I used to watch movies. I don’t anymore. I can think of very, very few movies that are even worth watching. Even the trailers are unwatchable. Just explosions, stupid catchphrases, and kisses.
But I certainly had my favorite movies back when I did watch them. I liked “Spanglish”. “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. And “The American President”.
The movie that this post is about, is about a man who is president of the US, who became such after his wife died. He fell in love with a lobbyist, and many conflict-of-interest hijinks ensued. I don’t like his politics much, but that’s not material. He was a decent guy.
So the scene that inspired this post was this: There was a scene where Libya (I think it was Lybia) bombed some American interest somewhere. He had to decide how to respond. His aides suggested bombing a building in Libya used for intelligence. He ordered it done.
The quote is this:
President Andrew Shepherd:
What I did tonight was not about political gain.
Yes sir. But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very Presidential.
President Andrew Shepherd:The American President
Leon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor’s working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence Headquarters. He’s going about doing his job… because he has no idea, in about an hour he’s going to die in a massive explosion. He’s just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You’ve just seen me do the least Presidential thing I do.
The thing about being president – and I can only guess at this because I’ve never been president – is that you sometimes have to make decisions that you don’t want to make. This is expected. We hire people to the job precisely because we want people to make these decisions. And sometimes they’re going to make unpalatable ones. This comes with the territory. Few people criticize a President for an order that will cause loss of life – even sometimes extreme loss of life.
But we expect the president to execute those decisions responsibily.
Few people are criticizing Biden for drawing down in Afghanistan, or at least not criticizing him so strongly that they think he needs to be impeached for it. That was a defensible decision. It may have lead to loss of life no matter what, but it’s the kind of decision we hire a president for. We may or may not agree with it, but fair cop. He’s president, we’re not.
But what we do expect from a president is a respect for the gravity of his decisions, something Andrew Shepherd understood. He understood that by bombing the intelligence headquarters, he was going to kill people. He judged it acceptable and necessary, which is absolutely what we hire a president for. But he understood what he was doing, and he didn’t like it.
Biden doesn’t seem to have that kind of respect for the gravity of his decisions.
He seems to have deliberately left thousands of citizens and allies stranded in the country, and seems to have no concern whatsoever for their lives. He has gotten up on stage in front of the country and the press, blamed everyone else, told us that he did the right thing, and has spared little thought at all to those he has probably condemned to a gruesome death. It is almost as if he is completely unconcerned with the consequences of his actions. I can’t speak to his state of mind, but this is the perception. He just doesn’t seem to care. He wanted to pull us out of Afghanistan, he did so, and damn our citizens, our allies, and whoever else he screwed.
He just doesn’t seem to care.
And that is why I think he needs to be (legally) removed from office as quickly as possible.
We can’t have a president who doesn’t care, or give a thought, to who he sentences to death.