Saturday, September 01, 2012

Things I Don't Like About Obama

Since I've been piling on poor Romney/Ryan the past few pieces, I thought it only fair to highlight some of the things about the Obama Administration that are, how can I put this, less than laudatory.  Beside putting 100,000 troops in Afghanistan with no strategy and to no purpose other than to be targets for insurgents, factions, militias, IEDs, and even the Afghan Army they're training; beside shrugging when Congress said he couldn't use any federal funds for the purposes of closing the gulag at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base; beside saying, "Thank you, sir!  May I have another?" when House and Senate Republicans throw a public tantrum; beside not pushing, once the evidence made clear the necessity, for a far larger stimulus at the beginning of his term; beside waging undeclared war in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, and putting troops in harms way in Uganda, DR Congo, and The Central African Republic in pursuit of unspecified tactical and strategic goals other than "maintaining a presence"; beside all these, the thing that genuinely angers me is the refusal to pursue legal action against the persons in the Bush Administration responsible for several years of systematic torture and death.

The last, tiny vestiges of such legal action have been dropped.

If ever there was an instance when making clear to the world that the United States was reasserting the rule of law, it was right here.  I'm not talking about prosecuting some non-coms and  booting a senior officer out of the service, as happened after the abuses at Abu Ghraib came to light.  There has been, from the beginning, abundant evidence that officials high up the food chain not only approved but supervised a program of detention and torture of prisoners, violating our laws, our Treaty agreements that have the force of law according to the Constitution these same officials swear an oath to defend and uphold, and most of all our sense of ourselves as a people.  Legal action against torturers would show the world we no longer consider such acts acceptable.

We are no longer even pretending to do such.

On this, as on so much else, the distance between Obama and his Republican rival is non-existent; on this, as on so much else, where things like the Constitution, and human life, and who we are as a people really matter, the President is no better than his predecessor.  On this, as on so much else I base my original refusal to give Pres. Obama the benefit of my vote in November.  He is fortunate, perhaps, in his opponents this year, having for his Republican rival someone about whom Steve Benen writes:
[W]e're seeing the first real-world test of a post-truth campaign. Team Romney lies, without shame, because it's certain the line between fact and fiction has been blurred out of existence, and if lies will give Romney vast power, the ends justify the means.
 For that reason alone, Obama will probably get my vote.  His record on matters of real importance?  Not so much.

Virtual Tin Cup

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