The Times’ piece on the drone assassination program reveals depressing and all too predictably sordid details about the routinization of murder 2009-2012. We also see another glimpse of Obama the political actor.
Sure, he’s exposed (again) as politically expedient, hiding his actual intent and practice behind empty rhetoric. He thinks he’s clever enough to fool us (the rubes) with vague slogans and govern otherwise. We’ve all known that about him. If you read this blog, since 2007 in fact.
We once again see Obama needing to be ‘the decider’. He alone will sign off on specific assassinations (‘that was an easy one’). Most world leaders work hard not to have their finger prints on murder. Obama’s compulsions ensure the paper trail leads to the Oval Office. Perhaps we will be told Obama nobly sacrificed his ethics, values and country’s moral compass to forestall a coup by the military-intelligence-contractor complex.
The Times casually notes Obama prefers controlling bureaucratic process to working with Congress and passing legislation. He’s not unique; many presidents find Commander in Chief duties more enjoyable for that reason. Obama’s fixation on laborious (dubiously useful) arms control conversations with Medvedev another case in point.
Nonetheless, Obama’s abdication of the presidency as a political responsibility is unusual. He seems to have two preferred roles: campaign rhetoric guy and the decider. His post-partisan conceit lacks room to be leader of a political party or architect of domestic agendas. Thus he really couldn’t be bothered to respond to the Tea Party’s rise in 2009-10 or care if he lost the House. How ironic that the most ‘socially networked’ presidency in fact eschews political engagement when it matters.
No enrolling domestic vision or transformative legislation is ever achieved by Obama’s ‘decider’ model. Politics is people and people don’t usually cotton to someone insisting they’re always the final (and smarter) arbiter. Politics in the end is not about detached judging of others. The truth is out there for Obama to see. How many genuine friends and full throated supporters does he have now at his side?
He asks for four more years to decide things for us. Four more years of condescension. Four more years of palsied politics and empty rhetoric. Unanswered by the Times piece – where does Obama think he will take targeted assassination in four years? And when will it all come home to roost?