Only Nixon could go to China

That’s an old Vulcan saying. It means that only someone who had a solid history of opposing communism would have the power to tear up the rulebook on our country’s relationship with a long-time communist foe.

I’m not a big fan of Noam Chomsky. He has too often taken a black and white view of things that are really shades of grey, and inserted himself into arguments he doesn’t have the background for. I wouldn’t trust him to ‘go to China’ because I don’t trust his instincts. Having said that, I find myself agreeing with a recent interview he gave over on AlterNet. In it he takes strong issue with President Obama’s attacks (and they can’t be characterized as anything less) on American civil liberties — everything from indefinite detention without trial to the criminalization of whistleblowing. Go read the article

What Obama has done is continue the erosion of the constitutional rights of Americans that began with Bush’s exploitation of 9/11 for political ends. He’s given the police unprecedented power, not just by what’s mandated by law, but by what’s tolerated, day-to-day. He’s skillfully used cases against people we were told were really bad guys — Kim Dotcom, Bradley Manning — to condition us to violations of law by the government, in pursuit of higher values. They might well be really bad guys, but the point is, the government doesn’t get to pick and chose which laws government follows based on how the government feels about the case. Except now it does.

The sad part is, Obama knows better. He has a better understanding of the Constitution than any President since Jefferson. He’s a constitutional scholar. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for over a decade.  He has, in other words, a solid history of constitutional study.

Are you ready for another old Vulcan saying?  Only Obama could….


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2 Responses to “Only Nixon could go to China”

  1. Sandra C Says:

    Perhaps only those who know the system (or the book, or the document) very well can tear it apart without seeming to wish it. I would have thought the pointy-ears would do better than this, but maybe all that is left for legacies is destruction. Sad. Also terrible. Not to mention infuriating. Oh, and Nixon was a liberal.

  2. FoundOnWeb Says:

    Everything that’s been accomplished could have been done without destroying civil liberties. At some point Real Soon Now, I’m going to write about that. Nixon was an Eisenhower Republican. There’s none of those left in politics.

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