Barack Obama

Obama's Empty Rhetoric


Like the "War on Drugs," a rhetorical phrase that the Obama administration has rejected even while continuing to wage the policy it describes, many ongoing activities of the government he presides over came under verbal attack from President Barack Obama this afternoon.

So the president says "journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs," even though journalists are at legal risk—from his administration—for doing their jobs. "History will cast a harsh judgment" on the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, the president warned, even though (in the words of Human Rights Watch's Laura Pitter) "there are still a number of steps the Obama administration could have taken—and can still take now—to begin closing the facility and ending indefinite detention without trial."

Obama worries, rightly, that "in the absence of a strategy that reduces the well-spring of extremism, a perpetual war – through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments – will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways." And yet at perpetual war we remain, altering our way of life by the day. "The very precision of drones strikes, and the necessary secrecy involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites." And yet we drone on, boats against the current of international opinion, borne ceaselessly back to the awesome responsibility of wielding lethal power.

There was much to like in Obama's speech today if you like words, and share the broad worries he outlined above. And it is surely true that changing policy becomes easier after you make public arguments about changing policy. But the fact is Barack Obama is the president of the United States, and according to both the Constitution and especially the way executive power has accrued over the past century, Obama actually has quite a bit of latitude to impose his values on the waging of American war. After 52 months in office, it's long since past time to stop judging the man by his words alone.

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  1. hey….uh……..he’s, um……not wearing any clothes either.

    1. Do NOT make fun of Emperor Obamanator, or the Intergalactic Legions will GET you, I promise! We must all learn to LOVE Government Almighty! It is the ONLY Way! Scienfoology knows all, sees all? Just like Government Almighty! To learn more about Scienfoology and us Enlightened Scienfoologists, see .

    2. like Ray implied I am startled that some people able to earn $4869 in four weeks on the computer. have you seen this web site…

  2. After 52 months in office, it’s long since past time to stop judging the man by his words alone.

    But can we still judge him on his feelings? Because he’s SOOO good at that!

    1. I just worry that these scandals are going to adversely affect his golf game.

      1. I don’t know, his opponents will continue to throw the rounds….

    2. What else is he but words?

  3. Yeah, but I trust him.

    Who cares about results when you can have a vague feeling of having done something worthwhile? I sure don’t.

    1. Live every day as if there will be no tomorrow.

  4. “”History will cast a harsh judgment” on the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, the president warned,”

    And no one stood up and walked out?
    How unaware do you have to be to make this statement while *you* are the one keeping it open?
    Or maybe this is one of Obozo’s ‘leetle jokes’?

    1. Yeah, the cognitive dissonance on that one reaches truly bizarro proportions.

    2. Obama has a way of talkng about the rest of the human race as if he is a detached omnipotent being – while all powerful is somehow not responsible. It’s an amazing fucking magic trick that mesmerizes the prols.

    3. The joke used to be that Bush (W) was a puppet, and that he was basically told what to say by Dick Cheney and a shady pack of neocons. Well, I’m not saying Obama’s a stuffed shirt thrown up by the Progressive wing of the Democratic party as little more than a mouthpiece, but…well…maybe I am. Just a little bit.

      It makes me a little less furious at the guy if I can just pretend that he’s making these speeches because he didn’t get the memos in time.

    4. Don’t worry: the Fuhrer will fulfill his campaign promise to close Guantanamo when the prisoners there have all starved themselves to death in their hunger strike.

  5. He could be standing over three dead children that have been stabbed with a bloody knife and it would be the Republican’s fault and the left will continue to worship the ground he walks on.

    1. If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit!

    2. Talking about Obama’s cold-blooded murder of three children distracts us from the real issue: what are Republicans doing to ensure that those children are being fed enough nutrients to ward off would-be attackers and progress in life?

      Harping on specific alleged “crimes” of those who who, like Obama, are only peripherally connected to the Obama administration is just partisan grandstanding.

      1. Why didn’t the Republicans arm those children with the guns the Republicans love so much? Or pray to their god for intervention? It’s because the Republicans hated those children. It’s their fault.

        1. Obama was doing these children a favor by freeing them from a world where Republicans might reduce funding for food stamps by 2 million.

          1. The kids were homeschooled.

            1. So they deserved it! Wearing those shorts so tight…

      2. History will also judge harshly the criminal, murderous drone assassinations carried out by the USA……..

        But NOT the ones carried out by Senior War Criminal Obama……..

        Says Obama.

    3. The knife is racist.

    4. So what’s your solution, Rethuglican! Arm all children with howitzer assault weapon artillery rifle things?? Bush started all this when he and his Repugnican Congress blocked anti-knife legislation!! Repugs don’t care about children, they just do what the Big Knife lobby tells them to do!

      /WaPo forums

      1. If a small child had a remote-control for a boom-boom planted at Chief Golfer’s House and Fearless Leader was about to launch a killer-drone attack on that child’s house and family, what should the child do?

  6. There was much to like in Obama’s speech today if you like words, and share the broad worries he outlined above.

    IOW if you’re an Obama-fluffing prog-tard douche pining for a world that works like an Aaron Sorkin movie? IOW Ezra Klein?

  7. SHhhhh.

    Stop talking Welch. All this talking is preventing you from listening to your President. He is speaking, and you need to be quiet. The man has glorious intentions, but you wont let him speak.

    Can you let the man finish (his presidency) before you pass judgement?

    1. Part of free speech is you listening.

      1. It’s “free” speech in that Obama is not charging you for listening to his words, which are more epic and moving than God’s words to Moses.

      2. No, part of free speech is you listening.

        The President doesn’t need to listen to anyone he’s the President. You need to be listening to him.

        1. To paraphrase the wise oligarchess Nancy Pelosi: He’s a fucking visionary!

          1. Listen, Oprah was right: He is The One.

            So anything bad that has happened, that’s only because of the setbacks we’ve experienced due to this Nation’s Internal Enemies.

            The One wasn’t able to end the drone war because of the Evil done by Republicans and their KKKorporate Interest Puppet Masters.

            What The One has shown us is that in order to accomplish all of His Goals we must first defeat these awful Evil people. Only then we’ll we be able to live in the Progressive Paradise he has envisioned for Us.

            1. Nation’s Internal Enemies. I believe they are properly referred to as “Wreckers”.

      3. Listen and praise or off to the “Shelter-in-place Gulags”. For your own protection, of course.

    2. You might learn something, Welch.

  8. This is amazing, he’s really going for broke by trying to bring back hope and change as a SECOND TERM president.

    And it might actually work!

    1. Just so long as he undoes the damage of the incumbent.

      1. That is truly comical, PL. I actually did LOL.

    2. 4 more years!

  9. Each Presidential candidate should be required to post a personal bond equal to 110% of his personal net worth. The bond would be held against accomplishment of at least 66% of campaign promises (which would be specifically enumerated and displayed on ballots) within his first term. If, by the time the President reaches 40 months in office, they have not been achieved, the President should forfeit the bond and be ineligible to run for reelection.

    1. No, no, no. Did you ever see the beginning of The Running Man? With the collars?

    2. Yeah, so RethugliKKKans can take a black man’s money by stopping everything with their obtruKKKtionism.

      Gimme a break.

      1. You mean taxes. Because he’s been a public employee for all of his professional life. So he uh… stole it?

  10. There was much to like in Obama’s speech today if you like words, and share the broad worries he outlined above.

    The speech was the policy accomplishment. There is no more.

      1. We’ll always have cake. But no pie.

  11. Let me be clear.

  12. Where’s Al Franken when we need him to tell us all about politicians who are lying liars?

    1. Funny Al is under the dais on his knees…..catching the ejaculate as the President announces another drone strike that killed pre-teen terrorists in the mountains of Pakistan.

  13. Our own Hazel Meade’s excellent comment regarding healthcare, featured on Marginal revolution:

    The banning of catastrophic-only plans infuriates me the most. Those are the only plans that are actually financially sensible for a healthy individual to purchase. Everything else on the market is a perverse by-product of the employer-based insurance system.

    Worst case scenario with a catastrophic-only plan is you end up with $10,000 in debt. That’s a debt load many times smaller than what the Federal government thinks students should take out to get a college degree. We’ll let you borrow $100,000 to get a sociology degree but, we think that $10,000 is an unconscionable amount to pay for medical expenses? So unconscionable that we have to FORCE YOU to buy a plan with more extensive coverage?

    Of course, we all know the real reason for this. it’s meant to force healthy young people to subsidize healthcare for older sicker people. Just force them to pay more for insurance than they ought to, and force them to buy more extensive coverage than is rational.

  14. The President is a lying two-faced scumbag. And a politician.

    news at 11.

  15. I saw all I needed to know about this guy during the first debate against Romney. To me, that wasn’t the exception but the rule. I believe he’s that indifferent and aloof.

    As my liberal friend from Bah-ston said, who until now pretty much defended Obama, “there’s no there-there” at the moment.

    The country is rudderless.

    1. HA! I wish, pretty sure they have a big fat rudder and we’re aimed further up s**t creek.

  16. “The very precision of drones strikes, and the necessary secrecy involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites.”

    No fucking way! I’m sure it’d help if he had some media types on their side, as well. In fact, this all seems oh so familiar.

  17. Barack Obama, spawn of George W Bush.

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  19. President Obama’s recent speech on balancing security and liberty– and his emphasis on closing Guant?namo while repealing his war authority, is a game-changing opportunity to finally prevent our civil liberties and values from being undermined in the global war on terror.

    And although he let through some new rays of truth on the government’s unlawful targeted killing program, we’re stilling waiting to hear more and hoping that he changes his tune on this secretive initiative– responsible for thousands of deaths far from any battlefield and the targeting of a 16 year-old American boy without any judicial oversight.

    We must act now to tell the president: publicly recommit to the rule of law and put an end to the unlawful targeted killing program.…..ing_130524

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