Thursday, October 14, 2010

JMO - Obama the Republican

Obama is not what he campaigned on in 2008. He campaigned as a moderate to progressive Democrat, but as we near the end of the first two years of his administration we're learning then he was really a moderate to conservative Democrat simply using the progressive rhetoric to win the Democratic progressive base. We're now learning is really a conservative Democratic to moderate Republican, and all of his promises were simply words to sell himself and buy our vote.

We also now know he's more a Republican than Democrat on many issues. He's promoting war by surrounding himself with military advisors or some hawk-thinking civilians. He's trusted their short-term recommendations without looking at the long term goals and consequences. And while we have left Iraq in force, we still plan to stay there for a long time. We know now that a full withdrawl won't happen with the world's largest embassy in Baghdad.

And while he promised to look at withdrawing from Afghanistan, he went with the surge which we know did more harm than good and didn't accomplish the goals promised. We went into Afghanistan to capture and destroy Al Qeada and overturn the Taliban regime. Much of that was accomplished early and the rest under Obama (Bush pretty much ignored this war after 2003). So why are we still there?

For the same reason Bush stayed in Iraq, to fight global terrorism, now based in neighboring Pakistan, where we've taken the war into their soverign country. Shades of Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam war, and we all know how that ended. We all know there will not be a stable government Afghanistan and the one we propping up is powerless and corrupt, taking our money for their own wealth. Shades of Vietnam again.

What he doesn't understand is that we see that you can take the same rhetoric president said about communisim through the Reagan presidency and replace it with global terrorism and it's the same message to sell fear, hate and votes for war, and the military, and more so now intelligence and surveillience agencies. The global war against communism, which was large and real, is not the global war on terrorism which is small and pseudo-real.

And now President Obama, just 3 weeks before the mid-term election, stated he could and would work with Republicans in Congress, implying they will win the House and make the Senate more partisan with barely a Democratic majority. He knew the Republicans were the party of no and with every bill he wanted he stepped across the aisle to invite them into the discussion and help write the bill.

And we know now every one of those bills while including Democratic measures, but no progressive ones, favored the Republicans and the corporations. Obama has shown he will help people, but more so help corporations, and even more so to make sure the extremist Republicans get their issue included, restricting if not banning healthcare for women's needs, no public option to induce health insurance companies to be competitive, etc.

I won't argue some of the laws did help people more than corporations, but he still did support and continue the financial services bailout, support mortage lenders by buying the toxic (sub-prime) assessts, and so on down the line of benefits. He didn't help home owners swamped and drowning with bad mortages except with a complex process that isn't working.

He didn't get banks and lending companies to start lending, they're simply keeping the profits. He didn't get companies to hire new workers, they're simply banking the profits for themselves (out of fear being in a recession). He didn't get financial services companies from paying big bonuses, only making them public where they're reduced out of embarrassment. He didn't act against BP like we expected and wanted, he caved and partnered with them to reduce their liability.

In the end Obama has shed he Democratic coat, having left his progressive ideas along the political road shortly after inauguration, and put on the moderate-to-conservative Republican coat. While he fights for the Democrats for the party, it's clear to me that's not where he interests lie, but with the Republicans. He knows to get re-elected that's where the voters are. He has banked the Democrats in his pocket and focused on the Republican values as his.

He has become what the Jimmy Carter of 1978. He will have a lot of explaining to do in to the 2012 campaign not to lose many of the moderate and progressive Democrats. And running as the lesser of evils won't win our hearts and minds again. We were fooled by him in 2008 and as the song goes, "We won't get fooled again."


  1. Michael Moore (or somebody) called Bill Clinton "the best Republican president we've ever had" and it was basically true: Like Obama, he threw his campaign promises under the bus once he got in office (no universal healthcare, no end of discrimination against gay people). But he did a few good things, too. And some really bad ones, like the Communications Act of 1996, which brought us the right-wing controlled media of today.

    Obama's good thing? His only "progressive" thing I can think of is healthcare reform. Except it's not: The plan to require private health insurance is exactly the 1993 Republican plan that was the counter to Hillary Clinton's plan. It's the SAME plan, except now it's socialist.

    Obama is not the best Republican president we've ever had. He's more of an average one; more Reagan than Carter, not as liberal as Richard Nixon.

  2. And the preacher lifted his arms to the sky and asked the congregation, "Can I get an Amen?", to which the congregation all rose, lifted their arms to the sky and shouted, "Amen!" and then bowed their heads and whispered, "Amen."

    It was noted on the Keith Olbermann show that Obama is just another Jimmy Carter, and his biggest mistake in that he's more interested in the Washington DC process and politics (inside the beltway) than results in the rest of the country. He continues to talk about cooperation (with Republicans) and the process of getting results than the results which the rest of us care about and vote on.

    He's more interested in being nice than being forceful and decisive for particular results, which is demonstrated when he jettisoned all the progressive ideas he promised during the campaign once in office, eg. healthcare reform, finance reform, etc. He decided that appeasing the opposition, even in the face of their obstinance (the party of "Hell no!") than this own base and the American public and voters, is more important.

    If things aren't going well in 2011-12 and the Republicans can come up with another charismatic candidate, or the public is tired of his rhetoric about the wars, the ecomony, corporations, he'll be another one term president, just like Jimmy Carter. And it opens the door to a challenger within the party during the primaries from the left and progressives, if only to get his attention and make a point about who he jettisoned and what he lost.

    In short, he's pissing off his own party and more so his own base who elected him.