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This line is from a classic Who song, "We Won't Get Fooled Again." Unfortunately, it looks like we did get fooled again, electing a new President in 2008 that has turned out to be not much different than the previous one or the one before that or the one before that, etc. Let's take a look at the first year and a half of the Obama Presidency and see how similar he is to his predecessor, George W. Bush, and others before Bush: - Obama campaigned heavily in promising to get our military forces out of Iraq. That promise is still unfulfilled, and will not be fulfilled for at least a long while since Obama has publicly stated that 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for an indeterminate amount of time. Sounds a lot like a continuation of the Bush interventionist military policy. - Obama campaigned heavily in promising to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorists, probably correct in his assumption that it became a terrorist recruiting tool. That promise is still unfulfilled and it does not look like it will be closed any time soon. Sounds a lot like a continuation of the Bush terrorist detention policy. - Obama campaigned heavily in promising that the number of budget earmarks, Federal taxpayer gifts from sitting politicians to campaign donors and other local interests, would recede to the preBush levels of under 2,000 per year. The number of earmarks in Obama's 2010 budget is over 11,000, comparable to or a little higher than the highest Bush era earmark volumes. - Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have publicly stated that some prisoners in Guantanamo will never be released even if proven guilty at trial since they are too dangerous. Sounds a lot like a continuation of the Bush policy of denying due process to other human beings. - As of late May 2010, according to the a HuffingtonPost.com article by David Bromwich, as published in the May 28, 3020 issue of The Week magazine, Mr. Bromwich illustrated how he thought "How Obama Is Just Like Reagan." His reasoning was that, like Reagan, Obama seldom conducts the time honored tradition of Presidential news conferences, with his last formal one being last July. His style is to stick to only tightly scripted news bites and events that he and his handlers can control. According to the article, Obama's administration has been dominated "by simple messages and a flattering emphasis on the personality of the leader and a distinct aversion to pointed questions." Thus, while not quite as bad as Bush, Obama does compare unfavorably to Reagan in this respect. - The Obama administration renewed the freedom restricting Patriot Act virtually untouched from the Bush original. - The Obama administration has exceeded the extremely high Bush administration budget deficits, and his administration is on target to have a spending deficit total higher than the total of all previous budget deficits of all previous Presidencies. - The Obama administration issued it's own education reform guidelines that were basically the failed Bush "No Child Left Behind" program except for a few small changes. - According to an ABC News/ Washington Post survey, as published in the June 18, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, 69% of the respondents gave the Federal government (Obama
administration) a negative rating in the handling of the BP oil spill while 62% of the respondents to a similar survey in 2005 gave the Federal government (the Bush administration) a similar negative rating in the handling of the Katrina disaster. - The Obama administration and the Pentagon barred four reporters from covering the military terrorist hearings at Guantanamo because they revealed the name of a witness, even though the name had been disclosed in previous news reports. Sounds awfully similar to the Bush/Cheney secretive approach regarding the handling of terrorist suspects. - President Obama has been the recipient of more campaign donations from BP than any other politician over the past twenty years, obviously meaning he accepted more BP money than Bush. Neither the Bush or the Obama administration passed any legislation that would effective reform the country's health care system. Both passed legislation (Bush - Medicare Prescription Program, Obama - Obamacare) which did not attack the core problem of high medical costs and both of which will increase the Federal budget deficit by billions and billions of dollars. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able to get the North Korean and Iranian situations under control, with North Korea probably having recently committed an act of war in sinking a South Korean destroyer in non-North Korean waters and Iran is now a year and a half closer to having enough fissionable material to start making nuclear weapons. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able to make any progress in solving the Israeli/Palestinian quagmire. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able to find a way to effectively stem the tide of illegal aliens and illegal drugs flowing across the Mexican/U.S. border. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able to find a way to make government regulation work with failures at the SEC resulting in a disastrous financial crash, failures at Federal consumer protection agencies resulting in lead and cadmium laced toys being sold to American children, failures at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac resulting in a real estate market meltdown, failures at the Interior department's Minerals Management Services resulting in faulty and lax oversight of Gulf drilling and the resultant BP oil spill, and failures at the Federal auto safety agencies resulting in defective Toyota products which have led to the death of at least 89 Americans. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able to develop any kind of comprehensive energy strategy that would wean the country off of oil, positively impact the environment, and not cost the economy American jobs and economic growth. Note: the currently proposed cap and trade legislation does none of this. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able to do anything substantial in reducing government wasteful spending, with current estimates from the Obama administration estimating that the political class wastes upwards of $100 billion of taxpayer money every year. - Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration were able (so far) to change the anti-gay American military policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a discriminatory program that was implemented by Democratic President Bill Clinton. - And worse of all, neither Bush or Obama were able to unite the country, with Americans allowing politicians to divide them more than ever. Red state vs. blue state, pro-life vs. pro-choice, gay vs, straight, poor vs. rich, etc. Bush made those opposed to his Iraq invasion to be categorized as unpatriotic. Obama has remained silent and allowed other Democrats to call and categorize Americans honestly opposed to some of Obama policies as racists, Neanderthals, un-American, terrorists, racists and more. Thus, Bush and Obama have proven to be not significantly different from each other or their
predecessors. Unfortunately, we allow ourselves to be hoodwinked every four years by the promise of a new boss and that this time we will not get fooled again. Shortly thereafter, we realize that this new boss is no different from the old boss, he or she is just another politician with minimal leadership skills and minimal administration skills. Looks like the Who got it right again. The above list will hopefully provide some food for thought and reinforce the hypothesis that while we have two political parties, we really have only one political class whose only priority is its own welfare and wealth. As Karl Marx once said as a precursor to the Who: "The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them."
Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class' is now available at http://www.loathemygovernment.com and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit our nearly daily blog at http://www.loathemygovernment.blogspot.com for our dialog on American freedom.
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