Timothy P. Carney: "the anti-war movement is dead, and the Patriot Act is alive"
Valuable Washington Examiner columnist Timothy P. Carney draws some depressing if predictable conclusions from the Democratic National Convention. Excerpt:
Four years ago, Obama ran on a platform declaring, "We support constitutional protections and judicial oversight on any surveillance program involving Americans." That platform added, "We reject illegal wire-tapping of American citizens."
To borrow Biden's phrasing, those platform planks are dead, and illegal wire-tapping of Americans is alive.
Citing one of President George W. Bush's more egregious blows to the Constitution, the 2008 platform stated, "We reject sweeping claims of 'inherent' presidential power." The new platform scraps that plank and proposes no limits on presidential power. The only mentions of executive power are positive.
"We will revisit the Patriot Act," the 2008 platform promised, "and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years."
In May 2011, Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Patriot Act complete with the provisions that most disturbed civil libertarians, including roving wiretaps and surveillance of people with no known ties to terrorist organizations. The 2012 platform omitted any mention of the law.
Democrats even stripped innocuous promises from the platform, such as "We will respect the time-honored tradition of habeas corpus."
Previously, Jesse Walker noted a similar set of conclusions from Mother Jones.