Playing politics with lives

I don’t want to say I reluctantly voted for Obama.  I was never totally enamored with him, but during the 2008 campaign I can’t say I didn’t feel the hope, either.  Finally, a younger candidate who wasn’t bred out of the older, Clinton and Bush-esqe generation of national politicians who always played middle of the road and didn’t want to make decisions that would piss everybody off.  In short, they played politics.

For me, a big question about Obama is, at the highest level, would he play politics?  To place this question in tangible terms, during the campaign one of Obama’s strengths was that he didn’t vote to authorize the Iraq war.  Of course, Obama wasn’t a federal senator then and couldn’t vote — but as a state senator in Illinois at the time, he claimed he wouldn’t have voted to authorize the Iraq war.  This was an easy statement to make, though, for a person who was just a state senator, though he harbored presidential ambitions, probably even he didn’t think he would run for president in 2008.  In short, Obama wasn’t pressured to say the political thing.

So I’ve wondered how Obama actually would have voted for the Iraqi war resolution if he had the power to vote.  Would he have played politics or done the right thing and voted “nay” despite the pressure?

Unfortunately, I think my question has been answered.  Now that he’s president and faces pressure to decide our course of action in Afghanistan, after weeks of thought Obama has cracked and decided to send 34,000 more troops to the country.

This decision reeks of political bullshit.  First off, Obama is trying to take the middle of the road approach by not giving General McCrystal all the troops he asked for, therefore Obama can claim to the left, “Hey, I didn’t cave in and give the military everything they wanted!”  And to the right, Obama can claim “Hey, I did what you wanted and I put more troops in Afghanistan!”  And like any bad political decision, Obama’s half-assed measure here will piss everybody off.  I don’t want to be grandiose in my statements, but between this decision that an unemployment crisis that keeps looming, we could be observing Obama’s undoing.

Let me veer off-topic for a second and comment on the stimulus package.  That bill was supposed to create jobs, but Obama and the Democrats put in so many tax cuts to appease Republicans that the bill was half tax cuts.  Tax cuts, as most sane people will argue, do not create jobs.  And did Obama get even one Republican vote for his stimulus package despite his pandering to the GOP?  No.  So in lieu of creating more jobs, Obama played politics.

And lost.

I’m stick of Democrats who promise us hope then get into office and pull half-assed bullshit to try and please everybody.  Fucking up a stimulus bill is one thing, but Obama’s “plan” for Afghanistan — sending in a minimal number of troops to fight a war where we seemingly have no objective — will cost many brave Americans their lives.  It’s sickening — doubly so when I remind myself that Obama is the most recent Noble Peace Prize winner.

In war or in the economy, you can’t combat issues half-assed.  You either go all in or figure out what the hell you going to do.  And if you can’t figure it out, step aside so somebody who does have a solution can implement it.  No pussyfooting, no bullshit.  Playing politics only insures that the issues you’re addressing will get worse.

I expected better from Obama.  Now I’m wondering what the difference is between him and other moderate politicians I didn’t vote for because Obama was running.  Yeah, I’d still rather have Obama in office than the oblivious shitshow that would have been a McCain/Sarah Fucking Palin administration.  Perhaps I should be happy that we have a president who continues to fuck up Afghanistan instead of a president who surely would have marched us into war with Pakistan or Iran by now, but you know what?  I’m not satisfied.  I wish one of these suits I pull the lever for would have some fortitude to do the right thing every once in a while.

Maybe when Obama realizes that playing politics won’t get him elected in 2012, he’ll grow a pair, pull us out of Afghanistan, spend money to create jobs, and tell the entire Republican party and all those teabaggers to suck it.  That’s the guy I wanted to vote for.  Alas, at this point I can only assume he doesn’t exist.

6 Responses to “Playing politics with lives”

  1. gcotharn says:

    “I expected better from Obama.”

    Why? I assume you expected better b/c you looked at Sen. Obama and you perceived talent. Yet, the perceived talent was unaccompanied by accomplishment in life.

    In sports, “potential” will kill a team every time. Obama may as well be a QB whom everyone thinks has great potential, yet whom has never been a winner, and who thence QBs the team to a losing record. The other QB – the one with moderate talent, yet with a track record of gritty victories – would have been a better choice for the team. “Potential” kills a team every time. Perceived talent ought be accompanied by some record of success.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You mentioned that Obama, as a state senator from Hyde Park, was antiwar. In actuality, the political power in Hyde Park informed Obama that “a state senator from Hyde Park MUST be antiwar” – whereupon Obama declared himself against the War; before later (after the success of the Iraq invasion) declaring himself for the Iraq invasion, saying: “There is little difference between Pres. Bush and myself on Iraq”; before again – in a frenzied effort to get to the left of Hillary – declaring himself to be far more against the war than she was. Which is to say: your belief that Obama’s Iraq stances represented evidence that he would not play politics represented an instance where you lacked full information about a circumstance.

    I blame media and left side blogs. You are a decently informed person. Media and left side blogs had to work to hide the true information about Obama and Iraq from you. They succeeded. Their actions were detestable, and you are now paying the price via being governed by a Pres. Obama who, during the campaign, played you for a chump; and who is still trying to play you for a chump. You and I disagree about lots of stuff, yet neither of us appreciates being played. Pres. Obama is playing both of us for chumps – you on his left and me on his right. He’s a con man. The question is: will we wake up and smell the coffee?

  2. Hate to change the subject .. but since people on here only read Regressive blogs like the Daily Kos, or Common Dweems .. I’m afraid you may not know that Global Warming has been debunked … fraught with purposeful lies and fraud at the highest scientific and political levels … rather than attack the hackers, we should read what they uncovered about the Global Warming Hoax …

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/24/hiding-evidence-of-global-cooling/

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

  3. Infidel753 says:

    Have to agree with Gcotharn. During the primaries Obama always struck me as much less of a principled left-winger than Hillary was. I expected him to be too busy compromising with the Republicans in the name of bipartisanship fantasies to actually accomplish much change, and that’s exactly what has happened.

    I have no idea what President Hillary would have done about Afghanistan, but I don’t believe she would have been so willing to compromise on health-care reform just to get a Republican vote or two in the Senate

    For links on the CRU global-warming e-mails, see here.

    • Rocio says:

      The war in Afghanistan is immoral and sutipd. The Canadian contribution to the occupation of Afghanistan is a waste of money, a waste of Canadian lives and waste of our international reputation. The purpose of the occupation is imperialistic and economic though of no economic benefit to ordinary Canadians. Claims that we are fighting to improve the lives of Afghans, to bring them Western values, or for freedom are simply lies as events on the ground in that benighted country clearly show day after day. We are siding with one faction in a civil war because that group promises the West strategic advantage in the region. We can never truly win, in the popular sense of this phrase. At best we can hold off defeat for a time to preserve what is seen in Washington as the West’s strategic advantage. There is an argument for taking part in this after all, we are being threatened and blackmailed but nowhere is this mentioned in our fundamentally dishonest national debate on this topic. Instead, we get the Conservative government’s nauseating and threatening support our troops propaganda, backed by a craven opposition chorus, and preposterous claims we are fighting them, whoever they are, there, rather than here. In fact, our participation in this war puts Canadian lives at increased risk, at home and abroad. I fear for my children and grandchildren every time I hear of another wedding party bombed or child caught in the crossfire of Canadian bullets. Ultimately, no matter what we do, the people of Afghanistan will drive us out as they always have driven out invaders. The only questions are how long will it take, how many people will have to die pointlessly, and how much suffering must there be here in Canada before it ends? I only hope that, if terrorism comes to Canada as a result of this misguided military occupation, we have the sense not to ask, Why do they hate us?

  4. radical_moderate says:

    “but I don’t believe she would have been so willing to compromise on health-care reform just to get a Republican vote or two in the Senate”

    Which is exactly WHY she failed to get Healthcare reform passed in the ’90’s when she headed up President Clinton’s task force.

  5. Wow tas, this post is one of your most naive and uninformed. You may wonder if Obamba would have authorized the Iraq War … I wonder too, this War is very controversial. But more importantly I wonder if Obamba would have voted to take out the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan … they openly supported and sheltered Bin Laden, the source for 9/11

    Second, it is ONLY tax cuts and more money in people’s pockets which create jobs. More money going to the Government stifles growth and job creation. I really wonder where you get your information, only a partisan regressive person could ignore the impact of tax cuts on our economy. Every time its been tried, on a large scale, massive job creation ensued … JFK did it, Reagan did it, Even Clinton did it (Cap Gains) and Bush 2 did it … the tax cuts were followed by MORE revenue to the Treasury and MORE jobs. These facts are not in contention, besides, its just common sense. Where’s your evidence that higher taxes create jobs tas?? Basically the less money people have available to spend, the fewer jobs can be created. Your mentality here is so sub-level 101 I really don’t know where to begin.

    FDR was never able to spend us out of the Great Depression, what makes you think Obamba can?? Where are all these created or saved jobs?? What happens to these jobs when the stimulus money runs out?? Private Enterprise creates real jobs, not Government.

    Also of note: Obama said he would get OBL where ever he was hiding, including Pakistan!! If anyone indicated a willingness to set off Pakistan it was Obama.

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