Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Choice we Face in America

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?


Anam Cara said...

Don't kid yourself. NO ONE will be able to change the homosexuals in the military policy. The doors opened and they will never again be closed. That is, unless the Muslims take over our country and impose sharia law. Then we won't have homosexuals in the military anymore.

To reduce the dependency on foreign oil, we need a president who will allow drilling for oil, the pipeline from Canada, etc. But it takes a Congress who will go along. We haven't had that with the Democrats who will dance to the piper's tune.

Obama's pledge to close Guantanamo was one of the reasons I opposed him. And the idea that he would enter into a deal with the Taliban, to me, only shows that he is not taking the terrorists seriously.

My biggest problem with Ron Paul is that I think he is naive about defense and will cut the military too much. On the other hand, that is exactly what I think Obama is doing.

What I can't understand is how people who are so worried about things like cuts in various welfare programs can also support Paul. He plans to get the fiscal house in order and that will mean cuts, deep cuts, as well as tax increases. There is no other way to do it.

Maybe the others won't be better than Obama, but I doubt that they would be worse. If I have to choose between a procedure that will cut off my leg and an experimental one that may or may not work (I might loose my leg, I might not) I am going to try the experiment and hope it saves my leg. I see the upcoming elections the same way. I will be voting with hope for change - and it will be anyone but Obama.

What I would really like to see is an entire new Congress - House and Senate- who don't see the job as a way to enrich themselves - a group who abide by the same laws as we do and don't get a pension for life after serving for a mere 2 years! Those are the first things we need to change but the one's most likely to never change without a full fledged revolution - something I REALLY DON'T want to see!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

On foreign oil: nobody is going to go along with reducing our dependency upon it. Nobody, Democrat or Republican. This is because that not only means the pipeline, but also alternative sources of energy, which the big oil companies don't want, and they pay the piper.

On Guantanamo: Yes, either this idea to close it in a deal with the Taliban is betraying our safety because they really are hard-core, irreformable terrorists, or else we've been lied to all along and they aren't anybody all that important and that infamous prison should have been closed long ago. Either way is damning for Obama.

On defense: our military is currently bigger and stronger than those of all the rest of the world put together! We can afford to cut a lot there and still be, by far, the strongest in the world. Cuts in welfare, etc. are comparative drops in the bucket. Even drastic cuts at this point are too small to make any real difference, except in the level of our suffering. Those enormous secret budgets, on the other hand...

IF I vote, I, too, will be voting in hope of change. But if we vote Romney, Gingrich, Perry, etc., we must prepare for major, major disappointment.

If we vote for Ron Paul, we must still be prepared for major disappointment, but at least I can't (yet) see, as I can with the others, that it's guaranteed.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Just ask your candidate:

Will he stop the torture, a.k.a., "enhanced interrogation"?

Will he stop the policy of rendition, which is sending SUSPECTS to be tortured in other countries?

Will he change the policy of detaining American SUSPECTS indefinitely, without charging them, and depriving them of civilian trial?

Will he at least stop the policy of targeted assassination of Americans SUSPECTED of terrorist activities (but not convicted in any court of law)?

Will he put a stop to our doctors and libraries spying on us, on U.S. citizens?

Will he sign on to the latest global environmental protection policies?

Will he really, really, veto any bill containing pork?

Will he pledge NOT to ask for the legal debt ceiling to be raised? Will he stop increasing our debts and deficits?

Will he submit to Congress an actual balanced budget any time within his first term?

Will he at least submit a budget no greater than the current one?

Why do we need military bases in 180 countries?

I think we already know the answers to all these questions, and they aren't going to be any different from Bush's or Obama's. Or Clinton's, for that matter.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Oops, I didn't mean to imply (although I accidentally did) that Ron Paul would change the policy re homosexuals in the military. Or any of the other of what I called the lesser issues of the day.

The point was, neither will any of the others.

Ron Paul just MIGHT, if elected, change some of the other things I mentioned, though.

(My dad, a career officer, used to tell me there had always been homosexuals in the Army, and as far as he could tell, they didn't have any harmful effect there.)

Anam Cara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

A Romney/Obama debate would be interesting simply to see which one tries to outdo the other when it comes to warmongering and war profiteering. Essentially, they are the same candidate when it comes to foreign policy.

And it's this country's invasive foreign policy that's bankrupted us: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria and coming soon: Iran. They've bankrupted us monetarily and torn apart families by sacrificing the lives and livlihoods of many honest, decent and hard-working men and women. And for what?

While I hope Americans come to realize this before it's too late, I suspect we're more likely going to be faced with biz as usual this year. That's good for nobody.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Thank you, Jason, for putting it so well.

Weekend Fisher said...

I'd be interested to see what Paul could do as president. Paul is the *biggest* difference from the existing policies, no doubt.

There's still a *difference* in the various others compared to Obama, as far as the rate at which we'll be ridiculously in debt, or whether Obamacare remains on the books. The difference between a lot of the candidates and Obama goes more than skin keep. It's just that, with Paul, it's more of a chasm ...

Take care & God bless

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Anne, you know of course whose healt care program Obamacare is modeled on - Gov. Mitt Romney's. And you know of course that when it comes to those make-or-break issues for this country, all the candidates are pretty much the same. And what differences there are are cosmetic only, in some cases pretend only.

I doubt Paul could do much as president. (With luck, neither could Congress.) But the most important thing he would do, and that's waking America up before it's too late (we hope it's not too late already).

It's a chasm we're racing toward falling into, following the same course as Greece, and Ron Paul is putting much more distance between it and us than anybody else.