There is one thing Barack Obama wants more that becoming the first African- American president and that is not becoming the first one term African-American President. The problem he’s facing is that if he keeps several of his campaign promises he is well on his way to becoming the black version of Jimmy Carter.
Mr. Obama is still out there saying he’s going to close Guantanamo on day one. He may do some sort of terrorist emancipation proclamation and say as soon as possible we are going to close the prison but there won’t be a mass release of the terrorists. Imagine you are the guy who shuts down Gitmo and sends a bunch of terrorists back home and a year later one of them explodes a bomb at the Washington Monument. How do you explain to the average American that you thought the rights of terrorists were more important than the lives of American citizens? No, if you let Willie Horton out of prison it’s over for you politically, no matter how much your team cries about negative political ads.
Another promise that will be easier to dodge but is tricky politically is his promise not to torture like Bush did whether it is terrorists, Venezuelan dictators or the English language. I don’t want to get into a long debate about what is and is not torture but because of my experience as a middle school teacher for seven years I am in favor of any interrogation technique that allows you walk away with all of your body parts and most of your sanity.
Obama may issue an executive order that all terror suspects are to be served tea and crumpets right after their prayer rug is sent out to the dry cleaners but what goes on behind the doors of the secret CIA detention center is a different matter. I know that the incoming president doesn’t want to be the guy who doesn’t water board a suspect who has info about an atomic or dirty bomb that blows half of Chicago into the lake. I don’t think a big “My bad!” will placate the public nor will his assurance that the suspect was not tortured.
The real killer is that he promised the far left peace-at-any-price crowd that we would get out of Iraq. Exactly when we would be out seems to keep changing. one month, six months, as soon as safe, whenever dude! The problem here is that Obama is smart enough to know if we leave Iraq the southern part of the country turns into Talibanstan within a few months which will make his promise to find Bin Laden a lot easier to keep.