In a Daily Show segment entitled “Respect My Authoritah”, Jon Stewart criticized President Obama for his apparent hypocrisy on foreign policy and presidential power.
Playing clips ranging from 2006-2008, Stewart provides a stark contrast of then Senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama, and currently serving President Obama. Hailed as a candidate of “change”, Senator Obama promised to restore the rule of law to U.S. foreign policy and to place more responsible limits on presidential authority.
He promised to close Guantanamo Bay, end Rendition (sending terrorist suspects to third party nations for interrogation purposes), end warrantless wiretaps, restore Habeas corpus, and increase transparency in the War on Terror. However, about a year and a half into his presidency, Obama has continued virtually all of the Bush-Cheney doctrines.
Guantanamo Bay is still open, Rendition continues, key provisions of the Patriot Act were extended, and the secretive War on Terror has been expanded throughout the globe. President Obama has invoked ‘state secrets’ and called for the assasination of a radical Islamic cleric who happens to be a US citizen.
Despite the flowery pre-election rhetoric, President Obama has executed a foreign policy that is virtually indistinguishable from George W. Bush, only he’s spending even more money. And the Democrats in Congress, passionate critics of the Bush administration while in the minority, have offered barely a whimper of protest as the ruling majority.
Just as many Americans who believed George W. Bush would pursue a policy of fiscal conservatism were duped, it would appear that those Americans who supported Obama’s platform to transform US foreign policy have been misled as well.
Perhaps the 31% of Americans seeking a third party will have the opportunity to rectify the Bush-Obama war policy come 2012.