Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Obama and the Deadly Drones

One of my favorite conservative blogs is Powerline. They recently posted an article discussing President Obama's program of blowing up bad guys with drones. It raises serious constitutional and ethical questions. This particular discussion noted that there aren't really clear limits or boundaries on presidential powers in some areas, and questioned whether there should be more. Here is the article:

And my response:

One of the biggest problems I have with over regulation is that it enforces mediocrity and lowest common denominator outcomes. We see that with the public schools. Every move, every curriculum, every textbook, every teacher promotion or firing, must follow a rigid set of rules using written standards monitored by bureaucrats. While this may defend against really poor outcomes, it also reduces the chances for greatness and innovation. I believe that over regulation generally degrades outcomes, even if it does make them more consistent and predictable.

So yes, there are times that ambiguity of law, and the executive reaching in ways that were not considered by laws (Or that would never have gotten approval if publicly proposed.) is probably a good thing. We may not like it when that executive belongs to a party we don't approve, or if we don't like the particular action. But overall, on the balance, I believe that most Presidents of the United States make the right decision most of the time. Particularly on hard calls like whether to target a terrorist, citizen or not, with a drone.

I don't like Obama. Not as a person. Not as a politician. Not as our President. But I would not take the power to act independently away from him. Because if we take away some of his ability away to do bad things, we also take away part of his ability to achieve great things.


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