Posts Tagged ‘Are You In?’

Can we still believe?

Barack Obama announced that he was seeking reelection on Monday.  His official website asks, “Are you in?”  Unfortunately I have to say that at this time, I am not.  Too many disappointments:

  • New war – Really I could just end with this.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that Obama got us into yet another war.  The one thing I kept thinking that although there have been a lot of disappointments, at least we haven’t gotten into a new war.  And then Obama blows that.  He can spin it anyway he wants, but it’s a real war and it’s ours.  Under NATO command?  The United States IS NATO.  Got UN support?  Well yeah, except the countries that didn’t (Brazil, Germany, Russia, China, and India).  But fortunately we got the support of Herzegovina and Gabon!  By the way, the Constitution does not require the support of the United Nations for military action.  It does require Congressional approval, which at least Bush paid lip service to by getting a resolution passed before invading Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Not closing GITMO – This was an explicit campaign promise.  He didn’t say he would try to close GITMO, but only if Congress would let him.  He said he would close GITMO.  The President could actually exercise some political muscle on the matter.  He could insist that one way or the other, he will close the prison and present Congress with an ultimatum.  He chooses not to.  Must not be that important after all.
  • Military Tribunals – Obama has started the military tribunals back up, with some window dressing changes.  The administration has also reversed itself on KSM, now trying him in a military tribunal (at GITMO no less) instead of a civilian court.  Somehow these “fake” courts have suddenly become less “fake”?  Nah, this is pure politics.  Screw principle, Obama has a reelection to win.
  • Patriot Act – This was an affront to civil rights when Bush was President.  But Obama hasn’t done anything to address this and has in fact signed reauthorization of some of the more controversial provisions (roving wiretaps, the “lone wolf” provision that allows secret surveillance of non-U.S. citizens not connected to a terrorist group, a provision that allows the FBI to secretly obtain internet, financial, and other personal records of U.S. citizens).
  • Health Care Reform – This needed to be address, and kudos for Obama for trying to do something.  Still, I think he caved way too much to the health care industry.  He should have fought harder for the public option.  Without that, the individual mandate requirement may not be legal, which is important if you are going to cover everybody regardless of pre-existing conditions.  Otherwise you risk adverse selection (basically a fancy way of saying people will just wait until they are sick before buying insurance).
  • Corporate Taxes – Candidate Obama was all “we aren’t going to let American corporations that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits.”  So General Electric doesn’t pay any corporate taxes.  In fact, over the last 5 years, while making profits of $26 billion within the United States, they actually received a tax “refund” of $4.1 billion.  Not only that, they also received $125 million in taxpayer stimulus money.  All the while, they have been cutting their American workforce.  Oh, and President Obama also made GE’s CEO the head of his panel for job creation and economic competitiveness.  That’s showing him!

So no, right now, I am not in.  Not that it matters.  Obama’s fortune largely rides on the economy.  If that unemployment rate turns around for him, he will probably be in good shape, especially looking at the crop of potential Republican candidates.  It doesn’t look like they have anyone too inspiring, so Obama will have to lose it, I don’t think they have anybody that can win it (then again, Obama kind of came out of no where in his own right, so you never know).