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What Is He Saying?

Ann Althouse is trying to figure out Obama's position on Gitmo. His flowery rhetoric doesn't offer much of a clue, apparently.


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Carl Pham wrote:

He's probably conflicted about it himself, on many levels. On the one hand, as a (half) black man, he's got to have a definite negative feeling about criminal justice systems in general in the United States, and no one with an ounce of insight could blame him for that. "Driving While Black" is not really a joke, et cetera.

But on the other, he really hasn't walked much in the typical black man's shoes. He's lived his entire life more or less like an exotic plant under glass, in Hawaii, at Harvard, in Hyde Park. So what he's absorbed through his black skin, so to speak, the experience that makes so many normal blacks angry and distrustful about how and why folks get put into jail, maybe isn't so strong, and is opposed by all the gentle theoretical liberal can't we all just get along (as long as you remember your place) values he's found it necessary to adopt to flourish at Harvard and at University of Chicago receptions.

Plus there's his need to simultaneous pander to his fund-raising netroots base, for whom the Gitmo detainees are some kind of weird fetish, and recruit more sensible older centrist voters, for whom the Gitmo detainees are at best a troubling nuisance and possibly dangerous animals that should be kept in a cage.

Josh Reiter wrote:

In my opinion if you are a terrorist aggressor who has been defeated during an act of war then this is the only time that a person can legitimately be enslaved at the conqueror's choosing. Any of the detainees in Gitmo could have been easily killed in the field. However, they fell into the hands of the victorious U.S. and in doing so gave us the option to delay death and make use of these captives. If we so wished it would be perfectly within our rights to slay these slaves at our choosing. The U.S. has more than enough just cause to make these grave choices the moment these captives decided to choose war against us and do so in such an illegitimate manner.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 19, 2008 11:04 AM.

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