President Barack Obama promised to end the “fever of fear” created by the Bush administration and relinquish unreasonable executive powers. But after becoming president, Obama didn’t end many of the practices he campaigned against.
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart likened the president Tuesday to a character in “The Lord of the Rings” who falls under the sway of Sauron’s Ring of Power and is unable to complete his mission to destroy it.
Stewart took a step back from the current BP oil spill catastrophe to look at the bigger picture of Obama’s presidency. “The Gulf crisis was an unforeseen catastrophe. Barack Obama’s real mission when running for president was to restore some of America’s moral high standing that we had lost in the turmoil of the war on terror,” said Stewart.
Obama made the case for himself while running for president in November of 2007. “Guantanamo, that’s easy. Close down Guantanamo. Restore habeas corpus. Say no to renditions. Say no to wireless wiretaps,” said Obama. “Part of my job as the next president is to break the fever of fear that has been exploited by [the Bush] administration.”
“Obama’s rein would bring back the rule of law. If the Supreme court said even terrorists at Guantanamo Bay deserved their day in court through the writ of habeas corpus, as they did in the Hamdan case, Barack Obama would honor that, not try to pull the old Bush flim-flammery,” announced Stewart.
But as president, Obama did appear to find a way around habeas corpus by maintaining the Bush practice of keeping detainees at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
The Obama administration pushed for and won the right to deny those Bagram prisoners a right to a hearing, McClatchy reported.
“Today President Obama won a victory to keep those detainees locked up indefinitely without getting even one chance to prove their innocence in court,” The Nation‘s Chris Hayes announced in May.
Stewart seemed willing to let the president off if that was the only violation. “That’s only habeas corpus. That’s the only thing that was thrown out there, one small tiny fundamental tenet of law,” said Stewart. “He also said he was going to end rendition.”
“We also learned that the Obama administration will continue the Bush policy of extraordinary rendition, the practice of sending terror suspects to prisons in third party countries for interrogation,” MSNBC’s Alison Stewart reported last August.
Stewart then played clips of then-candidate Obama calling for the “highest standards of civil liberties and human rights.”
“No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. We’re going to again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers and the justice is not arbitrary,” Obama said in August of 2007.
Stewart appeared perplexed. “Your campaign was premised on reining in presidential power. What happened?” he wondered.
“Oh, I see,” said Stewart. Apparently things had changed when Obama took the oath of office.
“And now you have your own secret military programs that go beyond even what Bush was doing,” Stewart noted.
The president has gone so far to authorize the killing of a Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric and American citizen, without trial.
“Wow. He’s a bad guy, runs an Al-Qaeda web site from Yemen but you complained when Bush wanted to read Americans’ emails without a warrant,” said Stewart.
“Wait a second, all that power you didn’t like when someone else had it. You decided to keep it. Oh my God, you are Frodo,” exclaimed Stewart.
This video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast June 14, 2010.
Trump’s damage to the federal government is driving voters to turn to more liberal candidates: report
According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump's tenure has not resulted in voters becoming more conservative, and instead, he is driving them into the arms of more liberal and progressive candidates at the local level who are then using their newfound power to change Democratic policies at the national level.
Trump's negative influence is turning into a positive for those candidates -- particularly in the big cities.
"From New York City to Los Angeles, many of the nation’s biggest cities have turned even harder to the left under President Donald Trump, putting pressure on local officials to embrace the leading progressive presidential candidates — or withhold their endorsements entirely for fear of antagonizing newly energized activists," the report states. "It’s a drastic political shift in some places, where for decades entrenched party bosses crushed any signs of life on the left or tended to put the weight of big-city institutional support behind Democratic establishment-oriented candidates."
‘Not true’: Manic GOPer Mark Meadows shut down by CNN’s Bash for repeating lie about Ukraine
A fifteen-minute CNN interview with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) wound down to an abrupt end on Sunday morning as the "State of the Union" host Dana Bash cut off the Trump defender's insistence there was no quid pro quo offer from the president to Ukraine's leadership, with the CNN host telling the GOP lawmaker, "That's not true. I don't want to debate about it."
In an interview where Meadows continued to rage about former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter, Bash finally brought up Trump's phone call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that led to the impeachment inquiry.
Discussing the call where Trump asked for a favor, Meadows pushed back after she said Trump, "Allegedly held up aid and he said it in this phone call."
GOP’s Collins demands delay in impeachment hearing after being overwhelmed with Dem’s massive case against Trump
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has demanded that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) postpone a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing slated for Monday after being blindsided by a massive report from the Democrats on the committee making the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
According to Newsmax, Collins -- who has become one of the president's main surrogates opposing ouster of the president -- fired back at the Democrats over their Saturday release of thousands of pages of documents to be considered from the House impeachment investigation.