Actually, as a Twitter buddy said this morning, Obama’s being too modest. Read this WSJ op-ed by a cancer patient whose insurance just got dropped and you’ll say he’s legitimately great at killing people.
In fairness, in the annals of Nobel laureates with body counts, I think Arafat’s still the man to beat. Alternate headline: “Man with ‘kill list’ pretty excited about it.”
According to the new book “Double Down,” in which journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann chronicle the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama told his aides that he’s “really good at killing people” while discussing drone strikes.
Peter Hamby of The Washington Post noted the moment in his review of the book.
The reported claim by the commander-in-chief is as indisputable as it is grim.
Follow the link for a brief reminder of just how good Obama is at killing people. Sometimes those people are terrorists and sometimes they’re people who look from 10,000 feet like they’re kinda sorta moving around on the ground like terrorists would. Ace is right, of course, that this same soundbite coming from Bush would have caused an eruption of left/media shirt-rending about his cowboy “swagger” having supposedly turned sociopathic. As it is, there was a bit of liberal hand-wringing this weekend on Twitter when the story first broke — just as there was when he joked a few years ago about using drones to murder the Jonas brothers — but otherwise, no biggie. It’s the same mindset that led Jane Mayer to give Obama basically a total pass on extrajudicial killings after his lame Hamlet shtick over drones this past May. A liberal intellectual can have lapses in judgment but those lapses can never really add up to an indictment of one’s character. Bush boasting that he’s good at killing people is proof that he’s psychotic; Obama doing it is “troubling,” but the consternation is eased by the fact that he seems really conflicted ‘n stuff in his public remarks.
Whatever. As with everything O does, the boast here may be less about bloodlust or being drunk on power like Caesar giving thumbs down in the Colosseum as it is about the fact that drone strikes are a political winner for him. As of March, majorities of Republicans, independents, and, yes, even Democrats approved of targeting suspected terrorists overseas. “Killing people” is good for his polling. Just never forget: The only reason he’s “forced” to kill as many as he does is because he’d rather not capture them and have to deal with the legal headaches of where to house them and try them. He’ll do it occasionally (Abu Anas al-Liby is a notable exception to the rule), but if it’s a choice between snatch-and-interrogate and Hellfire, President Itchyfinger’s going to err on the side of “permanent solutions” more often than not.