How Obama is Working Hard for President Huckabee or Romney

When President Obama was elected he had several key things going for him:

  1. He wasn’t the Republican heir to George W Bush
  2. He represented a party that stood for economic issues near and dear to the vast majority of the voting public
  3. He promised to cut down on lobbying and corruption
  4. He was a brilliant public speaker
  5. He promised to fight bipartisan bickering and give us a functioning government

Based on the combination of his anti-lobbying anti-partisan approach, he framed himself successfully as a new kind of politician.  He was able to excite his party base with his oratory, his youthful energy, and the fact that he wasn’t George W Bush in a nation decidedly sick of the man.  He didn’t just win, Obama enjoyed a telling victory in 2008.

Let’s look at those same points now.

Obama isn’t the Republican heir to George W Bush

Still true, but only because he has become the Democratic heir to George W Bush, and Dick Cheney (Glenn Greenwald @ Salon):

But the crux of Bush/Cheney radicalism — the mindset and policies that caused much of the controversy — continues and has even been strengthened.  Gen. Hayden put it best, as quoted by The Washington Times:

“You’ve got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan],” Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. “And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action.”

And that list, impressive though it is, doesn’t even include the due-process-free assassination hit lists of American citizens, the sweeping executive power and secrecy theories used to justify it, the multi-tiered, “state-always-wins” justice system the Obama DOJ concocted for detainees, the vastly more aggressive war on whistleblowers and press freedoms, or the new presidential immunity doctrines his DOJ has invented.  Critically, this continuity extends beyond specific policies into the underlying sloganeering mentality in which they’re based:  we’re in a Global War; the whole Earth is the Battlefield; the Terrorists want to kill us because they’re intrinsically Evil (not in reaction to anything we do); we’re justified in doing anything and everything to eradicate Them; the President’s overarching obligation (contrary to his Constitutional oath) is to keep us Safe; this should all be kept secret from us; we can’t be bothered with obsolete dogma like Due Process and Warrants, etc. etc.

He’s extended the same Bush Tax cuts he campaigned against.  In fact his rush to compromise and fiscal conservatism masquerading as bipartisan centrism has been so severe that it has crushed the second key thing he had going for him.

Obama represents a party that defends the economic interests of working people

With revenue cut and war/terror spending increasing, there was bound to be a collision.  Couple that with the President’s obsessive need to appear as the bi-partisan philosopher-king, and you get negotiation tactics so inviting to the opposition it makes John Boehner look like a teary Jack Donaghy.

The quaint term “austerity measures” doesn’t capture the human cost of paying for tax cuts and tax evasions for wealthy individuals and large corporations.  Those cuts are already being felt, and will be even more severe when 2012 rolls around.  They aren’t just budget cuts, they are deep cuts into the voting base for Democrats across the country, and those cuts are going to badly injure Obama’s re-election chances.  (John Amato @ Crooks and Liars):

Every poll shows quite clearly that even Republican voters do not want a cut in these benefits.

If Sperling’s argument is about reforming Social Security and Medicare without taking away from them, then OK, but that’s not what I’m reading here. Do these creatures only listen to Villager gasbags who want working-class Americans to be the only people to “share” the sacrifice and suffer in America after Wall Streeters and their partners caused the Great Recession?

Obama is casting himself as the friend of the wealthy and the enemy of the working class at a time he needs to do the opposite.  His hands are tied by his bipartisan image at a time he desperately needs to break free.  But you get the sense he likes it that way.  Obama has become the willing prisoner of a small aspect of his election campaign – unable and unwilling to break free and become true to what he ran for.  This is especially clear when one considers lobbying.

Obama promised to cut down the influence of lobbyists and K-Street

Obama has

All of this casts his much touted ethics reform in such a harsh light the reform isn’t even visible to the voting public anymore.

Where does this leave us?

Obama is still fighting the supposedly good fight on being bipartisan.  As Digby has observed over and over, this is a one sided battle.  The Republicans – down to their votes – don’t give a damn about being bipartisan and compromising.  They care about winning.  That imbalance will surely lead to the Democrats losing.  Obama is still an amazing public speaker but with the way he’s been running things you have to ask – who is going to go hear him speak?

Regardless of whether the religious right, the corporations, or the tea party are able to exert enough influence to secure the Republican nomination in 2012 one thing is clear.  If Obama doesn’t change course they will secure more than just the primary.

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Huckabee – Jesus in Every Home

If Huckabee does end up running again – in 2012 or 2016 – remember this guy is going to use his position of power to push Christianity into our legal system, into our policy, and onto our citizens.  He consistently “jokes” about forcing Christianity on citizens in the same way Bush used to joke about wanting to be a dictator.

Police Abuse: Candidate Silence

When will it be enough?  When will police abuse of power be recognized as an issue by the candidates, and addressed in a serious and systemic way?

Recently there seems to be a spate of such abuse, from the highly disturbing to the infuriating:

In case the YouTube video is removed, download the video file HERE. It can be played with VLC Player.

The best part is when he says, “You got that camera on? If I find myself on…” I can only assume he was going to say YouTube. And what if he had discovered he was being filmed? He probably would have erased the video or “lost” the phone, beaten the kids, and arrested them on trumped up charges. Of course, once they turned 18, their records would be expunged, and they would probably vote liberal/anti-cop the rest of their lives. This authoritarianism often backfires in the long run, and these videos are helping to speed up that process.

This is what a police state looks like.  Will anyone speak up? (Via Pandagon):

Hat tip to The Dark Wraith, who said:

When you’re finished watching the video of the strip search, go ask your favorite candidate of “hope” and “change” and all those other lies just exactly what he or she is going to do to end this rising nightmare of an authoritarian state.No, seriously. Don’t find some reason why your choice for Heir to Empire is not responsible. He or she is. They all want to lead this country? Then let them explain precisely how they plan to lead it away from this mess.

Ask those Democrats and Republicans running for office when enough will be enough. Ask them when they plan to stop spewing their sweet little nothings. Ask them if they will vow to their very God or perhaps even to that piece of paper we call the Constitution of the United States of America to take upon themselves the enormous task of putting every monster of this spreading blackness of sovereign violence—from George W. Bush and Dick V. Cheney all the way down to the very last, badge-wearing jackboot on the beat—into prison to rot.

Its hard watching videos like these, to keep from putting your fist right through the monitor.  At one point the officer-bully scolds his victim, telling the child he is disrespecting the officer’s badge and department.  Any officer of the law, charged with serving and protecting the public, who behaves this way…  That officer is disrespecting his badge, indicting his department and undermining the trust his profession needs to function.  Officer Salvatore Rivieri should have been fired, and his department investigated to determine how such an officer so unfit to serve remained in duty, and how widespread abuse like this was, both in his own service and in his department.

So how about it.  Barack Obama.  Hillary Clinton.  Mike Huckabee.  John McCain.  What is your stance on our Police State?

Huckabee’s Two Man Race With Reality

huckabee.jpg

Reality is beating the pants off Huckabee in a two man race (NYTimes):

“You know, over the past few days a lot of people have been trying to say that this is a two-man race,” he told his supporters in a suburb of Little Rock, Ark. “Well, you know what? It is. And we’re in it!”

Don’t get me wrong.  That’s a great quote.  The problem is it doesn’t even come close to the reality of the race.  Romney is still ahead of Huckabee, having pulled off wins in more states, and garnering more delegates.  McCain’s startling lead makes Huckabee’s position seem almost nonexistent by comparison.  So who does Huckabee fancy himself in a two man race with?  Mitt Romney for the honor of runner up?

Super Divided Tuesday

Results! (Via ODIM)

Delegates:

Huckabee is back in, meeting Romney at a tie for second place.  McCain has a dominating majority, but not enough to avoid a brokered convention.

McCain: 485

Romney: 192

Huckabee: 130

Clinton has a lead over Obama, but not enough to avoid a brokered convention.  It is a lead, but not a commanding one.

Clinton: 506

Obama: 420

Its interesting to look at the number of states each candidate won:

McCain: 9

Romney: 6

Huckabee: 5

Clinton: 8

Obama: 13

Both parties heading into a brokered convention is both historic and telling.  One has to wonder to what extent people are fed up with their choices, and to what extent people are genuinely split.  This country wants to go in some pretty divergent directions.  The man who ran on being a “uniter, not a divider” has left this country beyond the polarization of party lines.  He has left each great house of American politics a house divided.

Politics: Who Will God Listen To?

So I saw this (Pray for Ron Paul), and immediately my thoughts leapt to Huckabee.  Surely he has people praying for his success.

Yet these prayers directly contradict each other.  So who will the all seeing father in heaven ignore?  Looking at the delegates, it doesn’t seem to be helping either candidate.

Some questions: if God is the type of being that directly intervenes in Human affairs:

  1. Where has he #*@*in been all these years?
  2. Is he registered to vote in all 50 states?

Just curious.

Democrats United: Pre-Existing Conditions

Right now, you can be as hard working as you like. Got a pre-existing condition? Health Care denied.

One thing all of the Democrats share in common, from Obama to Clinton to Edwards, is the desire to pass a law outlawing discrimination based on previous conditions. (Edwards is the only candidate to support universal health care coverage).

Neither McCain, Romney, Ron Paul, Giuliani or Huckabee have a plan to deal with this. The Republicans as a whole are loathe to regulate the insurance industry on this vital matter.

This is a practical issue that effects many of us. It is an issue on which the Democrats present a united front, and stand firmly on the side of ethics.