Thursday, April 30, 2009

First 100 Days

President Obama has now been in office for 100 days. No surprise, but I think it’s been a good 100 days. After all, I was a strong backer of Obama and the Democrats last November, and an equally strong opponent of Palin/McCain and the Republicans.

Since the election, I’ve been—what’s the right word?—ecstatic to see much of the damage of the Bush/Cheney regime undone or, at least, the repairs have begun. The eight years of the Bush/Cheney regime were a long national nightmare that took too long to end. So, in my view, there clearly couldn’t possibly be any way that I’d see these first 100 days as anything less than an unqualified success.

Well, maybe not so unqualified—there’s one issue on which I completely disagree with the President: I believe that those who authored legal cover for torture, ordered torture or conducted it should be prosecuted. The first may be prosecuted by the administration, the second probably won’t be, and the last has been ruled out by the president; I think he’s completely wrong about that.

Some supporters of the president have been echoing him in saying that we should “move on”. That’s nonsense: Something that’s illegal is illegal, and people who break the law—especially on torture—must be held accountable for their actions. We all know how much evil has been defended with “I was just following orders”. By prosecuting, we would send a clear, unequivocal and irrevocable declaration that torture is illegal, something that no new Bush/Cheney regime could ignore.

Even so, there’s no need for a witchunt: The government would have to prove that a torturer knew or should have known that their action was illegal and, therefore, that any order to torture someone was also illegal. Clearly anybody who ordered torture would be guilty of a crime. That, of course, would include officials all the way up to Bush/Cheney. Tough: If they broke the law and broke their oaths under the constitution, they should face prosecution. They won’t, obviously, but they should.

This issue is the one thing that keeps me from giving the president an A+ for the first 100 days. Because of it, I give him an A-, still an outstanding mark, but with room for improvement. I’m confident that the next 100 days will be as good or even better.

And every one of those 100 days I’ve been glad that Barack Obama is president.


Roger Owen Green said...

FWIW, my take.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some things; it's been a busy time.

Oh, I know one, and I mentioned some weeks back. Obama apologized over the culture that would have allowed Tom Daschle's nom to be HHS head to plow thru as far as it did. I liked that a lot.

Michael Steele said...

Dear Fellow Republican,
I hope Arlen Specter's party change outrages you. It should for two reasons:

First--Specter claimed it was philosophical--and pointed his finger of blame at Republicans all over America for his defection to the Democrats. He told us all to go jump in the lake today.

I'm sorry, but I don't believe a word he said.

Arlen Specter committed a purely political and self-serving act today. He simply believes he has a better chance of saving his political hide and his job as a Democrat. He loves the title of Senator more than he loves the party--and the principles--that elected him and nurtured him.

Second--and more importantly--Arlen Specter handed Barack Obama and his band of radical leftists nearly absolute power in the United States Senate. In leaving the Republican Party--and joining the Democrats--he absolutely undercut Republicans' efforts to slow down Obama's radical agenda through the threat of filibuster.

Facing defeat in Pennsylvania's 2010 Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record, and an end to his 30 year career in the U.S. Senate, he has peddled his services--and his vote--to the leftist Obama Democrats who aim to remake America with their leftist plan.

As recently as April 9th, Senator Specter said he would run in the Pennsylvania primary next year as a Republican. Why the sudden change of heart? Clearly, this was an act based on political expediency by a craven politician desperate to keep his Washington power base--not the act of a statesman.

His defection to the Democrat Party puts the Democrats in an almost unstoppable position to pass Obama's destructive agenda of income redistribution, health care nationalization, and a massive expansion of entitlements.

Arlen Specter has put his loyalty to his own political career above his duty to his state and nation.

You and I have a choice. Some will use Specter's defection as an excuse to fold the tent and give up. I believe that you are not one of those people. When Benedict Arnold defected to the British, George Washington didn't fold the tent and give up either.

He grit his teeth more determined than ever to succeed. That's what I'm asking you to do today.

Join me in this fight by making a secure online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 right now to build our army of supporters and defeat Democrat candidates like Arlen Specter in next year's elections.

The strongest message you can send to Arlen Specter today is to make a decision to stand with me and Republicans across the nation. I need your support today.


Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

P.S. Fellow Republican, we need to respond to Senator Specter's decision to join President Obama's efforts to change America into a European Welfare State. Please help our Party move forward by making a secure online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 to give our Republican leaders & candidates the political muscle they need to resist the Obama-Pelosi-Specter agenda. Thank you.

Arthur Schenck said...

It was a good post, Roger.

And as for the "Michael Steele" letter, I have no idea if it's for real or not, but it sounds like it could be—frothing, illogical, incoherent, inflammatory, full of stupidity—everything one would expect from Republican propaganda. And it's yet another example of why I'm glad Democrats won last November.

Roger Owen Green said...

Here's some more Michael Steele.

Arthur Schenck said...

My eyes bled after visiting that site. I suppose it's a bit like a visit to an intellectual Ebola quarantine camp.

Jason in DC said...

I'm glad every day that Obama is president. I can walk by the White House now and feel a sense of optimism for this country again.

I will say it would be nice if Obama could have one or two less crises on his plate.