Saturday, January 9, 2010

Obama Does What Bush and Cheney Would Not

Shorter: acted like a grown-up and a leader.

The Rude Pundit, links at site:

Let's give some credit here amid our constant dismay on the left with the President: Yesterday, Barack Obama did something quite extraordinary in these weaselly times when he stood up and took blame for the fuck-ups that allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to publicly turn his balls into boiled jizz bags. The President actually looked like a pissed-off boss when he spoke, like a man who understood what might have happened had Abdulmutallab decided to try to blow up the toilet instead of the flotation device under his ass. As Joan Walsh in Salon says, you can't imagine George W. Bush ever treating the American public with such honesty; you can't imagine him thinking he could trust Americans to reveal what went wrong on 9/11. Barack Obama was more of a real man, a real leader, yesterday than the faux macho George W. Bush was in his entire presidency.

Obama's speech was fascinating for many reasons, not the least of which was his saying that "the buck stops with me." There was a subtle thread throughout of a repudiation of the way the Bush administration treated terrorism. "We are at war," he asserted, but then in a fuck-you to those who wanted him to say the word "war," he added, "We are at war with al-Qaeda." That's an easily apprehended specificity, a group (however diffuse and ill-defined it may be), and not a vague notion like a "war on terror" or, as Bush said, a "war with extremists." What Obama could have said that he did not is, "Man, Bush left me with a shitty, hole-filled security infrastructure that's built with Tinker Toys and tape." Instead, he said what's fucked and what he's gonna do.

Most bracingly, Obama told Dick Cheney, "Go fuck yourself," by saying, "Here at home, we will strengthen our defenses, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans, because great and proud nations don't hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust. That is exactly what our adversaries want, and so long as I am President, we will never hand them that victory. We will define the character of our country, not some band of small men intent on killing innocent men, women and children." In other words, don't go bugnuts just because one dude on one plane lit a fire.

Bonus: under no circumstances should you click this at work.

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