A Liberal’s Survival Guide

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I recommend picking up a copy of Newsweek for yourself. The cover story for the issue of the week of November 2nd 2009 is an excellent piece on President Barack Obama. Anna Quindlen has put to words what I felt to be true since early in the 2008 Presidential Campaign:

Barack Obama campaigned as a populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Campaigns are bad crucibles in which to forge the future. They speak to great aspirations; government amounts to the dripping of water on stone.

The president is a person of nuance. But on both ends of the political number line, nuance is seen as wishy-washy. There’s no nuance in partisan attacks, soundbites, slogans, which is why Barack Obama didn’t run with the lines “Some change you might like if you’re willing to settle for” or “Yes, we can, but it will take awhile.”

If the American people want the president to be more like the Barack Obama they elected, perhaps they should start acting more like the voters who elected him.

In my personal estimation the liberal-left mainstream view of Barack Obama was overly optimistic as to his clearly stated positions. This situation has altered since the campaign but still seems to maintain elements of previous misconceptions.

This president is entirely unique.

I was adamant about this in the first few months of The Obama Presidency when the media-punditry were attempting to compare Obama to another American President of the recent past. The only comparisons to draw are poor ones.

Many attempt to call The Obama Presidency a “centrist” presidency. I believe this is only in part true and better descriptions would be “staunchly bipartisan” or “consensus builder” as to what we see of The White House of 2009.

Ultimately, I myself am far too left-wing to support every Obama Policy. I am certainly left-wing enough to vote for him, but in the instance of national health care reform I would seek to isolate the insurance giants in the face of the bipartisan concept of bringing them to the table.

I would seek to remind readers that The Founders had many ideological differences between them and while they surely would approve of the goal of consensus building, I believe some would argue that party loyalty or campaign kick-backs mean nothing in the face of protecting the general welfare of the people of The United States.

Allow me to put forth my view on The Founding Fathers as it applies to the proposed health care reform in the U.S.:

A single-payer bill, like H.R. 676, might be scientifically approved but does not incorporate the spirit of incrementalism that is key to sound reform. If one was to augment the “single-payer” model of this bill into a national health care insurance option for citizens ages zero to sixty-five, included the Dennis Kucinich Amendment in which states can opt-in to a single-payer system, and included the Harry Reid Proposal in which the states can opt-out of the national option within a single piece of legislation; this unwritten bill would be within the true desires of the framers of The U.S. Constitution.

I can only see two clear flaws in Barack Obama as president, thus far.

Handing health care to the Congress was a bad move.

Isolating the giant of media-misinformation when there are other offenders within the spheres of foe-news.

Both of these are purely strategic flaws and amount to simple criticism and nothing more on my behalf.

On the matter of his appointments I believe what I was speaking on before comes around once again. It’s not a fair assessment to call it a “liberal” cabinet but rather a “bipartisan” cabinet, or “centrist” if you must.

We didn’t elect the liberal-firebrand that came to destroy the GOP and tear down the corporate empire.

We elected Barack Obama.

Obama Health Care Reform

(Entire speech @ Open Salon)

This was an excellent Address on Health Care by President Obama. All significant issues were cogently addressed, but I found the president should have expounded further upon the specifics of the budget and the concept of “deficit neutrality.”

Perhaps it is my own failure in understanding but I do not fully understand this notion as it pertains to health care.

I also think this clear explanation was needed much closer to the onset of the national debate instead of at this point in time and also hopefully prior to the town hall debate setting, but I see the issue of Health Care Reform as being underlined and placed in the foreground.

Those who chose not to listen and refute every word Obama speaks will most likely continue to do so.

The issue of a ‘failure to sell‘ Health Care Reform and explain the proposal is put to rest, in my view.

Bigots Against Islam Run The Republican Party

The hatred of others based on their faith is the favored tactic of the Anti Obama Republicans in this current political climate. If this hatred was directed at another religion the whole of the American public would reject this bigotry as unpatriotic and down right sick. This propaganda and lies about Islamic faith is tolerated by Republicans because many Americans chose to believe lies, such as the misnomer that the majority of Muslims are in fact terrorists, in place of speaking with their fellows whom may be more directly connected to the truth of the matter than a pack of lying pundits.

Racism against Arabs and bigotry against Islam seems perfectly acceptable to millions of Americans, while racism against Blacks and bigotry against Christians or Jews is downright unacceptable. These Republican Americans and their conservative counterparts seem to believe that civil rights extend only to certain colors and certain faiths.

These disrespectful and partisan Americans put into question their dedication to the principals of non-discrimination in our society. Until major representatives of the Republican Party denounce this bigotry and racism in their ranks they remain in my mind a continued threat to peace and national security in the United States of America.

Cheney Deserves His Day in Court

“When just one single piece of information could prevent a nuclear-armed terrorist [we can‘t take any chances.]”

Former-Vice President Dick Cheney continues to spread the myth that inhumane torture tactics, mislabeled as ’enhanced interrogation,’ are necessary to protect the nation from extremist violence. His continued use of fear-tactics by insinuation of nuclear attack on American soil is a throw-back to the selling of the Iraq War to the American People, which ultimately was proven to be based on bad intelligence. The use of these tactics will only produce more bad intelligence and not to mention legal ramifications of using techniques that are clearly ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’

I could only speculate if he is a man bereft of all humanity or simply a man of very strong and very flawed convictions, but the fact remains that putting our nation in danger and violating the US Constitution are all that is accomplished in following this destructive version of course of action proposed by both Cheney and Bush.

I continue to advocate investigation and prosecution based on any evidence gathered that can meet the standards of a courtroom. If sufficient evidence to convict Dick Cheney of war crimes exists then, we the American people, deserve to hear the facts out before a jury of his peers.

Dick Cheney is an American Disgrace

55_cheneyI wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that President Obama has made the country any less safe since entering office. The notion that immoral practices will make us any more safe from terrorism is counter-intuitive to my core beliefs.

The CIA Enhanced Interrogation Program was one of the most effective terrorist recruitment tools and a project expressly advocated by former-Vice President Cheney which is now noticeably absent from terrorist recruitment methods.

The approved torture methods of the Bush administration have presented one of the greatest threats to our continued national security to date.

Not only is it disgraceful for Cheney to criticize the current administration as a member of the former but also as to his own level of personal integrity to turn the issue of national security on it’s head by denying the immorality of torture tactics.

The Politics of Fear remain the only tool left to Neo-Conservative Americans.

I see a land of injustice where prosecutions of some order are not undertaken. Those who wrote the legal opinions used to justify these torture tactics must face consequences.

The Justice Department cannot dispense justice onto itself.

A Special Prosecutor must be appointed.

If anything, President Obama has yet to do enough to restore justice and security to our nation.

Water-Boarding is Torture

It disturbs and disgusts me that so many American conservatives refuse to address all empirical evidence regarding practices like water-boarding while supporting these failed and immoral policies enacted under the Bush Presidency in the aftermath of the attacks of 2001.

Political partisanship aside, our nation has long stood as a global role model of a free republic and a just democracy by which the policies of fledgling democracies might observe and hopefully mimic.

A country claiming moral superiority must have reflective policies as pertaining to these morals. Any country that approves of a policy such as legal water-boarding of detainees cannot hope to claim any degree of civic morality inherent to it’s soil.

Redefinitions of torture as acceptable in any form is counter-intuitive to sound American policy making, in my view. Within political debate the same attempts are contrary to the Spirit of The Constitution itself. Not to mention the practice is specifically banned by the Military Code of Conduct and the Geneva Convention.

Loyal Opposition No More

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For many years I have felt that for all our disagreements between liberal and conservative individuals in the U.S., there was a shared position by both sides. A loyal opposition to the opposition, if you will.
For the time being, as since the election of Democratic President Barack Obama, I believe the majority of the conservatives of America have thrown down this national system of civil loyalty in politics in place of a pure obstructionist agenda.
The Party of “No!” is not conservative, nor liberal, it is pure nihilism in place of understanding.
I have not heard any amount of logical rebuttal to an Obama Policy or policy proposal, except in very rare cases.
I find I cannot listen to the standard bearers of GOP right-wing radio these days. Like most people I have my “hang-ups.”
Dismissive attitudes, a complete lack of humility and screaming people down end up on my list.
Every time I have been listening to conservative talk radio, or GOP responses, since the election of Barack Obama I am disgusted by the complete lack of integrity and grace in politics. Every word a smear, every point a spin.
Reducing everything down to simply “look at who is doing the name-calling” is not the issue. Though it is important thing to avoid name-calling as much as possible.
Not sticking to the facts about our democratic representatives and our recent national historical facts is unpatriotic.
I wish it were not so, and no group can claim to innocent of some form of vitriol in these times. But if something I say amounts to “name-calling” then I’m afraid it must be so. But understand I don’t say such things in a state of glee as we see from others screaming rational people down.
I find it offensive that in a matter of weeks all our politics have reduced to childishness and fear-mongering about the government.
Instead of having an actual political dialogue they insist on presenting “vague-facts” along with connect-the-dots logic, which is simply dirty pool politics.