Last night on television I heard one "news analyst" frame the question for Iowans today as between "sending a message" (voting for Ron Paul) or voting for someone "who can win."
Sorry, but that's not the real choice we face. Much as we may dislike President Obama, it's naive to adopt an "anybody but Obama" attitude. Why? Because that position assumes everyone else is better than he, while the hard, cold, sober fact is, it isn't so. Ron Paul MAY be better, but Gingrich, Romney, Perry, and Santorum will carry on the same major policies as Obama, just as Obama has carried on the same major policies as Bush. (Even most of the lesser issues will remain the same; you don't really think Gingrich, for example, is going to do away with homosexuals in the military, do you? Or that Santorum will reduce our dependency upon foreign oil where every President since Nixon has talked about this but not done it? Or that Romney will improve our education system where nobody else in thirty or forty years has done it?)
The real choice is not "anyone but Obama" but someone better than Obama. Merely to choose "someone who can win" is at best pointless if the only difference is going to be the skin color.
Now Obama is pretty gruesome, it has to be said. It was Dave Garner, I think, who first brought this article to my attention. It's written by a liberal, too! This excerpt from it lists some of our President's "heinous views" and heinous deeds.
He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations with drones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has waged an unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.
He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability... He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.
Most of all, America’s National Security State, its Surveillance State, and its posture of endless war is more robust than ever before. The nation suffers from what National Journal‘s Michael Hirsh just christened “Obama’s Romance with the CIA.” He has created what The Washington Post just dubbed “a vast drone/killing operation,” all behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy and without a shred of oversight. Obama’s steadfast devotion to what Dana Priest and William Arkin called “Top Secret America” has severe domestic repercussions as well, building up vast debt and deficits in the name of militarism that create the pretext for the “austerity” measures which the Washington class (including Obama) is plotting to impose on America’s middle and lower classes.
The simple fact is that progressives are supporting a candidate for President who has done all of that...
Horrible, because these are the things that can bring our nation to ruin, and much faster, too, than, say abortion. But please do not make the mistake of thinking any of the other candidates for President will not do exactly these same things. To vote for any of them is to vote for Obama in another guise.
With the just barely possible exception of Ron Paul.
P.S.) This morning I heard on the radio (NPR, the station we love to hate) that the Obama administration is considering a deal with the Taliban which would involve, on the U.S. side, closing down Guantanamo. Oh, so it can be done, after all? So these inmates are not such terrible terrorists after all that we absolutely must keep them locked up forever? They're just pawns??? You mean Obama could have closed Guantanamo "on day one", as he pledged to during his campaign?