We are proud of our President. And we are considered by the radical right to be far left liberals. But President Obama has thrown some change-up shots across home plate. We used to say, “Never throw a change-up to a weak hitter.” The weak hitters are swinging like lunatics at some of President Obama’s policy positions. The only obvious conclusion is that weak hitters drift both far left and far right. (In baseball jargon a pitcher throws several fast balls, then throws a ‘change-up.’ A change-up is the unexpected slow pitch – designed to fool the batter).
We at thefiresidepost.com compaigned vigorously for Barack Obama. We did not campaign based on individual policy issues – we campaigned for a man who has demonstrated intellect, moral values, a cool head, and the courage to make hard decisions. Teddy Roosevelt defined a leader as one who could identify problems and had the courage to act. We think President Obama fits that description.
We are generally conservative on fiscal policy and generally liberal on social policy. We read six online newspapers every day, we watch cable news regularly, we watch mainstream network news faithfully – and we feel that we are not particularly well informed on many issues facing our President. We do feel that our President has met our expectations of being a rational leader.
Military Tribunals for enemy combatants:
Of particular note these past few weeks are White House decisions on Military Tribunals for detainees at Guantanamo and releasing photographs of prisoner abuse by the American Military. These are damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t issues. Somehow the talking heads on cable news have come to believe that the ‘liberal blogosphere’ is not happy with the President’s decisions.
President Obama is not throwing change-up pitches to fool anyone. President Obama is throwing measured judgment at complex problems. On this note President Obama is consistent. President Obama demonstrates that he is not owned by anyone, right or left, liberal or conservative. President Obama is doing exactly what he said he was going to do – he is applying sound legal and moral judgment, he is applying the judgment of a mature man.
Had Obama been President the past eight years there would have been no Guantanamo – but he is playing the hand dealt to him. We suspect there is frustrated debate behind closed doors in the White House. The conflict at Guantanamo is clear – The United States believes in due process, but the Bush/Rumsfield boys took people into custody without legally sustainable evidence. Now the problem is what to do with these folks. Turn them loose? No one denies that these are bad boys and should not be roaming the world. President Bush put his predecessor between a rock and a hard place. We have faith in President Obama – he will seek the most equitable, legal, and moral solution while balancing the safety of America.
Prisoner Abuse and the release of photographs:
After September 11, 2001, America went to war with a vengeance. All of us, left and right, were fired up and ready to demand retribution – in blood or propterty – dead or alive as Bush said. We sent our troops into war armed with the venom of anger. In this environment some of our troops violated conventional understanding of the treatment of enemy combatants. Pictures were taken, military trials were held, punishment was given. Today, in 2009, our anger has abated, cooler heads are prevailing. To the credit of our Military, no charges of abuse were ignored. Proper hearings were held and appropriate action was taken. Some are calling for the release of photographs of the abuse. President Obama iniatially said he would have the photos released, then rethought the present circumstances and decided to hold the photos until a later date. We applaud his decision.
The Nuremberg War Trials were not held for a couple of years after World War II was over. We feel strongly that all abuse must one day be available for public consumption. But we have to be smart – and we think President Obama is very smart. The United States has about 200,000 troops in the middle east, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The people of these countries are about 90% illeterate – they don’t read much but they sure can look at pictures. They will not read the accompanying story of trial and punishment – they will only know what they intrepret from the pictures. The first priority of the Presdient should be the safety of our country and our troops.
President Obama is doing exactly what we elected him to do. He is using sound judgment, a sound intellect, and sound priorities.
We take offense at those who suggest that we are somehow unhappy with our President. Be careful with generalizations.