Yes, Obama is a war criminal and an assassin, but I can only assume from the “lesser evil” logic of the opening paragraph that the author voted for and supported the Obama candidacy in the last election (instead of a third party candidacy such as that of Jill Stein), which undermines the rest of this article. The need to begin the article with an entire paragraph of defense and justification for Obama’s election illustrates the quandary that the Obama supporters have always placed themselves in. It’s nice that, now that he is about to begin his second term, the supposedly progressive Obama apologists have found it in their hearts to criticize him for his attacks on progressive values, but these actions by Obama come as absolutely no surprise, and the silence by Obama supporters about these sorts of issues during the presidential campaign and their general willingness to look the other way over the last four years suggests that these complaints now are too little, too late. The Obama voters got exactly what they voted for when they chose the contorted logic of lesser evilism in the 2012 election, and they have no leg to stand on if they suddenly come whining about all the bad things that they knew damn well he would be up to if he were re-elected.
Posted by mikesoul on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:47 AM
I vividly remember my high hopes for the Obama administration, from early November 2008. There was a real possibility that some measure of integrity and justice could be restored to our nation. From the following February to this moment, nothing could be more stark of a disappointment. Even when he mouths the words progressives want to hear he distorts and twists his lies to a terrible effect. The corruption I had thought might diminish has seeped into the cornerstones our government. He himself strikes hardest at the foundation on our democracy. This infection rots the bones of our society, and it’s spreading. His lies carry it’s poison. This man is to blame, not his office.
Posted by Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Bravo to In These Times for writing on this issue and calling Obama out for his illegal drone war. What he’s doing is devastating families, communities, not to mention killing innocent lives. If W. were president acting in this way, liberals would be going batshit crazy, crying, marching, clawing at their faces. Obama is a chilling man. And he’s just nominated the architect of his drone war…to the head of the CIA.
Posted by Louis on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:55 PM
What did you expect when you voted for this evil man? He has been the least transparent president ever, has broken so many promises, killed innocent children, and now speaks as if he were king of America because he got re-elected. Everyone who voted for this president should be ashamed of themselves.
Posted by WWIII on Jan 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM
WAR is HELL…..and I hope it always in. . .
>>. . AHhh,
Yes…nothing like it - a sanitized WAR…...sit back and shoot
rockets….very little of that old fashioned dirty war - blood-shed - maiming -
boots on the ground - - fact to face killing.
No, No, No,,, none of the eye to eye combat - - don’t
fire till you see the whites of their eyes….CLEAN - - - SWIFT - -
E A S Y .......
BUT, Then we use DRONES ....no boots on the ground - - no flag draped coffins…..no
grieving at the cemeteries…. ( I almost want to point out the money we save
. . . sound cold ??? sound crazy ?? GOD FORBID a clean war….when we kill without even thinking of the consequences
. . Are we - as a people failures - as humans - that all we ca do is kill…....no longer able to reaason ??? pitting one against another as dogs ???
Is there a contest - - SOUND SICK - - WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST ????
Posted by William Bednarz on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:37 AM
You can decry the evils of “lesser evilism” all you want, but the reality remains that in November’s election, one of two men would be elected President. Those of us Democrats who object to the President’s use of drones and targeted killing policy—as I did and do—could have chosen to take a principled stand against his election and abstained from voting or voted for a third-party candidate, and the ONLY result would have been to ensure a Romney presidency.
So unless you are trying to make the case that a Romney presidency would have been substantially different or better on this score—and I don’t recall Romney objecting to the use of drones during the campaign—then your comment above amounts to little more than a self-righteous, moralistic rant against people who saw things differently from the way you see them. Would I have preferred a candidate possessed of greater moral clarity on this front? Of course I would have. Hell, I would have preferred a real Democrat as opposed to the liberal Republican that Obama really is. But, to paraphrase a rather infamous source, you go into elections with the choices you have, not the choices you would like to have.
Posted by markpkessinger on Feb 6, 2013 at 8:44 PM
If we have a political system that gives us a “choice” like that, then the problem is with our political system. If your conscience is not troubled by voting for a war criminal and an assassin, then more power to you, but I chose not to vote for evil. Even aside from the morality of supporting evil in an election, lesser evilism has proven to be a tactical one as well as a moral failure, since it has only succeeded in pushing both political parties further to the right over the last 40 years to the point where Obama is to the right of Richard Nixon. So from a purely pragmatic point of view—never mind the “self-righteous moralism” that you accuse me of—lesser evilism has proven to be utterly counterproductive. And Obama has succeeded in pushing the political center rightward because his liberal enablers have been looking the other way and making excuses for him. When Obama ends up making cuts to social security, as he is likely to do, his liberal enablers will grumble but let him get away with it in a way that they never would have if Romney had been elected President. The power of the Democratic Party to co-opt and tame progressive movements by rendering them powerless, as Obama has done, for example with the civil liberties issues when he adopted and expanded on Bush’s vile policies regarding the “war on terror” (the 2012 Dem platform on civil liberties and the war on terror was an almost 180 degree flip from the 2008 platform, and his liberal apologists all cheered Obama anyway and looked the other way at these issues), shows where lesser evilism is truly insidious. The antiwar movement largely dried up when Obama got elected—funny how that works. It is important to understand the dynamic at work here, how an Obama can utilize partisan politics to kill progressive movements, to see why voting for and supporting an Obama is so counter-productive to progressivism.
Real social change comes from below, from mass movements that pressure politicians into making changes, just as FDR, who was elected on an austerity platform in 1932, did a 180 degree flip and provided the New Deal precisely because he was pressured into it by leftist movements like socialists and communists, and the growth of the labor movement and the CIO.
The point is that when you support evil, you get evil. Looking outside the box and refusing to buy into a corrupt system is where real social change comes from. You actually aren’t stuck with the choices that the corporate ruling class and its two parties—the Democrats and the Republicans—give us. You have the option of changing the world, but that won’t happen as long as you act as an enabler for war criminals, assassins, corporate panderers, warmongers, and imperialists—i.e., the Barack Obamas of the world.
As far as I am concerned, no one who voted for 2012 has a leg to stand on when they complain about Obama doing the very things that we all knew he would do. Obama voters got exactly what they voted for. I hate to say “I told you so”, but, well, there you have it—I told you so.
Posted by mikesoul on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:36 PM