3 Options


Reading the very interesting linked article reminded me of a line of thinking I was pursuing with some fellow arm chair philosophers. It adds a degree of poignance that was lacking in my case to the others.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Bush administration is everything my most lefty friends might have characterized them as… imperialist, fascist torturing [insert your favorite disparging noun here] who demolished any semblence of civil rights we enjoyed in the States. I don’t want to get tangled up in the validity of that, we’re just accepting that as a hypothetical.

That would lead me to belive one of the three must be true about the Obama administration:

1. They are complicit in the numerous acts of villainy. Now in full possession of all knowledge of the former administrations dark deeds, they do nothing. Perhaps even continuing the deplorable acts.

2. They are powerless against the [insert favorite secret society or other shadow government here]. The reason the current administration cannot pursue the crimes of the former administration is that whoever really possesses power is preventing them from doing so.

3.  It is not politically expedient to pursue those issues. There is an economy to fix and that is the first and foremost issue. It wouldn’t be possible to succeed so why diminish the chance of a second term? There are plenty of reasons why it may not be politically expedient. But if we’re hypothetically talking about fascist, imperialist war criminals doesn’t morality demand that action be taken regardless of what’s convenient?

Granted this is a substantial over simplification, but that iss exactly what this is… a hypothetical model simplified to get to the core of the idea: How do we characterized the current administration’s action relative to its rhetoric?

I’m always the “Socratic Agnostic”, so don’t look for me for any answers. What do you think?


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3 Responses to 3 Options

  1. April says:

    My first thought was that they’re avoiding it because if they do, bad, bad things will happen. So, I’m likely to be on board with #2.

    Then again, I’m also prone to believing ridiculous conspiracy theories, so take my opinion here with a grain of salt 😉

  2. ballgame says:

    I tend to think a combination of all three reasons. I didn’t read all of the article you linked to, N, but since I read Greenwald daily I’m familiar with most of the issues it raises.

    To say I’m disappointed in Obama would be something of an understatement. He is, quite simply, a corporatist, not a progressive. In a guest post I wrote for Ian Welsh’s blog a few weeks ago, I pointed out that in many ways he’s about at the level of Richard Nixon (in some ways significantly worse).

    • N says:


      I enjoyed reading your post at Ian Welsh’s blog. I must admit that I don’t possess the historical knowledge to assess the validity of either of you two’s comparisons. He seems to be suggesting that we should settle for political pragmatism, no matter how morally egregious.

      The other thing point in your discussion I found interesting was how the contrast between “liberal politicians of the past set lasting precedents, e.g. social security.” and your assertion that the current administration is setting precedents for the further erosion of civil rights, is utterly ignored or lost on him.

      Personally, I don’t know how we can make any meaningful analysis of the American Executive post-Nixon. I don’t have a reference immediately available, but it is my understanding that no administration since that time has kept tapes, notes or records of any of its deliberations.

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