Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trust and Obey – For There’s No Other Way*

How anyone can trust Barack Obama is completely beyond me. No, that is not just my political philosophy talking, though I will readily admit to being predisposed against Obama’s ideology (more about which in a later post). Regardless of one’s political leanings, though, consider the following promises he has broken during the campaign and in just a couple of months in office:

1. I will debate John McCain anytime, anyplace (until McCain proposes a series of ten “town hall” debates, that is).

2. I will accept public funding and limit my campaign expenditures accordingly (until it suits my purposes to do otherwise, that is).

3. I will not appoint lobbyists to serve in my administration (until it suits my purposes to do otherwise, that is [see also tax cheats]).

4. I will not craft policy through the use of signing statements as did president Bush (until it suits my purposes to do otherwise, that is).

5. I will delay signing any bill that reaches my desk for 5 days (until it suits my purposes to do otherwise, that is).

6. I will not sign any bill that contains earmarks (until it suits my purposes to do otherwise, that is).

7. I will go through every appropriations bill line by line to eliminate wasteful spending (until it suits my purposes to do otherwise, that is).

8. I will not throw Rev. Wright, et. al., under the bus (until it suits my purposes to do so, that is).

These are the ones just off of the top of my head. One can argue that a couple of these are trivial, but others emphatically are not, and the breaking of even trivial promises speaks to a president’s veracity – or rather the lack thereof. And that is precisely the point.

Prior to his inauguration as president, Obama possessed precious little in the way of experience. His record in the Illinois State Senate, when he wasn’t voting “present,” was that of a hardcore leftist. His record in the United States Senate, for that handful of months before he began campaigning for the presidency, was that of a hardcore leftist. We voters had only Obama’s rhetoric to assure us that he was not a hardcore leftist, but the moderate, centrist type of guy that he claimed to be. And quite a few believed it.

Since taking office, however, Obama’s appointments, his policies, and his stated intentions are anything but moderate or centrist. To my thinking, Obama built his campaign on misleading rhetoric. Now that he is in office, the misleading rhetoric continues, while his actions belie the proclivities of a hardcore leftist. Perhaps that is why all of those moderate independents, and even some supposedly moderate Republicans, who voted for him are now having second thoughts.

As should be the case with any politician, pay close attention to the words but pay even closer attention to the actions.

*Apologies to John Sammis.

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B. Y. Clark said...

What about the things he is following through one? Why so negative?

He's pushing for tax reform. He's pushing for controls on greenhouse gases. He's closing Gitmo. He's ending the torturous practices of the previous administration. He's restoring rule of law. He's restoring habeas corpus. He's pushing for a more universal health care system.

Your complaints seem trivial to me. What ever happen to the compassionate conservative? Or the fiscal conservative? They never arrived in the white house with W.

james said...

In my experience, those who go back on their words in small matters can be counted to do so with regard to larger ones.

Regarding you specific points:

Obama’s tax reform - taking income tax money from people who pay taxes and giving it to those who do not, increasing all manner of excise and other taxes – not to mention that cap and trade idiocy that would function as a tax on energy or saddling the taxpayers with trillions in new debt

Obama’s greenhouse gases - instituting a vast regulatory scheme that will dramatically limit economic growth (even as the demands for tax revenue goes up), despite the fact that the “scientific” case for anthropogenic global warning long ago collapsed

Obama’s tortuous practices - except for that bit about continuing the practice of rendition

Obama closing Gitmo - but without a clue as to what to do with the bad guys currently housed there

Obama restoring rule of law and habeus corpus – unless you pay attention to those Constitutional trivialities concerning ex post facto laws and bills of attainder, taking over private companies without any statutory authority to do so whatsoever, etc.

Obama’s universal health care – rationing and waiting lists, here we come

Quite frankly, I’m afraid that Obama will not keep his good promises but will keep the bad ones (kind of like when Stephanopoulos admitted that Clinton Kept all of the promises that he “intended” to keep).

W had his faults just like the rest of us (tough I firmly believe that history will judge him far more favorably than the current consensus) and though he may have been compassionate, a conservative he emphatically was not.

Why so negative, indeed.