Patriot Act

President Obama Has a Much Different Opinion on the PATRIOT Act Than Did Senator Obama


Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is on the floor right now promising to vote against both Senator Rand Paul's amendments and full PATRIOT Act reauthorization, and he's quoting a speech Obama made on the Senate floor in 2006. The best parts of that speech are below: 

[S]oon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law didn't just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn't need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion.

Now, at times this issue has tended to degenerate into an "either-or" type of debate. Either we protect our people from terror or we protect our most cherished principles. But that is a false choice. It asks too little of us and assumes too little about America. Fortunately, last year, the Senate recognized that this was a false choice. We put patriotism before partisanship and engaged in a real, open, and substantive debate about how to fix the PATRIOT Act. And Republicans and Democrats came together to propose sensible improvements to the Act.

Unfortunately, the House was resistant to these changes, and that's why we're voting on the compromise before us. Let me be clear: this compromise is not as good as the Senate version of the bill, nor is it as good as the SAFE Act that I have cosponsored. I suspect the vast majority of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same way. But, it's still better than what the House originally proposed.

But the proponents of the SAFE Act, (Durbin and Obama in particular) weren't happy with what they passed, and said that in the future, the Senate would need to

take a careful look at President Bush's use of warrantless wiretaps and determine the right balance between protecting our security and safeguarding our civil liberties. This is a complex issue. But only by working together and avoiding election-year politicking will we be able to give our government the necessary tools to wage the war on terror without sacrificing the rule of law. So, I will be supporting the Patriot Act compromise. But I urge my colleagues to continue working on ways to improve the civil liberties protections in the Patriot Act after it is reauthorized.

As with the war in Afghanistan and the debt ceiling, President Obama has a much different opinion on the PATRIOT Act than did Senator Obama.

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  1. No, he doesn’t.

  2. For someone who wasn’t in the Senate very long, and who didn’t show up most of the short time he was, Obama sure found time to amass a nice record for future hypocrisy.

    1. Don’t forget his lies on the campaign trail. The few remaining liberal friends I have sure can’t whenever they bring up politics around me.

      1. It has really pulled the mask off of liberals. What is funny is to hear them say “that just means he is a centrist”. So much for the “fierce moral urgency” of ending the practices of the Bush years.

        1. The intellectual dishonesty required to justify Obama’s flip-flops is impressive. I have started having (a little) grudging respect for the few people on the (far) left who have had the honesty to state that Obama is wrong, despite the (D).

          1. Obama is so bad, it has put Glenn Greenwald, Ralph Nader and me on the same side. You really have to be a special kind of brain dead to defend him on this shit. But sadly, I know otherwise smart people who do. The best I can figure is that they just don’t think and view politics as fashion.

            1. But he’s cool!

    2. Worst president in a long, long time. And that’s saying something.

  3. But, directing another’s attention to the mendacity of the mulatto is just racist.

    1. Um yeah, referring to hum as a ‘mulatto’ is racist, yes.

      1. No, its not. Besides, I like alliteration.

        1. Racist is accepting affirmative action goodies.

          Racist is being black and voting for a negro just because the candidate is negro.

          Racist is being black and voting for a negro, in part, because the candidate is negro.

          Racist is being black and supporting affrimative action goodies for blacks.

          Racist is supporting government set asides for blacks.

          Racist is having a double standard for the use of the word nigger, i.e., blacks can use the word whereas others can not.

          Racism is supporting the coerced collection and maintenance of records based upon race.

          Racism is having a month devoted to the history of a particular race.

          Racism thy name is Barack the magic negro.

  4. It is precious to me.

    Apparently even the one can’t wield the weapon of the enemy without being corrupted.

  5. I read that as “Majority Whip Dick…”

  6. You guys are grasping at straws…being a Senator is a representative position and being President is an executive one. You would expect somebody to take different views towards things while performing the duties of different jobs.

    1. Why that explains everything!

    2. What the hell are you talking about? When he was a Senator, he said he thought it was bad policy. How would being President make him take a view that now it’s good policy?

      1. How would being President make him take a view that now it’s good policy?

        Because now it’s his power.

    3. So then, everyone who criticized Bush when HE did it should change their minds, I guess. Bush had the unique perspective of an executive too.

    4. This is what it’s down to? “It’s not hypocritical because being President is different than being a Senator?”

    5. I would only expect that from a man devoid of principles.

      So, I guess I would expect it of Obama, then…

  7. I need to know everything about you. It’s all about control. I reject false choices and embrace clarity.

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