Recently there’s been a big fuss about entertainer Rush Limbaugh’s comments in which he says he wants President Obama’s ‘nationalization’ and ‘socialization’ policies to fail. It’s a good media story, but the shock and awe gasp that’s heard from so many is what’s remarkable to this writer. After 8 years of George W Bush, how can people be so surprised at opposition to a President’s policies? No one supported President Bush carte blanche, “gave him a chance,” or didn’t at least oppose one policy or another. In fact, true Democrats opposed every single thing the man did.
True Democrats wanted President Bush’s 2000 election bid to fail. They wanted his recounts to fail. They wanted him to fail on the stem cell research issue. They wanted him to fail in Iraq (to retreat unconditionally). The list is almost infinite. The mere idea of supporting George W Bush on anything puts can still put a bitter taste in the mouth of a true Democrat. This is why true Democrats who opposed President Bush should also oppose President Obama and hope that he fails as much as they hoped George W Bush failed.
Here’s 10 reasons why TRUE DEMOCRATS should oppose President Obama’s efforts to succeed just like Rush Limbaugh does:
10.) AFGHAN POLICY
After the 911 attacks, it’s said that everyone supported George W Bush. Certainly his approval skyrocketed, but was he really supported? People forget that in NYC, tens of thousands protested his attack on Afghanistan. We forget that Sen Kennedy and other true Democrats opposed his invasion and called on him to talk to the Taliban, to give them more time to handover Bin Laden, and almost every Democrat wanted to see Al Queda hunted as a law enforcement matter rather than through the use of military force. We also forget that hundreds of thousands protested against the US in Pakistan, were arrested, and held in Pakistani prisons until the threat of revolution there subsided. In the UK the government nearly collapsed in opposition to the American invasion of Afghanistan. In Egypt and Syria mobs surrounded the American embassies and started fires. In France, the leading newspaper ran a headline that said ‘We are all Americans now,’ and while many mistakenly say that’s a sign of international support for President Bush, the theme of the article itself was really more akin to, “It’s about time the arrogant Americans suffered like the rest of us.” In the Palestinian territories people sang and danced in the streets in praise of Osama Bin Laden rather than support for President Bush.
No, the American people and the world were not united behind Bush’s war in Afghanistan. From the moment the first bomb caught a crosswind, went off target, and the Taliban claimed civilian casualties….from that moment on the world no longer supported Bush, and instead he was classed as a cowboy out of control. Then when Osama Bin Laden again defeated American intelligence and escaped into Pakistan (Dec 2001), true Democrats said Bush had acted too slowly.
Today, those same true Democrats should hope President Obama’s war in Afghanistan fails just as they hoped Bush’s war there would fail: by opposing the bombing of Afghan villages (to paraphrase Sen Obama’s own campaign rhetoric). They should oppose the illegal, pre-emptive air attacks on Pakistani villages. Just as true Democrats called for peace and talks w the Taliban to hand over Bin Laden, the same call should go out to President Obama. Just as true Democrats demanded in November 2001, “Why haven’t we gotten Bin Laden?” The same should be demanded of President Obama.
True Democrats should hope President Obama’s continuation of Bush’s Afghanistan policy (his words via the CNN Lara Logan interview) should be changed because it has failed to defeat the Taliban, Al Queda, to bring Bin Laden to justice, and to bring peace to Afghanistan. Worst of all, this administration is sending another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, but they have no plan, no objectives, no benchmarks for success, and Congressman Jack Murtha is telling us we need another 600,000 troops for Afghanistan. The only way to get 600,000 troops into Afghanistan is to have a draft. True Democrats never accepted this kind of war strategery from President Bush, and should not accept it from President Obama.
9.) IRAQ POLICY
Senator Obama promised to bring home all American troops from Iraq in 16 months. Later, after his political-military advisors and the Pentagon told him it couldn’t be done, he re-phrased that to be all “combat brigades” in 16 months (the remaining troops would be re-labeled as “security,” “logistics,” “training,” and “anti-terrorist” forces). As President, he’s changed it again to 18 months so that he could continue the Bush Administration’s Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq. Now, when President Bush made that agreement, he had shoes thrown at him just 2 days later. True Democrats should oppose President Obama’s effort to succeed in Iraq just as they opposed President Bush’s efforts to succeed there.
Senator Obama was a very brave member of Congress. Despite the political risks, he stood up and led the fight against President Bush’s FISA abuses. True Democrats opposed Bush’s warrantless wiretapping and breach of American civil liberties and privacy. Sadly, now that he is President, Barack Obama has embraced those same policies, and true Democrats should oppose his use of warrantless wiretaps just as they opposed President Bush.
7.) GITMO, TORTURE, LACK OF TRIALS
Senator Obama campaigned on the promises to close the Guantanamo Gulag and to end torture. As President, among his first actions was to sign Executive Orders that ordered Gitmo closed, and banned torture. Unfortunately, the closure of Gitmo hasn’t happened, and it won’t happen until someone decides what to do with the prisoners there, and there is no answer to that=Gitmo will remain open indefinitely. President Obama’s Executive Order against torture included some verbatim phraseology from President Bush’s ban on torture, and it leaves open the choice to torture if a President wants to do so. He also ended the tribunals that were going on for the prisoners so that they no longer have a day in court. True Democrats should hope President Obama’s effort fail just as they hoped Bush’s efforts would fail; to keep the Guantanamo Gulag open indefinitely, his legal loophole allowing torture, and his cessation of giving prisoners their day in court.
True Democrats were able to look past the idea that a Governor and Mayor were slightly lacking in their response to Hurricane Katrina. True Democrats opposed President Bush’s cronyism and saw that the real problem with response to that hurricane was the appointee of an unqualified friend to a position to head FEMA. Yet, President Obama has put one of his old friends, Leon Panetta, in charge of the CIA?! Panetta’s only intelligence experience was personally arranging for the rendition of 60-80 people during the first Clinton Administration. America cannot afford to have a confessed torture-outsourcer in charge of the CIA, and the only reason he’s been put there is because of his closeness to President Obama. True Democrats want this example of cronyism and support for rendition to fail.
Senator Obama campaigned on the promise to put every bill on a website for 5 days before he would sign it. He said that the American people have a right to read where the money is going, and what a bill says it will do. He also said he wouldn’t have secret agreements with corporations and lobbyists like Bushco did with Haliburton and ENRON. Yet, just as Dick Cheney had his energy commission records kept secret, so too are any and all records of what agreements were made between the Obama Administration and the dozens of banks that have been given 100x more money than Haliburton ever got. We have no idea of what backroom deals went on between this administration and those banks, or the Big Three automakers, or AIG. All we know is that they met with White House and Congressional officials, and they got a trillion dollars with another 2 trillion pending. Where was the bidding on terms for these bailout loans that have cost 2-6x as much as the entire war in Iraq (Congressional Research Service put the cost of the war in Iraq at roughly $500bn from 2003-2009).
We didn’t get 5 days to read the final version of the trillion dollar stimulus bill (includes interest), and the only version that was provided to the public and to voting members of Congress was one that was littered with hand-written notes. No one-not a single member of Congress or the President read the entire trillion dollar bill before signing it. There is no transparency.
George W Bush and his administration were never impeached, and no impeachment investigation is going on despite having been told that they would be held to account by Senator Obama back in 2006, 2007, and 2008. True Democrats sought to impeach them on charges of breaking FISA laws, torture, undo process of detainees, rendition, no bid contracts, political cronyism in the Attorney General’s office, and more. Now, that’s not possible because in each of those cases President Obama has either continued the exact same policies (including rendition, making torture legal by Executive Order, no bid contracts w banks, FISA and more). Where is the justice that was promised to True Democrats, and how can the Obama Administration speak out legitimately against the policies of the Bush Administration while following them itself?
3.) Fiscal Responsibility
Congress holds the purse strings in the United States system of government. When a single party controls both houses of Congress, and that party is NOT the same as the one in the White House, then the President is called a Lame Duck because he cannot force or compel Congress to do his bidding. In those situations, Congress holds more power than the President. This means that the current financial crisis happened on Senator Obama’s watch. George Bush’s deficits were bad, but the budget deficits created by Senator Obama and President Obama are as much as 4x bigger, and he’s only been President for a little over a month! True Democrats opposed Bush and the Republican’s deficit spending, and as such should oppose similar lack of fiscal responsibility from President Obama.
Who can forget the images of George W Bush sitting in a classroom while Americans were being killed at the World Trade Center? Who can forget the image of him playing a folk guitar while New Orleans was drowning? True Democrats said he lived in a bubble and was oblivious to the suffering of the American people, and he was held to account. Senator Obama said, “I get it.” He told us he understands the suffering of the American people, and that’s why we get that $8-13 more per paycheck now that he’s President. It’s why can have parties every night at the White House (especially Wednesday’s apparently). Meanwhile, 500-700,000 Americans lose their jobs every month. An ice storm ravaged the central Southern United States and left millions without power or heat for weeks. He ignored it (ironically, he went to an elementary school and read children’s books instead just like George Bush did on 911). 10,000 families lose their homes each day. Your average American has $25-45,000 in credit card debt alone. His response has been to give trillions to the banks rather than the people. His response has been to dance and dine and give the people a dime (well, on average $10 more per paycheck, but it rhymes). Senator Obama spent two years campaigning and preparing to take office. President elect Obama spent 3 months preparing to take office. President Obama has done nothing other than give money to banks and corporations rather than the people. That is what True Democrats said Republicans and George Bush were doing, but President Obama has already spent several times more than all their years in power. His so-called stimulus package won’t put money into the economy for two years, and instead of stimulating or encouraging confidence, Wall Street responded by crashing.
10.) AFGHAN POLICY
9.) IRAQ POLICY
7.) GITMO, TORTURE, LACK OF TRIALS
3.) Fiscal Responsibility
True Democrats railed against these policies when George W Bush created and embraced them over the past 8years. True Democrats would rail against them again today regardless of the D next to the President’s name. After all, we’re Americans first, Democrats and Republicans second. Besides, dissent is patriotic, right?