Obama’s heckler

A little late, but I couldn’t help reacting to the heckler at the Gitmo section of Obama’s speech last week:

“You are Commander-in-Chief… This is not Congress, it’s you, sir… You can close Guantanamo today… You can release those 86 prisoners…”

My question: do we assume that the President should have that much power, even as Commander-in-Chief, to open and close bases on his whim? If Obama has this power now, what else would this allow him to do? Or future presidents, Democrat and Republican?

Yes, she was an activist and advocate for the prisoners. Her job isn’t to bring nuance to the conversation, it’s to anchor the conversation further towards the direct, humanitarian interest of those prisoners. That is laudable, and Gitmo is an injustice.

But my point is this: process over result. Power politics between Congress & the President is maddeningly slow and often counter-productive. But the strength of American democracy lies not in the result, but in the longevity of a process that divides and checks the power of each. There are swings, and it would be a stretch today to say that it’s healthy. But I hold onto my faith that the pendulum will swing back.



About developingnathan
I am a reflective person. I am an introvert, a friend, a brother and a son. I appreciate a well-crafted glass of beer, piece of music and turn of phrase. I am a professional of international development, a good pianist and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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