Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rant Time: Pres. Obama is No Liberal

And he's certainly no socialist, despite the popular conservative argument otherwise.  Here's what we have seen so far:
  1. He gave away the public option before the debate even began.  Health care reform ended up being a huge win for the health care industry which will soon be flooded with new customers thanks to the mandate.
  2. The stimulus was too small and included too many tax cuts for corporations at the Republicans' behest.
  3. He has failed to follow up on, pursue, and prosecute Bush Administration illegal activities such as torture and illegal wiretapping.
  4. The war in Afghanistan, which pretty much everyone agrees we can't "win" militarily, has been escalated instead of ended.
  5. The financial reform bill was watered down in the face of the powerful financial lobby to the point of likely being completely ineffectual to prevent the sort of the economic meltdown we are currently working our way out of, over two years later and with no end in sight.
  6. He is now backing down from his stance of letting the tax cuts for the super-wealthy expire and extending the tax cuts for the vast majority of Americans permanently.
  7. And now, reports are that the administration is stepping up covert attacks in Yemen.
What makes these items so infuriating for liberals is that public polling shows that Americans supported the liberal position in nearly ever single one of this issues.  Americans wanted a public option, at the time a big stimulus was popular to drag us out of the recession.  Americans hate torture and our Middle Eastern wars.  Americans wanted tough new regulations for Wall Street to avoid another economic meltdown.  Americans want the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire.  They want Pres. Obama to deliver on his promises, but he appears to be politically gutless.  I can't think of an issue where he has drawn a line in the sand and stood up for what he believes is best for America.

Compromise is inevitable, of course, and I'm glad we have a president who is willing to compromise to get things done.  The problem is he never seems to compromise from a position of strength and vigor.  When he was elected America had given Democrats complete control of the government because they didn't like where Republicans were taking them.  Instead of taking that mandate and arguing with strong voices for the policies that got them elected, Democrats capitulated and seems to retreat at every possible occasion.  As Pres. Obama is the leader of the Democratic party it was up to him to set the agenda and the tone.  He has so far failed.

I don't expect or even necessarily want a victory on every major point above, but certainly a few victories would be encouraging for liberals.  A few moments of inspiring leadership would be much appreciated.  A mere occasional reason to gloat wouldn't be the worst thing on earth.  If the President and Democrats had managed just a couple big wins in those issues they may have had a base that was more energized for the election and more willing to work hard to defeat the tea party surge.  But since there does not seem to be either 1) any real and deeply-held liberal convictions by Democrats or, worse, 2) any real difference between the two parties and thus no real choice, liberals largely stayed home on election day.

Pres. Obama has two more years to show some real leadership, but I'm not convinced he has it in him.  And I know Congressional Democrats don't.  The liberal renaissance we thought was coming in 2006 and 2008 has flatlined.


Pugs said...

I can't think of an issue where he has drawn a line in the sand and stood up for what he believes is best for America.

I'm not right very often, but I this is one that I pegged during the campaigns. People would ask me what I thought about him as a candidate, and said I thought he was "too political". In the limited research I did into his political career the vibe I kept getting was that he was someone that talked a big game but at moments when I thought were opportunities to stand up and really fight for what he publicly said he believed was right all I could find was him either non-existent or much too willing to compromise.

There was a lot not to like about the Bush administration but honestly the two most positive characteristics I think he had as a president were 1) he was willing to be an "American" and lived his life like a "regular" guy and 2) if he thought something was right he stood by it.

There's plenty of debate as to whether what he thought was right, was indeed the right thing, but he stuck by his guns and I think in terms of political leadership that's a quality that few have in their back pocket.

I don't agree that Obama is to blame for the death of the liberal resurgence either. I think that many of the fence sitting voter's say from 2006 onward were more prone to vote "Anyone Else" than they were to vote for anything that resembled the Bush administration. I thought the Democrats did a great job trying to frame the discussion in that light very early on and I think that public opinion swayed heavily to their favor.

The problem when you run a campaign as "I'm not the other guy", is that people don't know who you are. Then you get into office and start screwing things up and people get mad.

How long did it take Rand Paul to soften his stance on earmarks? Unless he changes his ways very quickly, look for him to lose that seat as quickly as he gained it.

Ilyan Kei Lavanway said...

Of course Obama is no liberal. He's far worse! He's a terrorist in a suit! He's the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing! He does absolutely nothing of value for America or its people! Read teh book Earth Sink and see where he is taking America if we don't vote him out and prosecute him for fraud and treason!

On other notes:

I see no problem sending a temple-worthy illegal immigrant on a full time mission. I do see a problem with allowing illegal immigrants to remain on U.S. soil when they are dealing and using drugs and running human trafficking and prostitution rings and raping our girls and vandalizing our property and stealing our goods. Exceptions to laws can be made for a greater good, and selectively allowing illegals to remain in good faith while they make every effort to become legal and to serve in the gospel of Christ is and should be one such valid exception.

Children of gay, same-sex parents are far better off in state care or in foster homes of heterosexual, opposite-sex parents than they would be growing up with same-sex parents, even if the same sex parents were kinder and gentler to them. The mindset instilled by same-sex parents is nothing short of raping the innocent spirit of a child who would grow up not even having a chance to understand how sick and depraved the very idea of same-sex parents truly is! Shame on anyone who supports same sex marriage and same-sex parenting in any form! May you repent or meet a swift and ignominious demise! Read Earth Sink! That is a book for you, and especially you!

On the issue of the 12th Article of Faith; the spirit of that article is simply that we must be good citizens wherever we live. It does not mean we must support tyranny and oppression and unjust legislation that clearly harms virtue, life, and liberty. It does not mean we should sit idle and let corrupt legislation take root when we have the means to stop it or change it. What if the founding fathers of our constitution decided to remain subject to kings, rulers, and magistrates in honoring and sustaining the law? We would not have a country! The very nation set up to allow the gospel of Christ to be restored to the earth would have never come to be. Surely, any sound mind can perceive the difference between being a good citizen, which even the oppressed and abused can and should be, and remaining idly obedient to oppressive laws that can either be changed or escaped by voice or by flight or by bloodshed if necessary. You don’t go to war over a speeding ticket. You damn well better go to war over a hostile government that threatens to abolish individual freedoms and gives no audience to the voice of the people! Moroni comes to mind!

Jacob S. said...

Mr. Lavanway,

That is the most offensive and vomit-worthy screed anyone has ever written on the internet. Hats off to you, sir!

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