Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Obama hatred, and my response

I got into a back-and-forth at another website with my internet buddy MJ, who is one of these guys who just takes indiscriminate swipes at the current President. Fine, he's entitled to his opinion, but since the website is mainly financial and not politically oriented
I asked politely on what he based his intense dislike. Are there some specific misgivings he has that justifies the constant haranguing? Here is MJ's answer and my subsequent response:

 "Anthony [that's what they call me there] you made me reflect some. That’s good. On what do I base my condemnation of Pres. Obama? On reflection it is not so much his failed policies like Obamacare or his stimulus with its nonexistent “shovel ready jobs” or the Unrealistic budget proposals that have resulted in the “continuing resolution” or the failed sequester gambit that has decimated the military. As you say most presidents have some of these. Maybe not of the magnitude as his. But they do.
"No, I think its more the culture he and the first lady have allowed and promoted. The namby pamby, PC, everybody gets a trophy, no one is accountable, deny-wait-stonewall and it will go away culture. This culture has created the IRS, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, denying domestic terrorism like Fort Hood and recent events in Oklahoma, Vet Admin, Man running in White House, ISIS and Illegal immigrant surge, scandals (and some I am forgetting). The inappropriate vacations and golfing. Failed School lunch menus. Legislating via regulation….. It is second rate at best.
"He is running along the ice as it falls in behind him and Hillary will speed that ice fall as fast as she can so she can right the ship in 2016. Obama is already under the bus. I can hear it in your posts."

That’s a good list to reflect on, MJ. I’ll grant that I take issue as well with some of those items. My curiosity is what criteria you use to include some of them. Some are based on something tangible: like loss of life in the Fast and Furious scandal, or wasted money somewhere (where?), or ignoring IG reports that showed Vet Admin problems. Yes, those were problems that the president should account for, and has not.
Others are bad judgement which may be just part of having a large complex government (IRS scandal) with tentacles all over the world in war zones (Benghazi).
The ones that show me it’s capricious judgement on your part are the intangible “perception” problems that are just piling on, like “everyone gets a trophy” (what is that?), “PC culture” (huh?), “namby-pamby”, or the way he salutes or the clothing the First Lady wears… I mean, come on. Bush took 3X the vacation days that Obama has; presidents take vacations. Get a grip on your pointless anger, dude.
Then there are the issues that are just plain false: illegal immigration is at a multi-decade low. Also, budget resolutions were agreed upon by House Republicans for purely mutual political reasons, nobody wanted to go on record having voted for an evil Obama budget. You should know that these are pure BS.
So, from your list, I can find three substantive issues. Fine. Impeach him over Fast and Furious.
But then you have to look at comparable issues from the previous administration(s) and decide who showed worse judgement or was more willfully criminal. I think being president is probably a tough job, and mistakes happen which can cause death and are visible to everyone, but they happen.
I would judge that Bush made much worse errors of judgement and engaged in outright corruption and coverup. After stonewalling the 9/11 Commission Report for a year, it came out in Chapter 8, titled “The System Was Blinking Red”, that the Bush administration ignored MULTIPLE clues that an attack was imminent in the summer of 2001. Google it, it’s about 20 pages of fuckups, any one of which, if found, would have foiled 9/11. He missed it. Fine. Sh*t happens. Did Obama miss anything of that magnitude?
Then we blunder into a war against the advice of UN weapons inspectors that costs us $2 Trillion and kills over 4K US soldiers, and we lose massive credibility in the world community. We’re laughing stocks. “Curveball”, a source that was never even interviewed by any American agent, was the sole source for the bio-weapons threat that was proved to be pure BS. And you’re worried about how “everyone gets a trophy” political correctness is hurting us? Get real. The there’s L. Paul Bremer and his inept management of the Green Zone, losing $12 billion that just went unaccounted for. Oops– I wonder how many RPG’s and IEDs that money bought.
I guess the 12 embassy bombings under Bush weren’t as important as Benghazi? Or the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut under Reagan, after he was warned that the security wasn’t adequate, that killed a few hundred soldiers. No, Benghazi is much worse I suppose, as shown by the half-dozen GOP-led committee investigations that failed to show wrongdoing.
Then there are the outright willful crimes: The Plame affair was a treasonous offense, the US attorney firings was felonious corruption, NSA wiretapping, Halliburton getting no-bid contracts despite Cheney having been the CEO. Nothing done in the last 6 years even comes close to any one of these. Even if the IRS scandal were willful (not likely), and came from the White House (very doubtful), the damage done by it pales in comparison to even one of the Bush/Cheney crimes. Look up Ahmed Chalabi– who sat NEXT TO the First lady at the SOTU address–to see how our intel was played by self-serving operators. Ugh.
Bad judgments: Abu Ghraib torture (don’t tell me that dictum came from a 2-star general), failure to kill OBL at Tora Bora (wtf?), black site renditions (if they happen that’s one thing, but for god’s sake don’t make it a public spectacle), the same for waterboarding.
Then there were the boondoggles like $1 Trillion dollar Medicare Part D, $800 billion bank bailout--Google “this sucker could go down” or "Hank Paulsen on bended knee to Nancy Pelosi", very dignified.  And the financial near-Armageddon we experienced on his watch, loss of millions of jobs– MILLIONS.
So, yeah, we can lob grenades at Obama for golfing too much or screwing up Fast and Furious that killed a border agent or ignoring the IG reports on the VA, but I think when you total up the corruption, wasted money, and bad judgement, the current administration looks like Utopia.
I don’t know what else to compare Obama’s presidency to, and maybe the sum total of the last 20 years or so merits a re-thinking of the USA in general, but don’t try to tell me that Obama is some kind of outside the norm evil, or 3-standard deviation inept executive.
I’m not making excuses, just trying to join your “reflection” with some comparable examples from a previous administration. If Obama is a corrupt, evil idiot, what does that make Bush and Cheney?