This, 1000x This!

Tam’s reaction to the dodge that NSA domestic snooping is just peachy because Bush did it too:

This is exactly the kind of crap that had civil libertarians so disgusted with the previous administration that they decided to give Team Donk a chance, and look what they got in exchange: A bad punchline of an Executive branch. “They told me if I voted for McCain that secret intel organizations would Hoover up all the phone records of every American, and they were right!” Har-de-har-har. It was funny the first thirty-seven times.

And what’s the Mainstream Media doing? Hiding smoking guns like a lovestruck teenager for her gangster boyfriend. If you guys were manning the bridge in ’73, you’d be doing special investigative reports on why security guards should mind their own business when they see a taped door lock. It could be taped for national security reasons! And George Bush taped locks, too!

It always annoys me greatly when people bring up the “Bush did it!” excuse, like that’s some kind of “Get out of Jail Free” card they can play — like everyone else is the same kind of partisan hack as people who assert this defense seem to be. Well, you know, I thought Bush was an asshole too, so what’s your point? In fact, given Bush’s approval ratings at the end of his second term, I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this sentiment.

22 thoughts on “This, 1000x This!”

  1. Except — and I’m sure the wookie suiters will savage me for pointing this out — Bush didn’t do it.

    1. Bush did it a little (to actually hunt foreign terrorists). That apparently makes it okay for Obama to do it on a gigantic scale to hunt all of us. And okay to spend $billions of my kids’ future earnings to spy on them.

    2. Except that his administration did just that:

      Have people already forgotten about the scandal in 2005 when it was discovered that AT&T was granting NSA access to insert a splitter right at the core of its information pipeline so that they could indiscriminately scoop up all information going through it? I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but this stuff has been going on since 2001. Bush gave the Military Industrial Complex carte blanche to run wild, and they have. It’s not like those naked scanners showed up just when The One was elected.

  2. “It always annoys me greatly when people bring up the “Bush did it!” excuse. . .”

    When I make that kind of argument, I usually try to make it “bipartisan,” by citing both a Republican and Democratic example; e.g., cite Bush lying through his teeth about Iraq and Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin charade. That’s because my point is, that it’s our system of political parties that produce that crap, while doing nothing to end it, because both know they will profit from it again, sometime in the future. But, invariably partisans will hear only half the example, screaming “Blaming Bush isn’t an excuse!”

    No it’s not, but everyone who cites Bush (or Johnson or Nixon or Reagan or Clinton) isn’t necessarily making an “excuse.” Sometimes they’re saying “Behold the beam in thine own eye,” hoping someone will start thinking about safety glasses.

  3. “like everyone else is the same kind of partisan hack as people who assert this defense seem to be”

    Perfectly said. Since they’re on Team Blue, they assume that the rest of us are all on Team Red, as if it were all just some stupid political game. “You guys did it, too, so you can’t complain!”

    Another liberal pathology is the “blame the Republicans” approach. No doubt the GOP will be blamed for all of Obama’s misdeeds. I’ve heard well-educated Democrats earnestly insist that Obama’s drone attacks, massive deportations, and aggressive prosecution of the drug war are all somehow the fault of conservatives.

    The American media has done a tremendous job indoctrinating young people with the belief that Team Blue = Good while Team Red = Evil. While secular, many of these liberals cling to this manichean dichotomy with religious devotion. They are as unwavering in their faith and adherence to the Democratic party as the most fundamentalist devotees are to their respective religions. The Leftist Opposition in this country died with Howard Zinn.

    Whenever I talk to liberals about the merits in Rand Paul’s stance against drone attacks and the war on drugs, or in favor of civil liberties, my comments are immediately dismissed as illegitimate. “Rand Paul is a Republican. He can’t be right.”

    1. My memory is hazy, but I seem to recall the word “change” coming up a few times in Obama’s 2008 campaign…

        1. That’s right. It was “if you want a wreckloose maverick, vote for McCain- but if you want a nice steady four more years of Bush, vote for me.”

  4. Well, it seems from the latest news stories that “Senior Leadership in Congress” from BOTH, repeat BOTH Parties signed off on this and have known about it for years.

    So it’s not only the Nazis and the Commies who have signed a “Mutual Non-Agressian Pact.”

  5. I always respond to the “So and so did it too” excuse with the following:
    You have 2 children. You hear Child A start crying. You ask Child A what happened and he says Child B hit him. You then ask Child B why he hit Child A and he says “Well Child A was hitting me earlier.” Do you just say “well, by all means carry on then”? No, you punish them both so they both know that this isn’t right.

    1. The “punish them both” part seems never to have occurred to anyone yet.

      Of course, when the kids own the house and all its contents, how exactly do you do that?

  6. The Phone Companis have been in bed with the Fed.Gov for decades. Bigger switches (exchanges) had space set aside for ’em.

  7. When I was more of a “Republican Team Player”, I had a tendency to defend the Patriot Act. Since then, I’ve soured a bit on the Act, and on political parties in general.

    It’s really funny to see Obama hacks say things like “this is why we need a Democrat in office–to get rid of crap like this”. Never mind that it’s Democrats doing crap like this; never mind that the Republicans had the decency to put an expiration date on the Patriot Act, but when it came time for it to expire, Democrats and Republicans alike voted to keep it alive (even my representative Jason Chaffetz, darnit!), and it was signed into law by President Obama himself.

    As it stands, I wouldn’t mind “Bush did it” if it were followed with “but we put a stop to it”; instead, it’s followed by a “too” as if that’s sufficient reason to do something. (Never mind that Obama wasn’t supposed to be Bush…)

    1. Now that I think of it, Obama was supposed to be Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, and even Ronald Reagan; others have compared him (albeit unfavorably) to Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter. I suppose it should come as no surprise that he’s going to be like George W. Bush and Richard Nixon. He seems to be trying so hard to be like all these other presidents, after all, that he’d get around to being like these others, after all!

    2. “I’ve soured a bit on the Act, and on political parties in general.”

      Stay active long enough and you come to realize that any faction will do whatever it takes to take and then hold on to power. The fundamental excuse is, “We really intend to do good, but we can’t do good unless we have power, so anything we do to get more power is, by definition, a step toward the good we envision.” If you tend to being an idealist, eventually you stop accepting that excuse, but it can take a long time.

  8. My reasons for liking Bush were primarily in terms of personality rather than policy–he was reflexively libertarian, I think, but was easily swayed by big government arguments. And so while I never much liked the Patriot Act, I thought (and still think) that most of the hyperbole against is was silly. At least Bush tried (most of the time) to limit his wiretapping to conversations involving foreign entities. Yes, occasionally that’s not what ended up happening. But his fundamental instinct was outward–finding enemies overseas. Obama’s instinct has been inward–that is, he is more intent on finding domestic enemies, particularly political opponents. People forget that he was the first president to actually call his political opponents “enemies” in public.

    So, yes, both men and both parties have gone too far. But I’m not willing to lump them together in the same way. Bush screwed up frequently, but at least he had our intelligence outfits mostly looking outward rather than at American citizens. There’s a huge difference there, and I’m pretty sure some people are glossing over it.

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