Tuesday, November 01, 2011

In defense of Obama

President Obama is about as unpopular with a certain segment of the left as he is of the right. I am not sure totally where this hate-- and it is hate-- comes from but it shows up with cruel cartoons and accusations that everything that goes wrong anywhere is his fault.

Now I have to put in a disclaimer here. I am not thrilled with everything he's been doing either. We gave quite healthily to his campaign in 2008 but have held off on any money so far; but the more I see the characters who represent the alternatives (except Jon Huntsman) or listen to the debates, the more I know eventually we will be donating because I can see it'll be like McCain with Palin. Obama might not be it all but they are so far the other way that for me there is no choice but to support Obama (looking at Mississippi's personhood bill is just one example or the attempt to stop government employees from being able to negotiate as unions). Incidentally, I don't agree with Huntsman either on a lot of important issues, but at least he's a thinking person.

Obama is not as liberal as many would have liked. He's a lot more of a pragmatist but some of what he's being accused of I think is very unfair. For instance some on the left consider the drone killing of the American al Qaeda leader to be murder. They wanted him to have a trial-- except that was obviously not possible given the country he was operating within. The fact that Obama has been continuing to fight the war against terrorists but has used precision tactics is not making the left any happier than when it was all out war with tanks.

Here's how I see it. We are at war but it's not with a country (momentarily). We are at war with a mindset and warriors who are willing to die to attain their ends so long as it scares or kills other people. The American who was recently killed was proud of what he was doing in recruiting more troops for that war, convincing more to be willing to die in a suicide bomb attack. This isn't like he was out there saying he was innocent. He was open that he was a traitor to his own country. He had realigned his allegiance to what he saw as a higher cause-- which was terrorism. To me then the killing of him was self-defense and an act of war. It is the price traitors have always paid.

Obama made it clear he would fight a different kind of war but he would fight it. He has done exactly that with the drone attacks. Scary? You bet but war is scary. These are tactics that are specific and aimed at those who want to or have attacked us. I don't see how we can ignore that they are there.

Torture I see as different. He claims he has not authorized it but will not give up possibly using the act of rendition which might mean transferring prisoners to those who will (although from what I have read of the current US war tactics, it doesn't seem taking prisoners is what they are trying to do. They are instead eliminating the enemy with as little collateral damage as possible.

Most of what I see Obama doing in every issue is step by step to get a goal (which is why Republicans also don't like him-- although they vary from thinking he's a dictator of rare effectiveness to totally bumbling and incapable of doing anything right). Obama's way is not dramatic and it's not showy. In the end though it keeps moving us toward goals that matter to me like getting rid of don't ask don't tell. This is why I think we will eventually get gay marriage if we don't go backward with a Republican presidency led by extremists.

Obama made a lot of liberals mad when he backed off on enforcing the ozone reductions over cities like L.A. Well that had already been set for reevaluation in 2013; so in a lot of ways it was just a tactic which didn't mean anything but because it showed up as backing off infuriated a group of former supporters. It is unfortunate that often what is showy is what gets the attention and inch by inch frustrates everybody.

If liberals do back off from him. If they don't give him donations or volunteer to help, we will get one of the Republicans running for office. Some say it won't matter if we also get a Democratic Senate and House (a long way from givens). I say keep in mind Bush with many of his years having Democratic House and Senate and he still did a lot of damage.

Wouldn't it be better to get that Democratic House and Senate with enough power to pass legislation (In other words no blue dogs-- democrats in name only)? Then if Obama fails us, we know why and we can put pressure on the House and Senate to override him. But what if he really wants what we thought he did and in 2012 we finally get a shot at seeing what Democrats might rule like if they had real power?

Finally he has given us two good, strong liberal Supreme Court Justices. IF we have a Romney or Cain, we know we will get another Alito or Roberts. That would make six, relatively young, strong right wing judges who can overturn laws we have had on the books for years, who preside in the Supreme Court as though they are above laws or precedent. It won't just be abortion that will feel the heat of that kind of Supreme Court. It will be the rights of all of us in every sense except what benefits the wealthy and the corporations who are now considered people. What a Roberts court can do when Ginsburg retires which she says she'll do after 2012, it doesn't bear thinking about. If say Kennedy also resigns or any of the five current extremist justices, if we have Obama and a Senate in Democratic hands, we could even get a Hillary Clinton. Just think about that if nothing else for the heartburn it'd give to Scalia. *s*

There are a lot of issues I'd like to see happen with a strong liberal president but it's possible the country would not vote for that. If Cain gets the Republican nomination with his very strong tea party, corporate and right wing social policy positions, it says this country is a lot further right than a lot of us hoped.

26 comments:

Dion said...

For me, the 'hate' is not as much about Obama as it is about government as a whole. Government and corporation offer us a collusive partnership.

With Obama, Geithner, and Summers it's business as usual for corporate malfeasance. When the GOP-Republicans take over it will be the same, business as usual. Our two-party system of government is being occupied by monied interests.

We had the 'Too Big To Fails' get bigger after the bailout with more consolidation of the over leveraged banks. Makes you wonder if we're not being set up for another fall.

And didn't Obama and Congress do a fabulous job pushing Elizabeth Warren away from the CFPB top spot. You know the cronies want 'their guy/gal' in the head position. With lefties like Obama who needs Teabaggers.

Americans organically joining together in protest of the corrupt system in which we are prisoners happens when hope is lost. Many lost hope after seeing the results of Obama's first three years. It was 'same old, same old' in government. Washington works for the 1%.

Single payer healthcare never stood a chance as Obamacare morphed into a twenty-five year old GOP-Republican plan that feeds the corporate healthcare industry. Financial reform became wet toilet paper. EPA protections become niceties that needed to end for the sake of the profit margin.

Voting in American elections is a stain on democracy. I not voting again until after the revolution.

Rain said...

For some it is hate. And I agree on the economics but I also look at the alternative to him and nobody, not after Bush, will ever convince me that there is no difference. Obama eats away at problems and maybe he has sold out some but not to the degree a Perry, Cain or Romney have. I will always vote. I will take responsibility for this country and not cede it. Any revolution will not give you what you think. The toughest, meanest son-of-a-bitch always takes over.

Dion said...

And I'm mad at Obama for killing bin-Laden and dumping the body without a trial. There are international courts and the rule of law isn't something to be dismissed whenever the situation suits.

Rain said...

There is no evidence that Obama didn't want bin Laden taken alive although if he had gotten that, it would have meant. What it looked to me like is they sent in a team to get him but the permission was there to kill if required. That is a situation where you either put up your hands instantly or you are dead-- and with our police today too. He chose to reach back and they killed him. If they had just wanted him dead and with no concern for killing innocents, they'd have used a drone. They wanted him dead but proof of it. The body was disposed of to not turn it into a shrine with more deaths coming from it.

Rain said...

The men who went in to get him were putting their lives on the line. I figure they used their own judgment. They aren't paid assassins. They are soldiers who are well trained in what they do. Obama gave them freedom to do that job. That's my take on it. And a trial would have led to a nightmare of more attacks. You can bet on that but I do think if he'd surrendered, they'd have taken him alive.

Dion said...

They aren't paid assassins.

We didn't send army grunts into Pakistan. We sent Seal Team 6. They are our assassins. Yes, America has assassins and we should recognize such facts about the country we live in.

Though, ST6 won't be spilling any beans as they were blown up a few months after they supposedly killed bin-Laden. Yeah, that should raise an eyebrow.

Rain said...

oh and on Elizabeth Warren, did you ever think that maybe this senate run is why they didn't want her heading the consumer protection office? She will be far more valuable if she takes the seat of Brown. She's a woman with a big career ahead of her on many levels and I think the Senate is where it will begin.

Rain said...

How much do you really know about them, Dion? That particular team did suffer the losses later but I had read that it was not the same ones who got bin Laden but rather their unit. If you have links that provide evidence their job is assassination (not blogs *s*) but real evidence, I'd appreciate seeing the material. It is not how I have understood the mission of Seals. Why not just blow him up if they really only wanted to kill him and didn't care who else got killed? I am sure I won't convince you but there are two sides here.

Rain said...

But you guys sit out 2012 and then if we get a Perry or Romney or Cain, you let me know how that works out for you two years later. I heard it didn't matter also when it was Gore v Bush. It did matter and in ways a lot of us had no idea how much it'd matter. It might be, even if the left stands behind Obama, he'll lose but at least we will have done what we can. This country may be turning a way that horrifies me, that wants to take us back to the 50s for values, where they consider Leave it to Beaver to be the epitome of a good family; but it's sure not where I am hoping we'll end up with parents having to live with kids because there is no alternative, where the poor are on the streets in even greater numbers or just die from no health care. Obama may not be all we want but what's the alternative?

Rain said...

I might add that making sure you get good people to run for House and Senate in your state and working for them is critical. I think that it's not just about a president and if we get a House and Senate that believe in progressive values, they can override a president who is too tied to big business. That's a big IF because too often citizens do stand aside and let the lobbyists control the financing of the races and we know where that leads us-- on both parties

Dion said...

I know getting Cain, Perry, or any Right-winger as prez will be detrimental to the survival of the country. But I can't stress enough that this country is already in the hands of the enemy. GOP-Republicans and Democrats are both the enemy of the people. The two-party system has been corrupted by corporate money. Going with the flow isn't an option for the country. We're heading over a waterfall.

Rain said...

There are a lot of problems with our system but the solution starts with us getting people to run for leadership who have honor. Oregon has one in Pete DeFazio. There are others like him and they vote their conscience. We need to support them whether they are in our district or not. Like Alan Grayson in Florida, etc. (everytime I say a name like Grayson's I worry that something will pop up that I didn't know but I do know about deFazio and he's the kind of leader we need more of. Concentrate on the House and Senate for working but don't pull out of involvement period because of not liking Obama. A revolution will not get us what we want. If you look at the history of them, you see very few that ever did. And even when they have, waiting and doing it legally probably would have been better!

Rain said...

I appreciate you giving the other viewpoint though, dion and doing it without rage but rather using logic. I hope you will always do that. It's what makes blogs valuable. Not the original thought but the additions to it.

Parapluie said...

Obama's 2008 campaign, as I recall, was a promise to represent all of us not just the left. He is a student of history and knows that change doesn't come easily. He promised to change the direction of the Ship of State. This is what he is doing.

Dion said...

there are two sides here.

Yes, there are two sides or maybe more.

I have no links about Seal Team 6. Just innuendo on my part. No names were listed of who was on the bin-Laden mission. When will the government ever release the video of the mission?

Rain said...

The links i had found on it, at the time, indicated that it was the same team but not the same men. Those men will never be interviewed anyway unless they get out of the military. It's part of their code. There are those outside though, within the military, who do know who they are but would doubtless not betray them from that same code. Maybe someday it'll be discussed more when we are further from it.

Some believe Clinton murdered that cabinet member, Ron something or other, I think. There were many rumors about the Clintons murdering people. Why does it always appear to be Democrats who get that kind of blame and not Republicans who often seem much more ruthless in their policies at least?

And I agree, Parapluie, he said he'd be president of us all. As it turns out he has both sides feeling he's not their president. I wonder if it used to be like with my kids when both felt I took the other one's side and I felt that meant I was hitting a good balance.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Warren, I'd like to recommend an on-line article about her. The Woman Who Knew Too Much by Suzanna Andrews, Vanity Fair, November 2011. Thanks, Julie

Rain said...

The thing is she set up the consumer protection bureau and I really do think she will be more powerful if she wins an elected office like the Senate. I've seen her talking quite a few times on Bill Maher and to me a Consumer Bureau is more of a pulpit but can also be a dead-end. As a senator, she can grow in power. We want back the Kennedy seat, which he used also to protect consumers, and she will do that-- I hope. I admire her. I do not know if the Obama people saw this or simply sold out. Whoever knows with someone like him where he keeps his cards close to the vest; but I can see a big advantage of having her in the Senate.

Anonymous said...

Hi from Julie! I've been thinking the same thing. She could do a lot of good in that position.

Visited Dion's blog and listened to a lovely song video, Stay Young, Go Dancing.

Dion said...

Rain - Yes, civil discussion is the only way. No need for rage between the two of us. I save rage filed rants for venues suited for it. Thank you for the opportunity to air my political grievances.

Julie - Glad you liked the song. The shame of it is that I don't have much to say on my blog and use music as a means of keeping the blog somewhat active.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dion! I loved the poem "The Visit". Did you write that? The informative links on your blog are helpful, too. -- Julie

Dion said...

Julie - I wrote "The Visitor" after feeling a presence on Sunday and Monday of this week. It was timed perfectly with Halloween. It's nice of you to take the time and comment, but I do feel odd talking about stuff on my blog, here on Rain's blog. Hope I don't come off like a crusty old coot by saying that. Don't be too shy to comment over at my blog.

BTW, I enjoyed the Vanity Fair piece, Julie.

Rain said...

I think it's great a discussion of another blog on this one. I know how much a person likes comments on their own blog but comments here might get you some new readers and that's what blogging is all about in my opinion

Ingineer66 said...

So what did all that so called financial and consumer protection do to help the people that lost money with MF Global. All the Dodd Frank law did was increase costs for legitimate businesses and nothing to stop cheaters and crooks. Senator and Governor and Democrat Corzine has walked away with $700 million of the investors and all the new laws did nothing to help. Where was the SEC? Where were the regulators? Why is Obama's administration not held to the same standard that W's was?

Rain said...

I won't defend the Dodd Frank bill because Dodd was in cahoots with the financial markets. What I am saying is that Glass Steagall was needed-- is needed and right now we get anything but real regulation. They ended paying a small tax on each transaction which has encouraged a lot of this quick trading of stock. Clinton was no favor to the people of this country however he talks it now as he is also how we ended up with NAFTA which has shafted our manufacturing. Make it high tariff on companies that send manufacturing overseas when they come back here to sell. Don't permit offshore offices that hide where the headquarters really are and escape taxes. Right now you do not have one person running for the presidency from the right who will do anything about any of this. I am not saying Obama will either; so damnitall, elect Congressmen and women who will. Go for real progressives who will push through changes on some of this but as it stands most of the Democrats and Republicans in office owe so much to the rich that they don't care about you at all. Get it straight-- voting for any of the right wing yahoos (and they all are in this current crop anyway) will give you more of this. More of 2% having all the money and everybody else finding less and less jobs that pay a living wage. And then a Republican party that won't even tax that 2% as they would rather the poor starved (if churches don't help them out) than to see the taxes on that 2% go up a tiny bit. Something is really wrong with the Republican party and it's not perfect with the Democratic either. Some is our own fault as voters who are duped by clever ads, don't pay attention to our own interests.

I am not saying Democrats have done such great things. I am saying the alternative will take away my granddaughter's future right to choose or even to buy birth control and her and my grandsons chance for a job that pays a living wage. Which party is pushing that? Which party can see that Galveston Bay is rising threatening the shoreline but can't admit why it's happening? Which party would destroy public education? Which party would deny you any health care if you didn't work for a corporation or the government? You do know how expensive it is to buy insurance now, don't you? Some people don't make enough of a wage to buy that and food and yet one party says too bad, it's your own fault. That by the way is the party who wanted the send businesses overseas with no penalties, who protects corporations from any standards at all. I don't disagree we have a problem and maybe we do need a new party that incorporates (without the social agendas) some of what the Tea Party and the Occupy movement are trying to get done. Let it take from both parties and it has a chance but not if it only swallows the votes from one. That only keeps those same two parties in power.

Ingineer66 said...

I agree we need to bring back Glass Steagall. To me right now I think we need a clean sweep in Congress. Vote out every incumbent. The only difference between Republican politicians and Democrat politicians seems to be that Democrats get in office to line their own pockets and Republican politicians get in office to line the pockets of their friends.