Posted by Brad @ 1:34 pm on November 26th 2012

Do You Trust Mitt Romney with Obama’s Kill List?

Remember when the enterprising video blogger went around asking Democrats that question? Nobody answered, and most thought the question itself was stupid.

Well, it turns out that Obama himself though the question was valid…and that his answer was “no”.

Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6.

It is worth noting, as almost a sidebar (which is itself ridiculous), that those “explicit rules”, by definition of the method of their creation, would have been up to Romney to choose whether he cared to follow, or revise, or just discard.

As Matt Welch chillingly notes:

The point of constitutional governance is that the legal structure for and oversight of executive power is not a task for the executive itself. The fact that a president (and former constitutional law professor) would think otherwise vividly illustrates how far from that bedrock concept we have strayed.

Glenn Greenwald, of course, has more thoughts.

[I]t is genuinely inconceivable [to Democrats and Obama supporters] that a leader as noble, kind and wise as Barack Obama would abuse his assassination and detention powers. It isn’t just rank partisan opportunism or privilege that leads them not to object to Obama’s embrace of these radical powers and the dangerous theories that shield those powers from checks or scrutiny. It’s that they sincerely admire him as a leader and a man so much that they believe in their heart (like Obama himself obviously believes) that due process, checks and transparency are not necessary when he wields these powers. Unlike when a GOP villain is empowered, Obama’s Goodness and his wisdom are the only safeguards we need.

This was precisely – and I mean precisely – the thinking behind Bush supporters as well, incidentally. There is no daylight between them and Obama supporters on this matter.

As stark an example of Kip’s Law as I can conceive of.

1 Comment »

  1. Regarding the “precisely” bit: I am sure this is true for many Bush supporters, but I have the sense that a greater percentage of liberals look the other way due to Obama’s wonderfulness, while a greater percentage of what passes for conservatives these days are just fine and dandy with this being a standard Executive power. I am not sure this is more or less depressing.

    Comment by Jack — 11/26/2012 @ 10:45 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.