Nation unsure how it feels about video of President Obama crying

This "candid" video of President Obama tearing up as he thanks his staff and tells them "I'm Really Proud of All of You" is interesting. The rate at which this became viral is astonishing. Why do we mock John Boehner (other than the fact he's orange, and an asshole) but laud this clip as an example that Obama is "human" and "has a heart"? The public reaction to this particular video, released by the Obama campaign team, is interesting.

Maybe I'm projecting, but I think he might be crying for all those innocent people in Pakistan who lost family members in the 300+ drone strikes he authorized during his first term as president. Or maybe the innocent not-terrorists who are detained at Guantánamo because our military held them as terrorists, but can't manage to figure out how to set free now.

Like many others, I am glad Obama won, and I agree that he seems more "human" than his opponent. But his first term was no golden age of transparency and human rights. May we all hold the government more accountable, and demand change, on these and other vital issues during his second term.


  1. Because the President is showing genuine humility and thanks after an unquestionably difficult struggle, while the large, talking root vegetable wells up whenever a flag somewhere is dipped.

      1. Clinton cried all the time and people loved it.  Of course, in his case, it didn’t make runnels in his orange spray tan.

  2. for me, it was because i related to it.  I have gotten teary-eyed in the face of something profound before.  In fact, it happened while i watched that video.  I rarely sob like Boehner.  Also, he is a yam, and I am not.  So, it’s about relatability.

  3. “Why do we mock John Boehner”? Because he does this all the time, to the extent that there are entire online collections of photographs and videos of Boehner crying. And one tends to wonder if it’s an act.

  4. Yeah, I’d have to say that Boner’s crying is too frequent and (apparently) stragetic to seem genuine.

  5. Obama is crying because of how hard people worked for him.

    Every time I’ve seen Boehner cry it was because “America” (tribalism) or that the white-washed world he grew up in was gone (nostalgia with possible undertones of racism).

    1. Yeah, this. Is it possible that he’s just overcome with gratitude and pride at the hard work his campaign staff put into his re-election campaign now that it’s over and he’s going back to the White House?

      Sometimes a happy tear is just a happy tear.

  6. Is it possible to discuss Obama on boingboing without mention of Drone Strikes? I am not a fan of them, but I think it distracts from something very important happening now…

    1. Yeah, like innocent people terrorized and getting murdered overseas from flying drones. Pfft. Who wants to hear about *that*? USA! USA! 

    2. No, it simply isn’t. Boingboing is one of the few sites that lacks hypocrisy in it’s coverage of the commander-in-chief. Bush was rightfully slammed for his foreign policy decisions and Obama should be judged for his. He shouldn’t get a pass because he’s a cool guy or shows humanity in this clip.

      1. If you want to compare Bush to Obama, look at how many civilians died in Iraq, compared to drone-strike deaths.  Bush killed 200 civilians for each 1 of Obama.  That’s a major improvement.  If you want a total pacifist as POTUS, you are dreaming.

          1. I’m sure that as soon as someone comes up with a way to wage war without collateral damage, we’ll get right on it.

          2.  So we’re at war with Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia? I must’ve missed the part where Congress declared war in those countries. Also, I guess you would be fine with Pakistani drones flying over the US, killing people right and left, cuz we’re at war, right?

          3. You’re missing the point. We are ALLIES with Pakistan. We gave them 1.6 billion in aid in 2011. What we’re doing lacks ethics, legality and common sense. The way we wage war is like trying to kill a fly with a Mack truck and what’s worse is creating new Osamas every day. It is a legitimate concern, what our country is doing and the leaders WE elect to do these things.

        1. I’m sure that if your family was burned alive and blown to pieces for no good reason whatsoever, “Hey, it was worse under Bush,” would be a great comfort to you.

          To oppose the targeting first responders and funerals and villages where suspected anti-American insurgents might be residing is not “pacifism.” It’s human decency.

          There are lots of folks in the military who clearly oppose Obama’s tactics and lots of evidence that it’s making us less safe. Pretending that opposing these policies is to hope for a “total pacifist as POTUS,” is dishonest.

        2.  Hogwash. You can’t compare the two. We were actively fighting and blowing shit up during – you know – the war. Of course there are going to be more civilian deaths. Obama can rely on drone strikes because most of the actual fighting in Iraq is done with.

    3. I agree, if those Pakistanis would shut up about their dead family members or whatever, we could finally focus on something important.  Why would we want to talk about hundreds of murders that Obama authorized, when we can talk about him crying on camera?  I mean, seriously, get some perspective.

      Something very important is happening right now, and we can’t let a few hundred innocent deaths here or there distract from that.

      1. How successful are you in using this approach to get people to understand and consider your point of view?

    4. you mean the war (Afghanistan/Pakistan), in general?  There is some evidence that well performed drone strikes save lots of lives.  Of course this assumes the war is justified to begin with, which is debatable almost all the time, and is certainly dubious in this age.

    5. I never said that reporting/discussing drone strikes is not important. Or that is it not a serious issue.

      With that stated, I’ll move on… This in my opinion is a genuine and touching moment between Obama and his supporters. I think that most of them genuinely believe they are making the world a better place by ensuring he was re-elected. The affordable care act is now safe, and we will not be seeing a 2 trillion dollar increase in defense spending (I don’t think this would benefit civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan). Now, lets make sure these drone strikes and illegal detentions stop. But lets do so without calling into question the presidents character, or the efforts people put in his re-election (including fighting voter suppression and standing in lines for hours). 

    6. Please define what you’re seeing as more important, because honestly I can’t see what you’re referring to. I ask because you may be correct, but considering bomb strikes against a sovereign nation that we supposedly ally ourselves with is kind of a big deal, the kind that is enough to make W. Bush look totally evil…

  7. Er, the nation isn’t unsure about this. The author had some kind of weird drone point to make, I guess? Which… fail. The nation is pretty sure that this is an awesome dude. That’s all there is to see here.

    1. Sorry, I call Mitch McConnell on his speaking-for-the-whole-nation bit and I feel obliged to mention it here too.  The nation has been deeply divided about a lot of things, including President Obama for his whole first term, and he won re-election with a small majority (Wikipedia says 50.5%), which says more people would rather see him as president than the (Robotic Overlord) alternative, but that’s far from everyone.  “The nation” isn’t of one mind about our re-elected president.

      I’m personally very happy about the outcome of the election and of a very pleasantly surprising number of elections across the nation .. but it’s still not OK to kill civilians.  The U.S. should stand as a protector of the innocent, not a killer.

      1. If it’s OK to kill anyone at all, then it’s certainly OK to kill civilian citizens of countries you’re at war with.  Otherwise you can’t win the war, at least not in Real Life [tm].

        Oh, wait, we haven’t declared war on anyone, have we?  Technically, that makes it state-sanctioned murder, or “terrorism” if you prefer.

        Never mind, I guess.  Niceties don’t really matter when you’re just outright murdering people.

    2. The nation is deeply uncertain.  For one thing, how many people didn’t vote this election?  Estimates are 94 million.  Those people either don’t care enough to bother, or hate both candidates so much they can’t bear to vote for either.

      And of the people who voted for Obama, how many of them did so because they felt they had no choice?  How many of those people detest Obama’s policies, but held their nose and voted because they were afraid of what might happen if they didn’t?

      That someone like Obama can be elected again says more about the lack of meaningful options in our elections than the nation’s love for Obama.

      1. How many of those people detest Obama’s policies, but held their nose and voted because they were afraid of what might happen if they didn’t?

        From the perspective of wanting human rights for everybody? Ten, maybe twelve.

      2. I know a lot of folks that think they are voting for the lesser of two evils, but my question to them is always “Would you rather have the GREATER of two evils visited upon you?”

  8. I think that it’s entirely possible to consider the fact that he’s a damn fine human being with a genuine heart. Obama’s got a reputation as a cool operator, so we don’t see this side of him very often. But he just fought one of the toughest, nastiest Presidential races in history, and won; I’d cry too, if I was him. Mocking him for his use of drones in relation to this video is a cheap shot.

    1. Who’s the bigger asshole, Obama, who’s authorized the murder of innocents outside the country via drone strike, or Xeni, who called him out on it? 
      What the shit is wrong with all you people? Jesus Christ.

      1. I didn’t use that word. You did.

        If Xeni wants to call Obama out on drone strikes and talk about the issue, great. It’s a valid issue.

        In the context of him being overwhelmed by emotion at the huge efforts of his volunteer staff, it’s a non-sequitur and a cheap shot.

        That’s my opinion. Folks are allowed to have opinions, thaum, without being sworn at like it’s 5th grade.

        1. So I guess American popular opinion is that it’s OK to kill innocent people so long as you live in a white house in Washington, DC.

          And I’m supposed to not find this something to swear about. I’m supposed to think this is a normal thing. Or I’m supposed to not think about it. Or not get outraged about it.

          I … have no words.

          1. Again, YOU are saying these things. I did not say that it was “okay to kill innocent people”. At no point did I apologize for Obama’s drone strikes or say that you shouldn’t think about it or be outraged. YOU are saying those things and pretending I did.

            So really, it’s probably best if you have no words.

          2. I just can’t put the extrajudicial killing of innocent civilians out of my mind when I think of the POTUS and say instead “aww, poor guy, he’s having a sob” and just ignore what he’s done — and not done — in his first term. I’m sorry.

          3. There is no question that a loss of innocent lives is a tragedy but would sending actual troops be any better? Hell, we could find that the casualty number of Americans and innocent Muslims turns out to be worse because of crossfire, miscommunication etc.. Not to mention, did anyone read the link sited in this post? It says between 1900-3200 people have been killed by drone attacks since 2004. Of those killed, their studies find that civilian deaths are now down to 1-2 percent. No autonomous machine is going to perfect, but then again neither are humans. So I guess we have to pick our poison and take the lesser of two evils.

          4. Of those killed, their studies find that civilian deaths are now down to 1-2 percent.

            That’s because any unidentified victims of drone strikes are automatically classified as “militants” whether or not there’s any evidence for that. By definition, if you are killed by a drone you are a terrorist. This has been another lesson in how to lie with statistics.

            Hell, we could find that the casualty number of Americans and innocent Muslims turns out to be worse because of crossfire, miscommunication etc..

            Well, it’s easy for an American to say because now all the casualties are Afghan or Pakistani and none of them are American. Maybe if we were in the position of having to fight fair and put boots on the grounds Americans would get sick of the constant death for no fucking purpose and call for an end to this travesty. But since there are no consequences for Americans under the drone regime you don’t have to worry about any of that. Put on Call of Duty and shoot a few folks then call it a day, right?

          5. [in reply to Ryan Pettigrew]
            “a loss of innocent lives is a tragedy … I guess we have to pick our poison and take the lesser of two evils.”

            Killing innocent civilians is the lesser of no evil — whatever the number. Astonishing how few Obama supporters here and elsewhere can see that.

        2. Amusing to see someone talk about ‘cheap shots’ when that’s exactly what drones do when they blow up weddings and other family gatherings.

          1. Americans don’t care about the killings happening in our name.  

            They’re all terrorists over there. 

            How dare you bring up Murders in a sweet moment like this!

            One of America’s issues:  Cognitive dissonance

      2. If you compare civilian deaths due to drone strikes with civilian deaths in Iraq, you’re talking about 500 deaths compared to over 100,000.  A reduction of 99% from Bush’s policies  You might be a pacifist, but that just doesn’t work when you’re POTUS.  Obama has drastically reduced civilian deaths.

        1. Oh, well it’s perfectly OK then. 

          Although I’m sure all the relatives from that reduced pile of dead civilians might disagree with you. 

          Especially since we’re not formally at war with Pakistan or any of the other African countries where the administration has been happy to outsource drone strikes to.

    2. “Mocking”? Since when is calling a world-leader out for the damage they have done called “mocking”? I’m an Obama supporter, but I can’t call this a cheep shop.

    3. I don’t think the author was ‘mocking’ him — I think she was being  rightly sardonic at this manipulative image, that depicts as humble and caring a man who personally oversees drone strikes that have killed 1000+ civilians to date, and who uses the terrorist ‘double-tap’ tactic of attacking first responders and funerals in the aftermath of his kills (perhaps the ultimate ‘cheap shot’). His admin has also murdered at least two Muslim citizens without due process, and uses the PATRIOT act to persecute and jail innocent Muslim citizens. He is the opposite of a ‘damn fine human being’ with a ‘genuine heart’.

      1. I couldn’t disagree with you more.  Nobody is perfect, but Obama is 200 times better than Bush when it comes to civilian war deaths.  He’s ended 1 war, and is ending another.  You’re very upset about less than 1000 deaths, but sending troops into those areas would result in death counts like Iraq – over 100,000 civilians dead.

      2. As I inferred earlier, I think that it’s entirely possible for Obama to indeed feel genuine emotions over the hard work of his staff, and I don’t see that as being “manipulative” in any way.

        Yes, I get it. “Cheap shot”, killing people, rimshot.

        My original point was never to “apologize” for or cheapen his role in the drone strikes. It was to point out that mentioning it in this context seems like a strange non-sequitur for an issue that deserves more attention than a quick one-line bit of snark.

    4. “Look, I know I killed your family.  Yes yes, murdered, whatever you want to call it.  But that was 2 years ago!  Right now everyone’s talking about how sensitive I am for crying on camera at my reelection, why can’t you appreciate that?  Ok, maybe I didn’t cry on camera when I killed your family, but that’s practically ancient history now!  Everyone else has moved on, why can’t you?  Your family is dead, they’re not coming back, and I got reelected.  Try to focus on the positive, would you?”

      Only difference is it’s not your family, it’s the family of someone in Pakistan.  Maybe my problem is that I think the lives of Pakistanis are just as important and valuable as ours.

      1. Do you think you care about people more than others?

        Obama inherited a war. Unfortunately, a president can’t just send everyone home and expect things to be alright. It’s a sucky sucky position to be in for a president that does care about people. Its also tremendously complicated (like most things). So, how would you take all factors into consideration and plan for a longterm reduction in needless death and destruction? I think this would be a tremendous challenge, and something very very very difficult for someone who is compassionate, very intelligent, and a realist.

        You may think you know what needs to done, but maybe there would be consequences you did not consider. 

    5. Mocking him for his use of drones in relation to this video is a cheap shot.

      A cheap shot? Monumental unintentional irony when discussing Obama conducting a campaign versus innocent people being murdered from the sky.

    6. I think that it’s entirely possible to consider the fact that he’s a damn fine human being with a genuine heart

      Sure but it is also possible that he is a good actor.

      1. If you want to believe that Obama doesn’t care about the people he works for and has no genuine emotions, yes, you can believe that if it warms your heart.

  9. The times I’ve seen Boehner cry were all when he was talking about his life story of how he rose up from a poor family.  To me it smacks of hubris and self-pity.

  10. Apparently Romney cancelled his campaign’s credit cards on midnight, leaving staffers surprised when they tried to pay for taxis home.

    If that’s true, well, what a contrast.

  11. He’s crying for the same reason that any adult cries when he talks about a child’s future: the loss of innocence that the young person, too, will suffer as they grow up. Mr. Obama’s done many things that, as a younger man, he would not have agreed with or even believed one could do. In the crowd of close supporters, he feels these burdens on this shoulders and hopes that those around him won’t need to endure the same difficulties that he has.

  12. Thank goodness he had the opportunity to discover the hopes and aspirations of the “ordinary people” during his campaigning experience as a young man!

  13. I’m pretty sure there’s a least a tiny bit of the news of those 300 innocents killed by drone strikes in those tears. 

  14. The real question: Does crying Obama get added to to Xeni’s collage of crying men (and shocked cat)? 

  15. I’m not interested in the crying. But I was glad to see him talk like a human talks. Rather than. That. Weird. Staccato. Thing. That he does. To sound. Like a. Politician. I guess. Some NLP. Guy told him. It was a good. Idea. But I. Really don’t like it.

    I prefer human talky Obama. Shame about the drone kills, and the NDAA. Perhaps those were all done by the Robobama.

    1. I really doubt his… uh… staccato… uh… thing is something he’s doing because someone… uh… told him to do it.

      I think it’s more a product of wanting to think about each and every word before he opens his mouth in public, to ensure that he never says anything without it coming out exactly as he means it.

      In a private intimate setting, his barriers are a lot lower.

  16. The drone issue is an important one (but parents of soldiers might ask whether the trade offs of a more “personal” war in terms of their sons’ or daughters’ death would be a great improvement.) War is hell, however you cut it and Obama has at least made steps toward ending our involvement in these conflicts, where Romney was gung-ho toward charging bayonet-first into additional ones.

    But the comment about it was out of place here – it’s entirely off-topic to the video which was about gratitude and mental and physical exhaustion and just possibly relief that he would never have to campaign again.

  17. He may be the lesser of two evils, but he’s still one of Great Cthulhu’s sock puppets. So let’s celebrate the other sock-puppet’s defeat, but please, let’s get back shortly to hating him, shall we?

  18. Any tears for those innocents killed in the other half dozen countries hit by Drone Strikes?

    Any tears for Bradley Manning? 
    Any tears for the millions of black Americans that continued to be unjustly imprisoned for non violent crimes? 
    Any tears for those families getting No Knock Raids in the middle of the night? Any tears for the women/children/men still being molested/robbed/unjustly-detained in our airports by the TSA? It is a touching and heartwarming video.  Of that there is no question.  It even makes me relate to the man more.  However Xeni is absolutely right to bring up the gross hypocrisy that is part of Obama’s administration. We cannot and must not look the other way on these issues.  If we bury our collective heads in the sand because we find the president cool/friendly/smart/whatever.  We must confront these horrible issues head on and we can’t give the man slack because he cried.  

    1. Over 100,000 civilians died in the Iraq war.  About 500 civilians have died in drone strikes.  It’s ridiculous to say that Obama is inhuman.  Bush and his cronies were inhuman, and getting those Nixon-era chicken hawks back into power would’ve undoubtedly led to another 100,000 civilian deaths in Iran.

      1. Wow. 

        Thanks for that textbook display of partisan hypocrisy. 

        In other words, you can murder less people than the other party hack and still be A-OK with your enthusiastic backers.  

        1. If you want a total pacifist as a leader, I don’t think you will ever be satisfied living in America.  It is an ideal we can aspire to though.  I’m just not comfortable with snide attacks at somebody who’s a major improvement over the warmongering leader we had from 2000-2008.

    2. Yeah I’m really sorry for these brown muslim guys from ponki … papli … eh somewhere …. hey look another flag…. USA USA USA

    3. “It is a touching and heartwarming video.  Of that there is no question.  It even makes me relate to the man more.”
      I have seen this type of comment before, … I still cannot fathom the mindset. I can understand (not sympathize with) the typical Obama supporter who underplays or ignores these crimes of the admin, and/or expresses some seemingly insincere desire to hold O’s feet to the fire after re-election, but here I am absolutely stumped. I agree with you 99.9%, but I cannot understand how you can possibly relate to the sociopath responsible for the murderous drone strikes (etc.)

      1. 1. Do you assume I’m an Obama supporter? 
        2. I can relate to the sentiment he expresses to his election team and the obviously sincere emotion he experienced.  Sociopaths have feelings too you know.  I can relate to feelings. Even those of sociopaths.  Fucked up yes. 

  19. Jello Biafra said that the problem with Obama’s first term was that after we elected him, we all went to sleep instead of holding his feet to the fire to deliver on his promises. I hope this time we keep pushing him on issues like immigration reform, tax reform, and election reform. After all, he has nothing to lose in his second term and everything to gain for his legacy.

  20. I really like Obama, and the vast majority of what he’s done, and am glad he got in. I am really quite pissed at some of the stuff he’s done, mostly in terms of extending stuff from prior administrations; Guantanamo, PATRIOT, etc.

    BoingBoing writers accept and report on both sides here, and I like that and hope it continues.

    I think drones are fantastic, in that they reduce deaths *on both sides*. I do feel that they are terrible in terms of morality. Either way I do not blame Obama for the sleazy ways they are used by their remote pilots.

    BoingBoing writers conflate drone pilots and their commanders with Obama. That’s an interesting perspective.

    1. Obama personally oversees drone strikes in his notorious ‘Terror Tuesday’ meetings. But even if he didn’t he would still be responsible, as Commander-in-Chief of those pilots and commanders.

      If you think (rightly) that drones are terrible in terms of morality, on what possible other terms could you simultaneously consider them fantastic?

    2. Mostly agreed.  Idealism would have me hoping that the drone strikes, Guantanamo, laws governing cannabis use, TSA policies, etc. will all be stopped/solved for the better in the next four years.  Realpolitik, on the other hand, would tell me that it’s highly unlikely that each one of these issues will be fixed any time soon, and anyone moaning that Obama didn’t fix their pet project (whether large or small) is being unrealistic and somewhat disingenuous. 
      Taking this to a different level, if we accept global warming as a result of human action, and if we also accept that the USA has played arguably the largest role in producing greenhouse gasses, and if we also accept that global warming has already (Sandy) killed people or will kill people, does that mean I am (as an American) also not able to laugh/cry when confronted with an emotional scene?
      Yeah, that’s a lot of accepting and assuming (and yes, I know what Benny Hill has to say about that), but I think it’s a similar case.

  21. Absolutely astounded by the number of commenters making excuses for the secret, illegal drone wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere.  You people are driving me away from identifying as liberal and from ever voting Democrat again.

      1. “Liberal” and “democrat” denote social/political identities — groups of people.  If the people identifying as “liberal” and “democrat” consistently support policies that I object to on moral grounds I’d be a hypocrite if I continued to identify as either one.  The concepts are defined by “other people” so in this case the only reason why I could, should, or would be turned off those things is because of other people.

        1. You specifically referred to commenters here. You also said their behavior may prevent you from ever voting democratic again. Do you still stand by this?

          1. Yes, commenters here are exemplifying the problems I’ve been having with liberal and democratic party politics for the last few months.  Note “exemplifying.”  It’s not as though these attitudes aren’t widespread among liberals/democrats. 

            Again, not the behavior but the opinions of liberals and democrats are apparently morally abhorrent to me.  If I’m going to be honest I have no choice but to stand by that.

          2. You said you would never vote democrat again, do you stand by this statement? To me, that is a very absolute stance to make in response to other peoples attitudes. Remember, whoever is going to get elected has to have a lot of support, you likely are not going to agree with everyones opinions… Are you really impressed by all the comments from Ron Paul supporters?

        2. I guess I’m a contrarian, but I honestly consider myself a conservative republican.  Note the small letters (although I am also a registered Republican).  I voted for Jill Stein, since she supports conservation and opposes the ongoing consolidation of wealth and political power.

          But you know, if the G.O.P ran a conservative republican Republican in an election, I would vote for that person.  Unfortunately the party only runs pro-corporate ultra-radicals who are primarily guided by unreasoning faith in all sorts of loopy things that have nothing to do with republicanism or conservation.  In fact most of their beliefs seem to involve invisible sky-daddies, consolidation of power and wealth into fewer hands, organized mayhem in foreign lands, and hate-mongering against imaginary threats to the union (like gays, liberals, and atheists, for example).  They all detest the idea of conservation of natural resources and are unwilling to practice any sort of fiscal responsibility, so I can’t honestly consider any of them conservatives, and they always side with giant multinational corporations over states and communities, so I can’t consider them republicans either.

          In the meantime, I’m proud to say that I voted against George W. Bush four times, which is the most anyone could do without actually moving to Texas.

  22. When I start to feel down about the shortcomings of the Obama presidency, I try to imagine the Romney presidency: first off, several million people (many with cancer) would be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions, how many of them would die unnecessarily I wonder? Second, imagine a SCOTUS lined with nothing but Scalias: bye bye civil rights for gays and lesbians; goodbye, Roe v. Wade.

    As for drone strikes, I could imagine the drone casualties in our new war with Syria or Iran; war in the middle east is the most tried and true conservative trope EVER. Don’t think for a minute that they won’t — the money is too good!

  23. Well, I guess I have de facto support for this guy… but he did do a bunch of stuff I’m really not cool with.
    Also, if pointing out his humanity without making the effort to contextualise his behaviour with past displays of inhumanity, whilst maintaining a a public platform such as BB… you would kinda leave yourself open to attack from the other side.
    Constant contextualisation in political manners may seem a drag but, well.. too bad.

  24. Speaking as a subhuman/non-american here, I am in position of knowing that both presidential candidates would have no problem with killing me (mode of killing is less relevant) and little repercussions for doing so.  From that point of view, a pox on both their houses.

    From that point of view, I don’t much care that one or the other leader was elected, except that I think Obama is more intelligent and at least smart enough to make some of the decisions that will keep our global economy from total collapse for a few years.  Romney would have accelerated that disaster.  They have both consumed amounts of the Kool-Aid, however, it’s more  matter of scale.

    1. It appears that neither presidential candidate would have any problem killing you even if you were an American citizen.

      And by “not having any problem” I mean they would not be prosecuted or punished in any way.

      Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, Anwar al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan were all American citizens… but according to Eric Holder, “Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen […] this is simply not accurate. ‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

      And who decides what “due process” is?  According to Holder, the President does.  So, in other words, in the opinion of the administration, as long as he thinks about it real hard for a few minutes, it’s completely legal for any US President to have anyone murdered out of hand.  It’s not like you have to be provably active in a military action or anything, you can be watching “Golden Girls” in your living room.  He just has to decide you’re probably a terrurrist, and he doesn’t have to actually prove anything at all to anyone.

    2. Non-American here too (Norwegian). So, ok, I tend to think American elections is the greatest spectator sport there is; but what happens over there invariably has consequences for us. And for me at least, it’s a combination of gloating and immense relief. Gloating because the theocratic feudalists lost horribly and painfully and their empire is crumbling as we watch; and relief that the US won’t be spreading theocratic feudalism to their allies.

      What’s happening to the economy is bad and the worst is probably yet to come, the drone strikes are a fucking crime, Obama has a lot more he should answer for; but Romney would be far, far, _far_ worse on every count.

  25. Seems to me like he was crying, in part, because he was completely exhausted from weeks of campaigning.  Axelrod looks like he’s wishing he had a shepards hook to pull Obama away from the microphone.

  26. “Objectively speaking, there’s no difference between Eleanor Roosevelt and Hitler.” If false equivalency trolls don’t wanna vote for one of the two major parties’ candidates, by all means vote for somebody whom you believe will never do something that offends you. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

  27. I have to say that Obama teared-up. He also teared-up at his last campaign speech on the road. But,  Boehner doen’t “tear-up.” His face collapses and he is unable to speak. This happens so frequently that it seems odd. I agree with Xeni, that the mockery is too easy when it is an opponent, but the style of crying, the relevance to the moment and the frequency does play a part in how the crying is interpreted and evaluated.

  28. “but I think he might be crying for all those innocent people in Pakistan who lost family members in the 300+ drone strikes he authorized during his first term as president. ”

    Daaaayummmmm… burn. Also, true story. Thank you Xeni.

  29. Best commentary ever Xeni, you nailed my feelings on Obama, The right man was elected, but he has a lot to make up for regarding transparency and human rights record.

  30. Well, maybe when you get to see the folder that includes all of the attempted threats on the US population and the possible stakes at hand, then you get to judge completely. In the meantime, let’s really do something about it and get off of foreign oil. At least then our hands wouldn’t tied as tightly.  Geopolitics have been a way of life since history’s been written on paper. Can’t just ‘jump out of the game’ without serious consequences. This kind of change will take a long time.

  31. The difference is, is that Boehner is emotionally unstable and unfit to lead a gaggle of geese. This is a genuine show of emotion from a strong leader. Boehner is horrible at his job, he cries at ridiculous things while he lets millions of americans suffer due to his blind faith in disproven hypotheses.

  32. At first I was pissed about Xeni’s juxtaposition, then I did a bit of research and found 881 civilians including 147 kids is the estimated death toll of drone strikes. Wow thats eye opening.

    I don’t care about killing bad people who happen to have been born in America with a drone strike, even though its illegal. Go ahead. It’s what I’d do.

    I do care about killing uninvolved people. Thats unconscionable. If you can’t kill em without killing random people, stop.. and find a way to kill them cleanly. Perhaps an itty bitty drone.

  33. I don’t know why I read comments on political posts. Everyone is under the same delusion: that one leader will be better for the country than another.

    When you focus on the world at large — fed to you by whatever news source you prefer and your favorite Internet sources — you start to believe that there is something that your country can do to change things. This is inherently false. You can change things. YOU. But you have to stop focusing on the world “out there” and zoom in on your world. There have been, and will always be, situations outside of your direct experience that you have no control over. The key thing to remember here, is YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over them, so stop thinking that you do. But you DO have control over your own experience, your own small corner of the world.

    This doesn’t mean that you should be tilting at windmills in your own neighborhood, but starting even smaller, with YOURSELF first, then expressing that compassion and kindness to those people who you interact with. Many people will scoff at this, but one person, getting him or herself into a positive state of mind and emotion will have an incredible influence upon the world. As the line from that Elvis song goes, “Clean up your own backyard.”

    The other key point is that the more you rail *against* something, the more you’ll notice that thing you don’t want showing up in your life. Your attention to it will see to that. So be “for” something instead. Trust me, it’ll get you a lot farther.

    1.  Totally with you on this. The more sure and happy you are with yourself the more it will come out in doing what really matters to you. I don’t understand why people have such a problem with isolating their own true conscience, really…

    2. Thank you for the most meaningful post on any political issue I have read in the last five years.

      “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest… Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

      Or as grampa used to say “Well, now we’re just talking about it.”

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