If you're a conservative you've been well familiar with liberal hypocrisy for eons, but golly-gee-whiz it seems that even some in the liberal media are catching on to the blatant hypocrisy of the Left's "anti-war" contingent esp. in regards to reaction from the liberal media to Barack Obama's uber-aggressive foreign policy deeds as POTUS in comparison to his predecessor's. Will wonders ever cease:
President Barack Obama has forged a surprising consensus on opposite ends of the political spectrum: They wonder how on earth he gets away with it.RELATED: Repulsive progressive hypocrisy
A series of recent moves — from aggressively filling his reelection war chest to green-lighting shoot-to-kill orders against an American terror suspect overseas — would have triggered a massive backlash if George W. Bush had tried them, say former Bush administration officials and a few on the political left. Even Obama’s love for the links draws only gentle ribbing rather than the denunciations that helped drive Bush to give up the game for the balance of his presidency.
The muted public response has fueled frustration – and more than a little envy.
“A little bit of consistency from the media would be appreciated — and from the left-wing groups,” said Mark Corallo, director of public affairs at the Justice Department from 2002-05. “I don’t see anybody standing up. … Where is the outrage?”
Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, an icon of what the Obama White House famously dubbed “the professional left,” also sees a strange lack of interest toward some of Obama’s policies. Among them: his administration’s claim that the Constitution allows executive use of armed drones to kill U.S. citizens abroad deemed to be terrorist operatives.
“Virtually all the Democrats who were apoplectic about Bush and were constantly complaining about him ‘trampling on our values’ over eavesdropping and detention have been silent about assassination, even though it’s so much more severe,” Greenwald said. “It isn’t that Obama is necessarily any worse on civil liberties than Bush. The point is he’s able to get away with so much more.”
A White House spokesman declined to comment for this story. But Obama aides have noted that he takes plenty of heat for other policies — such as expanding entitlements or phasing out traditional light bulbs — that were far less controversial when Bush did them. Obama’s recent decision on contraception and religious employers triggered a political firestorm, but a similar policy in place throughout the Bush administration barely registered on the political radar.
Some differences in coverage flow from a simple truth: Stories that feed an established media narrative about a political figure get more attention than those that cut against it. And the press tends to blow up stories when partisans attack one another. Some of Obama’s practices, particularly in the war on terror, are supported by Republicans — even as they cringe at the unanimity.
Here’s a look at five areas in which critics on the left and right say Obama’s gotten a relatively easy ride:
A green light to kill U.S. citizens abroad
Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder visited Chicago to lay out his rationale that the U.S. government has the legal right to kill U.S.-citizen terror suspects overseas — and that there’s no role for the courts in reviewing such use of lethal force.
The speech at Northwestern University Law School drew a smattering of news accounts and a handful of reporters, but few protesters, no candlelight vigil and no audience members clad in orange jumpsuits and chains. Some liberal groups issued press releases taking issue with Holder’s analysis, but the reaction to what could be termed warrantless killing was a far cry from the sky-is-falling, apocalyptic rhetoric unleashed at Bush and his appointees a few years back over efforts merely to listen in on the communications of suspected terrorists through the warrantless wiretapping program.
After Obama submitted to a rare news conference the next day, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart noted that not a single question was asked about the provocative Holder speech. “How come no one at the press conference brought that up? Didn’t even say a f—ing word about it?” Stewart asked on his program Wednesday. “You didn’t say anything about a historically massive, executive branch power grab.”
Greenwald sounded equally amazed. “Here you have Obama asserting the power not to detain Americans or eavesdrop on them, but to target them for execution by the CIA without a shred or whit of due process,” he said. “I would think that most people would prefer to be eavesdropped upon, or detained, than killed with a drone.”
He argues that muted criticism of Obama on the war on terror actually makes his policies more extreme.
“There were Americans in Al Qaeda throughout the Bush administration, but it never asserted the power to target them for death. It was just a bridge too far for them,” Greenwald said. “Those Democrats who claimed to find these issues so important and are now being opportunistic and politically cynical are not just neglecting these abuses, they’re actually enabling them.”
Corallo said he supports the drone policy outlined this week, but if his former boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, gave a similar speech, he would have been excoriated.
“You would have gotten a firestorm of criticism from the left,” Corallo said. “We would have been pilloried as ‘a bunch of jackbooted thugs ignoring the Constitution. We ought to impeach this president.’ The cacophony would have been deafening. The New York Times editorial page would have pilloried Ashcroft and Bush, and reporters would have found every leftist constitutional law scholar to come out and scream and yell that we’re just trampling on constitutional rights.” (The Times did weigh in with an editorial Sunday, six days after Holder’s speech.)
Corallo noted that the Bush administration’s detention of Al Qaeda suspect and American citizen Jose Padilla without charge in a Navy brig in South Carolina became a cause célèbre for many on the left, while reaction to the drone strike that killed New Mexico-born Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last year has been relatively muted.
“We got pilloried [over Padilla], and they’re dropping missiles on some guy’s eyeball from 30,000 feet and it’s just business as usual,” said Corallo. “In fact, they’re actually crowing about it.”
Fundraising and swing state travel
Obama, who came into office bemoaning a broken electoral system, has proved surprisingly energetic at fundraising from wealthy donors and using his office to his political benefit in states that could decide his reelection.
He’s attended 103 reelection fundraisers — about double the 52 such events Bush had attended at this point in 2004, according to tallies kept by CBS’s Mark Knoller.