Barack Obama Is Not The Messiah. He's Just Another Politician.

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 11, 2009

The latest proof for the proposition comes in the form of a New York Times story on detention policy:

The Obama administration said Friday that it would appeal a district court ruling that granted some military prisoners in Afghanistan the right to file lawsuits seeking their release. The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.

Glenn Greenwald–or various of his sockpuppets–is/are enraged:

The Obama DOJ is now squarely to the Right of an extremely conservative, pro-executive-power, Bush 43-appointed judge on issues of executive power and due-process-less detentions. Leave aside for the moment the issue of whether you believe that the U.S. Government should have the right to abduct people anywhere in the world, ship them to faraway prisons and hold them there indefinitely without charges or any rights at all. The Bush DOJ — and now the Obama DOJ — maintain the President does and should have that right, and that’s an issue that has been extensively debated. It was, after all, one of the centerpieces of the Bush regime of radicalism, lawlessness and extremism.

(Emphasis mine.) I’ll give Greenwald credit for being consistent on this issue, but I won’t give him credit for not having seen this coming–it would appear that he did not, given the tone and tenor of his writings on this issue. Those who in general believed that Barack Obama was some kind of political savior who would usher in some kind of Golden Age of American politics should have known better than to think that he would initiate a 180-degree departure from the policies of the Bush Administration. As conservative bloggers warned and promised in the run-up to Obama’s election and inauguration, Presidents are not known to voluntarily give up power–not even when they have been known to denounce the accrual of power under the “Imperial Presidency” of the predecessors those Presidents have condemned and criticized.

These warnings were ignored, of course. We were promised that Barack Obama would be different, somehow. Those promises look rather laughable now, don’t they?

One would hope that all of the usual suspects who fulminated and waxed outraged at the “Imperial Presidency” of George W. Bush will now issue regular and frequent condemnations of the Obama Administration’s many decisions to continue and expand upon the Imperial Presidency. And the next time we are tempted to view Barack Obama as a Messiah, let’s all snap back to reality with the observation–backed fully with all the evidence one could possibly ask for–that he is just another politician.

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