Friday, February 20, 2009
A Disturbing Trend: The Same Old Same Old
There is the kernel of a disturbing notion beginning to lodge somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind. This kernel is being created by the sorting together of separate pieces of information about Obama's presidential moves that are beginning to cause some discontent, sort of like the beginning of a rash or a severe head cold. The first incident was the decision of the Justice Department under Holder to continue with the the Bush policy of claiming the benefit of the Secrecy Act in the cases of the individuals who brought suit against the federal government for the process of illegal rendition. These persons were literally snatched without warrant or due process off the streets of the United States and transported to foreign countries where they were tortured and beaten. I haven't taken a head count, but I would surmise that pretty much everybody who voted for Obama, including the three judge panel sitting on the case, was surprised that the current government continued with the ruse that state secrets were too important a consideration to allow innocent citizens to proceed with their case. The most apt description I can come up with is that this continuation is the political equivalent of furthering the penetration of a dagger right into the very heart of our Constitution. The second piece that appears is the ruling by the Obama administration that is a gift to the gun lobby. The government says that it will, for now, continue to allow concealed, loaded firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The third is the bending of the rules that puts Timothy Geithner in place as the head monitor of the stimulus program even after he gets caught trying to evade significant amounts of legally owed taxes. The next was the lobbyist guy who just had to come into the administration because of his expertise on defense and weapons systems. Are these two people really the only ones in the country who are qualified to perform their assigned tasks? I doubt it. While admittedly I don't quite know yet what to make of these disparate acts, something tells me that a pattern is emerging that is contrary to what I thought was going to happen on Obama's watch. Change was going to get us back to a simple concept; principles are important, more important than politics. Each of the disturbing pieces of the puzzle that I have mentioned suggest a disturbing trend that politics trump principle even in this new administration. Stay tuned; I am going top keep a watchful (and hopeful) eye on this ongoing saga. I think everyone will acknowledge that Obama is a lot smarter and more presidential than Bush in so many ways, but I sincerely hope that there is more principle-based substance to the man than these nagging incidents seem to suggest.