When it comes to the Patriot Act, there are just too many hypocrites to deal with.
The Patriot Act allows the NSA to listen to phone conversations and emails for certain key words, at which time they can get a subpoena to get all the records (a subpoena which has never been denied by the court — great oversight, huh?). It certainly appears to be a complete violation of the 4th Amendment to me and many Constitutional scholars, but until the Supreme Court says so, it’s the law and allowed.
For some reason, this is now a big issue, even though it’s been going on for about ten years. This has brought out a gaggle of hypocrites.
First, you have the ones on the right, who defended George W. Bush when he did this but call Obama’s use of the same law a gross violation of their rights. (These pundits and politicians, centered mostly at Fox News, are part of the same gang that said criticizing GWB during wartime was “treason” but doing the same to Obama during wartime is their patriotic duty.)
The clip below is a great example, showing Fox’s Sean Hannity’s position flipping 180 degrees based on whether this was done by a President Fox supported or one they oppose.
But this is not limited to the right. There are hypocrites on the left as well (though not as many) who opposed this under Bush but approve it under Obama.
The biggest hypocrite on the left is Obama himself. He’s ignored his campaign promises in this regard.
His view is apparently that he is against the abuse that can come from the Patriot Act — but doesn’t see that he is abusing it. In other words, he thinks “In the hands of a bad President, this would be a huge violation of our rights, but I’m not a bad President, and I have used it for good.” I think he is feeling some guilt over this and has recently began to talk about getting rid of it (again) because he is worried about who might hold that office after him.
So he doesn’t see himself as a hypocrite; he sees his position as changed based on the circumstances. How very convenient for him.
The good news is that there are those on both the right and the left who have been consistent in their views on this issue, and they should be congratulated and acknowledged.