Obama is not my Savior

As much as I have hated Slate recently, this blog pointed out a few of the reasons why I just cannot understand why Americans are so in love with Barack Obama these days. Maybe it is just me, but I can’t stand arrogance, particularly when there is so little substantive policy to back it up. My favorite part of the article, is they guy that decided that he was voting for Obama because he “saw him.” That sounds like a great reason to elect someone, particularly the person who is going to be chiefly responsible for digging our nation out of the deep hole created in the past eight years. But hey, who am I to value substance?

New Hampshire is totally going the way of Iowa and is going to vote overwhelmingly for Obama on Tuesday. After watching the debate last night, I just want to ask each person who is voting for him why? He sounds great in scripted speeches, but of the four major candidates last night, he was the least articulate and the least specific about much of anything (except in being quite specific in supporting his prior position that he has no problem with violating the sovereignty of another nation and invading Pakistan without that country’s permission).

One thought on “Obama is not my Savior

  1. We love him ’cause he talks nice and he’s real purdy. We love him ’cause we want to support minorities but he avoids the typical things about black men that scare us. At least that’s what I’m assuming.I personally love him because the candidate selector told me to. Apparently, he matches me 73% while Clinton is only 63%OK, the result of some internet test isn’t what’s led to my support of Obama, but it did confirm what I already knew. (actually it didn’t perfectly confirm- it had Kucinich in second at 72% and I really do love Denny Kook- I assumed he would be first.)I know you’ve discussed NH since this post and other political things related to the race- but I thought I’d comment here since it’s where you ask why would someone vote for Obama. (I voted for Kucinich yesterday, but I didn’t have the option to vote for Obama in my state’s pretend primary)Both candidates (Clinton and Obama) have been very specific on most policy issues and there really is very little difference between them. Some minor foreign policy differences and a difference in how to provide universal health care along with some minor differences on immigration seem to really be the biggest things. I tend to agree with Obama on these issues but I’d be extremely happy with either one of them in the white house. (and I’m conflicted on immigration- I really agree with criticisms from both of them of the current system and of the senate bill they both voted for.)I don’t think being motivated when seeing Obama speak is a bad rationale for voting for him at all. Heaven forbid we have someone that inspires the American people as president, or someone that is speaking in generalities in his public speeches and trying to appeal to both sides of the political aisle. Although I think our nation needs a drastic shift away from the policies of the last eight years- I think that we do not need another extremely divisive president. I don’t think Clinton can avoid being divisive. Way too many people irrationally hate her. Is it wrong? Sure. But it doesn’t change it. She is a lightning rod for attacks from the crazy Christian fundies, and she mobilizes their base better than any of them do- she just mobilizes it against her. I think her being female certainly does contribute to that but I don’t think any woman would inevitably do that- I just think with the baggage Hillary Clinton brings, she certainly would.I did think NH was one of Obama’s weakest debate performances yet- but I don’t think it was really that bad either. I do think that it was the best I’ve seen Edwards in quite some time. I’ve always been impressed by Both Clinton and Obama, Edwards has been hit or miss.As for why I agree with Obama more than Clinton on foreign policy-a.) direct engagementBoth Clinton and Obama would be a huge step in the right direction away from the craziness that exists now. However, I think that the current position (that Clinton accepts) that dealing directly with heads of state is somehow rewarding them is absurd. It is the most effective means of engaging, and in fact is the only way to sincerely cary out engagement. It doesn’t mean we have to pacify or support countries, leaders, or positions with which we disagree.b.) Iraq- I’ll agree with Clinton supporters that it doesn’t really matter who supported the war and who didn’t but what matters is the plan going forward. I also don’t agree with the Kucinich or Richardson plan to simply pull all troops out tomorrow. That said, I think 2013 is WAY to long a timetable. A target of mid 2010 is not only much more to my liking, but does more to restore international credibility.c.) Pakistan- go in against their wishes? In the situation outlined in which Obama said he would- damn skippy. If theoretically we have 100% verified where Bin Laden is while he continues to organize and direct attempted attacks and Pakistan won’t go get him and won’t openly support our doing so, then we go get him. If we don’t attack Pakistani military or civilian targets, we don’t attempt regime change or overthrow of Pakistan’s government, we don’t attempt to alter their governance of their own country in any way other than to go in and take someone who attacked us and is continuing to do so then there is no problem with doing so. By just war theory, by most interpretations of international law, and most certainly by what’s best for the United States it is a proper course of action. Additionally, if Pakistan knows we are willing to go it alone we will have their cooperation and we won’t have to. Without that threat on the table what do we do if they don’t cooperate? With it there they have little option but to go along or to at least get out of the way.d.)Afghanistan – Obama recognizes the need for additional troops in Afghanistan and is committed to sending them there when withdrawing troops from Iraq. Clinton hasn’t made the same commitment, and with her larger number of troops in Iraq for a larger time period (till 2013 with a larger number remaining even when the withdrawal is “complete”) there just wouldn’t be the troops available.e.) Tactical (or other) nukes. Obama’s complete ruling out of a nuclear attack against Al Quida or Taliban targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere is spot on. Hillary Clinton said such a position would be a profound mistake and Obama’s position was criticized by the Clinton camp as an example of his inexperience. When military experts weighed in on it, the vast majority came down on Obama’s side.Obama’s anti-proliferation efforts in his short time in the senate have been extremely impressive. His policy position on anti-proliferation is much more advanced that Clinton’s and has been praised by a group as diverse as Kissinger, Schultz, William Perry and Nunn. I certainly think Clinton would carry out similar policies as Obama but to say that Obama has no substance or foreign policy plan seems kind of silly. His anti-prolif plan is quite detailed (and in my opinion quite good) as is his position of accelerating US disarmament. OK, you’re probably totally sick of reading that (if you bothered to read it) so I’ll just quit my rambling now. I won’t go into domestic policy since the differences there are smaller. (in my opinion- I suppose some might see the different health care plans as extremely different. I think Obama’s is somewhat more politically viable but both plans are extremely similar.)

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