Since the beginning of Obama’s first term, the anti-war left has been nowhere to be found. Once constantly in the streets protesting against Bush’s civil liberty violations, the anti-war left has become silent. Obama’s election was seen as the new age for civil liberties, as his first promise was to close down Guantanamo Bay. Since then, Obama reneged on his promise to close Guantanamo Bay, jailed Bradley Manning for exposing the lack of transparency in “the most transparent administration”, intentionally misled the public about withdrawal dates, signed the National Defense Authorization Act, renewed the PATRIOT Act, and sent drone strikes to various countries without Constitutional approval of war. Despite all of this, people have not been chaining themselves to the White House fence. Obama is still the darling of the anti-war left simply because he is a Democrat. To question Obama would be to question the moral superiority Democrats claim to hold on the issue of civil freedoms.
Instead, the Republican Party has been picking up the fight against the government’s assault on civil liberties. During a Senate Judiciary Hearing, Senator Ted Cruz asked Eric Holder if it is Constitutional for the government to kill an American citizen, not actively engaged in combat, on American soil. As opposed to directly answering the question with a definitive “no”, Holder attempted to evade the question by talking about hypothetical situations, with zero reference to the Constitution. A few days later, Rand Paul engaged in an approximately thirteen-hour filibuster to delay the confirmation of now CIA director John Brennan. Rand Paul’s filibuster made reference to the use of drones overseas, expressing concern over the possible use of drones in America against Americans. Paul demonstrated how the CIA policy of drone usage was not clearly defined and could be used to target Americans who, as Ted Cruz mentioned, were merely sitting in a café.
Rand Paul’s filibuster was joined by thirteen fellow Republicans. The filibuster generated support of mainstream Republicans through the “#StandWithRand” Twitter hastag. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former presidential candidate Herman Cain, and even Reince Priebus, the establishment Republican National Committee Chairman, Tweeted support for Rand Paul. They were joined by a Facebook post by Rick Santorum, a glowing review by Newt Gingrich, and a monologue by Mike Huckabee. Rand Paul was even on Rush Limbaugh’s show, where he received praise for being a “hero.” Limbaugh later condemned “neoconservative” RINOs John McCain and Lindsey Graham for not standing with Rand.
Rand Paul was capable of energizing the Republican Party on the issue of protecting the rights of every American not to be assassinated by the government via drone. Rand Paul unified the libertarian right with even the most conservative faction of the right to stand up against the government taking away the liberties of the American people.
In contrast (with the exception of CODEPINK), the traditional “we care about civil liberties” left responded to the filibuster by defending Obama. The hashtag “WhyRepublicansNeedtoGo” was created to attack Republicans for standing up against Brennan and drone usage. The “Being Liberal” Facebook page mocked the idea of droning American citizens being a threat, since it “hasn’t been done yet.” This should not surprise anyone: 78% of MSNBC viewers claim to be okay with the government droning Americans. These are the same individuals who were screaming and crying about the evil Bush administration just a few years ago. What completely non-partisan freedom fighters!
The anti-war, pro-civil liberties movement by the left is nothing more than a façade. The left does not care about civil liberties; rather, the left just cares about making Republicans look bad. When a Democrat is doing something egregious, the issue of big government is suddenly not a concern. When a Democrat supports the idea of killing American citizens on American soil, it is wrong to question his judgment. When a Democrat claims to be on your side, the left assumes words mean more than actions.