Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Partisan Complacency: My Party Right or Wrong

It's been a busy five years. My how time flies. But I'm back because there is something I have to get off my chest today. It's partisan complacency.

There seems to be an epidemic of thinking that allows one to minimize the behavior of someone who represents their party or ideology, while criminalizing the exact same behavior of someone who represents the opposite party or ideology. Mitch McConnell looked like Mel Brooks character Governor Lepetomane in Blazing Saddles when he said Americans won't tolerate the blocking of Supreme Court Justices after doing just that for the last year as Obama tried to replace the deceased Scalia since last February. And one half of America agrees with both of these stances simultaneously.

Because the two party system is so entrenched here in the collective American mind, voters only believes these are the two paths. Pick one and stick with them. Regardless.

It's the type of thinking that allows for pronouncements that Obama or Bush were the greatest presidents or the worst. Depending. Hyperbole is accepted as truth.

This has been a dangerous path that has brought us to this. Donald Trump. I try to imagine what would have happened if there was a tape of Obama released where he encouraged crowds to punch protestors in the face. What would the rights reaction have been to that? More importantly how would the left have responded?

Case in point is the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. He was a United States citizen who was targeted and killed by the United States Government in a drone attack in Yeman. Whether he was a recruiter for Al Qaeda we'll never know. There was never a trial, never an arrest. Just a killing that was announced by President Obama and met with applause.

Due process? We don't need no stinking due process.

Nor do they need to release any evidence to support their findings. After several lawsuits they finally did release a little information.

In an article in the Guardian written on June 23, 2014 by Spencer Ackerman it says:

The redacted version of the memo released Monday does not reveal much of the factual basis for the government's claims that Awlaki represented an imminent threat to the United States.
In the disclosed portions, Barron's memo does not explicitly vouch for the government's case against Awlaki, referring instead to "the facts represented to us". It refers instead to Awlaki as a "leader" who was "continuously planning attacks" against the US, without providing an evidentiary basis for claims central to the extraordinary circumvention of normal due process procedures. Nor do the public sections explain why capturing Awlaki was not feasible, nor why the Justice Department believes it need not have provided Awlaki with judicial process.
Most people don't care. At all. After all he was a Muslim in Yemen. Why should we care that the United States targeted an American citizen for assassination then bragged about killing him? He probably deserved it. Right? 
If we follow stereotypes the left, who on paper anyway support Human Rights, the ACLU and all that, they would have made a large and loud stand.  But because Obama is a Democrat who is supposed to be a liberal the left remained relatively silent. 
Why should we care? Because of the silence from the left this precedent has been set and Donald Trump will be the next president. 
Until individuals cast the same suspect eye on the leaders of their own party or ideology that they do on the the opposing, then this is what we will get. The weakening and growing insignificance of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It's time to follow the advice of Ben Franklin.

Question all authority. Always.