The Obama delusion.

Jay

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From Newsweek:
It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama. At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me. I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship. Obama has become the Democratic presidential front-runner precisely because countless millions have formed a similar opinion. It is, I now think, mistaken.

As a journalist, I harbor serious doubt about each of the most likely nominees. But with Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain, I feel that I'm dealing with known quantities. They've been in the public arena for years; their views, values and temperaments have received enormous scrutiny. By contrast, newcomer Obama is largely a stage presence defined mostly by his powerful rhetoric. The trouble, at least for me, is the huge and deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views.

The subtext of Obama's campaign is that his own life narrative?to become the first African American president, a huge milestone in the nation's journey from slavery?can serve as a metaphor for other political stalemates. Great impasses can be broken with sufficient goodwill, intelligence and energy. "It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white," he says. Along with millions of others, I find this a powerful appeal.

But on inspection, the metaphor is a mirage. Repudiating racism is not a magic cure-all for the nation's ills. The task requires independent ideas, and Obama has few. If you examine his agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems.

By Obama's own moral standards, Obama fails. Americans "are tired of hearing promises made and 10-point plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change," he recently said. Shortly thereafter he outlined an economic plan of at least 12 points that, among other things, would:

* Provide a $1,000 tax cut for most two-earner families ($500 for singles).

* Create a $4,000 refundable tuition tax credit for every year of college.

* Expand the child-care tax credit for people earning less than $50,000 and "double spending on quality after-school programs."

* Enact an "energy plan" that would invest $150 billion in 10 years to create a "green energy sector."

Whatever one thinks of these ideas, they're standard goody-bag politics: something for everyone. They're so similar to many Clinton proposals that her campaign put out a news release accusing Obama of plagiarizing. With existing budget deficits and the costs of Obama's "universal health plan," the odds of enacting his full package are slim.

A favorite Obama line is that he will tell "the American people not just what they want to hear but what we need to know." Well, he hasn't so far. Consider the retiring baby boomers. A truth-telling Obama might say: "Spending for retirees?mainly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?is already nearly half the federal budget. Unless we curb these rising costs, we will crush our children with higher taxes. Reflecting longer life expectancies, we should gradually raise the eligibility ages for these programs and trim benefits for wealthier retirees. Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for inaction. Waiting longer will only worsen the problem."

Instead, Obama pledges not to raise the retirement age and to "protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries." This isn't "change"; it's sanctification of the status quo. He would also exempt all retirees making less than $50,000 annually from income tax. By his math, that would provide average tax relief of $1,400 to 7 million retirees?shifting more of the tax burden onto younger workers. Obama's main proposal for Social Security is to raise the payroll tax beyond the present $102,000 ceiling.

Political candidates routinely indulge in exaggeration, pandering, inconsistency and self-serving obscuration. Clinton and McCain do. The reason for holding Obama to a higher standard is that it's his standard and also his campaign's central theme. He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue?immigration, the economy, global warming?he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. These issues remain contentious because they involve real conflicts or differences of opinion.

The contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark, and yet the media?preoccupied with the political "horse race"?have treated his invocation of "change" as a serious idea rather than a shallow campaign slogan. He seems to have hypnotized much of the media and the public with his eloquence and the symbolism of his life story. The result is a mass delusion that Obama is forthrightly engaging the nation's major problems when, so far, he isn't.
I fear another Jimmy Carter being elected...

Source.
 

Hidden_Hunter

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When I was in the states neither him nor hilary was focusing on any issues what so ever. It was all about "making history" by a) electing a women or b) electing a black man. So both candiates in my opinion are guilty in losing focus on what should be key issues.
 

nist7

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Obama is very charismatic and has VERY good public speaking skills. Everyone spew out "just words" in their language; it's how they are delivered that can make the difference.

The only candidates that would have been able to attempt some REAL changes would be people the likes of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. Neither of them are charismatic and neither make moving speeches...but their policies speaks volumes louder than your rank and file Republicrat. (Of course what you think of their policies is another topic.)

So if you think about it....does America REALLY want change?

Maybe not.

Interesting article though....
 
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Top Geek

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So he doesn't think that having a president that is intelligent and that can speak intelligently can make a difference? Going by what America has now for a president, I beg to differ.
 

Phila

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I registered to vote just because I don't want Obama to win. For real.
 

Crazyjeeper

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That is a very interesting article. I'm voting because I don't want hillary or obama to win. More spending = bad.
 

argatoga

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Yep once again we have crappy candidates. Though I am pretty confidence neither Obama nor McCain will be as bad as Bush jr.
 

Viper007Bond

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The only candidates that would have been able to attempt some REAL changes would be people the likes of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. Neither of them are charismatic and neither make moving speeches...but their policies speaks volumes louder than your rank and file Republicrat. (Of course what you think of their policies is another topic.)
Yeah, exactly. Ron Paul would make REAL changes, but not for the better if you ask me. I mean, no public education, no out of work help, etc. etc.

He's a wacko.
 

Firecat

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As a journalist, I harbor serious doubt about each of the most likely nominees. But with Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain, I feel that I'm dealing with known quantities.
So rather have Hillary or McCain as president because we know they suck, versus Obama because we don't know if he sucks. All mainstream politicians running for office campaign for their base, which is what all 3 are doing. Rarely do they deviate from this, it's how campaigns are won.

I don't consider myself an Obama supporter, but I'll admit he's the better option. As appealing as John McCain's promise to stay in Iraq for 100 years and for more wars is...
 

Top Geek

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So rather have Hillary or McCain as president because we know they suck, versus Obama because we don't know if he sucks.
My thoughts exactly: vote for suckage instead of voting for a chance of non-suckage? How does that make any sense?
 

tigger

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Yep once again we have crappy candidates. Though I am pretty confidence neither Obama nor McCain will be as bad as Bush jr.
Considering Bush II has the worst approval ratings of any president ever :lol:; the next president would have to actually try to beat that.

So rather have Hillary or McCain as president because we know they suck, versus Obama because we don't know if he sucks. All mainstream politicians running for office campaign for their base, which is what all 3 are doing.
We're forced to choose, yet again, between a douche bag and a turd sandwich. I really don't care one way or another how this race turns out. Obama would make for a nice change of pace, I wouldn't mind McCain, and I suppose I could deal with Hillary.
 

MattD1zzl3

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Thats the best the article can come with? He's not as nonpartisan as some people make him out to be?

Left wing america is pissed, we've been screwed over by the entire country and called everything up to and including TERRORIST SUPPORTERS. Forgive us if we dont exactly extend the olive branch now that the republican party is collapsing. Mr.Bush has made this bed for you, and i wont weep when you are forced to sleep in it.

Barring another john-kerry-style clusterfuck, we've got the keys to the country now. :cool:
 

tigger

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I hear that Ralph Nader is back again. Do any of you guys think he'll fuck the Democrats like he did in 2000?
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Thats the best the article can come with? He's not as nonpartisan as some people make him out to be?

Left wing america is pissed, we've been screwed over by the entire country and called everything up to and including TERRORIST SUPPORTERS. Forgive us if we dont exactly extend the olive branch now that the republican party is collapsing. Mr.Bush has made this bed for you, and i wont weep when you are forced to sleep in it.

Barring another john-kerry-style clusterfuck, we've got the keys to the country now. :cool:
I'll support and defend (up to a certain point) whoever is in the white house. Its the hardest job in the world. Too many people waged vendetta's against Bush ever since 2000 because of a controversial victory. I've spoken to numerous people that claim, despite many other errors in his presidency, that they hated him because he "cheated" in 2000. It's insanity. What good does it do to constantly slander your own president? This country is so divided it makes me sick. If Obama, McCain, or Clinton wins, I will support him/her, even if I don't 100% agree with them.

(I consider myself a moderate)
 

MattD1zzl3

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It depends on what you mean by "support", i support him in that i pay my taxes and havent yet defected to any foreign power. But now i have to like him, despite him being a total moron and constantly fucking things up?
 

upyourego

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At least you have a variety of choices this time around in the USA.

At the next general election in the UK our three choices are likely to be

1) a middle class white man standing on the centre right economically and centre left socially - from scotland

2) a middle class white man standing on the centre right economically and centre left socially - from england.

3) a middle class white man standing on the centre right economically and centre left socially - from england.

And they wonder why nobody votes!
 

NecroJoe

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EDIT: Wait, what? A 4-year thread necro? FFs...

Yeah, exactly. Ron Paul would make REAL changes, but not for the better if you ask me. I mean, no public education, no out of work help, etc. etc.

He's a wacko.
Gold standard! Gold standard!

 
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