In what's getting to be a very old story, the Obama, today, offered up yet another huge example of why he deserves to be absolutely destroyed at the polls in 2012.
During the previous administration, the "president" claimed the power to arbitrarily kidnap anyone--even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil--and throw them in a deep, dark hole forever. No courts, no lawyers, no appeal, no due process of any kind. Just label them a "terrorist" and they disappear. That such "powers" were, in reality, utterly illegal, totally unconstitutional, and, in fact, anti-constitutional didn't deter him for a moment. That "president" was a fascist son-of-a-bitch, though, and when it came to expectations, it was probably unreasonable to think one would get anything from a pig but a grunt.
One expected a bit more, however, from a Democratic president who came into office as part of a huge Democratic electoral tsunami that drew its power from public repudiation of everything for which that prior administration stood. But, as it turned out, the Obama started letting people down before he'd even taken the oath, and that's been the story of his administration ever since.
As my regulars will have no doubt noted, the legacy of the Bush administration is one of the matters that has persistently vexed ye humble editor. Bush waged steady, relentless war on the constitution, the rule of law, and open, accountable, democratic government, and, in the process, sewed the seeds of a monstrous dictatorship. Those seeds need to be rooted out, without mercy, because if they're allowed to pass into precedent, they will yield a monstrous crop in the future. The Obama stood against these abuses before the 2008 election, but since his ascension to the presidency, he has, time and time again, gone out to the field to tend, defend, and even nurture the poisonous fruits of that prior "president's" labors.
Today, he was at it again. The Senate has attached, to the National Defense Authorization Act, a totally unrelated rider that codifies, into U.S. law, the Bush administration's asserted kidnapping powers.[*] The Obama initially threatened to veto the larger bill if this was included, but after some Senate tinkering with the wording of the rider that did absolutely nothing to change its substance, the White House announced, today, that the Obama gang would no longer advise the president to do so. The Senate passed it, then House immediately followed suit, and there's every indication the Obama will soon sign it.
Through his actions, the Obama has forcefully marked himself as unworthy of holding the office of President of the United States.
But then, what else is new?
[*] As soon as this "power" is used, it would face court challenge, and, in a functioning federal judiciary, it couldn't withstand constitutional challenge. Unfortunately, America is burdened with a federal court system (and a U.S. Supreme Court, in particular) swamped with right-wing ideologues. Some are mavericks on such issues, and may very well strike it down, but they're certainly no reliable check. And, in any event, the court process takes time, and the victims of the policy could be made miserable for a lot of years before the courts get around to ruling one way or the other.