On a regular basis, Attytood has taken President Obama to task for his drone warfare policies in South Asia that have killed scores of innocent civilians and in all likelihood inspired a new generation of anti-Americanism abroad. Should that be grounds for denying the president a second term? Well, there'd have to be a better, viable alternative.
In one of his first acts, President Obama issued an executive order restricting interrogators to a list of nonabusive tactics approved in the Army Field Manual. Even as he embraced a hawkish approach to other counterterrorism issues — like drone strikes, military commissions, indefinite detention and the Patriot Act — Mr. Obama has stuck to that strict no-torture policy.
By contrast, Mr. Romney’s advisers have privately urged him to “rescind and replace President Obama’s executive order” and permit secret “enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives,” according to an internal Romney campaign memorandum.
While the memo is a policy proposal drafted by Mr. Romney’s advisers in September 2011 — not a final decision by him — its detailed analysis dovetails with his rare and limited public comments about interrogation.
“We’ll use enhanced interrogation techniques which go beyond those that are in the military handbook right now,” he said at a news conference in Charleston, S.C., in December.
Seriously, what planet are these people living on? Is Romney that desperate to differentiate himself from Obama on any issue that he's willing to bring back the worst and most unlawful policies of the Cheney-Bush years, the ones that harmed America by damaging our reputation around the globe. Simply put, with Romney we'd keep the civil and human rights abuse that have continued under Obama and also bring back the ones that were even worse. No thank you.
Look, if this were 2000 and it looked like what we foolishly throught it looked like at this time 12 years ago -- that the candidates appeared to be Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, Gush amd Bore, when in reality the candidates were onlp pretending (for wildly different reasons) to be centrists, then I'd probably be saying some crazy (bleep) like vote for the Green Party. But it's 2012 and the world knows better. We know that as bad as the Democrats have been in some ways -- too often in bed with Wall Street, too prone to reckless military adventurism to prove they're not "soft" -- the Republican Party of the last dozen years has shown itself to be 100 times worse, as today's scoop by Charlie Savage in the New York Times shows yet again. The modern GOP has proved -- again and again and again and again -- that it cannot be trusted with the keys of government.
So what's the answer? It's obvious. President Obama said it the other day. Washington can only be changed from the outside. We know the Republican Party would destroy America -- they've even told us exactly how they would do it. The current Democratic Party in Washington is a sorry lot of wusses and cowards -- but at least we can pressure them to do the right thing.
Stop the drone strikes and end the war in Afghanistan as soon as safely possible. Close Gitmo. Guarantee the right to vote -- again. Bring back Glass-Steagall and put the Wall Street crooks in jail. Get the corporate money out of politics. Regulate fracking and focus on renewable energy. Obama and other top Democrats have supported most of these things at various times in their flip-flopping careers, but they won't actually happen without non-stop pressure from the too-silent majority -- without marches and letters and phone calls and protests and...well, getting up in their face every day.
And a government that's just barely sane enough to listern to the American people.