Friday, April 22, 2011

Obama: Cloaked Status Quo

McClatchy Newspapers just ran an editorial demonstrating the similarities between the Bush and Obama administrations.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to their claims.  As Steven Thomma points out:
Silver-tongued, not tongue-tied.  A team player on the world stage, not a lone cowboy.  A man who'd put a stop to reckless Bush policies at home and abroad.  In short, Barack Obama represented Change.

Well, that was then.  Now, on one major policy after another, President Barack Obama seems to be morphing into George W. Bush.

While Candidate Obama looked like a great choice, he has transformed in front of our eyes into the latest stooge of the corporate interests of this nation.  Yet, the signs were there from the beginning.  A list of the top donors to Obama's 2008 campaign is a who's who of corporate America.  He received more money than any other candidate from the likes of Goldman Sachs, BP, Exxon, among others.  Unfortunately, these facts were brought to light after the election allowing the facade of "hope and change" to last long enough to get the man moved into the White House.

While it appears that Obama is just another puppet, the sense of security many Americans feel makes the president more dangerous than his predecessors.  Many have argued that a McCain presidency would have been worse.  That scenario is frightening, but I would argue that many more people would have woken up from the deep, hypnotic sleep of American Idol & NFL football if we had a McCain administration.  Right as our society was at a tipping point during the apex of the Bush years; a figurative knight in shining armor who appeared promised us an end to the wars and illegal detention.  He promised to fix the economy, allow Bush-era tax cuts for the rich to expire, and recreate a more open administration that would listen to The People and not lobbyists.  It seems so surreal that Peggy Joseph thought an Obama presidency meant an end to financial woes all together.

So here we are well into the president's term in office.  Most of those promises have become disappointments.  In fact, others have been added to his resume like the BP Gulf oil spill which occurred about a year ago.  Since then no one has been held accountable for one of the greatest environmental disasters and the largest bureaucratic blunder of the year.  Not one law has been passed ensuring the safety of drilling in the Gulf or raising/removing the liability cap in the event that future disasters occur.  Maybe this is because BP is in bed with both of our political parties.

The administration has also stretched our military further by providing support for NATO's actions in Libya - opening up a fifth front in the supposed War on Terror(tm).  U.S. soldiers have been bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq for nine and eight years respectively.  In fact, the war against the Taliban has been expanded by our "Peace President" with more drone attacks than the Bush administration, many of which have been conducted across the border into Pakistan.  What many do not know is that American special forces are in Yemen and Somalia as well.

This expansion of "kinetic military action" would be difficult to swallow at face value, but of course, it gets worse.  America's "support" in Libya goes beyond the Constitution-slashing behavior of the previous administration.  Don't take my word for it, witness the words of Candidate Obama:
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States.  In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.  History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch.  It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

This statement is absolutely true.  In emergencies, the President has the constitutional authority to act unilaterally.  Libya was never an emergency situation and Obama never sough congressional approval.  A secretive congressional briefing reveals Secretary Clinton's hubris in regards to this controversy.  Even Senator Biden would have had this president impeached!

While it is true that nearly all wars since the end of World War II have been unconstitutional, many of our presidents have at least received a resolution (which is not a declaration of war) from Congress.  The Obama administration has upped the ante on this one and it looks like they will get away with it.

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