By Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason
Today is President Donald Trump’s last day in office! A White House official said Trump plans to pardon or commute sentences for up to 100 people today. Whether it might include big-name whistleblowers (like Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner, and Julian Assange) or just more of the president’s crook friends and allies is anybody’s guess. In any event, Trump leaves office with a 34 percent approval rating and a record-low average approval rating of 41 percent.
With Americans still reeling from the January 6 Capitol riot, the Biden administration will begin its term amid a rapidly escalating “tough on domestic terror” mood.
That’s never a good influence no matter which ruling party is in office, and perhaps especially bad in times of intense partisan conflict. There are a few things both Democrats and Republicans can almost always come together on, and limiting civil liberties in the name of national security is chief among them. But worse, Biden has never backed away from hysterical policy reactions to perceived crime and terror threats.
“Biden’s career was built on the politics of panics,” Reason‘s Jacob Sullum writes. “After 9/11, Biden did not just vote for the PATRIOT Act, which expanded the federal government’s surveillance authority in the name of fighting terrorism. He bragged that it was essentially the same as legislation he had been pushing since 1994.”
Categories: Police State/Civil Liberties