Monday, May 7, 2012

Obama: It could be worse

I was at a neighborhood festival over the weekend when a Democratic activist approached and asked if he could count on my vote for President Obama this November. "Well," I said, "I haven't been too thrilled with him on the civil liberties front." "Nobody's perfect," the man shot back. "The other guys would be worse." In today's Boston Globe, John McCain steps forward with a reminder that my activist friend was probably right:
“How is it that Assad is still in power?” Wiesel said. “How is it that the Holocaust’s number one denier, [Iran’s Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, is still a president? He who threatens to use nuclear weapons to destroy the Jewish state. Have we not learned? We must. We must know that when evil has power, it is almost too late.”
Under John McCain, then, the United States would definitely be going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. Don't get me wrong: As The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf pointed out last week, Obama has been by any measure a hawk in office. I wasn't all that happy with his handling of Libya; but I must admit that his actions there were characterized by a level of restraint. With John McCain as president—assuming he's not just an aging blowhard, but reflecting his real policy choices—military restraint would seemingly be non-existent. I'm cynical about the accomplishments of our current president ... but the other guys would be worse.

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