Intensifying imperialist competition has saddled U.S. rulers with an impossible political mission. On the one hand, they must brutally crush their international rivals and enemies to protect their dwindling sources of profit. On the other, they must sustain their facade of law-abiding democracy to hold the ebbing loyalty of workers.
This dilemma explains why the New York Times — representing finance capital, the dominant faction of the U.S. ruling class — both praises and admonishes its presidential candidate of choice, Barack Obama. On May 30, the Times published a multi-page exposé of Obama’s assassination-by-drone campaign: “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves Test of Obama’s Principles and Will.” The following day it printed a cautionary editorial on the same subject (“Too Much Power for a President,” 5/31).