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Excerpt: "Protecting individual rights and liberties - apart from the right to be tax-free - seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States."

President Obama has failed to close Guantanamo Bay, continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals, and asserted the right to kill US citizens he views as terrorists. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
President Obama has failed to close Guantanamo Bay, continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals, and asserted the right to kill US citizens he views as terrorists. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)



Obama: A Disaster for Civil Liberties

By Jonathan Turley, Los Angeles Times

01 October 11

 

He may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties.

ith the 2012 presidential election before us, the country is again caught up in debating national security issues, our ongoing wars and the threat of terrorism. There is one related subject, however, that is rarely mentioned: civil liberties.

Protecting individual rights and liberties - apart from the right to be tax-free - seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States.

Civil libertarians have long had a dysfunctional relationship with the Democratic Party, which treats them as a captive voting bloc with nowhere else to turn in elections. Not even this history, however, prepared civil libertarians for Obama. After the George W. Bush years, they were ready to fight to regain ground lost after September 11. Historically, this country has tended to correct periods of heightened police powers with a pendulum swing back toward greater individual rights. Many were questioning the extreme measures taken by the Bush administration, especially after the disclosure of abuses and illegalities. Candidate Obama capitalized on this swing and portrayed himself as the champion of civil liberties.

However, President Obama not only retained the controversial Bush policies, he expanded on them. The earliest, and most startling, move came quickly. Soon after his election, various military and political figures reported that Obama reportedly promised Bush officials in private that no one would be investigated or prosecuted for torture. In his first year, Obama made good on that promise, announcing that no CIA employee would be prosecuted for torture. Later, his administration refused to prosecute any of the Bush officials responsible for ordering or justifying the program and embraced the "just following orders" defense for other officials, the very defense rejected by the United States at the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill US citizens he views as terrorists. His administration has fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.

But perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama's personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush. Indeed, only a few days after he took office, the Nobel committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without his having a single accomplishment to his credit beyond being elected. Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured.

It's almost a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, in which a hostage bonds with his captor despite the obvious threat to his existence. Even though many Democrats admit in private that they are shocked by Obama's position on civil liberties, they are incapable of opposing him. Some insist that they are simply motivated by realism: A Republican would be worse. However, realism alone cannot explain the utter absence of a push for an alternative Democratic candidate or organized opposition to Obama's policies on civil liberties in Congress during his term. It looks more like a cult of personality. Obama's policies have become secondary to his persona.

Ironically, had Obama been defeated in 2008, it is likely that an alliance for civil liberties might have coalesced and effectively fought the government's burgeoning police powers. A Gallup poll released this week shows 49% of Americans, a record since the poll began asking this question in 2003, believe that "the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals' rights and freedoms." Yet the Obama administration long ago made a cynical calculation that it already had such voters in the bag and tacked to the right on this issue to show Obama was not "soft" on terror. He assumed that, yet again, civil libertarians might grumble and gripe but, come election day, they would not dare stay home.

This calculation may be wrong. Obama may have flown by the fail-safe line, especially when it comes to waterboarding. For many civil libertarians, it will be virtually impossible to vote for someone who has flagrantly ignored the Convention Against Torture or its underlying Nuremberg Principles. As Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. have admitted, waterboarding is clearly torture and has been long defined as such by both international and US courts. It is not only a crime but a war crime. By blocking the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for torture, Obama violated international law and reinforced other countries in refusing investigation of their own alleged war crimes. The administration magnified the damage by blocking efforts of other countries like Spain from investigating our alleged war crimes. In this process, his administration shredded principles on the accountability of government officials and lawyers facilitating war crimes and further destroyed the credibility of the US in objecting to civil liberties abuses abroad.

In time, the election of Barack Obama may stand as one of the single most devastating events in our history for civil liberties. Now the president has begun campaigning for a second term. He will again be selling himself more than his policies, but he is likely to find many civil libertarians who simply are not buying.


Jonathan Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University.

 

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+63 # Abigail 2011-10-01 10:17
Obama will lose the election because many of us who rallied to his spoken cause will stay home because of his failure to follow up on intentions. We are no longer blinded by his oratorical prowess- we now have a record of his failure to follow through. We probably will not vote for a Republican candidate. All it will take to defeat President Obama is that we just won't vote.
 
 
+26 # angelfish 2011-10-01 13:40
If all the disaffected stay home, they will reap the whirlwind of another "shrub" type Presidency. If you don't vote, you can't bitch and have no right to complain over the consequences! Obama is BETTER than ANY ReTHUGlican Fascist!
 
 
+31 # camus11 2011-10-01 14:36
While I might somewhat agree with you in that I likely will vote (at least for a progressive third party candidate if there is one) and I certainly agree that the gop is the U.S. fascist party [but i would add that the dems are the appeasers], etc., it is presumptuous and wrong to assert that if one doesn't vote, then one loses the right to complain. Where does it say that in the constitution?
 
 
+27 # steve98052 2011-10-01 19:43
One always has the right to complain, constitutionall y. But democracy, including our representative democracy, gives people both the right and the _responsibility _ to vote -- and vote responsibly. Neither the law nor the constitution makes complaint conditional on voting, but the responsibility of democracy does.

As for voting for a third party, independent, write-in, or similar sort of candidate, it's reasonable as a protest vote. But protest votes are responsible only in places where the outcome is a given. If you live in Washington DC where a Democrat will clearly win the electoral votes, or Texas where the Democrat will clearly lose, go ahead and make a protest vote. But a protest vote in a swing state is a vote against one's own interests, because it could make the difference between a disappointing outcome and a disastrous outcome.

Our winner-take-all electoral system gives us only two real choices. Obama is a disappointment. Huntsman would be worse, but probably not a disaster. Romney would be worse still, but probably no worse than elder Bush. All the other current Republican candidates would be full-scale disasters, worse than younger Bush.

As for those who say, "Let the Republicans win so we see how bad they are", that already happened with younger Bush, and people didn't see it. We can't let that happen again.
 
 
+8 # cadan 2011-10-01 23:27
You know Steve, i think there's a lot of validity to your analysis.

But i disagree in one point.

While Perry indeed looks like a dumbed-down version of Bush (if that's even conceivable), i think Huntsman and Romney will be almost like Obama, and Romney especially.

This whole crowd really, really wants to be in office, and is willing to do just about anything to achieve it. This means pandering to the neocons, which is probably the most destructive thing happening to America (because our expensive foreign wars are not only immoral, but are killing the economy).

My prediction, though, is still that Obama will win, and quite possibly in a landslide, because he has kept the wars going, and the main stream media loves that.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 14:48
Quoting angelfish:
If all the disaffected stay home, they will reap the whirlwind of another "shrub" type Presidency. If you don't vote, you can't bitch and have no right to complain over the consequences! Obama is BETTER than ANY ReTHUGlican Fascist!


You are right on target ANGELFISH:

Jonathan Turley is NOT a democrat - and he served up "road kill" as if he cooked a "steak" = as only a lawyer can! Be careful what you read - look up this Turkey on google and see WHO HE HAS REPRESENTED --- Fed Judge who was impeached for crimes worse than Thomas! And "with Lawyer Starr" in the Clinton impeachment.
You all want to live under the GOP then Angelfish said it!!!!
 
 
+14 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:07
Complain all you want to the bread line when they take your job and home
 
 
+7 # Binky 2011-10-03 08:05
Holy cow are you wearing blinders or do you have tunnel vision? What has BO done good? Seems all of you who love him don't have any answers to that question.
 
 
+14 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 14:50
Not voting is giving our country to the Koch brothers + Wall Street! Look up this author -- he is a right-wing Lawyer! Lawyers can twist facts to suit their audience.

Rest of you = please vote unless you are a Repugnut -- or want to be ruled by the religious right, wall street, and the Koch brothers.
 
 
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:05
That is ignorance. So I hope you are happy with Perry and the like but I hope you all are not living in the USA when these Nazis come into power
 
 
+5 # jmcbroom1943 2011-10-01 17:50
DON'T BE A LEMMING.
THINK FOR YOURSELF.
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES.
RELIGIOUS RIGHT HERE IT COMES, I REALLY HOPE NOT.
 
 
+10 # bigkahuna671 2011-10-01 19:25
We shouldn't stay home, we need to introduce a candidate who represents the views of most Americans. Obama's interest is in 1)getting reelected; 2)protecting his wealthy supporters; and, 3)trying to create a legacy. Unfortunately, with his actions to date, he is unlikely to be reelected nor will he create a positive legacy. The only legacy he will have is as a failed President, even more so than President Carter and President Bush I. What you can count on is that his wealthy friends will be protected. Right now, he's touting that he will push for taxes on the wealthy. That'll last until he possibly gets reelected (if people are stupid or naive enough to believe his rhetoric), at which point he'll totally forget about it and move to strengthen the rights of the wealthy over the rights of his supporters. So, don't give up. Just get someone who will actually do what they say...would Hilary live up to that? I'd hope so and I'd hope she'd give serious thought to giving us a better option than Barack Obama. I will vote for him if there is no other choice, because I firmly believe that the GOP's candidates would take us closer to fascism than this country has ever been.
 
 
-1 # chick 2011-10-01 20:08
You do seem to forget the good things he has done. And don't ask me to quote them I am not good at that but I am sure some one here can make a list of all the good things he has done, even with so much opposition from the right, including all the insults.
 
 
+2 # chick 2011-10-01 20:02
Right and all it takes is for a Repiublican to get in while you do not vote.

There are things he has done which I do not like and this is one of them but I most certainly will vote because to have a republican win will bring us back to the 1800 and the end of the USA.
 
 
-1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2011-10-02 16:01
Abigail,
You are so RIGHT and right on the mark. Of course, this could change if we could get a brilliant and courageous democrat or Independent to run who really cares about the people who are suffering and disheartened at this time. Keep writing!
 
 
+73 # Ryan Langemeyer 2011-10-01 10:26
There are just way too many reasons to NOT vote for Obama. And, way more reasons to not vote for republicans. That is the dilemma progressives face; no candidates who exemplify progressive ideals. However, it really is far better to not vote for either party, to vote for a Green or a Communist or a Socialist and to feel that it is not a choice of "bad" or "worse". Let's take our lumps, but begin to move away from the two party control of the US.Vote for ANYBODY but D's or R's!
 
 
+26 # Merschrod 2011-10-01 12:26
Yes, Ryan, let's vote third party to protest. Then let's focus on Reps and Senators who might counter wingnuts or Obama should he win.

Obama's plea that we protest and push him to do the right thing is such flimsy escape from responsibility.
 
 
+27 # josephhill 2011-10-01 14:20
"Obama's plea that we protest and push him to do the right thing is such flimsy escape from responsibility."

-------------------------------------------

This is, in truth, an admission by Obama that he is more interested in being re-elected than he is in doing the RIGHT thing. Like many of the politically astute posters on this site, I couldn't care less about Obama's personal political fortunes. I care about the ISSUES, and I plan to vote on that basis.

I'm perfectly willing to vote for Democratic candidates....b ut ONLY for so long as they share my views on the issues. It has become increasingly apparent to me that the "Democratic" Party is no longer an effective vehicle for social/economic /political REFORM.

A person of courage and integrity needs no pressure in order to do what s/he believes is best for America. Makes me wonder how much character this guy Obama has... So far he has shown me NOTHING.

He and the rest of those "Democrats" who support him (in spite of his Republican policies) can go to H*ll. I'll be voting 3rd-Party (probably GREEN) in 2012....and I strongly encourage all genuine progressives to do the same..(unless the Dems come to their senses and nominate Kucinich or Feingold or...)!
 
 
+66 # Larkrise 2011-10-01 10:50
Obama sold us snake oil during the 2008 campaign. We were so weary and dispirited from 8 years of horror under Bush, that we gladly embraced Obama's rhetoric and emotion-laden words of "Hope" and "Change." It was what we so desperately wanted. His record has been far from either of those promises. This very astute article lays it on the line. By acquiesing to him, we enable him to continue to destroy our freedoms. My hope is that his numbers will tank so significantly, that he will have to step down as candidate. We need a true leader, not someone who is only marginally, if that, better than the totally insane Republicans. Instead, of giving up in fear and defeat, we need to demand a candidate of integrity, compassion, and decency. We need someone with courage, not unbridled ambition. We do NOT need any more of Obama's smoke and mirrors. Grow a spine, Obamaphiles. This man is fooling you once again. Shame on you. The young people on Wall Street are showing us the way. Obama is just blowing hot air, as usual. Who will the candidate be? Let us find out, instead of whimpering and contemplating bad choices or no choice at all. I will NOT vote for any man or woman who continues to kill and maim in the name of our country. Nor should you, unless you want to be the next victim. It can happen. It has happened. All it took was apathy and denial and lust for power. We have that now!
 
 
+28 # awen 2011-10-01 12:56
Itotally agree with you. I'm going to join an "occupy" encampment.
 
 
+5 # Gurka 2011-10-02 10:51
Dennis Kucinich for president!
 
 
+33 # camus11 2011-10-01 11:00
Too bad the only way Obama (like W before him) could be impeached would be if Monica visited him in the Oral Office... The pattern is now set in stone: One president does the original crime; his successor(s) then continually cover it up. And justice for all... Ha!
 
 
+1 # futhark 2011-10-01 13:12
Justice is the concept of receiving consequences commensurate with one's actions. It does not mean getting a free pass from jail.

For Mr. Obama, justice should take the form of losing the next election, a message to all those who follow in his footsteps that the electorate WILL HOLD elected officials to account for their fulfillment or lack of fulfillment of the promises they made during their campaigns. To not hold Mr. Obama accountable is to invite all his successors to promise real change, then retrench when they take office.

Me? I'm supporting the only candidate in the field so far who has identified Bradley Manning as a hero, who has consistently opposed the unconstitutiona l PATRIOT Act, and who I think is firmly committed to withdrawing the American military from the outer reaches of its empire, Republican Rep. Dr. Ron Paul. I retain the option of voting for the candidate of the party in which I am registered, Green, if the opportunity presents itself.
 
 
0 # chick 2011-10-01 20:20
Ryan, Mershrod, Josephhill, Larkrise, Awen, All of you stay home and give a lift to the Repuiblican whoever he is to win the election and again if you think things are bad now just wait until we return to the 1800.
and Futhark Ron Paul is no green party but a 100% Republican and you too go join the others and watch our country go down the drain.
 
 
+6 # josephhill 2011-10-02 09:27
"Ryan, Mershrod, Josephhill, Larkrise, Awen, All of you stay home and give a lift to the Repuiblican..."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I will NOT be staying home. As I wrote earlier, I consider it my duty to vote...for the candidate who comes closest to representing my interests and the Public Interest. Obama doesn't even come close to representing me or anyone else who considers him/herself a 'progressive'. I've NEVER voted for a Republican (or a "Democrat" who pushes a Republican agenda!). If everyone posting here as a progressive would do the same we will eventually become a genuine democracy.
 
 
0 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:41
No Obama-Apologist is a Progressive because no Progressive supports Wall Street puppets.
 
 
+76 # fredboy 2011-10-01 11:02
Civil liberties went out the window with Bush/Cheney the day after 9/11--and most Americans sat on their asses and did not raise one peep about it. Obama just accepted the mantel--he took the easiest route.

So it's been 10 years since our civil liberties have been trampled. Let me know when you hear an outcry from the lazy, frightened American people.
 
 
+52 # madams12 2011-10-01 12:57
well, actually Fredboy....it all went out the window when the SCOTUS DECIDED who would become president ...Bush V Gore...tossing out 92,000 American voters in Florida whose names had been "cleansed" from the voter rolls by a Texas company in cahoots with the Bushes. ACCEPTING that ILLEGAL IMMORAL FICTITIOUS decision by Supremes was the downfall...not Patriot Act exclusively...w hich has its own fictitiousness. ..such a huge omnibus bills written so quickly ...suggests it was already 'prepared' for the events of 9-11 which they denied they even were warned about. LIES LIES LIES...covered up with propaganda and more lies.
 
 
+30 # John Locke 2011-10-01 13:08
American's talk a good talk, but they are of little action, the reality is the government knows this also
 
 
+15 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:12
Go back, ...ReaGun took away most of the Rights and our parents/grandpa rents believed an actor.
 
 
+12 # disgusted American 2011-10-01 11:18
Mr. Turley - are you saying this on Hardball, Rachell Maddow and other "news" propaganda shows? If so, you risk losing your set at their table but better to state the truth.

Obamapologists and Democrat voters need to pay attention to what is really happening in Washington. Obama is a clear and present danger to the 99 percent as are Democrats in Congress who are on the same page as Obama and also dining at the same trough as Republicans.

If you can put a checkmark next to a name on the ballot just to vote for the better of two evils, then you have no self respect.

Better to stay home and let the chips fall where they may. Also, stay vigilant - figure out their schemes and do what it takes not to become a victim as best as possible - for example, the despotic health care law which will leave you worse off than you already are - the details are horrific.

Join together as community and educate one another about how these schemes work and how to protect yourselves. In so doing, you are giving them all the middle finger.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:15
Keeping one's head in the Sand is like keeping up one's butt...No very impressive, believe that is how you got into this mess
 
 
0 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:38
Only the Progressive-Dem ocrats, Bernie Sanders, & maybe Ron Paul are fighting against Wall Street corruption and their elected puppets.
 
 
+22 # Alexis Fecteau 2011-10-01 11:30
Lets not forget now about the extra-judicial executions of American citizens (Anwar al-Awlaki, US Citizen, executed with no due process for "thought/talk crimes").

Obama is as culpable as the evil war criminals he replaced.
 
 
-6 # chick 2011-10-01 20:24
For God's Sake if you think this man was a US citizen I do not know what country you came from.
He lost his citizenship when he became a traitor to his country. I guess by you it would have been better to let him live and be able to kill more Americans.
 
 
+7 # giraffee2012 2011-10-02 10:20
And the law states "treason" is punishable by death. Bush/Cheney / Rove (etc) were also treasons - but they have yet to be convicted.
 
 
+5 # bsmith 2011-10-01 11:53
I understand the dismay with what BO has and has not done in his time as the POTUS but have you all forgotten that from day one of hos presidency that the right vowed to make him a one term president and that anything and everything he supports the conservatives rally against. It has certainly been a vicious uphill battle for Obama and it will never ever be easy for him to pass ANY legislation that we "liberals" deem acceptable...
 
 
+2 # julileegal 2011-10-01 12:01
Let's not give up on Obama yet. Look what the alternative will be, UGH. How'd you like for someone like Bachman in his place. Or better Rick Perry, I shudder with fear to think of the Republicans getting in. Obama will improve as he experiences more problems. Let's face it, he, at least is not trying to screw us like the Republicans will. Do you want to lose your SS or Medicare? You will FOR SURE if the Republicans get in.
 
 
+20 # John Locke 2011-10-01 13:11
maybe that is what America needs in ordeer for people to do something, maybe we need to lose everything we have gained, you know what they say about a man who has nothing, he has nothing to lose...
 
 
+23 # Lulie 2011-10-01 13:14
During the debt-ceiling neotiations, it was OBAMA who put Social Security and Medicare on the table.
 
 
-3 # giraffee2012 2011-10-02 10:21
Lulie - the GOP/TP rejects EVERYTHING the President"puts on the table" -- so think about that when you accuse the President of ANYTHING
 
 
0 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:36
This is a true accurate fact.
 
 
+4 # angelfish 2011-10-01 12:04
I don't believe it's ENTIRELY the President's fault, however he has been a disappointment in not acting on what he COULD have acted on before the Thugs got the House Majority. I hope and pray that his next term will be the one that brings the CHANGE we ALL want and wish for as he promised in this last campaign. Are you LISTENING Mr. President? Where is Justice?
 
 
+22 # awen 2011-10-01 12:58
He is NOT listening. It's up to us to get into the streets with an "occupy" group or the October 2011 coalition gathering in DC on October 6th. Vote for anyone whose NOT a Dem or Repug.
 
 
-3 # giraffee2012 2011-10-02 10:24
Awen - that is handing a vote to the Repug (we did this in 2010) -= I do not want to live under Perry as pResident (etc)

VOTE 2012 DEM Obama. This is the most important election EVER
 
 
+24 # John Locke 2011-10-01 13:14
It is his fault, as they say the buck stops at his doorstep, he could have refused to compromise with the republicans on raising the debt ceiling, he could have shown backbone, but he has none he is a spineless jellyfish who never should have been elected to the presidency...he iis incapable of independent thought because he is another puppet the corporations financed for that office...
 
 
+2 # chick 2011-10-01 20:33
I guess you had a job at that time. There were so many people who needed help after losing their job. He was thinking of them and I cannot blame him for that.

You seem to think a President has a magic wand and can do anything he please.
You forget it is the Congress who really has the power.
 
 
+7 # Sheila 2011-10-02 11:01
Quoting chick:

You seem to think a President has a magic wand and can do anything he please.
You forget it is the Congress who really has the power.


You think Congress has the real power.

WRONG. It's the lobbyists that have the real power and until Congress rejects lobbyist's money things won't change and the wealthy will continue to control the country.

Do you really think Congress will bite the hand that feeds them? If you do, I've got a bridge I can sell you.
 
 
+2 # chick 2011-10-01 20:29
And that is one thing most people forget when we supposedly had a majority in the House. We actually did not since we had some Blue dog Democrats (and I hope the people who have them will vote other Dems in) who voted with the Republicans, so we never really had a majority.

This time I hope people wake up and really dump all the Republicans and have a huge Democratic House and Senate, then, we will see us overturn all the bad and I do mean bad laws the Republicans have put in place in some states.
 
 
+8 # anarchteacher 2011-10-01 12:31
For further documentation of Obama's horrific civil liberties record of abuse and disaster, watch Salon's progressive Glenn Greenwald (former constitutional attorney):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpFOh-FZcpc

and Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/freedom-watch/index.html

Napolitano is the senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel, and the host of “FreedomWatch” on the Fox Business Network.

His last book was: Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History, (Nelson, 2010).

His next book is: It is Dangerous to be Right When the Government is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom, coming out next week.

I have all five of his New York Times best-selling books. They are terrific!

Both of these gentlemen were staunch, unrelenting critics of the Bush/Cheney regime's civil liberties record.
 
 
+1 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:35
Outstanding accurate analysis.
 
 
+12 # lcarrier 2011-10-01 12:32
Turley claims that opposition to Obama has been quieted by his "cult of personality." But in reality, his opposition has now centered around a cult of "anyone but Obama." This is bad policy and skewed thinking. If disillusioned progressives think staying home in 2012 will get them something better, then they are deluded. All it will get them is the right to chafe under even harsher violations of our civil rights.
 
 
+13 # josephhill 2011-10-01 14:36
"If disillusioned progressives think staying home in 2012 will get them something better, then they are deluded."

-----------------------------------------------

"Staying home" is the worst thing progressives could do. Voting, to me, is a sacred duty. If we ever hope to have more than a 'choice' between TWO "Evils", we MUST go to the polls and make our preferences known in NO uncertain terms.
 
 
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:30
Amen Those threatening not to go to the Poll should live in Countries where you cannot.
Think of all those who voted, whose vote was cast away, conveniently lost...you want to live in blind go somewhere else, rest of us have come to Look For America, she seems to be lost
 
 
+2 # angelfish 2011-10-01 20:29
Icarrier, I believe you are so right. Why does everyone think that the President has all this power? The only reason the "shrub" was able to force through Cheney's agenda is because the Democrats behaved like "gentlemen" and refused to be labeled "Commies" by the "You're WITH us or AGAINST us" crowd. I believe that if Obama is re-elected with a strong Democratic Senate and House, there is NOTHING he can't accomplish for the People. If they do what they did in 2010 and allow these Fascist Lunatics to gain and remain in power, it will be time to look for greener pastures in Canada or New Zealand, ANYWHERE but here!
 
 
+5 # futhark 2011-10-01 22:37
Barack Obama's private agenda, which seems to take priority over his publicly declared one, seems to be to protect established interests and extend them, using military violence as he deems necessary. I think Congress would have to be packed with Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders clones before he would lift a pinky on behalf of the American people, if doing so caused any inconvenience to his money base boys.
 
 
0 # Lulie 2011-10-02 14:58
Unless you've got a lot of money or a specialized skill, Canada and New Zealand won't take you!
 
 
+10 # RicKelis 2011-10-01 12:34
An incredible amount of damage was done by previous Republican administrations , esp. Bush/Cheney--an d it was done in profound secrecy, creating a scorched earth situation that could not be exposed without tearing up the country and the world. Under Bush rule the country went into a condition of betrayal of trust--to just about everyone except the Bush crime family--and even among them. A president’s constitutional duties have survival of America at the top of the list. So he could not do what he wanted to do immediately. Change requires a step-by-step modification that does not capsize the ship of state in the process. To see this requires the gift of understanding, something in short supply these days, by both sides of the argument. Who or whatever has conspired to divide the Progressives/Li berals has succeeded, it seems, if one views the comments here in this forum.
 
 
+2 # highland1 2011-10-01 12:51
Babies, all of you. For my lifetime I have voted for the better person, that was not necessarily the person who would fulfill my wishes for full equality for my family and myself. But I knew if I kept voting for the better person, someday we would get a person who could climb on the backs of all those who are trying to do their best to get to a person who truly exemplies a president for the people, and by the people. So sit home and cry and let the Rick Perry's of the world keep screwing you. Or you can be the adult in the house and understand when progress is being made and more importantly who is the best candidate to affect real change. President Obama is not the end-all. He is one of the stepping stones to victory for the people. We need to keep doing our part identifying and voting for all who will help in that goal. We must not forget our progressive ideas and goals but we have to keep being part of the solution and stop gripping. The President could stand some support from our congressmen and senators. Let's also see if we can get him the congress he needs to get progressive legislation passed. It's up to all of us to keep hope alive.
 
 
+12 # waviles 2011-10-01 12:56
The following statement is absurd:

"In time, the election of Barack Obama may stand as one of the single most devastating events in our history for civil liberties."

The passing of the Patriot Act, the opening of Guantanamo, the escalation of extraodinary rendition or the forced internment of thousands of Japanese citizens/legal residents in camps across the Western U.S. or the assassination of MLK or Malcom...will these all be on the same scale as Obama's election? That is simply hyperbolic in the extreme (btw Obama does not possess unilateral power, he was stopped from closing Guantanamo by Congress or does this branch not matter in any discussion of Obama's failures?)
 
 
+2 # angelfish 2011-10-01 20:31
Well said, Waviles!
 
 
0 # chick 2011-10-01 20:40
Thank you waviles, they seem to think Obama has a magic wand and is responsible for everything bad that Bush started.
 
 
+10 # iris 2011-10-01 13:25
why not write in bernie sanders feingold or kusimich?
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:34
People wrote in for small race couple years ago and when the paper came out, we never saw the write in. I have myself wrote in Donald Duck for many of the school board members as most of the Cartoon Characters have better integrity
 
 
+17 # Bob-Investigates 2011-10-01 13:29
fredboy, you sure have that right: "lazy, frightened." Here are some more descriptions: poorly educated, downright stupid, politically infantile, easily deceived, pathetically sheepish, politically masochistic (stabbing themselves in the back by voting for the very economic and political enemies out to destroy them), FOX brain-dead, born-and-raised lemmings, single-issue simpletons, religiously indoctrinated to never question anything, especially politicians who wrap themselves in God and the flag, even though those politicians have ideas and actions that will destroy our Republic and democratic heritage AND are so air-headed that they voted for criminals like the Ultra-Greedy Bushes, AND NOW, they will vote for criminals like the Ultra-Greedy Perry. I would like to be optimistic about the future of our country, but, given the current situation with a DEM Prez who has apparently been bought-off / co-opted by the Rat-TP-Plutocra ts, I'm afraid we are SOL. Bush, Cheney and Rummy should be in prison for war crimes. Since Jan. 2009, Obama has the blood of every single one of our service personnel, who have been killed or wounded in Iraq and AF, on his hands. He has betrayed our trust in him to stop the ground wars and bring the troops home. I am a disabled Vietnam war veteran and I have seen all of this before.
 
 
+2 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 13:36
WHY are you all so quick to blame President Obama? He is not KING nor a DICTATOR. The GOP/TP governors are the ones who are supported by the Koch brothers (etc) and who are taking away "what Bush/Cheney didn't earlier) - state by state. WHY BLAME PRESIDENT OBAMA? WHY STAY HOME AND LET A GOP/TP run the W.H. and both houses. COWARDS. The Dems are not clean (we know) but a far cry better than ANY GOP/TP!

Those who say they will not vote 2012 -- should not complain afterwards when ALL our "rights" etc will disappear.

President Obama has addressed the "voting" situations in states where laws are being passed to make it difficult for Democratic districts to vote --- BUT HE CANNOT police or force those states to do otherwise.

This author is totally OUT OF LINE to BLAME the President! I don't know him but he reminds me of the trouble maker who incites OTHERS to do his dirty work. AND THOSE of you who go alone with this mantra should read about the "POWER OF THE PRESIDENT" before making stupid decisions.

I don't expect my input will be well received -- BUT I AM SURE ALL DEMS must get out and vote in 2012 -- it's the "Best We Can Do" -- to get the W.H. and Congress back into Democratic hands. Dems history does NOT follow the things we saw under "W" nor under this TP House we have! VOTE and get other Dems registered.
 
 
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:40
I do not care what party you are, you have the Right to Vote. that should be reason alone to excise it.
Get local meetings together and start reading about the candidates, voting stats, go over reason to or not to vote for. Awareness not telling people who to vote for is a way to get people to watch and perhaps see that a new step would be better for America. Do something, got time to be here daily but not at meeting?
Pretty sad life
 
 
0 # chick 2011-10-01 20:44
giraffee2012 Hip, Hip Hurray. I am with you 100%. Well said. fMy hat is off to you.
 
 
+6 # bigkahuna671 2011-10-02 06:47
giraffe2012, ir'a nor rhw blame game, it's the lack of backbone. All we'd like the Prez to do is show some, stick to his guns and quit kissing up to the GOP. If they refuse to cooperate, his history of trying to work with him is enough to show the American people that he'd tried that tactic and had it thrown back in his face by the fascists Boehner and McConnell. But to say one thing to one crowd and another to the next just shoots him in the foot and gives him little or no credibility. The POWER OF THE PRESIDENT comes in the ability to veto any GOP legislation that comes down the pike, anything that helps a RED state. It's amazing that those states and their governors come hat in hand after one of their disasters and demand federal assistance on the one hand, while bitching about federal interference on the other. Just veto the help, let them find their own means of solving their problems, which is what they always demand at their Tea Party events, then, when Christie and the rest of his brethren can't produce, let them stew. Later, step in and help, but make it clear that the help came because of the dire need of ALL the people and wasn't the result of the wonderful leadership of their false leaders like Christie, Barbour and the rest, but because of the willingness of ALL the rest of the country, namely, Democrats, to come to their aid!!
 
 
+9 # Beckmesser 2011-10-01 13:37
Bravo Prof. Turley. You have expressed the undeniable reality of this man's presidency. What a colossal and bitter disappointment he has been. As a previous letter comments: a snake oil salesman who fooled us with his soaring rhetoric only to perpetuate the sickening policies of his predecessor.
 
 
+3 # ellenandron 2011-10-01 13:38
Turley's position is libertarian and vindictive. He overlooks all of Obama's support of civil rights. Frankly I wonder if he isn't annoyed that Obama didn't give him a shot at the Supreme Court.
From his Wikipedia article:
"Turley has a strong libertarian streak and sometimes infuriates the left with a contrarian position. He has said,'It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right.' In May 2009 the Daily Kos said that, 'Jonathan Turley is an embarrassment!' because Turley had suggested that supreme court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor was not "brilliant" enough for the job. Turley also favored Clinton impeachment.
"The conceptual thread running through many of the issues taken on by Turley is that they involve claims of Executive Privilege which he said would put our system on a slippery slope. He has argued against national security exceptions to fundamental constitutional rights."
Dr. Turley seems to want to issue a blanket edict that civil liberties comes above all else. However,it is the responsibility of the President and his administration to evaluate whether civil liberties or national security takes priority in every case where that comes into question.
 
 
-3 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 14:01
ellenandron -- bravo (you also looked him up- although most responders JUMPED all over the points made by this snake!

VOTE early AND go to democratic districts to insure those who may not have IDs that "voting in the USA" is FREE -- they do NOT have to PAY for IDs. They also should get mail-in ballots and send them in (or deliver them) early.

Do not believe all you read! Look up the author before you jump in with the author's mantra.

I am so angry at this Turley lawyer that I will send an open letter to him and his co-horts!

VOTE - damn it == 2012 is very important election
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:49
Civil Liberties... I fought for them. I made statements, did marches. President is to treat all people equally as is other Elected Officials, even Criminals.
But Civil Liberties, your Civil Liberties...You r Civil Liberties, believe you have to pick up your own weight.
It is like Parents of Children, ones who had children, believe the School system and Society should bring their kids up. Teachers are there to teach a curriculim. They have classes, they give homework. At 3 o'clock when those kids leave that School...It is your duty to raise your own kids. You have to make sure they can read, write, and do their homework...not me, not a teacher, not your neighbor. I find the same people who should not have children, should not have the right to Vote. Most have not grown up enough to take on the responsibility. We have not come very far since Eden
 
 
-1 # Harbor Lights 2011-10-02 10:36
Quoting KittatinyHawk:
Civil Liberties... I fought for them. I made statements, did marches. President is to treat all people equally as is other Elected Officials, even Criminals.
But Civil Liberties, your Civil Liberties...Your Civil Liberties, believe you have to pick up your own weight.
It is like Parents of Children, ones who had children, believe the School system and Society should bring their kids up. Teachers are there to teach a curriculim. They have classes, they give homework. At 3 o'clock when those kids leave that School...It is your duty to raise your own kids. You have to make sure they can read, write, and do their homework...not me, not a teacher, not your neighbor. I find the same people who should not have children, should not have the right to Vote. Most have not grown up enough to take on the responsibility. We have not come very far since Eden

What if we want to send our kids to another school besides a govt. school?
Wake up. Learn liberty.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 13:54
The author of this article has won merits in his field of LAW but he is a righty -- he ain't no DEM! And WE know all right-wings play the blame game better than any Dem!

"In 2010, Professor Turley represented Judge G. Thomas Porteous in his impeachment trial." Thomas screwed with everything and maybe lower than Scalia or Thomas but those 2 are LOW!



"In 2011, Professor Turley filed a challenge to the Libyan War on behalf of ten members of Congress, including Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (R., Md); Dan Burton (R., Ind.); Mike Capuano (D., Mass.); Howard Coble (R., N.C.); John Conyers (D., Mich.); John J. Duncan (R., Tenn.); Tim Johnson (R., Ill.); Walter Jones (R., N.C.); Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio); and Ron Paul (R., Tx). The lawsuit is pending before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia"
 
 
+2 # brucezell 2011-10-01 14:11
All in all what can you expect from a facist police state. Brace yourself amerika, things will only get worse regardless of who you vote (or not vote) for!
 
 
+4 # chicago82 2011-10-01 14:15
Obama is the BEST thing that has happened to this country in decades. You blind, faithful, Republican sheep just need to open your eyes and see what the Republican polticians have done and the childish games they play, so Obama will fail, or so they think. Your Republican line up for President is full of far right evangelical loons, or tea tea party morons.

You haven't got a chance in hell next year. But you just keep pretending if it makes you feel good.
 
 
+10 # Magars 2011-10-01 14:16
As Professor Colwell West saId when visiting the Liberty Square: Obama should apologize but what he said. I would say no only for what he said,but for betraying the working class people and progressive people in general
 
 
+9 # bdeja 2011-10-01 14:18
Mr. Turley you are quite right in your appraisal of Mr. Obama. It is also quite upsetting just how acquiescent most Democrats have been as our civil liberties have been stolen.
I believe that it is essential that someone of upstanding Progressive values, someone of some prominence and charisma, step up to challenge the President in Democratic Primary.
President has had poor judgement in courting the center. The military/indust rial complex with its outrageous greed and hunger for war, conflict, and the loss of individual dignity and rights, is no friend of the Constitution.
 
 
+10 # Vardette 2011-10-01 14:32
I think the monstrously over bloated spy matrix is to hot to handle. Not even congress is allowed to know what is spent but it is untold billions. I think Obama is walking on thin ice. Opposers have away of having accidents when the system is threatened. I would like to see a return of accountanility, oversight and the rule of law though and I wish Obama, who claims to preach his adoration of Democracy, would do more to uphold it. Unfortunately the alternative to Obama would be even worse. Look what Bush did during the big protest in New York. He ordered a 1000 protesters held in makeshift prisons made of chain link fence and barbed wire along the piers. A TP president wouldn't think twice about killing protesters. Remember these were the guys who brought guys to their gatherings and not one cop did anything!
As Jennifer Granholm just said on the Bill Maher Show we need to kick these (SOBs) out and vote in more like Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders,
 
 
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-01 16:53
They are getting more and more stupid in NY, Police actually had buses on time and half waiting for someone to skrew up. People tried to allow others to walk on a small walkway, went outside of line made and were arrested. For walking, not killing, harming, walking. Pretty Sad the same Cops who we protested for their jobs now take themselves to be above the Law for 15 days
 
 
+11 # josephhill 2011-10-01 14:58
"Babies, all of you. For my lifetime I have voted for the better person."

----------------------------------------------

It seems that this poster has been successfully 'conditioned' to accept that we have ONLY 2 'choices'. Personally, I ALWAYS vote for the BEST candidate. It's the only vote I have, and I refuse to cast it for any candidate I don't trust and agree with....but, hey, that's just me! I prefer GENUINE democracy rather than "forced" choices between 2 Evils.
 
 
0 # Cliffard 2011-10-01 15:03
I think the point is that with Obama a lot of the left, who would normally be opposed to such activities have been silenced. As such, his tenure is much more dangerous than an obvious right wing leader would be. So many were opposed to Bush at the end that we were able to elect what we thought was change. The only change was to shut down the opposition.

At first I was offended by Tea partiers carrying signs likening Obama to fascists, but I think they are right, he is bought sold, and packaged by the corporations and is doing everything in his power to help them solidify their hold on the government.


I will not be staying home on 2012, I will be voting for someone as right wing as they come knowing they will screw things up so bad we will get a chance to make them a one term president and get a "real" progressive in there the following election. If Obama wins, I am afraid we may never again have a progressive president in the mold of Roosevelt.
 
 
+2 # chick 2011-10-01 21:14
Cliffard I hate calling anyone a dope but I am sorry you are one.

If they should win, you just might find yourself being asked to work for 1.98 an hour and work a 48 hr a week if you don't like it you can always quit.

Of course you will have no health insurance since you cannot afford it.
Of course there will be no Social Security for anyone including you of course.
Your kids if you have any cannot go to college cause you are out of work and there are no community colleges that they might be able to afford.

If you need an operation guess what you can die.
Shall I go on or are you getting "it".

If the Democrats lose there will be no second chance because they are primed to go all the way. They would make laws for each state so no other party can get in except the Republican party.
They are doing it now in States that have a Republican governor.

Please use your common sence. They want to deregulate the banks, deregulate Wall Street. Tax middle class higher and give billionaires and Corporations more tax loopholes. Again I could go on and on but being 84 I am getting tired. Just do not cut off your nose to spite your face.
 
 
+4 # Cliffard 2011-10-01 22:31
You know what, All of that is already happening to me. I have been out of work from a 100K job for 4 years and am doing a contracting job that I sometimes make as much as $3 an hour, and they want me to work 60 hours. I can no longer afford health care and so on. The point is that things continue to get worse but most are willing to put their head in the sand because one of "us" is in power, and guess what - the only difference is anger, or lack thereof. In Wisconsin people are at least pissed and active. As far as Obama goes, to me its a Forrest Gump - stupid is as stupid does. The only difference I see between Obama and lets say Rick Perry is that Obama may use some lube and tell us he loves us as he's bending us over
 
 
+2 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:29
LoL.
Only Progressive-Dem ocrats are fighting Wall Street corruption. Obama is not a Progressive. Obama's administration is filled with countless Wall Street appointees by him and Geithner, a Wall Streeter himself.
 
 
0 # Harbor Lights 2011-10-02 10:33
Quoting chick:
Cliffard I hate calling anyone a dope but I am sorry you are one.

If they should win, you just might find yourself being asked to work for 1.98 an hour and work a 48 hr a week if you don't like it you can always quit.

Of course you will have no health insurance since you cannot afford it.
Of course there will be no Social Security for anyone including you of course.
Your kids if you have any cannot go to college cause you are out of work and there are no community colleges that they might be able to afford.

If you need an operation guess what you can die.
Shall I go on or are you getting "it".

If the Democrats lose there will be no second chance because they are primed to go all the way. They would make laws for each state so no other party can get in except the Republican party.
They are doing it now in States that have a Republican governor.

Please use your common sence. They want to deregulate the banks, deregulate Wall Street. Tax middle class higher and give billionaires and Corporations more tax loopholes. Again I could go on and on but being 84 I am getting tired. Just do not cut off your nose to spite your face.
You are not too bright either. See Tragedy and Hope: if you can read. The bankers own the country.
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 22:29
clifford - u definitely are the problem - read what chick wrote and THINK! But you might be a proxy for the GOP - writing on a left blog! We have a couple like that. The rest of you who bought this author's selective dribble should read this guy's bio.

VOTE DEM VOTE OBAMA in 2012 -- and get all poor, minorities, old in dem districts - registered. Start with the Dem center in ur area to go with others as you go "house to house" to tell these people are elections ARE FREE. Even the IDs they are compelled to get for voting ARE FREE.

Go WI and OH -- a great display for the country to follow
 
 
0 # AlWight 2011-10-01 15:15
So what are we supposed to do with this? Obama haters glom onto it as support for their negative views of Obama, of course. But to suggest that one man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate is a bit ridiculous. Obama made it very clear that he does not support water boarding or any form of torture, but what would have been the consequences if his administration had gone after Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, and others or turned them over to the international courts? He certainly wanted to close Guantanamo, and considered building a prison in the U.S. to house those detained there, but it was clear he would encounter all sorts of opposition and this would probably be tied up in the courts for years before anything could be done. So what is the point of this piece, other than some cleverly written right wing anti-Obama propaganda?
 
 
0 # Tulsagerry 2011-10-01 16:44
Abigail, that is the the WORST attitude that I've ever heard! What could the alternative be, NAZI'S! Think AGAIN!
 
 
+15 # Michael_K 2011-10-01 16:54
Someone posted this as a criticism of Mr Turley:

""The conceptual thread running through many of the issues taken on by Turley is that they involve claims of Executive Privilege which he said would put our system on a slippery slope. He has argued against national security exceptions to fundamental constitutional rights."
Dr. Turley seems to want to issue a blanket edict that civil liberties comes above all else."

I find myself in 100% agreement with him. I do not believe even an honest, good and competent President has the right or even the power to evaluate and decide when or where our inalienable rights are expendable in the interest of security, because they NEVER are. That's what "inalienable" means, and these rights are not the Government's to give or take away in the first place.
 
 
+2 # jmcbroom1943 2011-10-01 17:44
I have been a democrat all of my life, a southern democrat at that. I have worked as a Union Officer and am a retired Army 1SG. We are all Americans first, we elected a President to lead this country out of hard, very hard times. If people thought it would all be taken care of in three years, Like Wake Up. We have the civil liberties we deserve in light of 9/11. There is movement afoot by Dems in Congress to ammend the Patriot Act as we read these messages. Get behind those that are making these pain taking steps. We are free to most anything we want to do, go to Thailand and speak badly about the King, you will find youself in prison, no trial no defense. We have many civil liberties not available in other countries. I travel to may foreign countries and see what is going there, For the People by the People, it really is working in the USA. We need to guide that type of government not cry and lay blame. VOTE 2012 OBAMA, DEMS.
 
 
0 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:26
Obama supported & signed into law extending the PATRIOT Act. So what's your excuse again?
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2011-10-10 17:57
I wouldn't vote for O'Bama, even with a gun to my head. He's proven himself to be a crypto-fascist who folled me once, but nevermore.
 
 
+6 # gingerspice 2011-10-01 18:30
I voted for Obama, knowing he was a corporate Democrat because I was concerned with the Supreme Court. He nominated two justices that I'm not wild about but a world of difference from a justice like Roberts, and the usual suspects. Two members are likely to resign in the next two or three years and no Republican appointments for me
 
 
0 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:25
Your accuracy about Obama is appreciated. Obama has proven to be a Wall Street puppet, but you are correct that he essentially is the lesser of two evils since he is a corporate-Democrat.
This is why I & Occupy Wall Street only support Progressives, not corporate-Dems such as Obama.
 
 
+14 # bluebluesdancer 2011-10-01 18:40
Where is Kucinich when we need him... and why doesn't he get enough votes when he obviously cares more than any of them!
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 19:12
Vote Dem vote Obama and if you choose to vote 3rd party - you have given your vote to the GOP/TP (Koch, Wall Street, Religious Right, etc.)


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-ratigan/get-money-out-join-100000_b_983427.html

It's the beginning of a campaign to get the money out of our politics. There is also a bill coming to remove the 2010 Supremes decision to give "person hood" to corporations (because most big corporations are multi-national and there is nothing constitutional to allow foreigners to buy our elections)

In 1933 Hitler began his rise to power by "promising" the Germans that he could/would return the broke country back to the Hansel and Gretal land it was before WWI.

The GOP/TP are no different than those who proffered the rhetoric to support Hitler. Meaningless promises - without telling the people "HOW" -- and you saw what happened? My mother taught Anne Frank in early 1930. My Mother escaped to USA in 1936 but . . . You know the story. Have we all have forgotten how Hitler rose to power?

Obama has accomplished some of what he promised but we've never had a President treated by Congress as he has. It is amazing he has accomplished anything.

VOTE while you still have the right to -- in some states Democrats will not be able to easily vote in 2012 -- HINT HINT? See it coming?
 
 
-3 # chick 2011-10-01 21:21
giraffee20112 I have given you thumbs up three times and it always comes to 0.
So please note you are missing three thumbs up.
Good for you. and thank you for your great remarks.
 
 
-4 # giraffee2012 2011-10-01 22:31
Thanks chick and I've thumbs up your too - like minds and we are RIGHT-ON.
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2011-10-10 17:59
self-fulfilling prophecy = 3rd party cannot win. you are being a shill for the DLC
 
 
+11 # badbenski 2011-10-01 21:11
The Left let loose a phalanx of attack dogs when Prof. Cornell West dubbed Obama a mascot for Wall Steet intersts; An accusation that easily holds up once one takes a look at the host of Obama appointmets and advisors - all with an impecable Wall Street pedigree. The Professor could've gone a bit furthers, as I know he's of this awareness, and dubbed The President a lackey for a wing of the military/indust rial complex and the dark underbelly of the intelligence community. In spite of his rhetoric, The President's actions appear to consistently support the position of the top 1% while treating the plethora of vital social and economic issues with his own style of benign neglect. He's allowed the already massive surveilance apparatus to grow and flourish and he's done nothing to stop the banks from subjecting homeowners to a type of economic waterboarding, failing to challenge the fact that they've ignored the chain of custody of title processing to a point that may well be criminal. He seems to have no problem with the concept of corporate personhood - a major modern day travesty - and offers little or no leadership in opposition to the vicious, immoral and cruel Tea Party agenda. We are, instead, treated to yet another version of the Democratic "beautiful loser," the pathetic icon of impotent governence that sounds so doggone good but is pure vaporware.
 
 
+2 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:23
Outstanding & accurate analysis, sir!
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2011-10-01 22:05
Isn't it just a wee bit premature to fix your votes? The US election cycle is far too long but has been stretched to ridiculous lengths by forcing Obama, from pure racism multiplied many times by the non-productive obfuscation of the right in blocking every piece of legislation proposed by his administration, to begin campaigning and being defensive as soon as he took office.
Super-majority notwithstanding (and I do think he squandered much of that rare advantage by trying to appear "negotiable" -but then we all know that), he has survived threats, filibusters, "No" to everything and must have known what he was taking on, inheriting the foul fruits of the worst 8 years of economic pandering, blundering and war-mongering for no reason, in the county's history.
I'm interested in seeing what his breaking point is in the next few months -spurred by more and more activism on the ground, like the Wall Street occupation and the continuing resistance in Wisconsin, and if he will actually start to get combative at home, ride the flood of need-driven anger from the grassroots, to repair and reinforce the hole in the dyke and be less of an Imperialist. Otherwise he will indeed have ignored a great aching need of the people over whom he presides and will deserve their ire.
We need to make him sit up and take notice!
 
 
-1 # humanmancalvin 2011-10-02 07:15
The author is obviously a Republican casting a wide net of dissension. President Obama is the only voice of sanity running in 2012; vote Republican at your/our peril.
 
 
+7 # Harbor Lights 2011-10-02 10:29
Quoting humanmancalvin:
The author is obviously a Republican casting a wide net of dissension. President Obama is the only voice of sanity running in 2012; vote Republican at your/our peril.

You better define sanity: obama is a liar and a con-artist.
 
 
+3 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:22
And a Wall Street puppet.
 
 
-1 # ansleypk@aol.com 2011-10-02 07:17
Oh Jonathan, I do understand what you are saying but the fact that you state about us not declaring war on Obama about this (in my opinion) is justified. It might be for you too, if you were a gay or lesbian who served our country in terror of being outed before this man you want to see lose the election got DADT repealed. Or if you were one of the 32 million uninsured who now might have a chance of getting insurance. Or if you were one of the many who were dropped by their insurers because (God forbid!) they actually became sick. Or if you were one of the many who couldn't even get insurance if they wanted to and were willing to pay anything for it because insurers won't insure those with preconditions. Or if you were a gay or lesbian who were refused by the hospital to be with their loved one dying in a room where they are not allowed because they aren't "family." And the most FUNDAMENTAL reason: In the next four years there will be the opportunity/cat astrophe of appointing Supreme Court justices, who will guarantee the lack of CIVIL LIBERTIES for all minorities. Oh Mr. Turley, how short-sighted you are--willing to give up so much--but if you "win" by helping to elect a Republican, you will do far more damage to civil liberties than what Obama has done. And to think that once I was a fan of yours. Hopefully your crusade won't have much traction.
 
 
+4 # Harbor Lights 2011-10-02 10:27
If you voted for Obama you were fooled and foolish: why should be listen to you now? Others have been taken in by TV, Blonde Hair, and the push-up bra. The banks own the USA. They owned Bush and they own Obamba. Bernake and Goldman Sachs run the country. Some states want their own currency. The revolution has started. Stay P.O.ed but do something: anyone can whine. Where are the ideas to change things? One Idea: Govt. employment is not a career, its a place where people serve: equal opportunity: limit it to a max. of 10 years. We have a bureaucratic elite and we need to end it. Study History.
 
 
0 # options_plus@hotmail.com 2011-10-02 12:01
Whiney. Thats what this article and too many of the comments are. During his first two years in office, President Obama made big mistakes and had short-sighted political advisors. He has listed to and responded to the feedback that conciliation with the opposition won't work and he has taken an aggressive position on investment in our economy and job creation, including calling out the wealthy on their stingy self-interest. Now it is time for those who believe in civil liberties to coalesce and call President Obama to task. It is not too late to demand that Guantonamo be closed or that at least the war criminals at the highest level be called out for their crimes against humanity. As the wars wind down, a cilil liberties initiative would do wonders for our stature and relations with countries in the Arab Spring.
 
 
+3 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:21
Quoting options_plus@hotmail.com:
he has taken an aggressive position on investment in our economy and job creation, including calling out the wealthy on their stingy self-interest.


Obama's "stimulus" & "job" plans are exactly similar to Reagan's "trickle-down" economics. Get educated, please.
 
 
+7 # Barracuda87 2011-10-03 07:18
I really wish someone would challenge Obama this upcoming election (Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, etc) . Yes, it was political suicide for Ted Kennedy, however the only way Obama MIGHT be swayed into actually following through on campaign promises and pleasing his base (which got him elected in the first place) is if he was scared into the thought that we have a true progressive candidate to vote for and not just a choice between him (bad) and a republican (worse). If Obama loses this election, it will not be because the Republicans won over the American people... It will be because Obama slapped his supporters in the face one too many times, and on election day... we didn't show up.
 
 
+6 # Binky 2011-10-03 08:01
Give me liberty or give me death! Well under BO it will probably be the latter.
 
 
-8 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 09:31
I was very glad to join the Occupy Michigan group the other day, but I have to say I find this Obama-bashing out of line. If it continues, I will withdraw my support and I will suggest to all my Democratic friends to do likewise. This is counter-product ive to the objectives of the movement, it is contrary to liberal solidarity, and it needs to stop. Liberal democrats can be a vital ally towards making this movement truly representative of the 99% that we are claiming to be, but not if we alienate Democrats, which you will most DEFINITELY do if you do not BACK OFF of the Obama attacks. REMOVE THIS ARTICLE NOW! Thank you.
 
 
+3 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:19
Bye bye. This is a Progressive Movement, not a Democrat Party supporting movement who supports Wall Street puppets like Obama and the Blue Dogs & Moderate-Dems.
 
 
+1 # superRowdy 2011-10-03 10:29
I think the main message is that we will need to continue to organize through the 2012 elections and beyond. Change will not come from the top down, but from the bottom up. Republican or Democrat, neither is going to do the heavy lifting for us, we must do it ourselves. We can, we have several times throughout our history. We should hold both parties accountable, and not accept their view that a functioning America that upholds its ideals is unobtainable.
 
 
+7 # mkarenina63 2011-10-03 10:29
Obama has tried to keep his corporate sponsors satisfied, win some conservative votes by killing some bad guys and keeping Guantanamo open, and saying some things that Dems and Progressives want to hear as well. He is an intelligent politician, but not a good leader. He serves up those who protest the corruption of Wall Street and the corrupt big banks to the growing police state. He gets a pass for keeping bankers in his administration. He knows that his voters will see him as the default choice regardless of what he does or does not do. Our government is failing us all, and we are too divided to unite and risk our lives, or our meager fortunes to fight back. We haven't the courage or any honor left as a people. The police state is growing around us,and fascism has already beaten down our economic futures. It may already be too late to rise up as a people and demand our freedoms. the comments on this site simply confirm the divisiveness and inability to find answers to our problems.
 
 
+3 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:17
You are correct. Only Progressive-Dem ocrats & Bernie Sanders are fighting Wall Street corruption.
 
 
-7 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 10:44
And not only will you alienate Democrats (which is over half of the U.S. population) you will also alienate "Republicans for Obama"- a grassroots group that has a number of members in the thousands.
http://www.republicansforobama.org/about And if all that weren't reason enough to think twice about plastering the Occupy websites with Anti-Obama sentiment... President Obama is the comman man's president. The objectives of the Democratic Party and administration are the same as the objectives of the Occupy Movement, so why (unless you secretly wanted the movement to fail) would you not want Democrats and Obama supporters on the side of the Occupy Movement? WHY?
 
 
+4 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:16
Obama has proven to be a Wall Street puppet, as his Wall Street filled administration proves. Therefore, this Progressive Movement is against Obama as well as the GOP and Blue Dogs & Moderate-Democr ats. Only the Progressive-Dem ocrats are fighting against Wall Street.
Defend that.
 
 
-6 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 10:59
One more thing. I noticed somebody earlier suggested that someone point out some of President Obama's accomplishments , and it just so happens that I have been doing just that on other blogs, so it would be easy for me to copy and paste that information here, and I would be MORE than happy to oblige. First I would like to point out that several months ago, the Obama administration commenced a policy of replacing all government fleet vehicles with electric hybrids which accomplishes a great deal in several of our goal areas. (That's a LOT of cars.) First, it reduces our reliance on corporate oil cronies to provide for our fuel needs, and delivers a solid kick to their pocket books. Second, it cuts down considerably on our CO2 emissions, which is good for our environment and sets an example for other companies, leaders and nations to follow. Thirdly, it has already saved taxpayers a great deal of money and will continue to be increasingly cost effective as the number of hybrids in the fleets continues to replace less efficient vehicles. So that's my first point.
 
 
+7 # Barracuda87 2011-10-03 17:28
Please don't be fooled. Obama is in bed with the Oil companies just as much as any other politician. He has allowed oil drilling to resume in the Gulf of Mexico not even a year after the disaster that unfolded last summer with hardly ANY new regulation. And, just last month, Obama killed a crucial climate anit-pollution bill that the EPA had been working on for years which would have been a huge step in protecting the air we breathe. If that was not enough, he has even silenced scientists who were working in the arctic studying polar ice cap melting (yes, hard to believe, yet true.. in fact, i believe RSN had an article about it). Obama is no champion for the environment. He also has not followed through on closing Guantanamo, ending the bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, he renewed the patriot act, has not ended spying on the American people, rolled over on a public option when it came to healthcare, served us up on a silver platter to health insurance companies (when he mandated us to have insurance), and until recently, was seriously considering cutbacks in social security and medicare... the two most successful government run programs ever. Look, I understand where you're coming from. I voted for him, worked on his campaign, and donated money to his campaign when I could... But he has chosen to ignore his base one too many times, and I'm DONE with him.
 
 
+4 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:14
You are absolutely correct. Don't let these Neo-Liberal Obama-Apologist use their weak excuses of Obama's "accomplishment s", which in reality are weak toothless actions, to sway the Progressive Movement & our Occupy Wall Street revolt.

While Obama has proven to be a Wall Street puppet, as his Wall Street filled administration proves, only the Progressive-Dem ocrats & Bernie Sanders fight Wall Street corruption.
 
 
-7 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 11:02
Next, it's been under President Obama that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" has been repealed (as someone pointed out earlier.) It's been under President Obama that the strict Bush restrictions on stem cell research have been lifted. Under President Obama that the deadline for all Troops in Iraq to return home has been set (the deadline was set for the end of the year.) It's the Obama administration that has put forth the new jobs bill which favors the working class and Unions. You would never see these things happen under a Republican Administration. As well as a long list of other accomlishments attributable to President Obama and the Democratic Party (and I will provide a link to an article that provides a pretty good list at the bottom of this post.)

It was under the Clinton years (again, we're talking Democratic Party) that we had the best economy of my lifetime with a surplus instead of a deficit. And it was Al Gore (Democrat again) who has been one of the biggest champions of ANYBODY for environmental protection.
 
 
-6 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 11:04
http://pleasecutthecrap.typepad.com/main/what-has-obama-done-since-january-20-2009.html
It's President Obama who has achieved 85% of his first term agenda within his first two years in office, and President Obama who has created more jobs in one year than Bush did in eight.
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/01/07/137866/obama-more-jobs-bush/
 
 
-6 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 11:13
It was President Obama who captured Osama Bin Laden, while all Bush could do was make empty promises. And then send our troops off to a blood for oil war on false pretenses. By the way, in case I didn't say it earlier, I think it is unrealistic to expect ALL military actions to immediately cease overnight. If we desert our allies around the world when they most need us, who will be there to help us if we need help in the future? I agree we should continue working towards world peace, but it is simply not possible to wave a wand and instantly stop all military operations.
 
 
-5 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 11:15
All I am saying is this. If you don't want to vote Dem, then don't vote Dem. Vote for the Green Party or the Rainbow Huggers Party or the Anarchists International or whatever... But if you relate to the causes of the Wall Street Occupiers, and reject corporate greed... you might consider distancing yourself from anti-Obama or anti-Democrat kinds of language. Make Democrats your allies. Get to know who the Democrats are. Democrats are teachers (like me) Democrats are firefighters, and law enforcers (and think what you want about the police, but my favorite sign I've seen on the Wall Street Occupiers website was the one that said "NYPD, the corporations are stealing from you too." It's true. Cops are just underdogs like the rest of us, but they've got it escpecially bad, for they have to choose between handcuffing and pepper spraying citizens, or getting fired and then having to go home and explain why he won't be able to put food on his kids' table anymore.) Back to my point. Democrats are nurses, laborers, Unions, minorities, seniors. We're not the ones trying to dismantle Social Security, unemployment, and other mandated benefits. We are the strong opponents of those who would dismantle our social programs and steal from our commonwealth.
 
 
-5 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 11:35
Democrats were the hippies and neo-hippies of the 60s and 70s. I consider myself a neo-hippie. I was out participating in anti-apartheid demonstrations and "Hands Across America" when a lot of these Wall Street Occupiers were just a twinkle in their dads' eyes. I'm not saying be a Democrat. But consider making some Dem allies rather than alienating us.

The strength of the people is about strength in numbers, so all I'm saying is this. Liberals are about solidarity. That is why I say there can only be one true liberal party. Because a true liberal would never do anything to fracture or fragment the liberal party. I understand the allure of voting for a third party. People who do so are simply expressing their displeasure with The Democratic Party for what they view as "selling out" at times. It's true that the Dems have had their less than shining moments at times, but by-and-large we are just common people who want to co-exist peacefully. And I'm not saying the Democratic Party is the only one that supports liberal ideals. The Green Party (for example) seems to support some pretty liberal ideals, BUT those other parties will have to become just as corrupt as any other political party if they want to win in our current system, with the rules of the game the way they are today. They'll make the same mistakes the Democrats have made if given the chance.
 
 
-5 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 11:44
To be a true liberal, you must demonstrate solidarity. We don't have big money like the conservatives do, so our only real weapon is our collective voice.

Solidarity.
 
 
-6 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 12:21
"Obama has tried to keep his corporate sponsors satisfied"

This is a valid criticism and I understand how the Democratic Party became a part of the Problem of government serving corporate interests at the expense of the people, however, if the president had not done so, we would be at the mercy of the Republican Party still! Ultimately the Democratic Party and the President did us all a HUGE favor.

The liberal politicians have had to "fight fire with fire" and jump in bed with the corporations too, but only because it was necessary in order to stay in the game. You can't win an election without getting a little dirty in this country, because the conservatives are in control of the law-making portion of Washington, and they have refused to do anything to change the rules of the game of politics (basically known as "campaign finance reform.")
 
 
-6 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 12:26
Also you need to look at the kinds of companies the Democratic Parties have shook hands with. It is NOWHERE NEAR the depths of corruption of the Republican Party. The Democrats shook hands with Goldman Sachs, the auto industry (whose success actually IS good for the economy,) Solyndra (which is a solar panels manufacturer- good for the environment if it had been successful...)

Contrast that to the conservatives. The companies they have been associated with are the likes of the Koch Brothers, Enron, Fox News and News Corp, the Alec corporations (who are actually working on legislation to REWRITE our rights to boost their revenues http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed)
Plus Dick Cheney (who is synonymous with Halliburton and the War Machine....) So, all I'm asking is is it too much to ask for people to be a little bit more sophisticated in their thinking than just seeing everything in black and white? Things aren't always that simple, and if you do a more careful study of the facts, it is clear that the Democratic Party is the only force keeping us from the full wrath of the conservatives. This is because, we are TOUGH and we're not afraid to play rough. We've been here fighting since the Revolutionary war. We gave birth to this Democracy. You won't win the fight if you count us out.
 
 
-9 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 13:12
Hmm... I'm starting to think my Democrat friends were right. This movement isn't really about liberal ideals. It'a a trap. I noticed my last couple statements were not added to the thread. A little too challenging to your Anti-Obama campaign were they? Hm! What a disappointment this "movement" is turning out to be. (Sigh.)

(Ok, I gladly rescind my last comment since I see my entries were, in fact, added.)
 
 
-7 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-03 13:58
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1808189200269.2093835.1106108974&type=1

I speak on behalf of my ancestors, William and John who helped give birth to this democracy. Do not count us out. We are the true liberals, who have been through all the ups and downs and bi-polar flips of this country since it's beginning. I'm not against fair criticism of the president, criticism of government is our American birthright, but do not stab the Democratic Party in the back. If you do, you will not win.
 
 
-7 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-04 03:07
You're all so sure you know right from wrong, so let me pose a higher order thinking hypothetical and see how you do with it.

Let's say you get accused of breaking some law by some bad people, who decide to lock you up and not feed you enough to keep you alive... so being your friend, I steal food from them (because it's the only food for miles around) and I risk life and limb to sneak it into your prison cell each day to keep you alive until your release date.

After you are released, would you turn me in for breaking the law since I was stealing and sneaking the food in to you?

I ask because this is tantamount to what those of you who are attacking the president (and thereby, the Democrats) are doing.
 
 
+2 # Michael_K 2011-10-11 10:01
Quoting Gena Maravella:
You're all so sure you know right from wrong, so let me pose a higher order thinking hypothetical and see how you do with it.

Let's say you get accused of breaking some law by some bad people, who decide to lock you up and not feed you enough to keep you alive... so being your friend, I steal food from them (because it's the only food for miles around) and I risk life and limb to sneak it into your prison cell each day to keep you alive until your release date.

After you are released, would you turn me in for breaking the law since I was stealing and sneaking the food in to you?

I ask because this is tantamount to what those of you who are attacking the president (and thereby, the Democrats) are doing.


This is some of the most disingenuous drivel I've seen in defense of yet another faithless knave of a politician! Worthy of Rahm Emanuel! If you think that "Obama betrayed us to save us" you probably also believe that since "they hate us for our freedoms", then the obvious solution is to "eliminate our freedoms"... essentially neo-con logic.
 
 
-6 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-04 03:38
Or maybe you would say... "Well, you kept me alive, but you didn't bring me as much bread and water as I would have liked, and it really would have been nice to also have some steak, and some sweet potato pie, and asparagus. Therefore, since you didn't bring me EVERYTHING I wanted, precisely when I wanted it, I am no longer your friend and I'm not going to help and support you, even though you broke the law, and risked your life to save mine."
 
 
+3 # rtrues54 2011-10-04 14:52
WHY CAN'T OBAMA BE CHALLENGED IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES AND CONVENTION BY A LIBERAL LIKE BERNIE SANDERS??? WHY DOES EVERY DEM. PRESIDENT TAKE LIBERALS FOR GRANTED? WE NEED TO HAVE A LIBERAL CHALLENGER IN EVERY DEM. ELECTION AND NOT JUST ASSUME THE PRES. WILL BE THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!!!
 
 
+5 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:10
You are absolutely correct. Only the Progressive-Dem ocrats have challenged Wall Street puppet Obama & the DNC while die-hard registered Democrats are sheep just like the Republican sheep.
 
 
-1 # IamproudUSA 2011-10-04 17:30
Wake up my people - this is a non-issue civil liberties... We are living in a new age. Our civil liberties were fortified with the dawn of new ease dropping technologies to stop a main treat to our so called liberties and that's TERROR. And terror can be anything. That's everything you do is monitored, tracked, and compiled for future reference. Such as you driving/walking down the street with cameras checking your moves, every time you talk on your cell is monitored and where you are located can be tracked. The keystrokes I make on my laptop and websites is monitored and compiled for future reference. Big brother is alive and well a work curbing yours and mine civil liberties. Live with it and deal with it....
 
 
+5 # tomo 2011-10-04 20:12
Obama is Benedict Arnold in the White House, and if you vote for him KNOWING THIS, you deserve to be betrayed. If the American people re-elect Barack Obama, I will stop worrying about them and conclude they have decided to become a despicable people. The one thing Turley could have added is that this contempt for civil rights includes manifest contempt for the human rights of foreign people who have no control over the American system. If the American people abandon such people, the American people will have no traditions left that are worth protecting.
 
 
+3 # Al_Nava 2011-10-05 14:49
Occupy Wall Street is a Progressive movement against Wall Street and their corruption, and against their elected puppets from the Republican Party and Democratic Party.

Only Progressive-Dem ocrats and Progressives are fighting Wall Street corruption. Obama is not a Progressive. Obama's administration is filled with countless Wall Street appointees by him and Geithner, a Wall Streeter himself. I do admit that Obama, at best, is the "lesser of two Evils", and many people will vote based upon this.

As a Progressive, I only support and vote for Progressives. I challenge every one to vote only for Progressives. You can skip the President section on your ballots, but vote for other elected offices.
 
 
-4 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-06 04:07
Nothing but professional leftist, fire-bagging, extremists on this thread. You all are the one's who give liberals a bad name, because you go to such extremes in your far-left persuit of liberal ideals, that you've done gone around the political ideological spectrum and ended up back over on the far-right. By going too far to extremes, you sabotage your own ideals. Do not be so extreme in upholding freedom, justice, equality, peace, and truth. Be a militant liberal, like our founders and our ancestors who fought in the Revolution, but not extreme. Learn the difference between militant and extreme.
 
 
-4 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-06 04:25
Here's the first lesson. Militant vs. Extreme. To be extreme is to go so far in a certain direction, that you go off the deep end. Liberal extremists go so far to the left that they can't be told apart from the right-wingers anymore. And you cannot catch the Democracy ball being passed to you if you go off the deep end. To be militant, however, requires the discipline to not go too far in one direction, no matter how tempting it may be.
 
 
-4 # Gena Maravella 2011-10-07 04:48
I'm getting really sick of all the extremists trying to place all this blame on the President. If you guys took half of the time and energy you WASTE complaining about President Obama and spent it protesting about Congress and the Supreme Court instead, we might actually ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. They are the ones who declared "corporations as people," and teamed up with the Alec Corporations to rewrite the laws in favor of corporate welfare and loopholes.

All the info on Alec is here, at AlecExposed:
http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

And Here are the ENRON-BUSH-HARVARD-WTC-OIL-CONNECTIONS
http://www.apfn.org/apfn/enron_bush.htm

This is all the info I need to understand the gravity of what the President has been up against. Don't you people get it?! The President is just one man. It requires collective voice to combat a force of this magnitude.

For every finger you point at the President, you have three pointing back at yourselves. What have YOU done? What companies do YOU accept paychecks from? What products and companies to YOU buy from? It's all connected baby. We have ALL contributed to "the problem" side of things in this country. And what did YOU do to combat it? Did you call Congress and write to your representatives in Washington? If not... I have a nice place for you... on KWITCHERBITCHIN STREET.
 
 
+2 # Michael_K 2011-10-11 10:04
Well done Rahm, but why the female pseudonym?
 

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