Yesterday, Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic and protege of Andrew Sullivan, offered an explanation for why he chose to spend months blasting Mitt Romney as more evil than Barack Obama but will still vote for Gary Johnson instead. He titled the piece “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama“:
Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can’t bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution, and they’ll nod along. Say that you’d never vote for a politician caught using the ‘n’-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney’s flaws, which I’ve chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.
Don’t they see that Obama’s transgressions are worse than any I’ve mentioned?
I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.
Emphases added. In the first three paragraphs Friedersdorf references himself five times — all without need.
How much more does Friedersdorf talk about himself as he lays out the case that the death of 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (in the drone strike that killed his Jihadi father) morally disqualifies Obama from a second term in office? The 1798-word piece contains 35 variations of I. Among the most narcissistic passages:
If I vote, it will be for Johnson. What about the assertion that Romney will be even worse than Obama has been on these issues? It is quite possible, though not nearly as inevitable as Democrats seem to think. It isn’t as though they accurately predicted the abysmal behavior of Obama during his first term, after all. And how do you get worse than having set a precedent for the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens? By actually carrying out such a killing? Obama did that too. Would Romney? I honestly don’t know. I can imagine he’d kill more Americans without trial and in secret, or that he wouldn’t kill any. I can imagine that he’d kill more innocent Pakistani kids or fewer. His rhetoric suggests he would be worse. I agree with that. Then again, Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret.
One should also note that in his explanation for why not to vote for Obama the only killings that Friedersdorf mentions as a concern to him are those done by America to defend itself. So little surprise that he never gets around to the question of which candidate will do a better job protecting American lives.