Tag Archives: Obama

2016 Democratic presidential strategy note

I wrote this post months ago, but it’s now actually 2016—the 2016 presidential election is only 10 months away—so I’ll finally give up my conscientious objection to obsessing over presidential politics for this cycle.

I’m also going to address “strategic voting,” another object of distaste. Specifically, I want to address other prospective Democratic Party primary voters, many of whom will be voting before I do.

For those who actually want to see Hillary Clinton president, there may not be much I can say. If you really want, in the words of Conor Friedersdorf, “a Patriot Act-supporting, mass-surveillance-enabling hawk who opposed gay marriage throughout the years when it mattered most, still favors the death penalty, and would re-enter the White House having cozied up particularly close to Big Finance,” then we may just be too far apart for meaningful discussion.

Perhaps I’ll try anyway, later, but for now I want to address those who are less eager for such a candidacy, but worry about “electability.” Particularly when it comes to the leading alternative, Bernie Sanders. I know from anecdotal experience as well as independent reports that a number of fellow Democrats worry, in spite of their personal preferences, that he would be too “fringe” for the general electorate and that it would be better to settle for the “safe choice” of Hillary Clinton. For these persons, a couple of reminders.

n.b. I happen to favor Mr. Sanders’s campaign, myself, so I’m not simply speculating on “the political strategy machinations” or concern-trolling.

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Sanctimonious hypocrite in chief

“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” President Barack Obama declares on Friday. He is tired of the empty ritual of being consoler-in-chief after one mass shooting after another. It is not enough to express sympathies and bemoan as “tragic accidents” what are, in fact, the consistent outcome of intentional policy. That was yesterday.

Today, a Doctors Without Borders hospital is blown up in Afghanistan, with no one really suggesting any explanation besides U.S. airstrikes. Which are an entirely plausible explanation, as American bombs and missiles murdering people for no other reason than their being in the way is not unusual. It is, indeed, the consistent outcome of intentional policy.

The comment of the U.S. Embassy, which reports to President Barack Obama? “Doctors Without Borders performs terrific work throughout the world, including Afghanistan, and our thoughts and prayers are with their team at this difficult moment.”

The comment of U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who reports to President Barack Obama? “While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.”

It would almost be funny if it weren’t sickening and plain evil.