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Anglachel asks a very good question

As we would expect:

Just where is the resistance to deconstructing the Bush administration's terror regime originating? Obviously, the Republicans are frantically trying to keep the terms of the debate within a language game of fear and revenge, but the problem is larger than defunding Guantanamo. It has to do with the nature of executive power, the way the US's relationship to other nations and their citizens is conceptualized, the use of military and CIA power abroad to achieve domestic objectives, the constitutional constraints (and the ways in which such constraints are ignored) upon the exercise of power by the executive branch, the balance between competing claims of sovereignty, and so forth.

As I pointed out obliquely in the Guantanamo post, when dealing with the use of the state monopoly on large scale violence, "them" and "us" is not such a clear distinction in our modes of political life. We cannot arbitrarily ascribe bad motives to only part of an administration without evaluating how the whole enables the part.

Who is developing the theory of state and executive power for the Obama administration? Who is signing on to it? Who disagrees but executes? If the SOS, Sec. Def, NSA and head of the CIA are fundamentally in agreement, then does this mean they are the ones who have crafted this theory of power?

I know where I want Hillary to be on these questions. We'll see if my hopes are borne out by facts.


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Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

...that Vice President Joe Biden has a heck of a lot of influence on foreign policy, more than the White House lets on. He's not quite Dick Cheney, but nor is he the bumbling grandparent the Village tries to portray him as.

As for Hillary's role in all of this, my view hasn't changed one bit, and if anything has been reinforced over the last few months. She's in the most beautiful gilded cage you'll ever see, but one that's still a cage. As someone said over at Anglachel's Journal; when Obama's through with her, her career may be about as unworthy of rejuvenation as Powell's or Rice's, though, not because it may be so horrible, but because it may be so tied to the president's that she'll end up looking like a Vice President, which isn't a good thing.

As quite possibly the least independent cabinent office there is, and the one most representative of a president's image, though she may have more say than most SoS's given the sheer power of her will, I'd imagine her lattitude in policy making is restricted to the narrow, not the wide.

Keep your eye on Joe.