Thursday, February 21, 2013
It'll Take More Than A Puny Protest Vote
This is what happens when you elect someone -- anyone -- to the presidency as that office is presently constituted. Of all the various Washington mystery cults, the one at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue is the most impenetrable. This is why the argument many liberals are making -- that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment -- is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future.
The powers we have allowed to leach away from their constitutional points of origin into that office have created in the presidency a foul strain of outlawry that (worse) is now seen as the proper order of things. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior. Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that's become the precise job description.
Yup. It's bad, no matter who's in office.
I'm not convinced any president--be it Dennis Kucinich or Jill Stein or Ron Paul--would be immune given all the institutional pressure, political influence, desire to do good, whatever, without some effective counterweight. Most of that should come from Congress, but within the Executive something like a Department of Peace could provide a countervailing perspective, resistance to the status quo of military power projection from the indispensible nation, etc.
It's all much more complicated than that, of course, but unless we at least start contemplating a universe full of alternatives to drone war and other violence at a societal level, I don't see anything changing, no matter who you vote for every four years.
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