Metropolitik: Seeing through Barack Obama’s transparency

The president hopes you vote with your party this upcoming November. Talk about a wasted vote.

For complaints, suggestions and offers to save 15 percent on car insurance, e-mail us at brayden.simms@metro.us. 

We’ve devoted a lot of time lately toward highlighting the campaign hijinks of  the Republican nominees — for good reason! — but this weekend we’re going to take a step back and think a bit more long term.

This turn was affected by a pair of timely circumstances. First:?During a discussion this week about the upcoming November presidential election, a pal made it clear that he wasn’t particularly enamored with President Obama; that he hoped for a change of leadership; and that he was unequivocally going to vote for a second Obama term.

This logical leap is a quirk of U.S. politics, where the two-party system ensures most people vote within the presumed cone of electability. If, as occurred most damagingly in 2000, a third-party vote ends up working in favor of the candidate one deems the less-acceptable of our two establishment evils, it is judged as having been wasted. Why, this dear friend asked, risk the election of a Romney or a Gingrich when we can rest safely in the dissatisfaction of another relatively-less-awful Obama term?

Which brings us to circumstance No. 2: The American Civil Liberties Union? this week filed a lawsuit against Obama administration agencies in an effort to learn the legal justification for the government’s policy of targeted assassinations of American citizens — including al Qaeda terrorist Anwar Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, in Yemen.

(Note that the ACLU has not attempted to subvert this sort of killing, but merely to discover the legal basis for its use, including, according to an ACLU blog post, “the process by which the administration adds Americans to secret government ‘kill lists.’”) 

Following drone strikes in fall 2011, the ACLU and others including The New York Times filed several Freedom of Information Act requests with the government, but to no avail. The Obama
administration, once hailed by the president’s press secretary as being “the most transparent … ever,” is, in the ACLU’s words, treating the “targeted killing program [as] so secret that they can’t even acknowledge that it exists.”

To many, this will all seem quite acceptable. Mercilessly attacking and killing our sworn enemies is nothing but the mission statement of America in a post-9/11 world.

B ut a difficulty arises when the enemies we’re clandestinely killing happen to be U.S. citizens. There may be no more distressing executive overreach than the power of the president to secretly select and execute Americans with absolutely no judicial oversight. Couple this with the fact that the president routinely trots these killings out as evidence of his leadership in the war on terror and you’ve got a contradiction more stark than Romney following up his “I’m not concerned about the very poor”?gaffe with an endorsement from Donald Trump.

Sure, these issues could actually get worse under Republican leadership, but honestly how much worse could it get? Obama wants to have his cake and kill it, too: to campaign as a liberal, lead as a moderate and reign as a tyrant.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…