Patriot Act Hypocrites

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.

9 thoughts on “Patriot Act Hypocrites

  1. To me, one of the most disappointing things about the Obama administration. I thought the Patriot Act was one of the things I was voting against in 2008.

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  2. I have never seen this guy Sean Hannity’s show, but his name sounds familiar. I have theory about why he seems to have flipped. Maybe he really needed his job, and so knew he needed to parrot the fascist party line at Fox, but he was subverting by repeating “NSA surveillance program” over and over hoping people would eventually wake up and react negatively to it. Maybe he was a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and now that the color of the ties worn by the Demopublicans in power has changed, he can come out and actually call it what it is without fear of losing his job.

    Just a theory.

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  3. Isn’t your feeling about Obama (and mine, for what its worth), just another example of ‘Power corrupts’? historically, I think most people who do wrong probably think they were doing right.

    On the other hand, isnt there some argument (im not arguing for the NSA in this) that everyone who campaigns with ideological idea is a little naive and it isnt until they are faced with the realities of government that their words mean anything.

    Dont get me wrong, Im not for the patriot act. But i can only imagine coming into a position like the president, with all the MASSIVE responsibility that it entails, and being given a tool to better do your job. It must be hard to say, “no, I wont use that tool, its wrong”.

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  4. I’m not saying that the patriot act is wrong or right. In the 10+ years of them monitoring my email and phone conversations, I’ve had no ill effects from it. I have also noticed that such comments and commentators as Hannity have continued to express their viewpoints in one of the few countries that you can do that without receiving a bullet to the back of the head.

    Has it helped more than hurt? I don’t know. Maybe it’s really done neither. Is it against the 4th Amendment? Sure is. But just like the 2nd Amendment it was written in a time where the there was no conception of the internet, a phone on every hip and the ability to kill hundreds of thousands could be transported in a suitcase.

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  5. @Steve Vaughan: Why would a vote for Obama in either election be a vote against the Partiot ACT? He voted to extend the act as a senator, and in his first term of presidency he made no indication that he was against any aspect of it.

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  6. Political pundits, and especially Hannity, serve to reinforce the cognitive dissonance that plagues the human race, because, if you cannot form an understanding based on context and reason, then their will always be friction between your beliefs and reality, and the only way around that is to get as many people on your side to fortify the illusion that there is no friction. And men like Sean Hannity provide such a service to their viewers.

    Though, I should be honest: men like Keith Olbermann do the same for those on the left side of the fence.

    Sincerely,
    Julien Haller

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