There is not much to add to this priceless Colbert bit.
Except to point out that nobody really cares. It’s not exactly heartening to see what little impact Holder’s mind-bogglingly brazen (and incoherent) Northwestern speech had. I know. I know. Rush Limbaugh!
I’ll also concede that this is just making it official: the U.S. Government refuses to be bound by any authority beyond its own political calculations. It’s normalizing and codifying the fact that the War on Terror’s largest single consequence may now be that the Government no longer feels it needs to offer its citizens centuries-old rights and protections.
Today, it’s the Obama Administration; a few years earlier, it was Bush, doing it on the sly. The two are presidents from Central Casting. Bush was the blustery Cowboy, Obama the calm bipartisan bureaucrat–but the effect is the same. Regardless of what party is in office, the government realizes that the electorate no longer has any significant leverage. Democrats will support the leader of their party, no matter how conservative or, in this case, downright reactionary his policies are. So a living wage? Why? What are the people gonna do? Constitutional protections? Why? Who’s gonna squawk? The ACLU? Ha.Ha.
So this is where we are. Due process was once the hallmark of American government, (within obvious limitations–for blacks, for women, for Japanese and Germans in wartime, it didn’t apply. Naturally.) But it was there, at least for the people the government claimed to represent. But, like habeas corpus, it belongs to another time. Today, for the unfortunate soul accused of being a terrorist (which used to mean being al qaeda, but now has expanded to include [former allies] the Taliban and associated groups–and adolescent family members), your due process boils down to this:
The President and his underlings are your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner all wrapped up in one, acting in total secrecy and without your even knowing that he’s accused you and sentenced you to death, and you have no opportunity even to know about, let alone confront and address, his accusations; is that not enough due process for you?
You gotta hand it to Obama, though. This is great politics. Blowing people up in some dusty land halfway around the world is such a perfect piece of political theater and control. Poll numbers down? Time to get another scalp. The government need only trumpet the successes. Beautiful. (And grudgingly, passive-aggressively sorta kinda own up to the misses. Not that there’s a whole lot of follow-up on these things).
remarkably, see nothing odd or contradictory or WRONG in the president’s more than enthusiastic adaptation of Bush policies he campaigned against. In fact, they cannot contain their glee.
President Obama’s foreign policy has been remarkably successful. Just ask 22 of the top 30 al Qaeda leaders. Oh, wait, you can’t. They’re dead—on Obama’s orders. He has approved 239 Predator drone attacks in just three years. George W. Bush approved 44 in eight years, the wuss.
So that’s the calculus of consummate insider Paul Begala. The more drone strikes, the better the foreign policy. And Republicans are wusses. Nyah! Nyah!
Will the Republicans, those brave representatives of the Constitution-obsessed Tea Party throngs, make Obama face any consequences for, in effect, vaporizing vaguely threatening foreigners (even those who are U.S. citizens) with a mere wave of his finger?
Hell nah! They can’t wait til it’s their turn….