Saturday, June 20, 2009

McClatchy: Barack Obama Morphs Into George W. Bush

In response to the assertion of McClatchy’s Michael Doyle today that Barack Obama is morphing into George W. Bush, reader bpattontx wrote: “It's nice to see a Democrat validating the policies of the Bush administration. Maybe the rabid left will now find another theme to howl about?”

We assume by "rabid left" bpattontx is referring to the group in the Democratic primary that did its best to destroy Hillary Clinton and seize the party's nomination for Obama.

But how about it rabid left? Hopefully you all got the word from McClatchy Newspapers by now. If not, you can catch up here:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is morphing into George W. Bush, as administration attorneys repeatedly adopt the executive-authority and national-security rationales that their Republican predecessors preferred.

In courtroom battles and freedom-of-information fights from Washington, D.C., to California, Obama's legal arguments repeatedly mirror Bush's: White House turf is to be protected, secrets must be retained and dire warnings are wielded as weapons.

"It's putting up a veritable wall around the White House, and it's so at odds with Obama's campaign commitment to more open government," said Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a legal watchdog group.

Doyle goes on to say:

A courtroom clash Thursday illustrated how Obama has come to emulate Bush.

Weismann's organization sued last year to obtain the notes from an interview that the FBI conducted with then-Vice President Dick Cheney. The interview was part of an investigation into leaks concerning undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame, and the Bush administration vigorously fought the release of the notes.

"The records contain descriptions of confidential deliberations among top White House officials which are protected by the deliberative process and presidential communications privileges," Bush's Justice Department argued in an Oct. 10, 2008, legal brief.

Obama's Justice Department held the same line Thursday.

"The new leadership of the department supports those arguments," Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan during the oral argument. "The Department of Justice is an ongoing entity, and it is not normal for us to update cases simply because we have a new attorney general."

On another issue, the Obama Administration pushed the limits of the LGBT community by supporting Bush in its recent stance on the Defense of Marriage Act. Doyle reports:

Perspectives, of course, often change once candidates assume responsibility upon taking office. As a candidate, for instance, Obama opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

As president, however, he's following Bush's lead in defending in court the federal marriage law, which a California same-sex couple is challenging.

The law "reflects a cautiously limited response to society's still-evolving understanding of the institution of marriage," Assistant Attorney General Tony West declared in a legal filing June 11.

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