids”? Aren’t we supposed to enforce immigration into this country?

  3. Ian Welsh

    As soon as they start putting business owners in jail for employing illegals, I’ll be onside with punitive raids as well.

  4. Exactly. But they don’t do that. And again, let’s remember the ‘si, se puede’ campaign. Remember that? Obama promised a “path to citizenship,” blah, blah, blah. In May (in fact, much of this turn around appears to have occurred in April/May, see the story of Greg Craig — policy switch flipped around the same time), that happy talk disappeared and then we got this:

    “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has made it “very clear” that her top priority is deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes…”

    Those crimes, of course, include working illegally. Nonetheless, his flop on this issue is blatant, and the Hispanic and Latino communities have been bowled over by this about face.

    One can view this as an acceptable readjustment, and I can understand that. You might even persuade removal from the list. But it is long, long list. This isn’t the only thing Obama has spun around on, and is merely one step-back in a panoply of policy collapses.

  5. Ian,

    And thanks for the hook!


  6. Quiddity

    Ian: They should go after business owners that hire illegals. I thought they did. If that’s not the case, then you are right to object.

  7. Marsha

    Ian and Ken Anderson….thanks for the hook and the essay!

  8. So basically at this point you want the Republicans back in charge.

  9. Marsha

    Robert McClelland: I think the point is that it doesn’t matter. This is Bush’s third term and I believe he was a Republican. It’s time to admit the truth.

  10. Robert,

    Ah, the beauties of the 2-party system!

    But, honestly, it would be great if we could stop this teeter-totter thinking that criticism of Obama or other Democrat implies support for the GOP? Maybe that’s not possible in the highly restricted political space of the American two party system, that such a system demands two-party thinking. Certainly, it does for the politicos. We see this thinking everywhere. Latest polls: Obama approval down, GOP rubs grubby hands for 2010.TP logic: Obama down, GOP up. But that does not follow. Obama is down because he is not acting like he campaigned. Do you really think his anti-war base would ever vote for the GOP? No. It means they won’t vote. Which, in a two party system, is the electoral equivalent of half-voting for the other guy.

    But the much deeper problem here is that it’s not two parties. It’s one party with a front operation: the party of big business, and the party of pretending they’re not the party of “the people.” Not sure how many clowns still think that.

  11. >>> the party of pretending they’re not the party of “the people.”

    Uh, sorry, that should read

    >>> the party of pretending they’re the party of “the people.”

  12. Ian Welsh

    I want the Democratic wing of the Democratic party in charge, not 10 conservadem Senators and 1 conservadem President.

  13. @Martha
    If you don’t think who is in charge matters then you’re seriously deluded. Let me spell out why in simple terms.
    Republicans in charge: war with Iran.
    Democrats in charge: no war with Iran.

    I understand some American liberals are disappointed with Obama but storming off in a huff–which is exactly what many of you are doing–and letting the Republicans back into power is a childish response.

  14. @Ian
    Then work to get progressive Democrats in power and help pave the way for a more progressive president.

  15. Ah, the beauties of the 2-party system!

    I have some disturbing news for you Ken. A multi party system isn’t any better. We have a well established slogan in Canada: Liberal, Tory, same old story. Despite having alternatives to these two parties, our government simply alternates between them.

  16. Ian Welsh

    And what exactly, have I been doing for the last 5 years but working to get more and better progressives elected, and standing behind the most progressive presidential candidate who stood any chance (Dean in 04, Edwards in 08 then Clinton after Edwards dropped out)? I spent the entire last election season after Barack Obama got nominated telling progressives to spend their money and time on progressive Congressional candidates.

    Not to mention doing endless education on what liberal policy is, what the bad effects of conservative policy is, explaining basic economics to people and so on.

    Not sure how much more I’m supposed to do, especially when I’ve done most of it for either nothing or a lot less money than I could earn doing other things.

  17. All great work, Ian. But now you also need to help keep your team–however disappointing you think it is–in power so that it can begin doing some of the stuff you want done. Posts like this and many of other ones you’ve written since the election are simply helping to drive support away from the Democrats.

  18. John B.

    The Democrats will get support when they deserve to be supported. Quite frankly, they do not deserve it. I am tired of being taken for granted and will no longer support the lesser of two evils just so Republican candidates don’t get elected. Deal with it.

  19. @John
    So basically at this point you want the Republicans back in charge too.

  20. John B.

    No, Robert. I did not say that. I hate those greedy hypercritical motherf*ckers. They are basically a criminal, anticonstitution enterprise. But I only feel slightly better (right now) about modern early 21st century Democrats. And I have been a Democrat all of my life.

  21. S Brennan

    Robert McClelland says to those that don’t support the 3rd Term for Bush:

    “you’re seriously deluded. Let me spell out why in simple terms.[1] Republicans in charge: war with Iran. [2] Democrats in charge: no war with Iran.”

    The only problem with this statement it requires us to believe Robert McClelland’s speculation and not the facts as they have occurred. This is typical thinking of the Obama fanatics…not saying Robert is…just saying he is acting exactly like one.

    1] Fact, Republicans had 8 years to start a war with Iran…they did not.

    2] Fact, Democrats have at least 4 maybe 8 years to start a war with Iran.

    Only in 7 years will we know if Robert McClelland is right half the time and given that Obama is a liar in the Wilson mode, the likelihood of a world war should not be “taken off the table”

  22. Not to mention doing endless education on what liberal policy is, what the bad effects of conservative policy is, explaining basic economics to people and so on.

    for this you are a real treasure, and i thank you. a lot. it’s truly, truly valuable.

  23. “[1]Republicans in charge: war with Iran. [2] Democrats in charge: no war with Iran.”

    We have seen a related pattern before, and it is a tag-team. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the Rs and Ds are on different teams.

    [1] Republicans in charge: war with Iraq
    [2] Democrats in charge: brutalizing sanctions with Iraq
    [3] Republicans in charge: war with Iraq

    We have not seen stage [1] yet, though it may be unnecessary. Once stiff sanctions are applied, war is almost guaranteed. Although, the way Obama is going, he may render the GOP entirely irrelevant to the cycle.

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