No, it isn't only libertarians who care about civil liberties

No, it isn't only libertarians who care about civil liberties

by digby

So I'm hearing some nonsense that only libertarians have been talking about the militarization of the police. I am not a libertarian. I'm a liberal and a civil libertarian which isn't the same thing. And I've been talking about this for a very long time. So have a lot of other liberals.

The fact is that civil liberties are rarely a priority in either political party. The libertarians in America tend to gather in the GOP while the civil libertarians like me tend to vote Democratic. We're a minority either way, but the civil libertarian liberals outnumber the libertarians substantially.

Here's a story from prolific Daily Kos diarist Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees dated June 20th of this year that illustrates the party differences in this regard:

During the amendment voting for "defense" appropriations last night, Alan Grayson (FL-09) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds to transfer aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents, launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, mines, or nuclear weapons through the DOD Excess Personal Property Program established pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.

There was a great article in the New York Times last week on the militarization of local police. Giving military weapons to local police departments is at best a colossal waste of money. At its worst, it can ruin--or end--innocent lives.

The amendment failed 62 to 355. 19 Republicans and 43 Democrats voted for it. 210 Republicans and 145 Democrats voted against it.

That pretty much tells the tale. And if you look at the Republicans, only a handful of the 19 aren't right wing nuts who would be happy to allow lynching as long as the federal government wasn't involved. The Democrats, on the other hand, with a couple of exceptions are the hardcore left.

So please, don't tell me that this is only a "libertarian" concern. There are a whole lot of liberals in the country who have been caring about this for a very long time --- and we've been caring about it whether Democrats are in the White House or Republicans are in the White House. We're a minority in the Democratic Party but there are more of us than there are libertarians. A lot more. A little credit would be nice.