Watching the president's intensely partisan, disturbing political speech last night concerning the "debt ceiling crisis" he has recklessly precipitated, I was sadly reminded of the shocking passage in Robert Woodward's 2010 book, "Obama's Wars", where he revealed so much about himself by saying (in response to a question from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had asked him whether his Afghanistan "withdrawal timetable" was "firm":
"I have to say that," Mr. Obama replied. "I can't let this be a war without end, and I can't lose the whole Democratic Party." (Emphasis mine.)
I had never previously imagined that a person who chose to run for president and lead our nation (especially one who had previously expressed strong, passionate support for the Afghanistan engagement -- aka the "good war" -- as part of his daily campaign rhetoric) could possibly speak like this -- could possibly continue to send men and women into deadly battle if he did firmly not believe in the justness of a cause, if all of his actions were just political play-acting.
The president's statement did occasion some shock and revulsion at the time of publication (the White House never denied its accuracy), but nothing like the outrage that would have obtained if: (a) we still raised an army by conscription; and/or (b) if we had an honest, non-supine media.
A number of years ago, during the "LewinskyVision" days of President Clinton's second term, I heard a television pundit define immorality as "seeing people as a means to an end, rather than as ends in and of themselves."
I think that's what we have here. I do not care for politicians generally and I am not saying that this president has a monopoly on immorality; I do think he's firmly planted his flag in that territory, however.
According to Woodward, Sen. Graham's response to the president was:
“Mr. President, let’s just don’t let that statement get so much attention.”