President Obushma? I Hope Not. But I Fear So.

When they campaign, they promise us the moon. When they campaign, they also somehow convince us that they're different than their competitors, and even that they're different than the office-holder that they will replace. Maybe they really are different.

But then the unfortunate reality sets in--the reality of a behemoth that is at odds with American ideals. On this Inauguration Day 2009, with the Establishmentarians firmly ensconced behind the dais in the shadows of power, I'm worried that four years from now, we will all be saying, "Obama wasn't much different from Bush after all." Although I sincerely hope he is different, here's my list of ways in which I'm afraid Barack Obama will probably not be much different than George W. Bush.

The inauguration speech of President Barack Obama was magificent. It was much more inspiring than something

How can it be that hard? It doesn't take four years to sign an Executive Order.

a George Bush, a Jimmy Carter, or even a Bill Clinton could have delivered. I disagree with the President's stand on a few of the issues that he talked about. On other issues, I agree with him wholeheartedly. I'm just worried that, because of the shadows of power, he won't be able to accomplish what he set out to do on the campaign trail.

Community service. I like a President who uses his office as a soap box to enourage everyday Americans to care

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the following special announcement: Obama's current position is that if he is able to close Guantanamo by the end of his first term, he will consider that a success.

for one another. What I don't like is when the government uses its power and money to either compel such caring. George W. Bush advocated "faith-based initiatives", which Obama recently stated he would expand. That's not good. Both forced charity and subsidized charity eventually become no charity at all.

Bailouts. On this subject, the President has already shown that he's more concerned about our short-term than our long-term benefit. Do

Like Bush did, President Obama plans to increase government control of health care, which is the primary reason that health care costs continue to explode all across America.

bailouts help? Absolutely not. They only make things worse. President Obama knows this. It doesn't take an economic rocket scientist to figure it out. Yet he has already proposed to make the economic cliff bigger from which we must eventually fall.

Government Health Care. In his address earlier today, President Obama stated that "Our health care is too costly." Unfortunately, like his predecessor, he plans to increase government control of health care, which is the primary reason that health care costs continue to explode all across America.

Education. Not much will change here, which won't be a surprise. A couple of decades ago, the Republicans planned to demolish the Department of Education and return education

It doesn't take an economic rocket scientist to figure out that bailouts delay and exacerbate the inevitable. Yet President Obama has already proposed to make the economic cliff bigger from which we must eventually fall.

where it belonged--to the states. George W. Bush was the head cheerleader, though, for No Child Left Behind. The changes that Barack Obama would like to make to NCLB would be better than what we currently have, but the greatest problem facing education today is the federal control of it.

Iraq. Obama claimed that he would have the troops out of Iraq within 16 months. Then he said it would be most of the troops. Now it seems he's just fine with taking the full three years that the Iraqi parliament mandated is the limit. Strangely similar to George W. Bush, and to his Republican presidential opponent, John McCain, Obama has consistently been in support of leaving a residual U.S. force there...forrr-evvvv-errrr.

Guantanamo. The prison and torture facility at Guantanamo Bay must be closed immediately, Obama used to say. We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the following special announcement: Obama's current position is that if he is able to close Guantanamo by the end of his first term, he will consider that a success. How can it be that hard? It doesn't take four years to sign an Executive Order.

National Crisis. George W. Bush had his ready-made galvanizing crisis when the terrorists struck on 9/11. Vice-president Joe Biden has already promised us a couple of months ago that we will have another such crisis, and that when it comes we must stand behind our President, even if it seems like we shouldn't. Sounds exciting!! Stay tuned.




Comments

  1. I was at the table reading the paper and my wife had the inauguration on. I looked up when President Obama started to speak but after a while I found the comics more interesting. I did wonder what it was like for President Bush to sit through an Obama rally.

    I must say I am cynical when it comes to most politicians, expecting the worse, and rarely am I let down. Living in California and having the Govenator lead us into the biggest darkest budgetary hole around has been really disappointing. Republicans don’t seem that different from Democrats with regards to spending any more. They talk it up pretty good during the elections but they don’t seem capable of delivering on their promises any better than I fear/hope Mr. Obama will be able to do.

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  2. Good points. I do wonder what crisis Joe Biden was talking about and how did he know with such surety?

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  3. RAP,

    Instead of having our regular team meeting agenda here at work, we watched most of the inauguration, including the President's speech. My two observations were that it was a very inspiring speech, and that Obama is for me so much easier to listen to than Bush was.

    I guess I'm cynical, too. It was bizarre that the DOW did the worst today of any inauguration day since the Dow was created in 1896.

    Carissa,

    It had me kind of creeped out when I heard Biden say that, but then Joe Lieberman said this soon after (see the link in the "National Crisis" section of my article for a longer conversation)

    Mr. Leiberman: ...let me make clear, history tells us this — in 1993, the first years of the Clinton administration, al Qaeda hit the World Trade Center with a truck bomb; in 2001, 9/11, the first year of the Bush administration, al Qaeda hit the World Trade Center.


    I have a tendency, however, to wonder if Lieberman was doing damage control for Biden.

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  4. The part that was the weirdest to me was how he knew they'd have to make unpopular decisions in reaction to the crisis. This part:

    "And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you - not financially to help him - we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right."

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  5. "There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision’"

    What decision is he anticipating they'll make? It just seems too specific.

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  6. Frank, I didn't realize you were such a Stones fan.
    ;)

    ("Won't get fooled again...")

    I don't expect Obama to be as different as I'd like. Better than our current administration, I hope, but that isn't exactly a high bar.

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  7. Frank, you've convinced me. We're doomed. Bush sank the country, and then took off in the last lifeboat.

    Or maybe we can do something. President Obama's first official act was to suspend the Guantanamo military tribunal. Today, he's meeting with the Joint Chiefs and the commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I think the 16-month Iraq withdrawal timetable is too slow, but given the desperate situation in Afghanistan it's possible the generals will recommend a faster exit.

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  8. President Obama today: "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this administration."

    Sounds like the opposite of Bush.

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  9. Carissa,

    Yes. That did sound too specific when I heard Biden speak those words.

    Derek,

    I, too, think Obama's administration will be better than Bush's. That won't be a very high hurdle to jump over.

    Richard,

    Yes, it sounds like Bush's opposite. But Bush once sounded like his own opposite. In four years do you think that it will really be that way?

    Bush once said that "successful societies protect freedom with the consistent and impartial rule of law."

    He failed in that department. I'm afraid, with the establishment puppeteers in the shadows, that Obama, despite how much he wants to be transparent and abide by the rule of law, won't end up being so.

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  10. Yes, it sounds like Bush's opposite. But Bush once sounded like his own opposite. In four years do you think that it will really be that way?

    Yes, I remember "compassionate conservatism" and the "humble foreign policy." But I assumed Bush was not sincere in 2000.

    I don't doubt President Obama's sincerity in regard to principle, but we'll have to wait and see if actions match the words.

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