Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where Does It Say I Have to Vote for Obama?

Very interesting article in Atlantic Online by Conor Friedersdorf. He puts voice to the kind of thoughts I've expressed much less coherently than he. Basically what he says is he's not voting for Obama, and that he is not buying the argument that Romney is so terrible that one must vote for the president. He rejects this line of thinking. What he argues is "some actions are so ruinous to human rights, so destructive of the Constitution, and so contrary to basic morals that they are disqualifying." And he sees these kinds of actions throughout the Obama presidency. I've mentioned them here and there throughout the past four years. And I've noted especially that the infernal, eternal wars continue, and that as far as I can tell, Obama pursues with all the relish of a born militarist.

Not only that, but he has refused to prosecute either torturers or the scoundrel Wall Street shysters that brought the country to its knees and who continue to enjoy outrageous affluence while the rest of the country suffers through a recession that shows no sign of ending.

But what bothers Friedersdorf are the scarlet sins against individual liberties that Obama has now engrafted onto presidential powers. He's absolutely right.
  1. Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis. The drone war he is waging in North Waziristan isn't "precise" or "surgical" as he would have Americans believe. It kills hundreds of innocents, including children. And for thousands of more innocents who live in the targeted communities, the drone war makes their lives into a nightmare worthy of dystopian novels. People are always afraid. Women cower in their homes. Children are kept out of school. The stress they endure gives them psychiatric disorders. Men are driven crazy by an inability to sleep as drones buzz overhead 24 hours a day, a deadly strike possible at any moment. At worst, this policy creates more terrorists than it kills; at best, America is ruining the lives of thousands of innocent people and killing hundreds of innocents for a small increase in safety from terrorists. It is a cowardly, immoral, and illegal policy, deliberately cloaked in opportunistic secrecy. And Democrats who believe that it is the most moral of all responsible policy alternatives are as misinformed and blinded by partisanship as any conservative ideologue. 
  2. Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama's kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did. It is as radical an invocation of executive power as anything Dick Cheney championed. The fact that the Democrats rebelled against those men before enthusiastically supporting Obama is hackery every bit as blatant and shameful as anything any talk radio host has done.  
  3. Contrary to his own previously stated understanding of what the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution demand, President Obama committed U.S. forces to war in Libya without Congressional approval, despite the lack of anything like an imminent threat to national security.
There's a lot more to this article. This is just a taste. Recommended.
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