Conor Friedersdorf – Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama

I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.


Señalización de lugar de votación en Californi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Conor Friedersdorf is an odd duck. He has written for the certifiably liberal Atlantic  since 2009, and yet, according to Wikipedia,

In an interview with journalist Matt Lewis, Friedersdorf stated that he has right-leaning views but that he does not consider himself to be a doctrinal or a member of the conservative movement.

Which must drive his readers crazy. He doesn’t fit into the liberal box. But his refusal to go along with his liberal readers and vote blindly for Obama is worth exploring a little bit. He doesn’t like Obama for many of the same reasons that I don’t:

Some actions are so ruinous to human rights, so destructive of the Constitution, and so contrary to basic morals that they are disqualifying…

What I am saying is that Obama has done things that…go far beyond my moral comfort zone. Everyone must define their own deal-breakers. Doing so is no easy task in this broken world. But this year isn’t a close call for me…

And then Friedersdorf does the unthinkable: he lists the reasons why:

  1. Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis…America is ruining the lives of thousands of innocent people and killing hundreds of innocents for a small increase in safety from terrorists. It is a cowardly, immoral, and illegal policy, deliberately cloaked in opportunistic secrecy. And Democrats who believe that it is the most moral of all responsible policy alternatives are as misinformed and blinded by partisanship as any ideologue.
  2. Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama’s kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did. It is as radical an invocation of executive as anything Dick Cheney championed.
  3. Contrary to his own previously stated understanding of what the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution demand, President Obama committed U.S. forces to war in without Congressional approval, despite the lack of anything like an imminent to national security.

Those are three pretty good reasons. I could come up with several more, but these three are a good start.

Friedersdorf is planning on voting for Gary Johnson.

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