Friday, January 29, 2010

State of the Union misses civil liberties

Instead of critiquing what President Obama said in Wednesday's State of the Union address, I can't help but critique what he didn't say.

Was there even a single mention of civil liberties?

Ever since the '88 campaign when Mad Dog Bush attacked Michael Dukakis for being a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU, politicians have seemed too afraid to discuss civil liberties.

I'm not even sure who or what Bush was trying to appeal to. Why would anyone oppose an organization dedicated to civil liberties?

Infringing on civil liberties is as much of an economic war as it is a culture war. Trampling civil liberties is often designed to keep "dangerous" ideas at bay or remind the less powerful of their status.

So why no mention of it on Wednesday? The William Bennetts and Michael Chertoffs of the world are no longer in power, because their party loses. So how can civil liberties do any political harm?

Or does the Democratic Party just not care anymore about civil liberties? Would it rather reauthorize the Patriot Act than keep winning elections?

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