Monday, October 20, 2008

Barack Obama -- The Third Term of George W. Bush

Normally this would sound like a good thing to me, but in this case the behavior of Senator Obama reminds me a lot of the caricature of President Bush.

Actual similarities:
1. Obama and Bush are deeply religious Christians.
2. Obama and Bush both saw themselves as outsiders who would "fix Washington" and unite the country after eight years of the opposite party's rule.
Bush promised to do this by working with Democrats, who from late 2001-3 had control of the Senate. During his tenure, the Bush Administration has either adopted or adapted Democratic platforms in the cases of No Child Left Behind, the Senior Drug Plan, Immigration Reform, and the economic stimulus plan. Considering the Republicans had 55 Senators from 2005-7, this is a fairly decent record of moderation.
Obama will come into office with as many as 60 Democratic Senators. The Senate's main bipartisan is John McCain, who will be returning there soon. What incentive will Obama have to reach across the aisle?
3. Both had struggles with drugs in their younger years.
4. Both ran on America 'pulling back' from expanded roles in the world.
The foreign policy of Bush in 2000 (who I didn't vote for) and his foreign policy in 2004 (who I did vote for) are vastly different.
However, Bush 2000 and Obama's 2008 plans are similar: no new nationbuilding, pull back from the latest wars, (Kosovo 1999, Iraq 2003) build up the military for a U.S.-first deployment. Both said that the U.S. had become too expanded and arrogant.
5. Both believe in the federal government giving tax credits to promote students attending private and parochial schools.

Similarities between Bush the caricature and Obama the candidate:

1. Bush has been declared as super-arrogant, and unable to understand the word no. Obama has been described by folks who like him as cutthroat when it comes to gaining increased standing and has even described his future presidency as the time when the world will heal itself and the oceans will recede. Obama has far more of a swagger than Bush ever wished he had.
2. Bush has been described as a fundamentalist wacko when in fact his religion has been -- Methodism. Wow-- mainstream Protestantism: we're all lucky to be alive. Bush never received word from God to invade Iraq or choke on a pretzel.
However, Obama belonged to a radical black Nationalist church for twenty years. This is a group that is sympathetic to Louis Farrakhan. His religiousity seems to be almost as deep as Bush the caricature with describing Obama:

"What we have here, though, is a politician seeking the highest elected office in America who is trying to promote a secular political issue as also being a religious issue. Who does Barack Obama think he is? He's not a pastor or minister, nor is he running for the office of "Highest American Priest." He has no business promoting anything as being "genuinely religious" or not; indeed, this is something which Christians should arguably be more annoyed with."

3. Bush's chief political advisor Karl Rove has been accused of dividing people by insinuating that they are "less patriotic." However, Rove or Bush have never used such words (at least in public). However, Obama's campaign has made it clear that if someone crosses a line in criticizing Obama, like referencing hippy terrorist Bill Ayers is racist.
In addition, Obama himself has stated that global warming is a religious issue. While I may agree with some of what must be done about it, I find it disconcerting that if I did disagree, not only would I disagree with him, but would risk running afoul of the deity of my choice.

Normally, if Bush and Obama were so similar on issues such as foreign policy, it would go a long way towards my vote. However, it seems like Obama is simply the amalgam of many of Bush's caricature's "worst" traits, which in their haste to gain the White House, the farther left has no problem supporting.

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