The Democrat Party Used to Care about Civil Liberties


While many conservative pundits have spent the last few weeks talking about the FISA abuse memo, the possibility of bias and corruption at the FBI, and about how all of this ties into the Russia investigation… I have found myself focusing more on the civil liberties implications.

Long time readers have probably noticed that I am a libertarian-leaning conservative, not just a Republican. When it comes to civil liberty issues I generally side with the libertarians over the GOP, and that sometimes means I side with left-leaning Democrats over popular Republicans. I am against the Patriot Act, believe the FISA process is corrupt and should be abolished, and would severely limit the power of the NSA, CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security to monitor our electronic communications, if I had the power to do so. I stand with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on most civil liberties issues and at times it has put me against the mainstream GOP position.

In fact, some of my Republican friends have argued that I was a “liberal” on civil liberties. That might have been true in the past, but the reality is that the left has mostly abandoned their defense of civil liberties over the last few decades. Many in the Democrat Party embraced the neocon principles of “better to ask forgiveness than permission” when it came to military and intelligence community excesses, and others on the left have decided that POWER is more important than principles.

It leaves civil libertarians fighting both parties and hoping that someone will remember what it means to support the Constitution.

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham wondered the same thing during a recent episode of her TV show.

Laura Ingraham: Now who was carrying out a war against the reputation and integrity of the FBI, if anyone did? Well, I’d say it’s former Obama AG Loretta Lynch, former Obama FBI Director Jim Comey, and former Obama Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who wage war on the FBI by damaging its reputation.

How do they do that? They put the FBI’s future in jeopardy by eroding confidence in one of our treasured law enforcement institutions. You cannot start spying on an American citizen as some kind of insurance policy against a presidential candidate you don’t happen to like.

In fact, you cannot surveil an American citizen based on falsified evidence at all or by omitting a material fact in in a FISA application for a warrant. I tell you, the left refuses to address the central point of the Nunes House Intel memo.

I was thinking about this earlier today when I was hosting my radio show. Remember when Democrats use to care about protecting American civil liberties? Post 9/11, the ACLU warns about various ways the Bush administration was endangering the Bill of Rights.

They warned about the Patriot Act, the growing surveillance society — by the way, I agree. They sounded alarms over the weakening of the Freedom of Information Act by reclassifying documents as unclassified but sensitive.

And the liberals even complained at some other civil libertarians, about the fairness of these long no-fly list. But this is my favorite part of this ACLU list of grievances with number eight, political spying, it was called political spying.

Government agencies including the FBI and the Department of Defense have conducted their own spying on innocent and law-abiding Americans through the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU learned the FBI had been consistently monitoring peaceful groups such as Quakers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Green Peace, and the Native American Anti-defamation Committee, and indeed the ACLU itself.

Well, PETA got surveilled, apparently, but I guess Carter Page and the Trump campaign don’t qualify for Fourth Amendment protection. The ACLU has been kind of silent. Now there was a time when Democrats cared about things like FISA court abuses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. RON WYDEN, D-ORE., JULY 30, 2013: The FISA court process is one of the most one-sided approaches in American government. I know of no other court that doesn’t have some kind of adversarial discussion where there are two points of views.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN., JULY 31, 2013: There should be some adversarial process, challenging it, questioning it, just as we do in the normal court.

SCHIFF, JULY 31, 2013: The opinion themselves will benefit by having an adversarial process in key cases where the court has the benefit of hearing the other side, seeing opposing case law.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

Laura Ingraham: My gosh, my producer said in my ear, he was on RTTV. Did you see that? That’s great. Look what could happen with the FISA court. But now, however, FISA is beyond reproach as long as it’s used towards the ever noble goal of destroying Donald Trump or preventing him back then being president at all…

Whatever happens, there is no doubt about the following. After all their years of claiming to be advocates for fairness, civil liberties, the Dems have been outed as frauds of the worst order, and that’s the Angle.

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