There is a diary on the rec list that accuses me of two things to which I am diametrically opposed, based on my diary last week. 1) I support the escalation; and 2) that I believe in stifling complaints about the President's policies. Neither could be further from the truth.
However, I am not here (and I do not think it is worth our time) to take up for myself or get into a meta fight with other Kossacks. I am writing this to clarify a position that I believe many Kossacks share. It is the basis of the aforementioned diarist's first point on "straw men" in the escalation debate.
"Obama pledged to escalate the war in Afghanistan during his Presidential campaign. You voted for him, so you can't say you're surprised by his decision when he's just fulfilling a campaign promise."
This is how the argument is framed. To begin, I think this is a pretty transparent framing. I think the diarist confuses the point on several levels.
First, no; I don't see how you can say you're surprised. Well, you can say you're surprised but I'm not sure how you can be surprised by something on which the President campaigned.
Second, just because you stick up for the President does not mean you support escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Personally, I believe the best option is a complete and immediate withdrawal from that country. However, I voted for the President and I expected an escalation of this war and a greater focus on it by our military.
Of course that doesn't mean I don't think I can voice my complaints about the policy or try to get the President to change his mind. In fact, I believe dissent is good and necessary. The President is accountable to the people, no matter what he campaigned on.
What it does mean, however, is that I voted for the President knowing that he did not share my opinion on this issue. Still, I trusted his judgment and wisdom on this and every other issue. I hoped we could change his mind but that was not the final result.
Third, the diarist goes on to ask if the same argument would apply had John McCain been elected or if it applied when George Bush was President. This is a non-sequitur that doesn't make a lot of sense. If the argument is that we knew what we were getting when we voted for President Obama, how does it make sense that we would not have spoken out against policies for which we never voted? That part of the diary is misguided and strange.
Lastly, I simply want to re-state my position on why the consternation surrounding the President on this issue has truly confounded me. Considering that I (and all of us who voted for him) knew his intentions regarding Afghanistan, how can we begin to support him less? How can we start talking about not supporting him financially or not voting for him in 2012? Did something suddenly change that I do not know about? Did he reverse course on something? This IS what we voted for. The diarist in question did not advocate these sorts of things but it is something that has popped up a lot around here lately.
I believe there are a lot of us here who do not support the escalation. But even though we may not agree, we support the President we voted for who is doing the things we knew he would do when we voted for him.