Ché Obama…

My initial reaction to Barack Obama when he stepped on stage to announce his bid for the Democratic nomination and my impression of him throughout his campaign was that he was a clever man and a good orator but I felt he lacked substance. I claimed at the end of the primary season that should Hillary Clinton be his number two I would back him in his quest for the Presidency, despite my initial reservations.  After making this statement I realised that I did not truly understand what Barack Obama respresented or in what direction he wished to take America, I knew where Clinton stood, I knew where McCain stood but I didn’t know where he stood. I therefore decided to look more at the principles of his policy rather than the ploomage and clever rhetoric that had characterised his camapign. Now I can whole heartedly say my initial distrust of him was justified.

Now before any liberals throw their hammer and sickle out of the pram, I am more than willing to accept that America needs change. The Presidency of George Bush has been by and large a disaster and America desperately needs a change of direction, but this change of direction does not neccessarily require a change of party. British commentators often look on and conclude that change in America can only really come about if the President is from a different political party. This is wrong for a number of reasons. First of you cannot look at British and American politics in the same light, parties in America are ‘broad churches’ that encompass great swathes of ideologies and broad voter demographics in their membership. One Republican can differ greatly from another and the same is true of the Democrats. Parties in America exercise little discipline and make few demands in stark contrast to their British counterparts. Ultimately in American politics it is the person not the party that matters which is why campaigning is far more ‘Vote Obama or McCain’ rather than ‘Vote Republican or Democrat’.

Therefore by this logic we should be looking at the credentials of the individual candidate rather than the party tag. It confuses me as to why the press have given McCain and Clinton such a hard time in their camapigns, with the press tarring McCain with the mistakes of Goerge Bush. Simply put John McCain is not George Bush. It is common knowledge there has been a great many differences over the years between Bush and McCain both ideologically and politically and a McCain Presidency would not take the same line as that of Bush. The left wing presses of America have been far too soft on Obama and he has benefited greatly from it as it has created a wholly unjustified and unrealistic image of him. 

Obama and McCain broadly speaking mark two branches of the political spectrum – left and right. Obama speaks of the need for Americans to move beyond partisanship (“We are not blue states or red states, but the United States” is a campaign meme), however when you cut through the verbiage and clever rhetoric there is nothing to suggest he believes anything that is seriously at odds with the far Left of his party therefore I am confused as to how this can bridge any political gap. If you think about it for a second, it’s not really an accident that he has been endorsed by the shady likes of Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson. Though he talks with great eloquence about the future, he sounds for all the world like one of the long line of Democrats from George McGovern to Walter Mondale to Michael Dukakis, who became history by espousing policies and striking a rhetorical pose that was well out of the mainstream of American politics.

In addition one only has to look at his victory speech in the Wisconsin primary to see what direction he wishes to take America in and it is one we here in Britain and around the world should regard as dangerous. His previous primary speeches, which were delivered when he was on far shakier ground in his fight for the nomination, hid behind the cautious rhetoric of change with little if any substance. When on firmer ground after victories in primaries such as Wisconsin, his speeches marked a new approach. He began to put meat on the bones. His speech in Wisconsin has no shortage of proposals all of which I found deeply concerning. He plans large increases in government spending on health and education which in theory I have no opposition to, however one has to question how he is going to afford it given the shape of the American economy, it is here where he resorts to the typical left wing tactic: tax the rich. Obama’s policy of tax, tax, tax represents that same tax happy policy persued by the Carter administration, which resulted in queues at gasoline stations, surging inflation and economic stagnation.

To add to my chagrin it is well documented that he is against companies using the opportunities of free markets to restructure their operations in the US and he is vehemently protectionist in his proposals. However perhaps my greatest issue with Obama lies in his plans for Iraq. He has repeatedly claimed, in the typically spineless left wing way, that he would pull troops out of Iraq post-haste. Thats not a leader thats a follower, a man of convenience not conviction. Even Gordon Brown has managed to stay the course in Iraq and despite much pressure he has refused to bow to calls for a rushed timetable for withdrawl as he recognises the job isn’t done. It is John McCain not Obama that recognises that America has a duty not just to its own people but to the people of Iraq, the region and the wider world by ensuring Iraq returns to stability and prosperity.

Just because Iraq was not the decision of his administration does not mean that it is not his responsibility if he became the new President. He has a political duty and a moral obligation to finish what the previous administration, with the over whelming backing of the American people, started. The American people supported that war and they confrimed it when they returned Bush to the White House with a bigger portion of the vote in 2004. Thus he as their newly elected leader would have a duty to make right the wrongs his country, not just one President, have made. Quiet diplomacy will not do and an appeaser such as Obama is one who feeds a crocodile in the hope it will eat him last.

America is certainly moving left in the post-George Bush era. The long period of conservative ascendancy is clearly over, buried by a Bush presidency that has preached intolerance and practised incompetence. That a new era in American politics is beginning is not in doubt and the fact that there is a need for a change in America is not in question, but why does America need to make such a radical leap from right to left when they can turn to the center right McCain. McCain is a man of substance, of principle, of experience and of courage and it is him not Obama who will give America that change and leadership that it sorely needs. The left never has and never will be the answer to the political problems of the world, they will only contribute to make them worse.

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5 thoughts on “Ché Obama…

  1. I usually agree with a lot of what is said on this blog, however, some of the assertions that are made here are fundamentally wrong.

    Firstly, Obama is without a doubt the classic example of a snake, someone who will tell people what they want to hear whilst all the while stabbing them in the back – this can be seen in the economy, in which he has consistently criticised McCain when, when looked at, his policy is seemingly more right wing. (http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.economic.stimulus.html)

    Secondly, you argue correctly that party loyalty within the US is weak, however, whilst to an extent this is because of the candidate centred election, you forget to mention the loyalty to the ‘folks back home’ and the pork-barrel system that operates within the US.

    Finally, you state that Bush was elected again on the basis of the Iraq war, however this is simply not the case, when you look at the CNN exit poll of polls, the single most important issue for voters was moral values (22%), followed by the Economy (20%), Terrorism (19%) and then Iraq (15%), although it was definitely an important factor.

    Other than these points I completely agree, especially with the criticisms of Obama, but it seems many Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security by the novelty of the idea of the “first Black President”, remember though, race isn’t an issue, whether it affects the election positively or negatively.

  2. I posted a comment but it didn’t appear, so I tried to repost it and it said i’d already posted the same comment – any idea if it’s worked, it doesn’t seemed to have!

  3. Apologies joe, your comment didn’t appear as it needed to be approved lol.

    In regards to your response I do have a few issues. I would argue time and time again that Obama is very left wing and his plans for the economy most certainly represent this. Is it right wing to curtail the free market? Is it right wing to persue a protectionist economic agenda? I advise you to study Obama’s ‘Patriot Employer Act’ which has a ghastly scent of nationalism/ protectionism to it.

    I believe Obama to be a populist and nothing more. He doesn’t do what is right he does what is popular. He should use his current popularity to defend the current good economic policies that are going through a ‘bad patch’ instead he decides to write them off and start a fresh… in the wrong direction.

    Also I never stated Bush was elected because of the Iraq war. I implied that had the Iraq war been a majorly unpopular issue as Obama seems to think… Bush would never have been re-elected in 2004. I was in no way suggesting that Iraq was a sole factor in bush’s re-election.

    I also contest the fact that ‘race isn’t an issue’ I do hope that comment was sarcastic. Race is very important in america. I could reel off town after town in the heart lands of America that are deeply deeply racist. Granted the cities are much more liberal and their electoral impact will be greater however you can’t just win an election with the cities and you have to be prepared for the potential fall out.

    Whilst I do not believe his race will be the biggest factor by any strecth it will certainly be an issue, one which I think could spill over were he elected and the world could see a much uglier side of American race relations.

  4. Haha yes the ‘race isn’t an issue’ was most certainly intended sarcastically, I was just highlighting how many Americans seem to be thinking this election cycle. In fact just recently Ralph Nader came out and said that Obama has successfully used ‘white guilt’ in his campaign.

    I agree that a lot of Obama’s policy is left wing, however, I do think he has hid this well, particularly with the economy, with the promise of tax cuts and to get the economy back on track (which we all know he won’t do), without trying to be too controversial, I wouldn’t trust anyone that left wing with the biggest consumer economy in the world.

    The greatest US President for handling the economy was most certainly Clinton, however, this was largely because of ‘Third way’ and right wing tendencies.

    Oh and sorry about the Bush thing then, it was my mistake, I just thought that it lent towards that persuasion in the way it was worded, sorry!

  5. haha no problem. I agree he has hid it well which is why I think he is devious. I don’t trust him and I never truly did. Having said this for a moment even I got caught up in the obama mania and I did fall for his clever rhetoric and promises of change, because of this i decided to look beyond the words and it didn’t make pleasant reading.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the blog because it seemed to be rambling on a bit was that I can see his wife being a loose canon and a good indicator of the political persusasions of the obama household. Michelle Obama’s comments about ‘for the first time in my life I feel proud of my country’is a great indicator of the left wing political persuasions of the obama household.

    Americas recent history has been largely right wing, now I am not saying america hasn’t made mistakes, they have, but I believe Americans have an enormous amount to be proud of. Michelle Obama is not alone there the left wing of the Democratic party are renowned for believing that America has been a pretty wretched sort of place to live.

    They, like the Obamas I suspect, wish America had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations. An Obama presidency would set this train of change in motion.

    People can say this is speculation, and in a way it is, but when you look at his assosciation with other shady figures such as Reverand Wright then you can see where his wife might have got her views from. Obama’s initial reluctance to distance himself from Wright is also a good indicator of how this devious politician thinks. I believe it was only after much pressure that he was forced to reluctantly distance himself from Wright when he should have chastised him from the very begining.

    People think a message of change is a positive thing and by and large it is but only when said change is progressive. What an Obama presidency would amount to is a revolution of sorts which would have disastorous consequences for both America and the wider world. So for me the decision is pretty clear… the amwerican people and the wider world have been swept of their feet by a great orator, he looks and souinds the part, he represents a change from old dynastic politics, he has capaitalised on a deeply unpopular republican party, he is untried and untested, he has NO experience having only been a senator for 4 years, his policies represent a dangerous path for america to tread and a dramatic departure from economic policy which has provded america with unprecedented growth over the years, his policies fly in the face of what is morally right and his slap dash approach to iraq will have disastorous consequences for the region and the world. For America’s sake Obama should not be president.

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