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  •  There's no simple answer to that (1+ / 0-)
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    SouthernLiberalinMD

    Nor can there ever be. Even someone as extreme as Cheney could probably be said to have multiple motivations, one of which, plausibly, even if only in his own twisted mind and soul, was to protect the US, however destructively.

    As for Obama, I think it's about mixed motivations and loyalties, always has been, always will be. His political and personal "souls" rest upon shaky foundations, given his background and experiences, so there is likely no definitive "there there", just a bunch of conflicting and often contradictory motivations, values, beliefs, goals, loyalties, MO's, etc., that ultimately get resolved on a transactional basis.

    I.e. it's not about what's "right", but what's most expedient or promising, to him and his family, the country, the party, his allies and friends, history, the world, etc. I don't think he has a "governing philosophy" that determines what he does. It's more of a governing process. Basically, whatever works, now, with the least effort and risk, and damn the long struggle and what's "right".

    Thus, don't go after banksters, torturers or domestic spies, because the risk to himself and his allies and party was too great, and the payoff indeterminate. Yeah, sure, they're bad or at least destructive people blah blah blah, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? The risk/benefit ratio was too high for his own comfort, so he punted. Sure, all pols do, but his threshold appears to be lower than that of some, who are willing to take bigger risks, take on bigger foes, and be more patient, than he is. It might not make him "bad", given the role he's in and its tradeoffs and complexities, but it doesn't make him all that "good", either, IMO. Certainly not great.

    Obama's kind of like the Applebee's of presidents. Decent food, maybe not as good as it could and should be, you could do better if you looked, but certainly better than McDonald's or Taco Bell, health-wise. And we live in an Applebee's country (make fun of David Brooks and god knows he deserves it, but he is right about the overall mediocrity of the average American and the country we live in today). So perhaps we're getting what we want, or deserve, and certainly the best we're likely to get, for now? Sad, but, hey...

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:03:38 AM PDT

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