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.