(BREITBART) -- As the scope of the government’s spying on private citizens becomes clear, left-wing politicians are openly criticizing Obama and his Administration. Long critical of Bush-era anti-terror policies, many had expected Obama to end these practices, rather than expand him. MD Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings said, “I think the president needs to go back and read his own speeches.”
“I’m very concerned that this is basically a continuation of the policies of the Bush administration and the abuses of the Patriot Act. I’d like to see better out of this administration,” OR Rep. Peter DeFazio told Politico.
The Obama Administration isn’t just continuing policies begun under Bush, in many cases they are expanding them. He has greatly expanded the drone program and uses is regularly to assassinate suspected terrorists. The massive database of phone records also includes on-line data and internet activity. Combined with the seizure of reporters’ phone and email records, the new revelations show an Administration obsessed with monitoring individuals’ behavior.
This presents an existential challenge for Obama. In Bush’s case, at least the controversial policies were undertaken by a President who believe the nation was in a state of war against terrorism. Obama has often rejected the idea that we’re at war and has noted repeatedly that terrorists are “on the run.” So, why maintain or expand Bush’s policies?
Obama has maintained his standing in the polls largely because his base has supported him strongly. The government’s expansive spying on citizens, however, threatens to alienate his base. If even a small percentage of them abandon him over this, his approval rating will fall quickly. Speeches won’t fix that.