Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Defending Obama Against Fantasies

I'm in a debate on Facebook with someone attacking Obama, who finds it incomprehensible that I don't think a "smart savvy political thinker" could dislike Obama, but who has yet to explain why I should do so.  Instead, he's asked me what it'd take for me to realize that Obama is "corporate-owned scum like all the rest of them."  I haven't been posting much lately, so I figured I'd reprint my reply.
No, Jeffrey. I can't imagine any reason why a smart savvy political thinker might dislike Obama. I already said that. And your response was to imply that Obama is scum without specifying any reason whatsoever.

But to answer your second question, assuming you were expecting an answer: I would be convinced that Obama was a corporate-owned scum if he acted like one. But since he continues to do things that help working class people, including giving us better healthcare, extending unemployment benefits, and continuing the payroll tax cut he gave to all working Americans; I fail to see how this makes him a bad person.

Obama made sure that cancer patients can't have their policies rescinded when they get cancer, as well as making sure that babies born with birth defects get insured. You've done literally NOTHING that can compete with either of those things, and that's just the beginning of all the things he's done for us. So you can talk big all you want, but I know which person is fighting for me and who's just talking.

Words are cheap and it's easy to stand tall on principles that don't cost anything. I put my support behind the guy who has backed them up. Until you can protect us against a Republican president, you've got little ground to attack the man from. You might say that the system is rigged against someone like you winning the presidency, but it was rigged against him too, and he made it. And so he's had to accept compromise in order to get us what we want. That's what democracy is all about and the only reason you don't need to compromise is because you aren't in a position to win anything by compromise either.

Btw, Obama has personally saved me a few hundred dollars in overdraft fees thanks to his bank reform law in 2009. What have you done for me lately?
After wards, the guy responded back attacking the standard mistruths that Obama's critics on the left use against him, which you can figure out by reading my reply:
Ok, I'm glad you at least bothered saying why you're upset with him. Fortunately for us all, your list is incredibly flawed.

For NDAA, could you explain why that was a bad thing? As I already said, it didn't really change anything. I know people SAY that it allows the government to hold US citizens indefinitely and whatnot, but since that's not true, they're wrong. The law really didn't do much of anything, as it's still up to the courts to interpret what the law really is as it didn't really change anything from what we were doing already.

As for the American citizen he killed (I'm only aware of only one, so I'd like to hear of more if there are some), I fully agreed with that. That was done with the approval of many people within the government, using a legal argument that I find sensible. So I find nothing wrong with the one case I know of in which this happened. With Gitmo, he wants to close it. Congress won't let him. Have you some evidence that this isn't the case, or do you believe him to be a dictator who can close Gitmo without the approval of Congress?

The "sell out" over the Bush tax cuts got us many great things, including extended unemployment benefits, a payroll tax cut that saved people $1000 on average this year, a nuclear treaty with Russia, and the end of DADT; among many other things. And had he not agreed to it, he'd have gotten NOTHING. This is a democracy and Republicans do have power. Had he waited until January, they'd have had even more power. But he's stated repeatedly that the tax cut was dumb and that he'll be in a better position to fight this battle next year; and my political calculations say the same thing.

The stimulus package did have many tax cuts, though the majority of it went to low and middle class people. Of the $787 billion bill, only $51 billion went to businesses, so I'm confused as to why you think it went "mostly" to corporations. Btw, the experts say that the stimulus worked and that we'd be worse off without it, so I'm confused as to why you're listing this as a problem.

As for the "trillions" that went to secret bailouts, those were loans. Loans. Loans. They were loans. In many cases, we received stock ownership of these companies, like Citigroup, AIG, and GM; and they were expected to repay their debt to us, and largely have done so. And the "trillions" number is deceptive, as the group that claims that includes money that was borrowed, repaid, and borrowed again; only counting the borrowing and not repaying. So if a bank borrowed a $10 billion, repaid it, and then borrowed $10 billion again as a short term loan; that counted as $20 billion borrowed, even though it was the same $10 billion as before. And of course, much of this happened during the Bush Admin and NOT the Obama Admin. As a reminder, TARP happened in 2008, not 2009. Obama was merely a Senator then.

And look, this is why I don't think that a smart politically savvy person can disagree with Obama, as everything you wrote was incorrect, if not completely wrong. Not that I'm saying you're dumb, merely that you're looking for reasons to criticize Obama and not bothering to find out if it's true or not. I'm sorry, but there's nothing savvy in anything you wrote.


mlf said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've been having that NDAA conversation with many people. I'm tired of "They're all the same!" They're NOT all the same and if someone thinks so, they should stop and imagine for a moment what life would have been like under McCain, or if we had returned more Dems in 2010, or what it will be like if we don't get out the vote in 2012. No comparison.

Betsy said...

Hi Dr. B. Still here and thanking you for your posts. Talk about people being deluded. I feel so depressed. I got to talking to a very nice man at the drug store (see how old I am, not pharmacy) today and he finished our conversation with "Happy New Year, and if we get rid of Obama it will be a good one". I felt so bad for him and the people like him whohave been so brainwashed that they don't have any idea what will happen to them if they elect all republicans. AND when it does, they won't know who to blame.
I feel like they'll deserve what they get (but certainly WE won't), but I now know that with most of them it isn't really their fault and that makes me feel even worse. I used to say "well I live in Texas, what do you expect?" but things have become so OBVIOUS now that I want to shake them and ask them how they can be so damn stupid as to not have SOME inkling of what is going on!