More like this, please
E-mail from the ACLU:
Dear ACLU Supporter,
Today is an extraordinary day for civil liberties and our country. And we should all pat ourselves on the back for helping make this moment happen.
Just 48 hours into his presidency, Barack Obama took decisive action on civil liberties -- issuing four executive orders that set a new path towards an America we can be proud of.
All those petitions you've signed, actions you've taken and contributions you've made are paying off in dramatic fashion. Because -- make no mistake -- President Obama's decisive acts of leadership wouldn't be possible without you and other ACLU supporters laying the groundwork.
You refused to listen to those who said the ACLU was being idealistic, unrealistic and even crazy to expect a new President to act this quickly. And by acting on your convictions, you have helped make this a remarkable day for the Constitution and the rule of law.
With four executive orders today, our new President:
- Ordered Guantánamo Bay shut down
- Banned torture
- Ordered a full review of U.S. detention policies and procedures, and
- Delayed the trial of Ali al-Marri, an ACLU client whose case is at the center of the Supreme Court's review of indefinite detention policies.
We're seeing -- right before our eyes -- what it means to have a President who respects the Constitution and honors the rule of law. Please sign our "Thank You for Acting" message to President Obama -- not simply because he has earned our gratitude, but because he will need our ongoing support if we want him to follow through on crucial civil liberties and human rights priorities.
This isn't just about sending a message of thanks to Obama. It's about sending a message to anyone who dares to stand in our way as we act to restore the Constitution and reclaim America's reputation.
Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward.
In the last 24 hours, more than 30,000 ACLU supporters have already signed our "Thank You for Acting" message to the President. Count yourself among them. Please act right now.
Anthony D. Romero
Kudos to ACLU for reiterating this: "Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward." Just patting oneself on the back and then lying back and hoping may not prove rewarding in the long run.
For one thing, these new orders shouldn't be taken at face value. As Glenn notes there are "important caveats and reservations" when one looks at the details. It's hard to type up those details if the self-patting persists too long.
Let's appreciate progress when it happens and demand it when it doesn't. Hope, but verify.