Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I don't support Obama because...

He seems like a wolf in sheep's clothing. He's charismatic, but on an increasing amount of issues he's proven to be to the right of Hillary Clinton. I can't believe I just wrote that. Nevertheless, it's true. For instance he went beyond all the other Democratic candidates in advocated bombing Pakistan to get at Al-Qaeda, something that Pakistan didn't really appreciate. He's come out against affirmative action, saying that he'd like his daughter, the daughter of a United States Senator, to be judged on her talent and not on her race.He's taken a hardline stance on Iran, and now he's pushing a proposal that on the surface sounds good but that could easily be turned into a justification for war with Iran: the banning of all nuclear weapons around the world. Sounds good for a headline but the way I read it is that the idea is Obama's equivalent of a hypothetical statement by Bush saying that he's committed to the destruction of weapons of mass destruction around the world and, oh yeah, Saddam Hussein has some so we need to go to war with him.

I don't believe that the proposal is given in good faith at all and that if he ever got elected and started to implement it people who are designated as an American enemy of the month would get more pressure to disarm than, say, the U.S. itself, Israel, and Russia. Maybe Russia, depending on how cozy Obama gets with Putin.

Obama has been an increasing disappointment.....an indicator of how people on the 'netroots' respond to image but rarely go behind the image to investigate the reality of things.

But of course the whole idea that we should be talking about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at this point is fucked up. The actual election is over a year away and relevant news has been largely preempted to cover a horse race where the biggest things that happen are bench marks in money raised and pronouncements by the candidates themselves.

*on edit: taking a look at Obama's website there's a disturbing lack of specific information. Not specific information on proposals, he has plenty of that. Almost too much. Instead, what the site lacks is any semblance of an explanation on how he'd implement any of his ideas. Take health care for example. If you look at his comprehensive health care proposals you'll see that they're full of "I will do this, I will do that" statements without any hint as to what sort of structure he's proposing to implement all of it. Where' the national health insurance going to come from? Is there going to be another agency? How will he do things like ensure that patients all across the United States get equal amounts of care? We don't know. He doesn't address these sorts of questions with specifics. Frankly I'm skeptical that any President could get much of this stuff done without an absolute majority in both the Senate and the House willing to rubber stamp anything that comes their way. And even then it's not even clear if the President has the authority to enact a lot of the things he proposes, meaning that there will most likely be many challenges that will go to the Supreme Court, that will inevitably be found to be unconstitutional. So....for Obama to really pass everything he wants he'd have to control all three branches of government and also be willing to shred the Constitution when it didn't authorize the sort of Presidential authority he needs.

Which brings me to another point. The proposals he puts forward on domestic policy are so invasive that it would scare me to have that much power concentrated in the hands of a President, whether it be a Republican or a charismatic black man who's a Democrat. I believe that more authority should be given back to Congress and that the weight of the Presidential part of the Executive branch should be lessened a whole lot. Obama's proposals would take us the other way, if he actually tried to get them passed when elected. My gut feeling is that if he ever got elected a lot of these things would disappear into thin air.

*on edit #2: not to harp on this or anything but does Obama expect to wave a magic wand and suddenly have all his ideas manifest perfectly? This is the problem. There's no indication that he actually has answers to the question of how he see his ideas being successfully implemented in the real world.

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