The Washington Post editorial board, hardly a bastion of liberal progressivism, has in just over a week both endorsed President Obama in the election and slammed the Obama administration's secrecy on drones. WaPo's positions are not contradictory and prove what is too often forgotten on Kos: that criticizing the Obama administration, particularly policies that result in the deaths of at least some innocent people, does not make it impossible to support Obama.
WaPo endorsed Obama on October 25th.
That makes Mr. Obama by far the superior choice.
Eight days later, the same WaPo editorial board called for more accountability surrounding Obama's drone program. WaPo's analysis is far from perfect. For example, they massively underestimate civilian deaths. However, WaPo's point about accountability is well taken - that regardless of where you stand on the drone program, more transparency is needed:
Nevertheless, when that war ranges far from conventional battlefields, U.S. interests will be better served by greater disclosure, more political accountability, more checks and balances and more collaboration with allies . . . to institutionalize a secret process of conducting covert drone strikes against militants across the world is contrary to U.S. interests and ultimately unsustainable.
In a democracy, it is not only our right but our duty as citizens to criticize and hold accountable elected officials, even the ones we voted for, but unfortunately, this perspective is too often ignored on Kos.
While many Kos readers recognize that it is entirely appropriate to criticize Obama, even during an election season, there is another substantial and vocal contingent that mistakes dissent for disloyalty, as if honest criticism is no longer welcome. Here are some of the comments on one of my recent diaries, which criticized the Obama administration policy of prosecuting whistleblowers under the Espionage Act:
. . . now is not the time to be undercutting Obama from the left. Now is the time to keep quiet if you haven't got anything election-winning to say. . . the whistleblower stuff is important, but not as important as getting Obama back into the White House first. . . . Please renew your campaign for whistleblowers once we have reelected a Democratic president.
Say what you have to say, I guess. But man, I'd be more in the mood to read it if you could hold your damn fire until after election day. I got it. You have a bone to pick with Obama. (It's the same bone you've been picking since 2008.) Can you please, for the love of god, pause in your picking of it until after election day? President Romney thanks you for your support.
I think this diary is just a reaction to the good will being engendered by the Administration and an attempt to dampen enthusiasm.