Saturday, October 16, 2010

Where is the outrage?



By GARY BAUMGARTEN

When George W. Bush was president there was such an outrage over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the treatment of prisoners held indefinitely at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. But now that Barack Obama is commander-in-chief those voices are largely muted.


Obama promised change. But the change he promised hasn't come. And now those who supported the status quo when Bush was president are attacking Obama. And those who attacked Bush are silent when it comes to the current president.

This is the problem with partisan politics today. People who protest or support one position or another are often disingenuous. It's not really because they are for or against an issue. It's because their guy is or isn't in office making the decisions.

Many people who are so angry with Obama, or so silent since Bush left office, may not even realize that they are being played by one political party or the other.

The latest example of deafening silence from those who were so vocal over Gitmo is evident today. It was revealed this week that, for the third time, a federal judge has upheld the indefinite holding without due process a detainee at Guantanamo. Had Bush been the one seeking and obtaining the ruling, there would be people marching in the streets. But now that Obama is president, there is only silence.

Likewise, there's been very little said about the massive numbers of deportations of illegal immigrants by the Obama administration. You'd think from the rhetoric that the current administration is opening the borders and inviting undocumented aliens in. People who posture this way long for the good old days of George W. Bush, who stood up to illegal aliens.

But the reality is that more people have been deported since Obama took office than were sent back home during the same time frame by the Bush administration.

Until we as a nation are willing to hold our representatives accountable - whether they are members of the parties we support or not - this kind of duplicity will continue.

If you were one of the 10s of thousands who marched against the wars and the erosion of civil rights when Bush was president, ask yourself why you've mothballed your protest signs now. If you're honest about how you answer yourself, I;m betting you'll admit that you've let your partisan leanings take precedence over principle.

Like dealing with addiction, admitting we have a problem is the first step. It's time for us to take it.

14 comments:

allan said...

hi gary my view has always bein when bush entered office he was acting like goody 2 shoes untill 9/11 when america saw the evil in bush there was no need to retailate to get osama binladen thats who he was out to get but he got saddam husain in maby that was a good thing for the rest of the world bush got what he wanted and then left office... Then obama was elected to stand as president he did prommis change but that dident come he chased and beat around the bush getting his nose stuck in to other people stuff he didnet concentrate on who matter the us the people of the united states of america he was supposed to make our life easy by bring down bank charges and fixing the ecomomey of america but it didnet happen OBAMA lied to us betraid the usa and he is still on about change all that is a bunch of crap that comes out of that mans mouth the us ecomoney is gonna stay as it is untill the next elections nothing is gonna change..

SEANA said...

People can't be honest on the side they choose to support until a few get their own feathers ruffled enough to make any kind of stand. I agree with how being in a certain party seems to allow the bashing of another, even when they are wrong. This nation hasnt been "ONE" in so long, I can't say most know how to do it.
Flipfloppers mostly and backstabbing seems to be the only political agenda anymore. We are a country divided. The division one day will lead to far worse if we do not stand for the belief of "ONE". This is how other countries view our weaking country. DIVIDED!!!

lynda said...

why do we never hear about the fact that since obama as been in office that more illeagals have been deported? i have never heard this before are these facts hidden or do conservatives like to hide the truth all i have heard is that the illeagal situation as got worse, who is lying.

Anonymous said...

From Bullbreed

Unfortunately this partisan mentality described by the author is true. The focus is more on holding power than getting things done it seems. Good bills get killed in fear the party putting it forward might get some positive recognition. You can see the rhetoric happening now against the democrats for lack of change in the economy going into the upcoming election. The sad part is little is likely to change no matter whom is in power.

Bullbreed.

Anonymous said...

Obama has shown to try and reach across the table time and time again. The Republicans have proven they don't play well with others and the expense of their own welfare. They take pride in being the Party of NO. Maybe if our leaders started acting like grown ups the citizens would follow suit. President Obama was handed a truck load of problems to fix and has only been in office 2. I sure wouldn't know where to start but I trust our elected President to have the interest of the American public at hear and so far he's done a great job.:-)

Anonymous said...

This article asks a very important question but the answers are not as uncomplicated as one might think.

I can only use myself as an example. During the Bush administation the "war" was the action in Iraq. We knew there was fighting in Afghanistan but Iraq filled the news and hence our minds. Iraq was also the "bad" war, the war that never should have been. Those of us who believed in fairness saw it that way and bristled at our country's inhumanity in killing so many innocent civilians. The SIGNS and MARCHERS came out to show our disgust.

President Obama campaigned on ending the war in Iraq and taking it to Afghanistan, where it should have been in the first place. If you consider leaving a force of 50,000 soldiers behind ending a war, then we are no longer at war with Iraq and there is no reason to protest that situation.

We are getting weary of the war in Afghanistan at this point. It appears there is no end in sight. Should we just leave? What would that accomplish as far as our mission to track down al qaeda is concerned? I'm not pulling out my signs here. As a matter of fact, let's not change the mission as was done in Iraq several times. Make allies of the Taliban (keep your friends close and your enemies closer)and let them help us subdue Al qaeda. I say this because it appears that our worst problem in Afghanistan is in trying to change their society (am I the only one who watched Star Trek?)

Gitmo has always presented a problem for me. I am aware that many of those held were caught up in a sweep. I am also aware that many of those released have then become combatants against us. My solution? Try them already! Now! Bring the signs out for this. Those who are guilty should be punished and those found innocent released with apologies and a boat load of money.

I have no problem with deporting the illegals. When the first thing you do in my country, like coming here, is criminal, that does not bode well for the future. It is my understanding that HALF of those deported have criminal records for OTHER infractions. Anchor babies? NO! We need a 28th amendment that prevents children from benefiting from the crimes of their parents. While we are waiting for someone smart to come up with that, send the babies home with mommy and daddy. They can return to this country ALONE at 18 years of age.

Sylvia_Lovejoy

Lee Garen said...

Gary, I think you are right on with your comments. One thing I think is wrong with the people not speaking out is that they are afraid of what might happen. One respondent to your comments says Obama has "done a great job." I disagree with that immensely. Look at all the people still out of work, including me, and the shambles within the real estate market with foreclosures. We are led by people who leave me scared for our future if they aren't replaced..namely Pelosi, Reid and Obama. The direction of our country is very questionable at this time, and that is why people are afraid to speak up now other than those who can't remove their blinders for fear of what they will really see. Good job, Gary and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

The article does reflect the position we take as political participants and critics of your leaders but there are some reasons behind the decisions we make. 1) lack of choice with the American 2 party system you have in the USA, 2) governments are not openly honest with the public or on the other hand, too much incorrect information and analysis put out there by the media instead off just plain and honest reporting , 3) the fact that it does not really matter who is in power, the problems that need to be dealt with are still the same problems. In other words, it does not matter who is in power but the supporters of the political parties just want their own representatives to be in control. Double standards? Possibly but as sad as it sounds this is the nature of our politics today and maybe just maybe the tea parties could inject some life into our politicians and our politics. Thank you shadow_391

Rod PNN said...

It will be interesting to read David Hicks new book, relating to his 5 years incarceration in Guantanamo.
http://www.smh.com.au/national/for-the-first-time-david-hicks-tells-20101015-16nkl.html

Personally, if only 10% of allegations are true, it's got to go!

Rod PNN

Anonymous said...

the outrage seems to be only if your guy is not in charge...

Dr. Rus D. Jeffrey said...

Hey Gary;

You are so right, people usually only scream when they "guy" or "gal" is not in office. However, I do believe there is an "outrage" of sorts taking place, but it's a different kind of "outrage". This time around it's being driven by the so-called "Tea Organization Movement". Yes, I intentionally called it the "TOM" for a reason. Too many people say the "Tea Party" movement. But, reality is, this is NOT a party. It's an organized revolt against what's going on in office right now. Really, it's the "outrage" you ask about in this very post.

However, I'd also like to point out this may not be the answer either. The "Tea Organization Movement" seems to be gathering those who are "angry and bitter". In so doing, it's also gathering a number of people who are "extremists" in one form or another. There simply are not checks and balances to make sure we're not getting someone who is extreme in some area of their lives, or politics.

I believe there is outrage, but the outrage is manifested in totally the wrong way.

Dr. Rus

Cassandra said...

Come on now Gary, how do you expect people to change just like that??? We are no longer used to making a critical analysis,like the media we're into knee jerk reactions ( pretty much based on what the media tells us we should be thinking BTW!!).
I do, however feel that the worm has turned, and that Obama is no longer being given a free pass. It's taken almost 2 years, but people are beginning to see that with all that glistens is not gold, that, for all the lofty rhetoric during the campaign trail it's claptrap politics as usual.
Maybe part of the fault lies with us, the voting public that we have allowed ourselves to become brainwashed into thinking that once we have made our mark on the ballot papers we have fulfilled our 'constitutional' duties. We need to challenge the law makers, we need to refuse to be silenced, to let those who are in power are not the OWNERS of the law but the GUARDIANS.
As a footnote: On Paltalk, in discussion rooms for the past year those who oppose Obama are labelled as racist, not liking him because of the colour of his skin. All I can say to them at this juncture is....... well, America must be becoming increasingly racist!!!

Avi Perry said...

Yes Gary, I am writing this comment from Israel. Your point is well taken. THe people you refer to in your article are those I refer to as "religious" (unfortunately, too many people are "religious"). Their religion is either (R) or (D). When you are religious a part of your brain just stops seeing things objectively. You get stuck on certain beliefs, false prophets, then you follow them blindly. I know you. You are open-minded. You are mad at the herd whose faith is blind, whose mind is a playdough and whose brains are frozen by their "religious" attitude.

Anonymous said...

When did Bush Protect US borders? He used illegal immigration as a conduit for National ID Cards, Part of the NWO agenda.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82L3qU33CwY