Thursday, November 29, 2012
I like planning ahead. I get that from my Mom, not so much from my Dad who would inevitably be planning his lesson plan right up to the moment when the bell for class would ring. I was also never a Boy Scout, well, at least in the official sense! Being prepared is probably a control issue –if things are set up in advance then I have a higher likelihood of knowing the outcome. Of course that’s a myth, but it makes me feel better. When I see other people who plan ahead I generally have a positive reaction of a like minded soul. That wasn’t the case with the planning that happened around the recent Presidential election.
It was terribly amusing and a little bit embarrassing when Mitt Romney’s President-Elect website went live after he had conceded the election. It became a metaphor for what didn’t work about his candidacy. Humorous as it may be that the site went live when it shouldn’t have, it is comforting to know that there was planning going on in the event that he won. It would have been terrible for him to win and have nothing in place for transition. Kudos on the planning. A Bronx cheer for the erroneous release.
President Obama likewise was planning both for a win and what he and his Administration would do in the event that he lost. The New York Times and Boston Globe reported on Sunday that the Obama administration crafted drone rules in case Romeny won.
Drones are the devices that are operated by remote control and account for hundreds of deaths each year of people on the President’s Kill List. Drones were first used under President George W. Bush #43 and were used on a limited basis. Drones are a signature Obama tactic and as part of his administration’s legacy they wanted to establish concrete rules about when they could be used and when they couldn’t, and not have leave the flexibility in place that President Obama enjoys.
Providing consistent policy is a good thing. Having the Executive Branch formalize a policy when there President is judge, jury and executioner is not. No member of Congress or the Senate were involved in the crafting of the policy. The former Constitutional professor doesn’t permit any legislative oversight. The article assures the reader that in the preparation of a formal policy there is internal discussion inside of the Administration, with representatives from Justice and State challenging officials from Defense and the CIA. There was little debate let alone discourse about this in the campaign. Even without bequeathing the Obama Doctrine the Romney camp would have likely just continued the killings.
When one person makes the unilateral determination of who lives and dies Western media and politicians traditionally define that person as a dictator. Not so in this case. The arrogance of a Kill List is exceeded by the chutzpah to memorialize it as a policy for future administrations. It’s the rare instance where the Boy Scout motto of being prepared is harmful.