Re: Love freedom and democracy? Vote out Obama

Posted by Sir Four at 9:46pm Jan 5 '12
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"he not only has failed to deliver the "change we can believe in" that he promised"

Allow me to respond with a quoted passage.
FDR was, of course, a consummate political leader. In one situation, a group came to him urging specific actions in support of a cause in which they deeply believed. He replied: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

He understood that a President does not rule by fiat and unilateral commands to a nation. He must build the political support that makes his decisions acceptable to our countrymen. He read the public opinion polls not to define who he was but to determine where the country was -- and then to strategize how he could move the country to the objectives he thought had to be carried out. (link)

A major failing of Obama is his reluctance to actually use the bully pulpit, prefering early on to try to find middle ground with an opposition party determined to prevent him from achieving anything.

"Obama signed a bill letting him detain U.S. citizens in military custody without convicting them of anything"

This bill doesn't let him do that; it reaffirmed 2001 legislation granting that power--a power which was used by Bush in the indefinite, lawyerless detention of American citizen Jose Padilla.

"where's the progressive outrage against Obama for signing this one?"

There's plenty of it, if you're looking for it. There wasn't a question of whether he'd sign it, as there was already a veto-proof majority in the congress. By signing it, he had the opportunity to attach his signing statement. And as some commentators have noted, his statement would certainly be cited in any court challenge to a detention of a US citizen.

"Awlaki was a terrorist, so he has no legal protections? Well, aside from that being an argument the Bush/Cheney administration used to justify Gitmo and many of their other policies -- an argument denounced by liberals and progressives"

It's not the same argument, as Awlaki was essentially on the field of battle, unlike prisoners who are in our custody (many picked up on scant evidence). If it were possible to take Awlaki alive without significant risk, I would have wanted that. But he was in a hostile region of Yemen, with protection from local tribesmen. None of our American forces needed to risk death to bring this guy in alive. If we had already had him in custody (somehow), it would be a completely different story. In that case, he should receive nothing less than a proper trial.

"Obama also defied the War Powers Resolution"

Fair enough.

"The president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Perhaps he said that. However there is a well-recognized moral dilemma with such a position. Call it the "bystanders to genocide" problem: do we refuse to intervene when a mass slaughter is eminent? It's particularly hard to stomach this argument from Republicans (not you, but Republicans) who under Bush could not get three sentences out on Hussein without uttering the phrase "he killed his own people!" In 2011 the world found itself facing a situation in which Gaddafi was about to go Saddam Hussein on his own people, and had to decide whether to respond, or to say, "it's not in our national interest."

"Obama's Justice Department took the side of the wiretappers."

The DOJ has a responsibility to defend official government actions and positions. If you recall, the Obama administration raised quite a stir when it announced it wouldn't defend in court part of the DOMA. Failing to defend the government's side in court, regardless of whether the president agrees or disagrees, is a highly unusual move.

Now here I thought you were going to tell me you had evidence of Obama ordering more such wiretaps. But you're talking about a courtroom defense of past government actions, which the DOJ is traditionally obligated to do.

"Then-Senator Barack Obama, before adding $4 trillion dollars himself in half the time it took Bush to do so."

Are you seriously repeating this false talking point? I think it's kind of beneath you.
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