09 July 2012


The long Esquire article The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama is an important piece of journalism. It's written as a letter to the President.

This is not to say that the American people don't know about the Lethal Presidency, and that they don't support its aims. They do. They know about the killing because you have celebrated — with appropriate sobriety — the most notable kills, specifically those of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki; they support it because you have asked for their trust as a good and honorable man surrounded by good and honorable men and women and they have given it to you. In so doing, you have changed a technological capability into a moral imperative and have convinced your countrymen to see the necessity without seeing the downside. Politically, there is no downside. Historically, there is only the irony of the upside — that you, of all presidents, have become the lethal one; that you, of all people, have turned out to be a man of proven integrity whose foreign and domestic policies are less popular than your proven willingness to kill, in defense of your country, even your own countrymen ... indeed, to kill even a sixteen-year-old American boy accused of no crime at all.

I'll say it again: when Obama was elected I was prepared to be disappointed but I was not prepared to be horrified. Yet here we are.


Al said...

Remind me again, whom do we ethically vote for this Fall?

Jonathan Korman said...

We still vote for Obama because of Supreme Court appointments. But we don't party like the last time if he wins.

Al said...

Unless he closes Gitmo and ends some of the other Bush era stuff, I can't really vote for him.

Jonathan Korman said...

I respect that.

But given the indications of how beholden Romney would end up being to the Republican base, I'm prepared to hold my nose and vote for the lesser evil.

Al said...

And next election, we'll have the same conversation.

The one after that? Yep.

After that? Probably.

Voting for the lesser of two evils means that the Democrats always know, no matter what, that they have your vote and can do whatever they want and never fulfill any promises or fix things because, after all, you'll never vote Republican and nothing else matters.

I don't have a solution but I know that sure isn't one.

Jonathan Korman said...


Any solution needs to not include letting Republicans win. Because the Democratic Party definitely seems to learn the wrong lesson from that one.

Doug Voluntaryist said...

I don't think it matters too much who is occupying the Oval Office. It's the head of a murderous organization--the US government. That nature isn't going to change with something as superficial as an election.