Friday, February 22, 2013

Enemies and Drones

Congress continues to obstruct everything from the confirmation of a Secretary of Defense to resolution of the impending sequestration which threatens to  damage everything from jobs to defense.  Just as they were able to win the House of Representatives in 2010, the Republicans continue to believe that their future resides in the destruction of the Obama Administration.  The contradictions and hypocrisies that lost them the Presidency as well as seats in Congress in 2012 have merely translated to a need to reword the message, and a double-down against the President.

If you have watched any video of South Carolina's own Lindsey Graham lately, you will see a mean, whiny and self-serving man who is out of touch with his constituents as well as with the country he professes to love.  The state which he presumes to represent ranks #13 out of 50 in instances of gun violence, yet he opposes any gun control measures.  He has made false and absurd statements about people whom Obama might be interested in nominating to cabinet positions, from Susan Rice (who had not even been nominated) to Chuck Hagel, lately having the gall to indicate that he would hold up Hagel's nomination based on circumstances totally unrelated to his qualifications.

Amidst upwardly spiraling gun violence, we have no director at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Judicial appointments have been routinely blocked, leading to backlogs on dockets across the country.  We have all heard of all the legislation that had once been supported (in fact, proposed) by republicans that has been denounced as soon as it was supported by President Obama.

Are we safe?  If we are, it is not thanks to the republicans in Congress, but because of all the end runs the President has had to make around them.

While today Lindsey Graham might be cheering on Obama's use of drone strikes, the President could not count on Congress to engage in constructive debate around such an important issue.  Because Congressional republicans continue to behave like tantrumming toddlers, tyrants and bullies, Obama could no more ask for help in creating rules for the use of drones than he might have asked for a hand in planning the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.

As a man with great respect for the law, who also takes seriously the task of protecting the American people with as little loss of life as possible, perhaps the use of drones was the only option available to this president.  

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