Who’s our daddy? Barack or Newt?
Barack Obama isn’t going to be president forever
I’ve been having a hard time controlling my anger the last few days, ever since I read some news report that said that now Obama will not veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after all. Not because the section allowing indefinite detention without trial for Americans has been removed, but because he’s been given the authority to deflect it on a case-by-case basis.
If you’re keeping score, the House passed the final version of the NDAA on Thurs., Dec. 15, 283-136, and the Senate passed it soon after, with a vote of 86-13. Obama may have signed it by the time you read this.
Let’s step back a second to appreciate where we stand here. Obama was going to veto the bill because it would have forced him to watch as the military violated the rights of Americans suspected of terrorism. But now it’s OK, so long as he gets to have the power to make exceptions here and there.
One tiny little problem: Even if I could trust Obama to use that power to make all the exceptions that our constitution requires — namely, everyone who isnt actually seized in battle, who is only suspected of being a terrorist should get a hearing — there is this other consideration: Barack Obama isnt going to be president forever.
President No. 44 is eventually going to be replaced by President No. 45, and we don’t know yet who that is. But President No. 44 is set to sign a bill that will still be in effect when he’s gone and would entrust our constitutional rights to that unknown. I have been so angry about it, people hearing me rant on the subject are whispering among themselves a little too loudly about “instability” and “anger management training” and “intervention.”
There may indeed be something to that. Lately, hearing such whispering, I’ve been having trouble keeping to myself unconventional ideas, or should I say, ideations, regarding the art of making balloon animals from viscera.
Yeah, I’m unstable, and how do you think I got this way? Barack Obama is about to set up the conditions that could give the United States it’s very own Pinochet, able to disappear and torture hundreds of thousands of us, and I’m not a happy camper. I agree that the prospect of us doing to ourselves what we did to Chile is karmic, but it is not a karma that does anything to support my ordinarily sunny disposition.
Obama seems to think it’s OK for this law to be on the books because Daddy Obama will be able to protect us from the big, bad military he’s allowing in our house. But Daddy Obama is going away soon, if not next year, then in five years, and we’re going to be left with Daddy Gingrich or Daddy Perry or some equivalent.
On Dec. 16, we also got word that the Justice Department is very, very upset with the Seattle Police Department and is calling some of its practices unconstitutional. This news cheered me up for a second or two, until I reflected that it is yet another instance where we have had to rely on salvation from above, this time from Daddy DOJ. Wouldn’t it be great if the system worked from the bottom up, and Seattle Police complied with the constitution because it was their job?
There is one thing that still has the power to cheer me up. I can remember that as bad as things are now, as threatened as our rights are, it’s nothing new.
Gingrich warned that Obama’s agenda “would mean the end of America as it has been for the last 400 years.” If only that were true. If only Obama’s policy could turn around 400 years of oppression. I guess Newt never heard of slavery, the genocide of Native Americans or Jim Crow, or he’d like a return to all that. Since he approves of America as it was 400 years ago, we shouldn’t expect him to care about the constitution either.
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