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Opening Arguments

Fear mongers

This is an interesting comparison of our two most recent presidents:

I flashed back to the fall of 2001 upon reading the subhead over a New York Times story about Monday's presidential press conference: "He Says That Failing to Act Could Lead to Catastrophe." To rush a complex, ill-considered piece of legislation through Congress, George W. Bush invoked the specter of another terrorist attack. Barack Obama, bringing the change he promised, invoked the specter of economic collapse.

Just as the PATRIOT Act was a grab bag of legal changes that law enforcement and intelligence agencies had been seeking for years, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a grab bag of expenditures that leftish Democrats have long wanted, repackaged for the crisis du jour. In both cases, instilling fear was the key to suspending skepticism and cutting off debate.

We have nothing to fear but presidents who want to make us afraid.


tim zank
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 12:23pm

"We have nothing to fear but presidents who want to make us afraid."


Bob G.
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 3:32pm


Kevin Knuth
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 5:25pm

So does this mean you all agree that the Patriot Act was a huge mistake?

tim zank
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 8:32pm

No. It means we think the Social Re-Engineering & Inevitable Bankruptcy Act Of 2009 is a huge crap sandwich.

Leo Morris
Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:35am

It just means that fear was used to sell the Patriot Act and that it contained many things that enforcement agencies had always wanted. The invididual parts of the act still have to be judged on their own merits, weighing effectiveness against civil liberties. Same deal with the ARRA -- a wish list was sold with fear; how it works out, we shall see.

Bob G.
Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:44am

Yeah...what Leo & Tim said...!!!

(and hold the mayo & onions on that crap sandwich)