They’re Playing His Tune
In an AP story, Georgia Rep. Broun (R) warns that Barack Obama could be dangerous:
A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.
“It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force,” Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. “I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism.”
Where was Rep. Broun while the Bush administration concentrated power in the executive branch, authorized torture as policy, set up the Department of Homeland Security, introduced us all to “rendition”, and generally set about making many of our civil liberties null and void? I don’t remember getting a peep out of him then. And all that stuff actually happened.
The tune mentioned in the title for Rep. Paul Broun should be obvious. Yes, it does sound crazy, Rep. Broun. Full stop.
16 thoughts on “They’re Playing His Tune”
Braun is over the top, yes. But by how much? The power of the personality cult that this socialist bastard has built around himself should worry any rational person. Give it a year or two to build up, and I won’t be at all surprised to see armed vigilantes assaulting Republican candidates and their supporters.
Where was Rep. Broun while the Bush administration concentrated power in the executive branch, authorized torture as policy, set up the Department of Homeland Security, introduced us all to “rendition”, and generally set about making many of our civil liberties null and void? I
Every president tries to concentrate power in the executive branch. Bush was no different. Nor will this socialist bastard.
Bush never authorized what he called torture as policy. He only authorized — under very narrow and specific circumstances — a certain set of procedures that his enemies called “torture” — without, I might add, any grounds for that redefinition.
The Department of Homeland Security was a good idea that failed totally in practice because it was defined and run by bureaucrats, not intelligent people.
Rendition was a Slug Administration policy, which Bush merely continued.
And I have never met a single US citizen whose civil liberties were actually, intentionally abrogated under the Bush administration. Neither in person, nor online. Indeed, the three civil liberties on which we depend the most: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to keep and bear arms — were all expanded under Bush. If you don’t believe that, go look at how many times people openly advocated murdering Bush in particular, and conservatives in general, without being arrested. See also how many times the press published details of classified government plans and programs without suffering for it.
Socialist vigilantism? Given two years, I doubt we’ll see anything of the sort.
Everyone may try to accrue power, but to an extraordinary degree Bush was able to either coerce the legislative branch to accede or to simply have his fiat stand up to the minimal resistance offered.
That Bush never called the practices he authorized… no, advocated, as “torture” doesn’t change the nature of those practices. Who is “redefining” anything? For instance, the USA has prosecuted the use of waterboarding as a war crime, and the practice was used as part of the ensemble of tortures of the Spanish Inquisition.
So the DHS had to be incompetent because it was run by politically appointed conservative bureaucrats, but a “socialist” bureaucratic system is destined to be both effective and evil?
I didn’t say the Bush administration invented “rendition”. It’s difficult to see much of the creative influence there. However, I’d be much surprised if the Bush administration did not turn out to use rendition far more than in previous administrations.
The fact of the matter is that you and I have almost certainly met people whose civil liberties were abrogated by the Bush administration, for the warrantless wiretapping pursued by the NSA and the efforts by the FBI to monitor email traffic (via “Carnivore” and other means) does do away with being secure in our persons, etc., even if it never becomes apparent that it has happened. It has certainly been argued that such dismissals of civil liberties are critical to maintenance of domestic security, but that doesn’t mean that the civil liberty hasn’t been violated, it just means that a rationalization has been offered for doing so.
As for death threats, those have been a staple of political involvement no matter what views are espoused. So far as I can tell, the authorities have been pretty consistent about investigating and charging people of all sorts who engage in that practice.
Broun is way over the top. Obviously, the bad things happening under Bush’s watch concerned you not at all. Why should unrealized and apparently unfounded fears about Obama suddenly merit panic?
The Republican congressman from Georgia was in my opinion a bit over the top with President elect Obama creating a security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.
I do believe Barrack Obama will expand socialism in the United States economically. Generally, to install major socialism into the US is to have something significant go bankrupt or close to it.
You look at the banking crisis. Both Dems and the GOP knew there was a problem, but both parties did very little. McCain did endorse a bill in 2005. Obama did write letters to complain about the banking situation. But nothing happened, both parties sat on it until it went bankrupt practically. Now the banking system is getting nationalized.
Health Care costs a lot of money. President elect Obama wants universal health care, this would also include illegal immigrants getting the benefit.
Senior citizens who worked hard all their lives have to give up everything to go on title 19, but an illegal alien comes in and gets free education, gets free health care under Obama.
Obama plans on putting people back to work through pubic service, now I’m not saying it’s his entire plan, but still, that takes money from taxpayers.
Obama wants to increase 150 billion dollars for science, spend more on alternative energy, ban oil drilling. Basically do the oppose of Bush…lol
The Bush presidency has destroyed the dollar, which is what oil is based on which is what food is based on. Prime rate is only 1 percent which sounds like the recession of the 90’s by Japan when their prime rate went down to 0 percent. Japan is more of a socialist government. Bush had endorsed some socialism.
I could go on and on, but the bottom line, Obama’s government policies will put this country much further in the direction of socialism.
Some country has recently elected a socialist as president? Where is this? I’ve only been watching the US presidential election, and there was no socialist there.
Yes, it seems that “socialism” is now a buzzword assigned to any stance that doesn’t correspond to “let them eat cake”-style governance.
“Health care costs a lot of money.”
Yeah, and so does an effective military, interstate highways, public education, police forces, agricultural inspections, water systems, and lots of other stuff that helps distinguish the USA from a bunch of hunter-gatherers living in mud huts. What’s your point? Besides which, having effective, ongoing health care for our population also means overall reduced costs, since many conditions will be caught and treated before they get to that emergency room visit with heroic measures stage that gets paid for by the public anyway. Add to that the benefit of greater workforce productivity because of fewer sick days taken.
The “governs best that governs least” theory has been tested in a variety of respects recently with deregulation, and the results are consistent: that theory is falsified. That doesn’t mean that government should go to the opposite extreme, just that there is a legitimate role for government oversight, something that you yourself hint at in your comment. That doesn’t mean that we get “socialism” thereby.
Interstate highways? Eisenhower, you socialist bastard! :)
I think it’s very strange how many Americans seem to be totally oblivious that they have a mixed economy with many ‘socialist’ aspects to it, and have had it for a long time now. To those people government is not the answer…until some disaster like the financial meltdown happens, then they want to know where’s government and who’s minding the chicken coop.
Socialist vigilantism? Given two years, I doubt we’ll see anything of the sort.
We already have. Not much of it, I’ll grant you, but I did see photos of two armed civilians standing in front of a polling place somewhere. I think it was in Pennsylvania. Clearly armed, and just as clearly not police. And, judging by their appearance, I expect almost everyone who saw them would assume they were supporters of the socialist bastard. We’ve also seen a college student get beat up for wearing a McCain campaign button. One facet of socialism is the intimidation of opposing points of view — and if intimidation doesn’t work, then active oppression is next on the agenda. Socialists do not permit dissent. That’s a standard tenet of every socialist regime that has ever existed.
On the question of “torture,” I remain unconvinced that anything Bush authorized falls under the classic definition. A Wikipedia article that shows signs of having been written by leftists does not qualify as a trustworthy source. Bush had lawyers tell him that what he authorized was legal.
The fact of the matter is that you and I have almost certainly met people whose civil liberties were abrogated by the Bush administration,
The FBI has been attempting to create databases like “Carnivore” for decades. Bush did not add anything new.
It also so happens that the powers Bush obtained by legislation and proceeded to use (and in some cases overuse) have been in use by state police agencies for decades. The Patriot Act and associated legislation merely brought the FBI to parity with state and local police. And none of them are as dangerous to privacy rights as private entities like credit agencies. If you are concerned about privacy, as I am, then you shouldn’t restrict your anger to this one administration. Get mad at all of them. But don’t condemn Bush simply because he saw an extraordinary threat and sought extraordinary powers to deal with it for as long as it lasted.
Obviously, the bad things happening under Bush’s watch concerned you not at all.
Nothing is obvious, everything is infinitely indeterminate. Don’t assume that I think Bush was right in everything he did just because I disagree with the standard tenets of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Why should unrealized and apparently unfounded fears about Obama suddenly merit panic?
Because Bush meant well but got carried away by his own enthusiasm. A classic case of a man being unintentionally corrupted by the power he wielded. This socialist bastard is already corrupt even before he obtains power, so the damage he does will be far worse.
It’s not just
WikiPedia that says that the redefining is being done by the Bush Administration and not its critics. This stuff should be checkable. And, in fact, the WikiPedia article has references. Here’s one, a report by the US Department of State concerning human rights abuses in Tunisia:
Tunisian waterboarding: “torture”.
US waterboarding: “interrogation technique”.
Another voice on the matter:
Is John McCain a redefining leftist, too?
Again, you’ve got the “redefining” exactly backwards.
I’d assume the Black Panthers would support Obama, too. News reports say that the fellow with the nightstick was escorted off the property by police. I wasn’t aware the members of the Black Panthers were under anybody’s control, though. The beat-up college student? Made it up. It seems a kinda weak showing to be invoking Hitler’s shade over.
It’s a standard policy of any repressive regime of any sort. Reagan was notorious for having the Secret Service and police remove either hecklers or people asking inconvenient questions from speaking venues. Extensive use of “free speech zones” was undertaken by the Bush Administration. It certainly wouldn’t make it correct for the yet-to-be-installed administration to continue or extend such policies, but… that has not yet happened and there is even less evidence that it will happen than there was for WMDs in Iraq.
Expansion of bad old policies is also bad. I think I mentioned that novelty isn’t everything already.
“9/11 !!!!” has lost some of its magic in the way of immunity from criticism at this point. There’s seeking appropriate power to deal with a threat, and then there’s stuff the Bush Administration took up as policy that makes us either no more secure or less secure and denies civil liberties to boot. I certainly will condemn the Bush Administration for making me a party to the use of torture and the denial of civil liberties to my fellow citizens. This is a big deal. The “war on terror” was pitched as a moral enterprise. To the extent that that was ever true, we capitulated early on when we simply adopted the techniques of the terrorists as our own. We lost that aspect of the “war on terror” long, long ago. Now all that’s left is the pragmatic stuff about protecting our “vital interests”, our morals apparently not being among those.
OK, you may disagree with Bush on some unspecified things, but I think a larger problem exists in that you are giving Bush a pass on things where you are just plain wrong. Like the adoption of torture as policy. Not everything is indefinitely indeterminate.
Quoting someone else, “Prove it.” I saw remarkably little from this incompetent and corrupt administration that would rationalize that stance.
Looks like an extreme case of projection to me. We know that the exiting administration has been corrupt, as you just admitted (“unintentional” or “intentional” doesn’t make a difference there). Got Lesar’s new address in Dubai? Is Cheney planning to join him there? It does not follow that the newly elected administration must be so or will be worse. It wouldn’t hurt to be alert to abuses in any new administration, but I confess that I really don’t understand the exceptional animus displayed by Broun and now you concerning Obama.
I don’t see the word “waterboarding” in that State Department document extract. I see “submersion of the head in water”, but that is not the same thing as waterboarding. Sorry, you’ll have to try again.
The beat-up college student? Made it up.
Yes, that one did. This one did not.
Reagan was notorious for having the Secret Service and police remove either hecklers or people asking inconvenient questions from speaking venues. Extensive use of “free speech zones” was undertaken by the Bush Administration.
I’ve never heard that about Reagan, but I suppose one can justify being cautious after coming within an inch of dying from a mad assassin’s bullet. An active disruption at the speaking platform is a real security threat: an assassin could use it as cover to get within killing range. Incidentally, note that both the new Ruler-Elect and the Queen Bitch used similar tactics during their campaigns.
There’s seeking appropriate power to deal with a threat, and then there’s stuff the Bush Administration took up as policy that makes us either no more secure or less secure and denies civil liberties to boot.
Can you prove it hasn’t made us more secure? Or that it’s actually denied anyone their civil liberties? I doubt it — any evidence either for or against that claim is certainly classified, and neither of us has access to it.
Your opinion of Bush is fixed beyond the capacity of any entity to change it, regardless of the evidence, so I won’t bother trying.
It wouldn’t hurt to be alert to abuses in any new administration, but I confess that I really don’t understand the exceptional animus displayed by Broun and now you concerning Obama.
That’s because you’ve chosen to ignore the facts that worry us about him. He used underhanded and possibly illegal tactics to win his first election to the state senate. And his election to the US Senate. He’s a close friend of known terrorists, and associated with organized crime. He solicited and took illegal campaign contributions — no one will ever know how much, but probably a substantial percentage of his half-billion-dollar campaign fund came from foreigners or from domestic contributors who evaded the finance laws. (Personally I believe some of those laws are chickenshit, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are the law of the land, and he’s bound by oath to obey it.) He advocated unconstitutional programs, such as his “mandatory community service” line. He used his supporters to try to silence his opponents. He really does support taking away civil rights — such as the right to self-defense. And that doesn’t even begin to consider the radical plans of his lefty friends in Congress, like nationalizing the oil companies and silencing conservatives by means of the “fairness doctrine.”
He is, in short, coming into office with just as great a record of corruption as you claim Bush has as he’s leaving office. No president in history has improved his ethical record while in the White House. They always find their ethics corrupted and degraded by the power at their disposal and the demands placed on them. I fear what will happen when this man, who is already so filthily corrupt as to make raw sewage look sterile, gets into that office. I would be scared if these were good social and economic times. I’m damn well terrified given the deadly dangerous economic and social situation we actually have.
That’s enhanced interrogation technique Wes.
Hitler represented right wing intimidation Wes, not left wing. Totally different thing.
Since terror is a method, not a group, it can never be beaten. Therefore such a war must be indefinite. Someone once said that he who would trade liberty for security deserves neither. Might have been Franklin.
It’s downright vicious, isn’t it. Part of this sad view that if you’re not a Conservative Republican, you’re not an American, I think. He hasn’t even started his administration and already the conclusions have been set in stone. I wonder what the difference is between a Democrat and a Socialist to these people anyway? It won’t be long before the current economic crisis is blamed entirely on him. And Clinton of course. There’s going to be a seamless transition of blame from Clinton to Obama.
I’m not responsible for the poor quality of Rep. Broun’s allusions.
The motto about trading liberty for security is often attributed to Franklin, but this page disagrees.
“Transition of Blame”… great phrase.
To the extent that simulating drowning differs in method of execution, buckets and boards are different. Both are still torture. You’ve stated your rejection of the State Department finding on Tunisia as being relevant; I disagree. But I don’t seem to see your verdict on whether John McCain fits in the group of “leftist redefiners”. Note that he did say that waterboarding, quite specifically, was torture.
The Augsburg student incident is certainly unfortunate.
A campus scuffle is the harbinger of the Apocalypse? I’d be in favor of having the holder/puncher expelled, but I don’t see the slippery slope as applicable. If we did, and found a case of a college Republican getting pushed and then punching out a liberal Democrat, should we expect right-wing death squads roaming the land in two years? I don’t think so.
Your standards of evidentiary support for claims seem to be mighty flexible.
Uh, no, that isn’t the case. You are again projecting… From later in your comment:
That is far more apropos of your stance concerning the record of the Bush Administration. Just because I don’t come to the same conclusions that you do does not imply that I am ignoring the evidence.
You want to do something real about combatting the stifling of dissent by government? Join the ACLU. They’ve been consistent in taking on administrations of both parties when they step on civil liberties.
Show me a case where the ACLU has supported gun rights, or free speech rights for conservatives, and I’ll believe that.
As he’s been subjected to real torture, I’d guess McCain has an automatic aversion to anything that anyone calls “torture.” I imagine I would too, if I was in his place. As it is, though, I simply do not believe that waterboarding as the CIA used it at Gitmo qualifies as “torture.” It was applied as a last resort on a handful of extremely tough individuals after all lesser methods had failed. It lasted only a few seconds in each case. No physical pain was involved. No lasting harm was done. And the subjects’ resistance was broken in such a way that they gave the interrogators truthful answers to their questions afterward. How does that compare to what the Vietnamese did to McCain (while liberals cheered them on)?
Nice job of quote-mining my linked article to make it sound like a random incident. Learned that skill from creationists, did you? According to the article, the fact the victim was wearing a McCain pin was the trigger for the attack. That makes it much more than merely an “unfortunate incident.”
If we did, and found a case of a college Republican getting pushed and then punching out a liberal Democrat, should we expect right-wing death squads roaming the land in two years? I don’t think so.
From just one case, I wouldn’t either. I would, however, consider it a warning sign, a harbinger of things to come if such behavior came to be viewed as acceptable. You seem to be doing your best to downplay it and thereby make it acceptable. If actions by a president and his Congress made it clear that liberals could be attacked with impunity, I’d expect to see a lot of such attacks soon after. And if this socialist bastard and his commissars in Congress make it acceptable to harass and persecute and attack conservatives, then yes, I expect to see an increasing number of such attacks.
I also expect to see a small-but-increasing number of cases where such attacks end in the justifiable deaths of some or all of the attackers, since many conservatives carry concealed weapons and won’t hesitate to use them in self-defense.
On further consideration, Wesley, I think I should come out and ask this question directly, rather than trying to infer your answer: What would it take to convince you that the opposition’s fears about our new Ruler-Elect are justified, and he is in fact as bad as we think he is?
It would take some actual evidence of what he does as President instead of hysterical name calling 2 months before he takes office. For instance if he used signing statements and covert surveillance to circumvent the Constitution and grabed new powers at every turn; if he started a war on a fraudulent basis, lying to the American people in the process; if he presided over the biggest spending spree in the history of the Presidency and incurred record crippling debts; if he used clandestine overseas prisons and one in Cuba to detain people without representation and authorized torture to boot; if his administration fires its own attorneys when they don’t show enough of that partisan spirit. Etc. etc. etc.
In short, if he behaves anything at all like the current President…then that would be convincing.
I think that you are trying to be deliberately provocative. I never repudiated the claim that the attack on the Augsburg student was politically motivated. I advocated the expulsion of the holder/puncher in the incident. I don’t see how showing that there was more to the incident than your original synopsis counts as “quote-mining”, nor as “downplaying”. What I did take issue with is the hysteria that is being invested into those incidents. Not agreeing with your bizarre conclusions isn’t whatever bad thing you are alleging at the moment.
Again, projection is your forte:
That is far more apropos of your consistent apologetics on behalf of the policy of torture. Neither you nor the Bush Administation will ever call it such, but the people who suffered or died through such practices in the past and present aren’t concerned with semantics, I’m sure. John McCain is biased because he was tortured? Well, what about Col. Morris Davis? Is he biased, a leftist redefiner, or is there some other reason to reject his analysis? (Based on past experience, it would seem Option 3 is likely to be exercised.)
Further, what evidence is there for the CIA fantasy of reliable information obtained via torture? The CIA says so? Other government sources have disputed that torture can be used for any critical information. And various prosecutors have placed information gathered via such methods off-limits in trials. How did the CIA judge the reliability of tortured information? Wherever such information is found to be true, it gets confirmed via a different method, making it a bit problematic to argue for the necessity of the torture in the first place. And wherever it turns out to be false, which happens a lot according to other government sources, it conveniently is not counted. Yet even making a pragmatic argument for the despicable immoral application of torture in interrogation depends upon the reliability of the information produced. You seem to want us to nullify any moral consideration of torture aka “enhanced interrogation techniques” based upon information that we can only speculate about, not know in any way subject to real critical analysis. (Yes, “critical analysis” means something… the antievolutionists borrow terms that already have meaning and coopt them.)
I think we are both against political violence. I have more concern about the known policies of the current administration than I do about speculation concerning the next one. I include the treatment of prisoners and detainees as being in the ambit of political violence.
As for the ACLU, they are known to take a (mistaken, as it were) “state’s rights” view of the second amendment. However, where gun ownership views coincide with first amendment concerns, they were right there:
You probably won’t count that toward the gun rights column, but it seems to serve admirably for the conservative free speech rights bit. See Ed Brayton’s blog for many more cases where the ACLU has intervened on the side of religious and conservative groups.
As far as getting me to back Rep. Broun’s claims that Obama is, maybe, kinda sorta the next Hitler, I think evidence of the quality that you demand for impeaching the Bush administration would be a good start. So far, I’ve only seen stuff that would have made John A. Stormer, that master of slurring innuendo, saddened by the patzers. I certainly don’t think any politician qualifies for sainthood. But there’s a pretty large gulf between a politician being a politician and one being a candidate for the next Hitler. Pretty much any successful politician has had a variety of unsavory associations by the time he or she gets considered for national office. There’s a pretty compelling list of such for John McCain as well; would there be the hue and cry of potential Hitlerism if McCain had won the election? This isn’t an argument that politicians be given a free pass, but rather that we don’t engage in hysteria.
I think that your prognostication powers are, well, nil. Check back in two years and we’ll see who was closer to the truth.
On an issue of fact.
Hitler was not elected. He was manoevered into office with the ready, willing and able help of Conservatives close to the President, men like von Scleicher and Papen.
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