Congress Goes Bipartisan—Against Civil LibertiesSubmitted by Ed Thinking on Tue, 03/05/2013 - 12:31
Civil liberties are theoretically a bipartisan concern. Conservative Republicans who don’t like Obamacare’s “death panels” should be outraged by presidential kill lists. Liberal Democrats who defend due process ought to be offended by secret surveillance law. Protectors of the First and Second Amendments should have a high regard for the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth.
Yet restricting civil liberties is what actually commands bipartisan support in Washington. The same Congress that barely averted the fiscal cliff swiftly passed extensions of warrantless wiretapping and indefinite detention, assuring Americans that only the bad guys will be affected but evincing little interest in establishing whether this is really the case.
The same Congress that failed to come up with an agreement to avoid sequestration appears to have bipartisan majorities in favor of profligate drone use at home and abroad. Lawmakers are generally less exercised about the confirmation of likely CIA chief John Brennan than Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.