Republican Presidential Nomination

Presidential Arbitrary Power to Kill a Bipartisan Success

|

Glenn Greenwald at Salon notes that lefty-loosies Think Progress and tout le GOP presidential field (except, cough, Ron Paul) agree that it's great when Obama orders people killed for his own darn good reasons, thank you very much, and please don't ask any questions:

Prior to [last week's] GOP foreign policy debate, the Center for American Progress Action Fund's Think Progress blog…announced  that it had compiled a list of "what you won't hear at tonight's GOP foreign policy debate: Obama's successes." …many Democrats not only passively acquiesce to Obama's continuation of core Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, but enthusiastically cheer it as proof that they, too, can be Tough and Strong…. So here you have Think Progress heaping praise on Obama for seizing what is literally the most radical power a President can seize: the power to target — in total secrecy and with no checks or due process — their fellow citizens for execution…

But what's most notable here is how inaccurate TP's prediction was: it turned out to be completely wrong that the Awlaki assassination was something "you won't hear at tonight's GOP foreign policy debate." In fact, we heard a lot about it — from the GOP candidates who heaped as much praise on Obama as TP did for murdering this American citizen. Indeed, among the most vocal cheers of the night from the GOP South Carolina crowd — second only to its vocal swooning for the virtues of waterboarding — was when their right-wing candidates hailed Obama's decision to kill Awlaki.

Not, though, Ron Paul, who Greenwald ironically refers to, in deference to some standard proggy opinion, as crazy:

Ron Paul also objected to the killing under Obama not only of Awlaki, but, two weeks later, of Awlaki's 16-year-old son, also a U.S. citizen, and his 17-year-old cousin. Think Progress forgot to include those dead teenagers on its list of Obama's "foreign policy successes"…. But Ron Paul yet again showed how insane he is by pointing out that it's a bad thing — both morally and prudentially — for the U.S. Government to run around continuously killing Muslim children from the sky. All Sane and Serious People know that the President has the right and the duty to keep killing Muslim teeangers such as Awlaki's 16-year-old son; only crazies like Ron Paul object to such necessities.

But even the craziest and most radical policies are immediately removed from the realm of craziness as soon as the leadership of both political parties agree on them. As evidenced by Think Progress' listing of the Awlaki assassination as an Obama "success" — joined in that assessment by Bachmann, Gingrich and Romney — that is what Barack Obama has achieved for due-process-free presidential killings of our fellow citizens. 

Normalizing the worst of Bush's claims of presidential power? Yes, Obama can!

Advertisement

NEXT: Iowa GOP Poll Results: Front Runners For All!--Including Ron Paul

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The cognitive dissonance of leftards who still support Obama doing everything Bush did only harder is truly amazing.

    1. No it’s not, Hugh. Not at all. They’re partisans. They are utterly tribal sheep who do not even think for one second about their marching orders, do not question their positions because they have no positions. All that matters is the TEAM. Nothing else. Not integrity, not intellectual honesty, not hypocrisy, fuck, not even their own reputations.

      It is vile beyond belief, and it is also rampant. Politics have become sports, but there are only two major teams and the networks that show the games always present their side as winning and the other as demons.

      Partisans are fucking repulsive.

      1. Integrity and reputation are for narcissists. If you care about doing the most good, you pick one of the only two teams that can possibly win and influence it. That’s how it works in this country, like it or not. Everything else is masturbation.

        1. I didn’t give you permission to address me, sockpuppet.

        2. This December, find Integrity is For Narcissists on a bookshelf near you!

        3. tony,
          please explain when you became a supporter of keeping Gitmo open, continuing the rendition program, expanding our use of drones, signing off on additional military adventures (though bummer that at least one will mean a sharia state), etc. I’m guessing somewhere around Jan 20, 2009.

        4. Tony|11.15.11 @ 9:56PM|#
          “Integrity and reputation are for narcissists.”
          Shithead, that’s the reason you are despicable.

        5. Is this someone mocking and spoofing Tony? It sounds a bit over the top even for him.

      2. Politics have become sports, but there are only two major teams and the networks that show the games always present their side as winning and the other as demons.

        And sports teams don’t coerce anyone. Well, as long as they’re not stupid enough to go to the bathroom with them.

      3. Then explain how the partisans on both sides agree on this, huh?

    2. This is the reason I love Greenwald: I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues, but he’s merciless in rubbing movement Democrats’ noses in what they’ve decided to support, now that Team Blue is sitting in the Big Chair.

    3. I was talking with a Cannuck and explaining to him how Obama is loved for doing everything Bush was hated for. I went down the list: war, occupation, renditions, torture, bailouts, corporatism, etc. He then said “Well yeah, but he did get you guys health care! Bush never did that!”

      I weep for humanity

      1. You punched him in the neck at that point, right? I mean, it’s not like it’s going to cost him anything to get his collapsed trachea fixed.

      2. You don’t think it a problem that most of you consider healthcare reform to be the worst offense on that list?

        1. Tony|11.15.11 @ 9:55PM|#
          “You don’t think it a problem that most of you consider healthcare reform to be the worst offense on that list?”
          No, shithead. Only shitheads like you could consider Obamacare “reform”.

          1. Wherever there is a boot stomping on a human face, there will be a lefty explaining that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100% literacy.

    4. There’s nothing dissonant about it. First, you’re lying. He’s not as bad as Bush in any way regardless of nuances of national security policy that either could have exploited. I don’t trust anyone, not even the best president ever, with the powers that Bush and Cheney granted them.

      I almost always agree with Greenwald but can’t get over the fact that there’s going to be an R or a D in the oval office next so the only option we have is to prevent the one who’s going to destroy the country and not stop executive abuses in the process.

      1. He’s not as bad as Bush in any way regardless of nuances of national security policy that either could have exploited.
        ————————-
        really? How so? Let’s see, everything put in place by Bush – all those bad things candidate bitched about – are still in place and few others have been expanded. I wonder how loudly liberals would howled had Bush killed an American or used drones to bust up a wedding party or expanded executive power beyond previous levels. Tony, you are so transparent; too bad POTUS is not.

        1. In fact, Obama is in some ways worse. At least Bush got congressional approval.

      2. “He’s not as bad as Bush in any way regardless of nuances of national security policy that either could have exploited.”
        Shithead, that’s a flat out lie.

    5. Given that not one of them gave a crap about Clinton bombing Serbia, it was pretty obvious this is what would happen as soon as the President was a Democrat. Janeane “racism straight up” Garafalo literally said it wasn’t cool to protest Clinton so thats why she didn’t do it.

  2. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Firearms Technology Branch has deemed “Chore Boy copper cleaning pads, along with fiberglass insulation,” a firearm, subject to registration and a $200 transfer tax, an official letter obtained recently by Gun Rights Examiner reveals. The response to an attorney inquiry by John R. Spencer, Chief, Firearms Technology Branch, offers one of the more creatively restrictive assessments since ATF declared a shoestring to be a machinegun.”

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-ri…..a-firearms

    1. Imagine Hell itself, RoboCain. Now imagine the unimaginable nightmare that’s below Hell, and then the even worse one below the one below Hell. Below that is the ATF.

      1. That’s worse than Detroit!

        1. I’m not even going to go with the joke, dude. Detroit went from civilizational jewel to slum in the same century, and it’s fucking disgusting. Progressive ideas, eh?

          But you know what’s below the ATF?

          1. Rochester?

            1. I was thinking European Union, but yeah, Rochester’ll do.

    2. To be fair, this is a technically correct decision since silencer parts were redefined legally in 1986 to be treated the same as silencers themselves (silencers have been subject to registration and transfer tax since 1934).

  3. This man unilaterally ordered the assassination of two kids, and he’s still in office. Where’s an intention to impeach? Where’s a bipartisan call for the reintroduction of the electric chair for politicians convicted of serious crimes? Clinton was impeached for sticking his dick in the wrong woman.

    1. Actually he was impeached for lying but that is just as laughable considering the tradition of the office.

    2. I guess he needed to do away with his ‘Secret Muslim’ moniker. Personally, it makes me think of Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole and I think that was the connection in most people’s minds that connected Obama to Islam.

      Obama has clearly gone overboard on his ‘I-am-a-racist-Christian-instead’ PR campaign. It was clear to me the first time I heard him speak that he was a racist Christian. But, knowing my fellow citizens (the kind who vote W and O into office), I guess overkill is what makes the difference.

      1. “You are mocking me — I’ll find a few whites to kill to shut you up.”

        1. “It’s only a matter of time before I go ‘Kent-State’ on the OWS protestors — when it becomes an advantage to my 2012 campaign — I will prove I am the Public-Safety President.”

          1. Oh crap. That idea never even occurred to me but as soon as I read this post I realized it is entirely plausible.

            Thanks B-A B for bringing a cloud into my otherwise decent evening.

  4. “Normalizing the worst of Bush’s claims of presidential power? Yes, Obama can!”

    Obama isn’t some under-achiever, Brian. He’s not only normalized the Bushian destruction of civil liberties in the name of fighting Terror!(tm), he’s extended and built upon them. Bush merely claimed the ability to detain Americans indefinitely without trial or access or counsel by executive fiat, the pansy. Obama went for the whole magilla – the ability to kill American citizens without review or any due process – and, by gum, he got away with it!

    1. What does that tell me?

      Our great republic is no more. The moral integrity of American society has floundered. The titan of government will continue unabridged growth until it violently consumes everything and collapses when there is nothing left to feed the abomination it will have become.

      I know — I’LL MOVE TO, LIKE, CANADIA!!!!!

      1. Rather than going through all the trouble of packing, you could just stay put and change your handle to “Imperium Americanus”.

        Seriously, any day now Obama is going to declare that he has tribunicia potestas, and it’ll all be over.

        1. I think we will still have elections. I doubt he will declare a coupe.

          1. Coup? Who said anything about a coup? (Or a coupe, for that matter. I’m more of a sedan guy, myself).

            Don’t you want the consul to have the powers of a tribune? He’ll be better able to speak for the People then! It’ll also streamline decision-making, so Thomas Friedman will be all for it.

          2. He’ll probably declare a sedan instead, John, or maybe a cabriolet.

            1. Ha ha, I beat you in the race to make fun of John’s typo! How many points do I receive?

              1. You receive this.

                (gives NASCAR a charlie horse)

                1. You know, Episiarch, if you weren’t so mean, we’d already have achieved the dreamed of Libertarian Majority in this country (some terms and restrictions may apply, not valid in California).

                  Stop driving away the voters!!

                  1. You’re alllllllll RETARDED

                    1. Almanian, that was a pretty weird way to spell “extremely droll”.

                  2. It’s true; it is all my fault. I don’t deny it.

                    1. It’s always a retard. ALWAYS

                    2. Your brazen lack of shame has rendered me speechless. I must now resort to interpretive dance.

  5. Greenwald didn’t call Paul crazy; he said that was standard (and implied that it was wrong) progressive opinion of him. Greenwald is our ally frequently; don’t bash him.

    1. Yeah, that’s the way it seemed to me as well. Greenwald was mocking the fact that Paul is considered “insane” for not wanting to bomb teenagers, and mocking the conventional wisdom that says he should be. Which I liked.

      1. That is how I read it too. And I hate Greenwald. So if anyone was going to read it in a pejorative light, it was going to be me. And I didn’t see it that way at all.

      2. Of course he’s mocking movement liberals for calling Paul crazy while supporting Obama & Co. Greenwald is one of the most principled advocates for civil liberties I’ve ever encountered, and I respect him enormously.

        That said, his attempted use of irony is probably a mistake on the Internet. It would be hilarious how many people think he’s being serious on Twitter when he declares Ron Paul is crazy for opposing torture and the assassination without due process of citizens, except that those views are actually so much of a standard in the political discourse of this country that you typically should assume someone is serious when they express them. So, rather than being hilarious, it’s actually quite sad.

        1. Don’t forget that Greenwald is a hardcore socialist. He most certainly does think Paul is crazy regarding economic issues.

          So he might not be being as ironic as we think. He might be saying “only that nut who wants to get rid of the federal reserve realizes how bad this is.” and shaming the liberals for missing something even a nut like Ron Paul understands. Not sure which it is. But that is possible.

          1. It’s definitely sarcasm. Notice how he uses “Sane and Serious” people in a derogatory sense

          2. Sure, he’s a socialist. He’s also the most expressive advocate for civil liberties I’ve ever read. I love the guy to death, even if he’s dead wrong on about 60% of the issues.

            I’d certainly vote for him over Romney in a hypothetical match-up.

            1. He is right about a lot of civil liberties issues. But he is so wildly dishonest when he writes about anything else, I really don’t care what he says civil liberties. And also last I look property rights were civil liberties too. And Greenwald isn’t too expressive when it comes to those.

              1. Dishonest how? Wrong, yes. Even stupid sometimes. But I don’t get “dishonest”??

                And he’s also right on foreign policy, though I doubt you’d agree

                1. And he’s also right on foreign policy

                  No he isn’t. He actually believes jihadists hate America for the foreign policy. You may as well believe in the earth-centric universe at this point in history.

                  1. They do, Cyto. Al Qaeda isn’t out to make you and me into good Muslims. They are out to rid the Middle East of Western influence (domination as they see it), eradicate Israel, and establish Islamic Law in their countries.

                    Denying that makes YOU a Flat Earther or Earth-centrist, not the people who actually research this shit.

                  2. Hardcore jihadists hate America for being America, that is true.

                    But hardcore jihadists comprise a tiny percentage of the Muslim population and would be powerless to do anything to us if it weren’t for the much larger number of people with grudges against our policies supporting them.

              2. Yes, but that puts him in an excellent position to lecture the regressives on their drooling sycophancy and rightly rip them a new one on their flaming fucking partisan hypocrisy. He’s one of them, so maybe, just maybe they’ll stop the Park Putsch long enough to listen for a change.

                Of course, he dared question the greatness of Beloved Leader, so GET HIM!

    2. Jeeze, folks:
      “Not, though, Ron Paul, who Greenwald *IRONICALLY* refers to, in deference to some standard proggy opinion, as crazy:”
      Note “Ironically”.

    3. I think you misread Doherty, Paul. He knows Greenwald is being “ironical”

      1. That’s how I read it too.

  6. You guys are fucking retarded.

  7. Also, Paulie Krugnuts gets called out by a Brit, who gives him a wedgie, but stops short of calling him a “retard”.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n…..in-flames/

    1. That picture of Krugnutz is as classic as the hello kitty picture of Krugnutz.

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n…..008498c-2/

      Oh, Reason, you simply must use it for future put downs of the Nobel laureate.

    2. Some of the responses are unfuckingreal:

      You sir have completely misunderstood (or misrepresented) Krugmans argument. Krugman has, in no way, claimed that having a larger welfare state HELPS in this global ressesion. He is claiming that it has NO impact. Sweden, although having a relatively free market, still spends an absolutely massive amount on social programs (which has nothing to do with how free your market is). He says the correlation goes the other way simply to refute the claim that social expenditure caused this crisis, not to claim that it helps. Paul does not support socialism or even a large welfare state, He supports the free market and has stated he believes some countries (like france) give benifits too generously. Paul krugman’s argument during this recession is to TEMPORARILY increase government spending by running a deficit and facts support him. Austerity has clearly negative effects, and increased spending during this recession has not significantly increase long term interest rates. These are facts, and some of your people are crossing to the other side: http://www.frumforum.com

      There. has. been. no. austerity. in the. United states. for. either. Krugman. nor. Frum. to. make. a. claim. against.

      1. Damn. Trying not to slur so much after ProL pointed it out. Can’t help it!

  8. All Sane and Serious People know that the President has the right and the duty to keep killing Muslim teenagers

    Only assholes with weak arguments like Greenwald need to emotionally blackmail their opponents right off the bat.

    1. All Sane and Serious People know that the President has the right and the duty to keep killing Muslim teenagers

      If the President does it to Guile’s theme music, then I’m more than OK with it.

    2. How is Greenwald’s argument weak? It seems rather a logical position to oppose the killing of teenaged U.S. citizens without due process.

  9. Unfortunately, I predicted this at least as far back as 2007. I said that the inevitable result of Obama’s “let’s close Gitmo” rhetoric without a detailed enough plan was going to be killing people without trial, since no one objected to the killing (or rendition, really), just the bad press (and that it was a Republican doing it.) I am utterly unsurprised that President Obama has done this. I reluctantly supported Gitmo as better than the likely alternatives of rendition or killing or just keeping things off the front pages. Gitmo at least provides transparency.

    1. If by “Gitmo at least provides transparency” you mean, “yeah, we know the government is doing unconstitutional shit, so it’s OK — it’s when they try to hide the bad shit that it becomes wrong”, then sure. Great argument.

      /sarcasm

  10. But even the craziest and most radical policies are immediately removed from the realm of craziness as soon as the leadership of both political parties agree on them.

    Bipartisanship: The political equivalent of surprise double penetration.

    1. The homage to bipartisanship is one of the more destructive trends in American politics.

  11. Hi Everyone,

    The RNC has been complicit in the marginalization of Dr. Paul, as well as the media blackout. We all know this. I have set up a little website to bring attention to this fact and to help Dr. Paul. It is not the kind of thing he would do (in fact he couldn’t even acknowledge it without being summarily expelled from the GOP), but it IS the kind of thing I would do, ESPECIALLY after the last debate where Dr. Paul got a whole 90 seconds to speak. This must stop and by God it WILL stop, and YOU’RE going to help me stop it!

    Go to http://RonPaulPromise.com and sign up please, and spread the word. I set up the site myself it has no ads and no profit, just a labor of love in defense of Dr. Paul.

    1. Stop calling him Dr. Paul. It makes you sounds like a sycophant.

      1. Only sycophants call physicians “Doctor”?

      2. Barack Hussein Obama

        Hm, hm, hm

        He came, he saw, he conquered

  12. Here is a good post about why killing Awlaki was righteous and the process leading up to it less so.

    http://jimwoods.thinkertothink…..n-traitor/

    1. That reads a lot like a dumb person trying to sound like what he thinks a smart person sounds like. Also I don’t think Ron Paul is aphasic.

      Regardless of that, however, I’m convinced. Terrorists don’t deserve due process. Neither do murders, or rapists, or car thieves, burglars, embezzlers, frauds, jaywalkers, or people who don’t pick up after their dogs. Obama should just drone the shit out of all of them.

      After all, if they hadn’t done anything wrong, they wouldn’t be suspects, amirite?

    2. So killing one raghead who made some crappy youtube videos (and that’s ALL I’m willing to grant that he did, since apparently the case against him wasn’t even good enough for an indictment) is worth sacrificing the 5th amendment?

    3. Some people trust the government to kill the right peopl, so long as they assure us that they are guilty of something. If you’ve got such a hard on for authority, I think you’re at the wrong website.

  13. Look Tim,

    how can Obama accomplish his goal of being The Worst President Ever if he starts behaving sensibly and fires Tim. Lyndon Johnson is right there with his 56,000 war dead and the ruins of his Great Society legacy smoldering around us just mocking Obama’s efforts.

  14. ThinkProgress and the rest of the libtard blogs only care about giving their guys praise and tearing down Republicans. That is their only guide in foreign affairs.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.