Ten reasons why Barack Obama does not deserve your vote
Okay. Anyone who watches this show could surely come up with a multitude of reasons why no one should vote for Witless Romney. I'm going to tell you why no one should vote for our own president Hopey-Changey.
First, let me dispense with a couple of reasons people give why we should vote for him.
One is the Lily Ledbetter act, the equal pay act. He didn't have a damn thing to do with getting that passed. It had passed Congress the year before, in 2008, but Bush vetoed it. Everyone knew it could and would be passed again in 2009. Yes, Obama signed it - which is a good thing - but quite bluntly he didn't have a single thing to do with getting it passed.
It's like when the Moon landing occurred in July 1969. It always annoyed me that it was Richard Nixon's name on that plaque that was left on the Moon. He had nothing to do with the project, nothing to do with the Mercury program or the Gemini program or the Apollo program, nothing at all. He just happened to be the president when the landing happened - so it was his name recorded for however many millennia it will be before that plaque turns to dust. Same thing here: Obama deserves none of the credit for the Lily Ledbetter act.
Another one, one that particularly gripes me, is the claim "He ended the war in Iraq!" No, he didn't. In the fall of 2008, before the election, the Iraqis forced George Bush to accept a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by the end of 2011. All Barack Obama did was stick to that timetable. He did nothing to create it, nothing to advance it, nothing to change it - which is notable only because the O crowd wanted to change it; they tried to push the Iraqis into allowing for troops to stay beyond the December 31, 2011 deadline. They failed. That is why the troops are out, that is why the was over. Not because of anything Obama did but because of what the Iraqis made George Bush do and because of what Barack Obama failed to do.
All right, so how about a few reasons why you should not vote for Obama.
One. He has presided over a massive expansion of government surveillance of our personal lives. For example:
- William Binney, a former technical director at the NSA, said during a panel discussion at a conference in July that the agency was indeed collecting e-mails, Twitter writings, internet searches and other data belonging to Americans and indexing it.
- There is today being built in Bluffdale, Utah, a $2 billion center for the NSA designed to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they pass through international, foreign, and domestic networks. It should be up and running in a year. This is the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the Bush administration, which was killed by howls of protest from the now-silent liberals.
- Already operating in several cities is a surveillance system called Trapwire, designed to pick up and transport data to a central database center, where it will be combined with other intelligence "for the purpose of," quoting a press release, "identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.” Shades of Minority Report.
Two. He has engaged in an unprecedented attack on whistleblowers. The Obama administration has already charged six people under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information. That is literally twice as many such cases as were seen under all previous administrations combined across the entire history of the act, which dates to 1917.
Three. Related to that, he has abused secrecy. He has claimed to be an advocate of government transparency and oversight, he promised the most transparent administration ever, but Obama has instead established the most secretive administration of modern times, with major programs and policies - especially as related to the use of military force - carried out without public debate or even knowledge. And he has done it, it has been noted, more thoroughly and effectively than anyone might have imagined.
Four. He has waged secret wars in Yemen and Somalia and has dramatically expanded the drone war on Pakistan.
Before Barack Obama came into office, there had been one US military strike in Yemen. During his administration there have been as many as 110.
Under George Bush, there were 50 drone strikes in Pakistan. Under Barack Obama, there have been 294.
Under Bush, there were 429 casualties from those strikes. Under Obama, there have been 2,133.
Five. He has failed to prosecute war criminals and torturers. After coming into office loudly declaring "nobody is above the law," Obama immediately set out to actively shield the war criminals of the Bush gang - including those who tortured prisoners - not only from criminal prosecution, but from Congressional investigations and private civil suits as well.
The final page of this disgusting chapter was written on August 30, when the DOJ announced it was ending its investigation into the only two cases relating to the torture regime that it even considered prosecuting. Those cases, both involving detainees who were killed by their interrogators, one by freezing and one by asphyxiation, were the only two of over 100 such deaths that even got to the point of being investigated.
As far as the Obama administration is concerned, torture, it seems, is not a crime - if we do it.
Six. He has engineered the widest, most serious expansion of executive power ever, to a degree Bush and Cheney only dreamed of. He claimed he was against the Patriot Act but when it came up for renewal, he supported it. Under the NDAA, which he signed, he has the power to indefinitely detain without trial or even charge, anyone he in his personal, unreviewable, judgment deems to be giving "substantial support" to some terrorist or "associated forces," whatever they are. He has even asserted the authority to kill anyone, including American citizens on foreign soil, if again in his personal, unreviewable, judgment that person is a terrorist.
Seven. He has beaten the war drums against Iran, talking about "red lines" and staging large-scale military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf. This despite the fact that US officials will admit when asked directly that there is no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon - and bluntly, if it were, why would that give us the right to launch an attack? Why do we get to say who can have nuclear weapons and who can't? Sitting on what is still the world's most destructive nuclear arsenal doesn't exactly give us any moral high ground.
It goes beyond tough talk. On Obama's orders, the US released the Stuxnet worm, a computer worm, into Iran's nuclear facilities to shut down and damage its computer-controlled centrifuges. In May 2011 the Pentagon declared that if some country engaged in a cyber attack on the US, it could be considered an "act of war." Which means Obama's program on Iran has included committing outright acts of war.
Eight. He has failed to prosecute Wall Street crooks. In fact, the administration went so far as to specifically refuse to follow up on criminal referrals from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission regarding one of Goldman Sachs' mortgage deals and to insist it could find no evidence of crimes in the report of a Senate investigation that included emails from Goldman Sachs proving the company had defrauded investors.
The bankers got away with, in the words of one source, "theft, wire fraud, bank fraud, loan fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud" while millions of Americans lost their life savings and their homes. The banks are right back at the same rigged game that got us into this mess. The too-big-to-fail banks are even bigger. And Obama's plan to deal with this is to replace Tim Geithner with Erskine Bowles.
Nine. While he's all tough and macho in private and when dealing with whistleblowers, when it comes to public policy, to in-the-trenches policy debates, he's a damn wimp, surrendering to the GOPpers at every turn, often even before the game has started.
In many cases, it's not so much what he failed to do that infuriates people like me, it's that he never tried in the first place. If someone fights the good fight and loses, that's forgivable, even admirable. To talk the talk and not even try to walk to walk is neither.
An obvious example is the public option in health insurance reform. Feeble as such an option is compared to an actual national health service, it still would be clearly better than what we got - but he gave it up, openly surrendered on it, before the actual Congressional debate even began.
Another, even starker case, is the stimulus package. The head of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, said that $1.8 trillion was needed for a real stimulus, one that would really rally the economy. That was rejected as not politically feasible. Eventually, the proposal was $800 billion because that's what they thought would pass.
So we got a stimulus the administration had been specifically told was less than half of what was needed because the O crowd couldn't be bothered to fight for anything better. The result was that, yes, the stimulus did keep things from being worse than they otherwise would have - but it wasn't nearly enough to make things better and we are still stuck in the most anemic "recovery" in a heck of a long time, one that looks no better than the recession that supposedly had ended.
I've said before: We need less Kumbaya and more Lyndon Johnson.
Finally, ten. Get it through your thick skulls: Barack Obama wants to cut Social Security! He wants to cut Medicare! He has whined that he doesn't get enough credit for being so willing to do so!
So there you have ten good reasons why Barack Obama does not deserve your vote. And if I've gotten you depressed, welcome to reality.