Here's a fun game to play:
Skewer partisans on the other side of the divide over the fact that during the last administration they had their panties in a knot over the president doing X, Y, and Z, but during this administration (with the appropriate brand of either Coke or Pepsi sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office), they're mysteriously silent.
I blame Bush partisans who were silent over:
- the explosion of the federal budget
- the growth of the welfare state
- unsustainable deficit spending
- government torture
- internal spying (double points if they're old enough to have posted angry diatribes to Usenet ( look it up, kids) about Clinton's Clipper chip (look that up too) c. 1993
- using tariffs to help uncompetitive sectors (…and buy votes for his party just before an election)
I blame Obama partisans who are silent over:
- the administration being in bed with the big banks
- the continued use of Gitmo
- the fact that the US military is fighting wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
- ongoing extreme rendition
- FISA and even more domestic spying
- the widespread deployment of license plate scanners using funds from federal grants
I am culturally a man of the right
but I have to admit that it's a man of the left, Glen Greenwald, who has done some of the most stand-out work in intellectual honesty on this topic: he's hammered Obama over his all-too-convenient hypocrisy.
…but Obama isn't alone in deserving a serving of shit. He only gets away with it because the media and the populace let him get away with it. The press covers Michelle Obama's gowns and exults that Barrack himself enjoys a game of basketball with his staff…while never noting that as Michelle is trying on a new gown, hundreds of men are shackled in an American military base despite never having had a date in court, and while never noting that as Barrack sets up for a three-pointer American drones cruise over Pakistan, blowing up houses that are alleged to contain people that BHO has put on an unconstitutional kill list.
My point here is not to dress down my left-wing friends as uniquely flawed. Yes, most of you are hypocrites. That's fine – most of all of us are hypocrites. Right, Left, Libertarian, and Center, most of us, most of the time, don't apply our standards consistently.
This is not a disease of the left; this is a disease of humanity.
And yet, cultural progress is possible. Cultural norms are mutable.
Here's my challenge to you (and to myself):
1) when the wrong brand of soft drink is behind the desk (whether that's right now or in a few years), make a list of the utterly horrible illegal crap he (or she) is doing, day in and day out. And post it someplace public, like your blog.
Now, here's the tricky bit:
2) title the blog post "crap I will not remain silent about … even when my own guy is doing it 4 or 8 years from now"