I'm preemptively making this post in anticipation of likely objections to a question that I had just asked right now: What has Barack Obama Done Regarding Torture and Indefinite Detention?.

The reason why I think that people might object to the question is because it practically invites partisanship.

The reason why I'm asking this question is so that I can be prepared for casual political conversations.

I have a particular talking point in mind that gets brought up in conversations when you talk about Obama and Guantanamo Bay, and I'm asking this question so that I might be prepared to respond to that talking point when it comes up.

In my opinion, this is one of the things that Politcs SE can be good for, namely being prepared to respond to points that come up in political discussions.

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    I don't see why it wouldn't be on topic, but I'm seriously tempted to downvote it for no evident prior research.
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 3:04
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    I think any political question can invite partisanship. Partisanship is a part of politics, after all. I do kind of agree with Yannis, though. I did answer the question, but it's just mainly some links to Wikipedia which is rather thorough on those topics (if I understood the question correctly).
    – user1530
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 4:23
  • It's more on topic than some historical questions here which for the life of me I cannot understand why they are not on history.SE. Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 11:22
  • @EugeneSeidel See: Is political history within the scope of the site?. When Politics grow (we're still in our infant phase), we can revisit the boundaries between the two sites (and hopefully by then, History will have graduated).
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


Of course it is on topic, it is just a question of fact regarding political policy.

I don't think the question is partisan at all, it just mentions a particular President. The mention of a particular President isn't in itself partisan.

  • The topic of a particular president isn't necessarily partisan, but the issue of Guantanamo has been rather partisan for a while. But that's politics.
    – user1530
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 17:12
  • Questions about Partisan topics are on topic and are what make this site great. Partisan questions have a bad smell to them and are hard to answer. When you aim right, you will have a great question. Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 12:18
  • @DA The rhetoric was partisan but both sides are/were doing the same thing there. Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 15:43
  • @chad I would agree.
    – user1530
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 15:48

The problem with that question as it stands is the term proactively.

Proactively means that he acted ahead of time to stop a problem before it started. So it requires either foresight or a crystal ball to figure out what was going to happen.

If the question asked about what changes were made from the previous administration or even if certain policies had been changed then it would be on topic.

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    That's not quite true. the defninition of proactive at Dictionary.com is tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events. It is not a synonym for preventative If decided to do something about the torture system, without another event forcing him to do it, even if the system already existed, it would qualify as proactive Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 16:01

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