The next three weeks, in honor of the upcoming US Presidential election, I will be running special editions of the Weekly Link Roundup featuring articles about the election. By a coin flip, it was determined that the first in this three-part series is about the Obama/Biden ticket, the second will be about Romney/Ryan ticket, and the third part will be more generic articles pertaining to economics and politics.
Some articles will be critical of the candidates and some will be friendly, but I’ve taken the time to ensure some balance and diversity of sources. Additionally, I’ve temporarily discarded the tradition of personally sorting the articles based on my preference, instead deciding to sort them together by content for a more coherent top-to-bottom read. Lastly, I remind everyone that I may not necessarily agree with everything said in these articles.
And now, the links!
- Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama: “What I am saying is that Obama has done things that, while not comparable to a historic evil like chattel slavery, go far beyond my moral comfort zone. Everyone must define their own deal-breakers. Doing so is no easy task in this broken world. But this year isn’t a close call for me. [...] How can you vilify Romney as a heartless plutocrat unfit for the presidency, and then enthusiastically recommend a guy who held Bradley Manning in solitary and killed a 16-year-old American kid? If you’re a utilitarian who plans to vote for Obama, better to mournfully acknowledge that you regard him as the lesser of two evils, with all that phrase denotes.”
- NDAA: The Biggest Election Issue No One’s Talking About: “You don’t have to live alone in the woods, reading issues of Guns and Ammo and co-writing your manifesto with beard lice, to be terrified about the state of basic freedoms in America today. Given the counterterrorism provisions in the fairly recent National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), we currently live in a country where the government can pick up American citizens and detain them indefinitely without access to a lawyer or even a criminal trial. That means locked up forever without even the basic protections we afford to rapists and murderers. ‘That can’t be right,’ you say. ‘Such a power would be completely unconstitutional! And you’re right. Even President Obama said he had ‘serious reservations with certain provisions [of the bill] that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.’ And then he signed it.”
- Unlike Afghan leaders, Obama fights for power of indefinite military detention: “Is that not amazing? On the very same day that the Obama DOJ fights vigorously in US courts for the right to imprison people without charges, the Afghan government fights just as vigorously for basic due process. Remember: the US, we’re frequently told, is in Afghanistan to bring democracy to the Afghan people and to teach them about freedom. But the Afghan government is refusing the US demand to imprison people without charges on the ground that such lawless detention violates their conceptions of basic freedom. Maybe Afghanistan should invade the US in order to teach Americans about freedom.”
- Obama’s selective defense of the Constitution [Washington Post]: “When on Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama swore to defend the Constitution, he did not mean all of it. He evidently believes that the provision quoted above merely expresses the Framers’ now anachronistic anxieties about abuses of executive power. (Jefferson’s lengthy catalogue of George III’s abuses is called the Declaration of Independence.) So on Jan. 4, 2012, Obama simply ignored the Recess Clause.”
- Obama: The Real Radical [Washington Post]: “Four years ago, Barack Obama was America’s Rorschach test, upon whom voters could project their disparate yearnings. To govern, however, is to choose, and now his choices have clarified him. He is a conviction politician determined to complete the progressive project of emancipating government from the Founders’ constraining premises, a project Woodrow Wilson embarked on 100 Novembers ago.”
- Liberalism, As We Know It [Washington Post]: “With Americans, on average, worth less and earning less than when he was inaugurated, Barack Obama is requesting a second term by promising, or perhaps threatening, that prosperity is just around the corner if he can practice four more years of trickle-down government. This is dubious policy, scattering borrowed money in the hope that this will fill consumers and investors with confidence. But recently Obama revealed remarkable ambitions for it when speaking in Pueblo, Colo., a pleasant place Democratic presidents should avoid.”
- Is Benghazi Obama’s Waterloo? [Washington Post]: “Does the Libya consulate scandal matter in the presidential election? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but if it didn’t, then left-wing bloggers wouldn’t be trying to ignore it and come up with more ‘shiny objects’ with which to attempt to distract voters. On one level it is self-evident that a story involving the deaths of four Americans at the hands of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists and the revelation that the dead men were denied additional security is a big deal. Add in a false narrative coming directly from the mouth of the White House spokesman and a healthy game of finger -pointing between the State Department and others as to who is responsible for misleading the American people and you have a huge story.”
- Team Obama Off-Balance [Washington Post]: “If Obama figured out in a day that this was a planned terrorist attack, why was Jay Carney sent out on Sept. 14 to insist it was all about an anti-Muslim video? Why didn’t someone tell U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice before she went on five Sunday talk shows tying the murder of four Americans to a protest growing out of a video? Why did the president repeat this in his Sept. 20 Univision appearance and then dwell on the anti-Muslim videoat the United Nations? Declaring that the president knew full well on Sept. 12 that he was dealing with terrorism makes him and many in his administration liars.”
- Biden’s Toxic Victory [Washington Post]: “So, in a mere 90 minutes, Biden managed to throw Hillary Clinton under the bus, CIA Director David Petraeus under the bus, our Afghan allies and the Afghan people under the bus and our Middle Eastern allies who fear an Iranian bomb under the bus. Which means that Obama, in trying to explain himself, is in for a bumpy ride. There is a reason Biden is generally kept out of press earshot. He is forever poised between an indiscretion and a different indiscretion.”
- How Obama Bungled the Syrian Revolution [Washington Post]: “The deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi were a calamity — but those losses were mainly the result of poor security decisions by mid-level State Department officials, not policy choices by Obama. The president’s handling of Syria, on the other hand, exemplifies every weakness in his foreign policy — from his excessive faith in “engaging” troublesome foreign leaders to his insistence on multilateralism as an end in itself to his self-defeating caution in asserting American power.”
- Obama did not change Washington. Was there a way around united Republican opposition? [Washington Post]: “On the January night in 2008 when he won the Iowa caucuses, Barack Obama delivered a victory speech that would reverberate forcefully across a divided America. Iowans, he said, had come together — Democrats, Republicans and independents — to stand as one in calling for a new politics of unity and hope. It was a message that would help carry him to the White House 10 months later. [...] Today Obama’s words sound quaint, even naive. Instead of bipartisanship, there is polarization as deep as it has been in modern times. Instead of cooperation, there is confrontation. Instead of civility, there is rudeness. The political system seems frozen and more resistant to compromise than ever. Two months before the 2012 election, the campaign has become an all-or-nothing battle over the future direction of the country.”
- Two Presidents, Smoking and Scheming [NYTimes]: “After the debate, I was talking to Aaron Sorkin [the producer of West Wing], who was a little down. Or, as he put it, ‘nonverbal, shouting incoherently at a squirrel, angrier than when the Jets lost to the 49ers last Sunday without ever really being on the field.’ Aaron was mollified when he learned that President Obama, realizing things were dire, privately sought the counsel of a former Democratic president known for throwing down in debates. I asked Aaron if he knew how the conversation between the two presidents had gone and, as it happened, he did. This is his account.”
- Sherrod Brown’s lessons for Obama [Washington Post]: “If anyone can testify to the problem of giving really rich people a chance to tilt the political playing field, it’s Sen. Sherrod Brown. A proud labor-populist, Brown seems to invite the hostility of wealthy conservatives and deep-pocketed interest groups. The amount they have spent to defeat him topped $20 million this week. [...] I spoke with Brown a few days after President Obama’s unfortunate first debate, and the contrast between Brown’s approach and the president’s was striking — even though Brown, a loyal Obama supporter, did not bring it up himself. Brown is not the sort to let down his guard in a debate.”
- On Obama’s Reddit Appearance: “For the next year or so, slide decks across America will have a new photo that proves social media is changing the world. This is it: That’s President Obama, purportedly during his Ask Me Anything session on the social network Reddit. Ask Me Anythings allow Reddit users to pose queries of all kinds of people from some guy from the show Community to Darrell Issa to the President.”
Followed up in: Weekly Link Roundup #50: Romney/Ryan Edition
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