Okay, I’ve reached the end of my slightly frayed rope this election year, I really have. I’ve made no secret of the fact that when it comes to national security, illegal immigration, and education, I am an all but card carrying conservative, so why it’s a huge surprise to anyone that I do not support Obama is a true mystery to me. But one that people seem to have figured out for themselves: I must be a racist. That’s the only possible reason anyone could have for not supporting Obama.
I’ve been blogging about Obama since 2006, and I’ve never quite “got” the magic of him that others have; I’ve always said that he’s too inexperienced to run for president and that while I find him articulate, I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to vote anyone into office, much less the highest office in the land (I said the same thing about John Edwards, too). Over the past couple of years, though, my original sense that Obama might be good for President in 2012 has been modified to “no, never, not on my vote.”
I find Obama these days to be a bit whiny and annoying, to be honest, so that’s part of my now adamant refusal to vote for him now or in 2012. Another part of it is that I loathe how he folded, floundered, and generally made an ass of himself after Sarah Palin was picked to be McCain’s running mate; if something like that can make him crack, what the hell’s he going to do when all hell breaks loose in the middle east or that (possibly dead) whack job in North Korea reaches for his red button or when (oh, I don’t know), Russia starts eyeballing the rest of eastern Europe? Further, I think that he’s completely off the rails in insisting that the vice presidential debate occur tomorrow night, despite the fact that he is a sitting United States Senator and the head of his party and that our economy–indeed, we, the people–need him to DO something for a change and not just talk and talk and talk.
I can say, too, that I’ve seen otherwise sensible, intelligent people turn into babbling fools in trying to make a case for Obama for president. He’s for change, they say, and we need change. What change, I ask innocently. Well, you know, with the economy and health care and the war in Iraq. And how’s he going to change these things, ask I, not quite so innocently. Um, er, argh . . . he just will. He said so. Really? And he’s paying for all his big plans how? By those tax cuts he’s promising 95% of us? By the tax increase he’s spouting for the remaining 5%?* A tax increase, by the way, that he completely changed under five minutes of Bill O’Reilly’s not so hard balling? O’Reilly had Obama down to 20% from 39% in the blink of an eye, and how did he manage that? What complex plans to make up this now deficit, what fiscal analysis went into it? If he can afford to drop that much of a tax increase on the wealthy . . . just like that . . . don’t you want to know where the rest will come from to pay for all his plans (this of course assumes that he was thinking to use the original tax increase to pay for those plans of his).
[can’t get the vid to work, don’t know if it’s yahell or youtube, but if you want to see the clip, click here]
So there’s the fact that I think that Obama is just like every other politician out there, saying what he needs to say to get elected (remember “read my lips”?). But he’s also promising all these wonders for everyone at the same time he’s saying “there’s no free lunch.” Again, just like every other politician out there, contradictory and hypocritical. So why does it bother me so much coming from him? Because he’s set himself up as the Washington outsider, the one person that people can count on NOT to be slick and spin and duck and dodge, the nonpolitical politico. His campaign began on the premise that he was different, unique. But he’s not. And that, to me, is more than I can bear.
He’s everything he claims not to be, and not just in terms of the economy, but also in terms of the war in Iraq. When he says he just wants to bring troops home, that’s not what he means; he means he wants to shift the war front from Iraq to Afghanistan. He’s said it a zillion times, but like everything else he says that no one wants to hear, it gets sucked into some vortex and disappears. But no troops are coming home under Obama, they are merely being moved to another war zone. I have a similar reaction to preachers who publically condemn homosexuality while they are busy living their double lives with other men (this may have happened with women, but I can’t recall a case) and with conservative “family values” types who are caught in affairs or with prostitutes. The hypocricy of it turns me off in such an enormous way that I just can’t muster any sympathy for them. That’s not to say that Obama is doing these things, and it’s not even that he’s something he’s not; it’s that he was SO adamant, so vocal about his not being the traditional Washington insider, wasn’t really a politician at all. Pfftt! That was his political angle, that he wasn’t political and didn’t have an angle. Clever, sure, but praise or respect worthy? Absolutely not.
Was he against the war in Iraq? Seems possible from what he said in the Illinois senate, but we can’t know what he would have voted had he actually been a United States senator at that time, had he been privy to the information and discussion that prompted all but one democrat to vote yes on that bit of badness. I suspect he would have voted “present.” That’s what he does when sensitive or potentially damaging (to his career) issues come up. He doesn’t decide, he doesn’t put himself out there. And yes, I’ve read and heard all about the machinations involved in Illinois state senate proceedings and how he was really just being wily, but again, isn’t that the exact opposite of what he portrays himself to be? Not the strategizing politician but the only person who will be straight and aboveboard?
Obama’s speeches are full of his dreams, his hopes, and his desire for change. All well and good, but what has he actually done? I’ve seen nothing to indicate that this man can do anything but run a good campaign (until lately, anyway) and give a good speech. Where’s the legislation he’s drafted? The bills he written? What, in short, has he done to back all the talk up? As far as I can see, nothing.
This is getting long, and I feel I’ve barely started! One last thing before I call it a day on this post (if not this topic); I was very offended by Obama’s statement in San Francisco about the blue collar, middle and low income white people clinging desperately to their guns and religion. That, to me, was about as racist a statement as anyone could utter (and a similar statement could never be uttered about black or Hispanic or Asian people, not without a full blown riot), but he barely got a smack on the hands for it. He was blatantly sexist in his disparaging tone to a female reporter, and he topped that off by calling her “Sweetie,” but again, nothing. And I think that’s part of the reason I am so turned off by Obama, and this part really has little to do with him. It’s the way he’s treated and talked about and revered. It makes me a little sick.
“His” health care plan is essentially the same as Hillary Clinton’s was when she was First Lady (except she has a way to pay for hers); only then, of course, it was considered socialist and communist and one step away from the yawning pits of hell. His idea of tackling (what they are calling) the biggest economic crisis we’ve had since the Depression (and many are claimi
ng it could turn out far w
orse in the not too distant future) is to politic on toward election day. His affiliation with Rev. Wright wins him no points in my book, and I do think that listening to someone every Sunday for twenty years is a tacit approval of what they are saying. But ultimately, my distaste for Obama remains that he has somehow framed himself as this blank canvas and everyone is quickly painting him with their own brushes, creating of him in their minds what they most wish for in a candidate. That’s slick, alright, but it’s also dead frightening to me.
We don’t know Obama, we have not much of a voting record to look at and not much of a senate vitae to go by, so when he changes his mind, his demeanor, and his message, it’s worrying to me. At least with McCain, we can look at what he’s done and make up our own minds; we’re not gambling on an unknown quantity who, frankly, is a bit of a chameleon in adapting his tone and message to multiple audiences and on any given day.
I have reasons, real concrete reasons for not liking Obama, and not one of them (with the possible exception of Reverend Wright) has anything to do with his race. When I cast my vote, I will be voting not for a white man but for the right man, the man I believe will work (as he’s done again and again) in a bipartisan way to accomplish real goals that can actually be achieved. It’s nice to dream and hope and wish, but when it comes to running a country, I think you need to do and be and have a lot more than that.
Do I agree with McCain on every point, absolutely not, but then, I’ve never agreed with every point of any politician I’ve voted for. I’ve voted for other republicans in the past despite my raging feminism, pro-choice stance, being for gay marriage, and desire to see more affordable health care and a better welfare system. We can’t have everything. Though Obama would like us to think so (when he’s not telling O’Reilly there’s no such thing as a free lunch, anyway).
People think they agree with every point of Obama’s and that’s just ludicrous because he’s said so very little and he changes his mind and his would be policies on a dime. Reference O’Reilly clip above or Biden, a man who voted for the war in Iraq, as his VP selection or his finally denouncing Reverend Wright when it was politically prudent to do so or his allowing how it’s okay after all to drill off our shore when he’d been adamantly opposed to it before or his suddenly peppering all his speeches with declarations of love for his country and of God (these are new additions, you may have noted) . . . oh, the list goes on. I go on. But please, whatever you may think of my politics or of me, realize that Obama deserves to be recognized as far more than a black man (it’s funny how that’s all he seems to be to those screeching “racism” at every McCain supporter), and that there are real reasons unrelated to race that someone might not support him. You may not agree with those reasons, but believe it or not, that doesn’t invalidate them, much less lead directly or otherwise to racism.
*LA Times article outlining the Obama and McCain tax plans