Friday, July 6, 2012

Obama: "Betting On America"? or "Betting On Drones"?

Barack Obama has our number. He's figured out how to pander to the worse part of our nature, whether it's a matter of economics or national security.

As the Obama 2012 campaign winds its way through Ohio and Western Pennsylvania today and tomorrow, it travels under the banner of "Betting On America." On the topic of the economy and jobs, Obama knows exactly how to push the buttons of people in the Rust Belt: according to coverage in the New York Times, Obama is setting China up as the fall guy for his "us against them" election year drama.

Unfortunately, when you are addressing people who are going through a complex and painful economic transition, it is the easiest thing in the world to set up a foreign country as the enemy and make them a scapegoat. A part of every person's nature -- the darker part -- is willing to seize at the simple solution and blame someone else, especially someone who looks and sounds different than us.

The unexpressed but always present second banner of the Obama 2012 re-election campaign is "Betting On Drones." As was clearly demonstrated by the Obama administration's orchestration of the New York Times story on the "secret kill list" last month, Obama has similarly set up the rule of law as the second election year fall guy. Obama has figured out that, in some kind of creepy way, the American public likes the drone killings.

You may find it distasteful to acknowledge that approval of the drone killings reveals another dark aspect of American people's nature. But let's be honest: how else to explain the lack of dissent from the general public against Obama's program of assassinations?

In a sad footnote to the drones trend, there are significant business and career interests in the growth of the drone industry, which muddy the waters over the desirability of drone use even more than would otherwise be the case. We are seeing greater and greater exposure of these economic interests every day.

However, I think the business of drones is just a footnote to the main event: namely, the use by the Executive of the instruments that most effectively reinforce his exercise of absolute power. (As such, drones are just the latest, greatest tool in the exercise of permawar.)

So: ask not who the culprits are that bear responsibility for the success of Obama's bet on drones; the culprits ... are us ....

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Image from The Washington Post