Obama’s SOTU Rhetoric .vs. Governing

Obama sure looked good last night.

He was poised, articulate, even more forceful than aloof at various times.  He sure seemed like he really cared. I certaintly wouldn’t mind getting the chance to talk with him. He seems like such a well intentioned guy.

The only problem is Obama outright lied in several places, and his wonderful rhetoric is in great conflict with his actual governing decisions and priorities. For example:

1. Obama assured us again that he was “Ending the Iraq War”.  First he said that he would have all our “combat” troops out by August.  Then a few sentences later he claimed that “all our troops” (unqualified) would be out of Iraq. But the reality is that this is the man who brought back George W. Bush’s outgoing War Secretary, Robert Gates (CIA-IRAN-CONTRA crook) to run his War Policies. Gates and Obama and Hillary Clinton (also a WarHawk) are all in agreement that at least 50,000 troops will remain permanently in Iraq, and of course, the 17 unwelcome U.S. Military Bases will also be there permanently.  The private contractors Halliburton and Blackwater (which operates under another name now), will all continue to remain as well.  Obama’s claim to end the Iraq War in August 2010 has about as much validity as his claim to end Guantanimo within 1 year. The crooked Oil Contracts, the Corporations, the Military Bases, the huge multi-hundred million dollar U.S. Embassy, and at least 50,000 troops to protect all of that — ain’t going nowhere.  

Whether the people that are stuck there are classified as being “combat” troops or not, is hardly relevant. The War and the Foreign Occupation has not ended, is not ending, and will not end. The vow to end the Iraq War is another empty promise from President Obama, and until and unless he stops listening and empowering the likes of Robert Gates – no meaningful change to this corrupt War policy will truthfully occur.  We have over 1.5 million dead Iraqis, over 2 million Iraqi refugees, over 5,500 dead Americans, over 75,000 wounded or disabled Americans, and have wasted of some 3-Trillion of the taxpayers dollars.  Clearly our Foreign Policy does far more damage to our own Country (as well as to the World) then anything any terrorist could ever dream up.  Obama’s patty-cake policy on confronting the tragedy of the U.S. Iraq intervention is sadly insufficient.  

Moreover, he is expanding our excessive American Militarism and violence to the far corners of the Earth even more by tripling the troop exposure in Afghanistan, starting War with Pakistan, killing civilians with cowardly CIA-run, unmanned Drones equiped with Hellfire bombs, threatening Iran, Yemen, and Venezuela (via Columbia). He has embraced the illegitmate Bush-era policies of detaining people with no charges, and no rights. And he has kept torture sites such as Bagram, Gitmo, and Abu Grahib open for business, while additionally directly outsourcing human torture through the disgraceful secret program of CIA renditions to Foreign prisons.  And let us never forget that the Obama Military budget far exceeds any of the Miltary budgets submitted under Bush & Cheney.  While the words sounded good, the governing remains a shameful tragedy, and a bankrupt wasteland of corruption and unnecessary human carnage, and bloodshed.

2. Obama also spoke about the plight of the middle-class and winning their trust.  He said: “To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.”  It is hard to take him seriously however when his administration has empowered and promoted the very special interests that were responsible for the Financial meltdown, such as Timothy Giethner, Lawerence Summers, Ben Bernanke, and unabashed GOP-Lite Corporatists like Rahm Emanuel. If Obama wants to help the middle-class, why are the crooked Banking/WallStreet elites hand chosen by him to run his policies? Why does he want to give the Federal Reserve even more power, instead of audit them?

3. In talking about Health Care, Obama said:  “If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Let me know. Let me know. I’m eager to see it.”    

Once again this is a total lie.  Obama and his crony Rahm Emanual banished any of the single-payer advocates from his policy table from day one. He has met privately with Drugs Companies, Big Insurance and made side deals with them that cut the knees out of any possible reform at all.  Far more than merely fumbling away the “public option” by continually damning it with faint praise (or even outright declaring it unimportant), Obama has also steadfastly stood in opposition to open, public debate about the reimportation of cheaper generic drugs, expanding Medicare coverage to age 50 (which would be more efficient and more understandable than a “new program”).  While Obama scolded members of his own poltical party (Democrats) for “running and hiding“, those words were not directed at the likes of Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landreui, or Blanche Lincoln.  They were, and have been, one-directionally aimed at just the few progressive Democrats who have been so disappointed and let down by this half-hearted and hypocritical attempt at “reform”, that they might stand up and vote no to it on principle.

4. And finally, it was rather surreal to see President Obama making plea after plea for “bipartisan cooperation” to a bunch of glum-faced Republicans, slumped over and motionless in their seats. The only applause that Obama got from ther GOP, the entire time, was when he promised to spend (taxpayer) money on Gas and Oil drilling and exploration (as an answer to the Climate problem?). All of which begs the question: why are we increasing our dependendcy on Oil & Gas?  Oh that’s right, he also wants to spend our money on “clean coal”, which is neither clean, nor cost-effective. Blowing the tops off the Appalachian Mountains, and our ruining our Country’s once majestic purple mountains, just doesn’t seem like the right change I can believe in.  But for the sake of a “bipartisanship” that will never happen, Obama will continue to govern like a Republican.  I’m sure Rush Limbaugh and FOX News will be duly impressed (as they laugh outloud). Funny how an allegedly smart man cannot understand that governing like a Republican, and continuing their crooked Wars and human rights abuses, is the wrong answer to 8 disasterous years of GOP rule — especially after an Election that wanted a new leader.

We may now have nicer, more graceful speeches, but we didn’t get that.


The “take your change and shove it” administration


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