Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
¶ Link: The Atlantic - Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama
I don't see how anyone who confronts Obama's record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I'd have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.
How are you going to vilify Romney as a heartless plutocrat unfit for the presidency, and then enthusiastically recommend a guy who held Bradley Manning in solitary and killed a 16-year-old American kid? If you're a utilitarian who plans to vote for Obama, better to mournfully acknowledge that you regard him as the lesser of two evils, with all that phrase denotes.
Unlike the author, I don't think Gary Johnson is for me either. But I can definitely get behind the disgust with the President's record on civil liberties and America's own robotic terror campaign.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Quote: Nate Silver
Of course, if Mr. Obama led in the race by 30 percentage points — as Lyndon B. Johnson did in 1964 — there wouldn’t be much need for such detailed analysis, and FiveThirtyEight might be free to blog about the baseball playoffs.”
Monday, September 10th, 2012
¶ Link: The Atlantic: An Intra-Left Debate
But even if we granted that Obama is the most progressive domestic policy president since FDR, Professor Dyson is demonstrably wrong when he replies to Ford's critique by saying, in effect, no one better could get elected on the issues you mention. On the national security and civil liberties, candidate Barack Obama was better, running far to President Obama's left, and he got elected!
"I'm saying that with Romney in the White House, even Dr. Dyson and others, many others, would join in the resistance to austerity, the resistance to war. Apparently, they cannot muster the energy to do that under a Democratic president, under the first black president. It's their behavior that does in fact facilitate these austerity assaults and these war--this warmongering, because they don't resist it, and they accept it as something that is a fait accompli, that is an inevitability."
By celebrating President Obama's domestic record, table-pounding about his killing of Osama bin Laden, and ignoring huge aspects of his tenure, look what's forgotten: the innocents killed by his policies abroad, the American citizens who were extra-judicially assassinated, the reckless precedent for secret killing, the warrantless spying, the ethnic profiling, the drone war, the violation of the war powers resolution, the war on whistleblowers, and the war on drugs, for starters.
Apologies for all of the quoting; but over the past few years, I've grown increasingly uncomfortable both with the President's worst policies and with the left's lack of criticism over it.
It seems like all of this should be on the table for this election, but the Republicans have nominated such an incredibly awful ticket that progressives probably feel that offering any reason to not re-elect the President would be irresponsible.
But that doesn't really explain the last three years when the election wasn't necessarily on the table.