Bush != Hitler; Score One for Bush!

Kevin Drum writes:

[C]ompared to the Palmer raids of the 1920s, the internment camps of the ’40s, McCarthyism in the ’50s, and COINTELPRO in the ’60s, it’s frankly remarkable that our national response to 9/11 has been as muted as it has. America may be a bit the worse for wear in the democracy department compared to six years ago, but it’s still America.

Yes, of course, Amerika hasn’t happened, and I can still write “George W. Bush is a stupid monkey-face” on my stupid blog, and no jack-booted government thugs will break down my door.  America is still a very, very good country in which to live, and, to mention world affairs (which Kevin did not, to the chagrin of his commentors), a pretty benign hegemon by world historical standards.

But let’s get serious about proper standards to apply.

Eight years ago, who was talking about imperialism, of all things?  Who was talking about the executive’s ability to detain American citizens indefinitely without charge and without access to a lawyer?  Who was talking about the president’s ability to wiretap calls with zero oversight?  About executive privilege that extends to every aspect of governance and politics in the executive branch, that extends to a former government employee’s right to fail to show up for subpoenas?

What was beyond the fringe is now commonplace.

The Bush administration’s lawlessness, and the degradation of our public discourse, is making us re-fight battles that were fought and won in the past thirty-plus years.  So no, Kevin, Bush doesn’t get any credit for not being as bad as McCarthy.

Sure, we’ve done worse things domestically in the past, but as someone born in the 1970s, I TOOK IT FOR FRIGGIN GRANTED THAT IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE AGAIN.

We didn’t imprison the Japanese or the Muslims (well, not too many of them, anyway, in the grand scheme of things), and Congress didn’t re-enact the Alien and Sedition Acts either, but that’s not really too high a bar to clear, is it?

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