Stop what you are doing because this is one of the most important things you will ever read. If you have any knowledge or sense of American history, you will understand why. It doesn’t matter if you are conservative, liberal, libertarian, or politically agnostic, this effects you.
President Obama just signed his version of John Adam’s Alien and Sedition Act. It is now the law of the land. It gives the government, under the authority of the President, the right to detain American citizens and effectively strip them of their constitutional rights, including a trial by jury. They can be indefinitely detained without being convicted of a crime.
The Republicans in Congress may have written the bill, but the Democrats helped pass it and the President signed it. They are all guilty. None more so than President Obama because, as President Truman famously noted, “the buck stops here”.
The President’s reputation is irreparably damaged. I, who up until two hours ago, would have wanted to see him win again in November, now plan on giving all the money I had originally intended to give for his re-election campaign to the ACLU to have this unconstitutional and reprehensible law struck down in court.
Why is this so concerning? As per the ACLU:
The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.
What is to stop a President 25 years from now deciding that all Christians are a terrorist threat? All gay people? All African Americans? All senior citizens? We tried this once and history excoriated John Adams; rightfully so. President Obama now deserves the same treatment in textbooks. Nothing else he ever does will redeem him for this treason. I voted for, and financially supported, his original election to stop the encroachment of civil liberties we had seen in the previous eight years. At his inauguration, Barack Obama swore to uphold and defend the Constitution. He just violated that oath. The law he signed strips away the Constitutional rights of American citizens.
Why? My guess is he didn’t want to be accused of holding up veteran’s pay and benefits in a defense bill. My guess is the administration thought people would be angry at the GOP for writing the provision in the first place. No. He’s the nation’s CEO. He’s the one with the veto pen. He is the one who is supposed to be a man, do the right thing, and stand up for the values that matter. Two days ago, I was among the President’s biggest supporters and have been since I’m a bottom-up guy, looking at specific bills and evaluating them on the merits. Now, I want him out of office.
Can you imagine if someone like George Wallace had been President and been able to stop the civil rights movement for blacks by simply detaining African Americans without a trial? That is what is at stake here. This is not hyperbole. This is one of those defining moments in a nation’s history. You are witnessing it right now.
I’ve loved politics since I was a child. I skipped large chunks of school to watch the Clinton impeachment trials and, later, the Bush vs. Gore developments. Nothing in my lifetime has ever angered me, worried me, or disgusted me more than what this Congress, with both parties, and this President, just did.
It’s not him I’m worried about. I tend to give a great deal of leeway to executives, knowing how hard it can be to make complex decisions. That is why you see me criticize or praise specific acts, not the men themselves. Generally, I think Obama is an intelligent, measured, pragmatic man who, in most cases, reaches the same conclusions I do about most situations. Though there is a small part of me that thinks the man, who is a constitutional scholar and lawyer, probably signed the law knowing that that provision would be struck down by the courts, there are some things that simply aren’t for sale. America’s core fabric, the refusal to bend to tyrannical government power, is one of those things.
Thomas Jefferson had it right. “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty .”
Stop what you are doing. Research the law. Take out your checkbooks and help pay for the lawyers to get this struck down as unconstitutional in the courts. You can learn more here.