October 8, 2009
Civil Rights in the Age of ObamaBy Lauri B. Regan
One of my liberal friends looked at me the day after Obama won and gleefully declared, "We finally have our civil rights back!" Perhaps it was the remnants of the bottle of champagne she drank with her husband the night before in celebration of their perceived victory in the election, or perhaps it was the remnants of a drug-induced haze from her hippy days, but she made no sense to me then. And she makes even less now.
Democrats ranted and raved during the Bush years that his domestic policies designed to impede a future 9/11 type terrorist attack were an infringement of their civil liberties. This took place on a daily basis notwithstanding the fact that little Caucasian old ladies went through the same ordeal as young Muslim males when boarding an airplane or touring a museum. Common sense be damned, the ACLU (at least the New York chapter) ensured that inconveniences would be applied evenly across the board so as not to offend the one cross section of the population easily identified as potential terrorists.
And yet, left-wing liberals screamed and yelled that their civil rights were being violated. Who cared that terrorists' cell phones might be intercepted by the FBI? My friend wanted to ensure that her cell phone could not be intercepted even though the extent of her need for privacy may have bordered on an undercover agent hearing about which neighbor was cheating on whom and who was taking which kids to soccer practice that afternoon.
Yet the bottom line was that such ridiculous across the board policies were simply implemented to ensure that the liberal apologists could feel good about themselves -- the moral high ground for them is the basis of all that is considered politically correct today. But where does that leave us?
Every morning, after opening the American Thinker web site, I check out The Drudge Report. Earlier this week, the following three headlines appeared one after the other:
- NYC to Expand Security Network to Midtown
- Bloomberg: "We can't just say everybody can go everyplace and do anything they want..."
- Police Chiefs Endorse Spying on your Neighbors
My liberal friend has been quite quiet these days. Is she fearful that with all of this spying on New Yorkers, a government official may overhear her complaining about the infringement on her civil rights and add her to a watch list? Not likely. My guess is that as long the infringer is a Democrat, a perceived violation of one's civil rights is just fine with her.
So when Mayor Bloomberg progresses from passing laws forbidding smoking in restaurants and bars to forbidding smoking in public parks and streets, no problem there. When he mandates that transfats may no longer be used in food products in the City -- that is fine. When the Mayor of Chicago forbids foie gras in Chicago restaurants, he is taking the moral high ground. And if the federal government wants to tax sodas and other sugary drinks, who cares? Not the Democrats.
This is why I suppose my liberal friends are perfectly fine with the Baucus version of ObamaCare. In addition to the fact that Democrats are fighting to avoid having to make the final version of the bill available to the public for a 72 hour period prior to a vote, Americans' rights to determine if they wish to own a health insurance policy, choose what that policy will look like, and retain their current health insurance on a long term basis will disappear with the ink of Obama's pen.
If the Democrats have their way, they will pass a cap and trade bill which will greatly curtail the ability of directors and executives of American businesses to make effective and prudent decisions in the best interest of their shareholders. Democrats hope to adopt card check legislation which will effectively force individuals to unionize, like it or not. And of course, the Democrat-controlled government would like nothing more than to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, the result of which will be to shut down conservative media notwithstanding the existence of a little something known as freedom of speech found in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
In the past several months, we have seen the nationalization of the banking industry, insurance industry, automobile industry, and attempts at the healthcare industry. Businesses are being told which products are suitable for public consumption and individuals are not only being offered less choice, but particular items are being forced upon them (green cars, fat free foods, and health insurance just to name a few).
Obama has usurped the constitutional provisions requiring Senate approval of his cabinet by hiring a cabal of czars that are creating dictates the likes of nothing the citizenry has ever seen. Tuesday's Wall Street Journal headline read "Pay Czar Targets Salary Cuts" and discussed the Obama administration's plan to "clamp down" on compensation at firms receiving government aid -- as if that is going to result in bringing in talented, qualified individuals to assist in turning these companies around. Good luck finding a replacement for Kenneth Lewis now.
Why were the ACLU and liberals so vocal during the Bush years when his goal was to prevent another 9/11 and future harm to American citizens and they are silent while Obama recreates America in a Venezuelan image? I believe it is due to something called a double standard. We all know that the liberal media is in Obama's pocket, but it is liberals themselves that are the hypocrites as well.
A pattern has emerged. Liberal citizens and politicians during the Bush years were permitted to speak out against the Iraq war, root for an American defeat, and cheer with the news of each dead American, and they were labeled patriots. An American speaks out against Obama's socialist policies and he is labeled anti-American. A liberal is able to chant anti-Bush slogans and compare him to Hitler and he is exercising his right to free speech. An American questions Obama's judgment both domestically and on the international stage and he is called a racist.
I have attempted to point out to liberal friends and family that if they simply took the vast majority of offensive statements, policies, or actions of Obama over the past nine months and imagined them emanating from Bush, they would see the hypocrisy in their stance -- to no avail. They are content to sit back and watch this administration gut the Constitution, usurp power wherever it can find it, ignore the intent of the founders of this country and the successes of the free market economy which helped lead us to the position of the only world's superpower.
But they will wake up in a few years to find that their children are not safe from harm's way, their grandchildren will be working off the enormous debt incurred by this government and will never achieve the economic success of their grandparents, and when they need medical care, they will be waiting in line like the Europeans and Canadians who used to turn to the US in times of emergency. Yet they will have their civil rights, for as long as Bush is not the one authorizing the wiretapping of their cell phones, all is good. Another bottle of champagne anyone?