RE: NDAA – Dan Carlin Offers Modest Proposal

December 18, 2011
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Sad Paradox: Democratic Presidents provide Republicans cover for the most egregious Neocon policies.

Common Sense with Dan Carlin
Dan Carlin offers a modest proposal – “neighborhood safety sweeps” in his Common Sense Show 214 – The Bitter Harvest of Fear (podcast mp3) that highlights the dangers of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Carlin suggests that Democrats, who are passive and silent as President Obama prepares to sign a bill that enshrines in law that indefinite detention or murder of American citizens without any judicial review or any opportunity for the accused to confront his accusers, would never allow such a blatant assault on our consitutionally guaranteed protections at the hand of a Republican President.

While I think there’s a lot of merit to Carlin’s point, I would note that a Republican signed the Patriot Act into law.

Would a Democratic Congress ever allowed a Republican president the opportunity to sign the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, preventing regulation of derivatives, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, repealing Glass-Steagall separation of commercial/retail banking service from investment bank gambling?  Republican-controlled House and Senate sent these two deregulation disasters to Bill Clinton’s desk, and he signed them at the speed of a billion dollar wire hitting a Swiss bank account. We’re living the Great Recession legacy of those monumental mistakes.

Would Democrats allow a Republican the opportunity to sign a National Defense Authorization Act that codifies the worst encroachments on our civil liberties under the Bush regime and moves more of the President’s power outside of judicial oversight?
I cringe at the thought of voting for any of the current gaggle of Republican primary contenders. I’m torn, knowing that the next President will likely appoint at least two Supreme Court justices to the alarmingly conservative and corporatist Roberts court. I acknowledge that the end of  DADT, the end of the Iraq War, the Affordable Care Act, the de-profiteerization of student loans, and numerous other incremental achievements would not have happened under a Republican president. I realize that we’re likely to end up in a war with Iran, maybe Yemen, maybe Pakistan, maybe …, if we let the Republicans retake the White House. War is, after all, such a wonderfully profitable business.

Yet, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stomach holding my nose and voting Obama.

How did our system become so fucked up that our choice of  leaders is likely to come down to a shady, unhinged Neocon who can’t wait to launch a new war subsidiary and populist-talking triangulator, who is quietly and methodically expanding the reach and authority of the executive and the police state?

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