The Washington Post has some poll numbers that sadly confirm what I’ve suspected for some time was the case. All the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth from Democrats when Bush and Cheney were running the Constitution and the Bill of Rights through the paper shredder had nothing to do with those rights and liberties being taken away, it was all about the party affiliation of the president who was doing the taking:
“The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay… Even the party base appears willing to forgive that failure. The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of President George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.
…The Post-ABC News poll found that 83 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s drone policy, which administration officials refuse to discuss, citing security concerns…But fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year.”
“The Post has just released some new polling that demonstrates very strong support for Obama’s counterterrorism policies, including 83 percent of Americans approving of his use of drone strikes against terror suspects overseas.
This finding, however, is particularly startling:
What if those suspected terrorists are American citizens living in other countries? In that case do you approve or disapprove of the use of drones?
And get this: Depressingly, Democrats approve of the drone strikes on American citizens by 58-33, and even liberals approve of them, 55-35. Those numbers were provided to me by the Post polling team.”
I’m glad there wasn’t a question about waterboarding in this poll, although I suspect the results would have been similar. The typical excuse you’ll hear from the above mentioned 58 or 55% goes something like this one from Oliver Willis:
“They [drones] are not perfect by a long stretch, but after over a decade of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is the least bloody option that kills terrorists.”
Yeah, least bloody for us and the guys with joysticks playing computer war games in Las Vegas. Not so much the innocents (including American servicemen) who happen to be in the vicinity when a drone kills those suspected terrorists. Screw ’em. Collateral damage dontcha know.
But this is number one on the Hit Parade, the old ‘I trust Obama excuse’:
“I totally understand the dangers in giving the president the sole power to designate terrorist targets. I’m not comfortable with that much power residing in the executive office. I would trust Barack Obama with that power, but not George Bush, so I don’t trust any president with it.”
Hello? McFly? Do you think that power walks out the door with President Obama? Look into your crystal ball and tell me who the next five presidents will be. Hell, tell me who will win in November. I don’t know about Mr. Willis or any of the other apologists, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want President Santorum or President Gingrich to have the power to assassinate or ship off to Gitmo any American who they, for whatever reason-real or imagined–suspected of being a terrorist, or somehow affiliated with some organization which might be construed as a threat to national security. Let’s see, with Santorum that might be expanded to include any doctor who performs abortions or anyone affiliated with Planned Parenthood. For Newt Gingrich it could take in any member of the “liberal media” who writes something critical of his foreign policy or a federal judge who happens to hand down a decision with which Gingrich disagrees. Think that’s a stretch? Willing to bet it wouldn’t happen?
Glenn Greenwald cuts to the inconvenient truth:
“The Democratic Party owes a sincere apology to George Bush, Dick Cheney and company for enthusiastically embracing many of the very Terrorism policies which caused them to hurl such vehement invective at the GOP for all those years. And progressives who support the views of the majority as expressed by this poll should never be listened to again the next time they want to pretend to oppose civilian slaughter and civil liberties assaults when perpetrated by the next Republican President.”