Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama, the next President of America

Now that the election is over I would like to make a few comments.

I. Who is Barack Obama?

No one really knows. After 2 years of campaigning there are still huge holes in his life story. It is hard to know what he really stands for and who he really trusts.

In any case he is by far the least experienced President ever. He has been in the Senate for a grand total of 2 years 4 years. His biggest job before the campaign was as a community activist.

II. The press was completely biased in favor of Obama

In Israel we like to complain about how the press is left wing and how the press protected Sharon when he decided on the disengagement and how the press loves Livni and is in favor of her. However, believe it or not, the American press was as bad or worse in the last election. How is it that we still don't know where Obama was born? How is it that the LA Times refuses to release a video of Obama with a Palestinian radical? Last January, in an interview to the San Francisco Chronicle Obama said that he would bankrupt the coal industry. This statement only came out this past Sunday too late to effect anything. The list could go on for a long time. Basically the press gave Obama a free pass.

III. Obama is the clear winner

The American system produces winners and losers. Obama won Mcain lost. Listening to the radio in Israel this morning, they were talking about how Obama won by 5 points (52% - 47%) and how that is a big victory. Lets shift gears a second and think about the election in Israel. Imagine Netanyahu and Likud win 5% more votes then Livni and Kadima. Will the press think that it is a big victory? I think not. 5% of the vote is 6 seats. In other words if the Likud would win 35 seats Kadima would win 29. It would not be a decisive victory at all.

The difference is that the US has a winner take all system. Someone wins and someone loses. Here everyone wins. Because of that, there are so many parties and it is impossible to govern.


Andy Levy-Stevenson said...

After 2 years of campaigning there are still huge holes in his life story. It is hard to know what he really stands for and who he really trusts.
His two volumes of autobiography didn't give you at least some sense of the kind of man he is?

bluke said...

Not really. He has done his best to hide his past and the press has helped him.

For example, listen to this radio show with Obama and explain to me why the mainstream press didn't pick up on this.

Andy Levy-Stevenson said...

Although it's from the past, that interview is hardly about his past. It's about his opinions on legislative action versus judicial action on economic policy. And other than flat taxers, most people agree with his views ... that's why we have tax brackets.

The Republican attack on Obama insisted on misinterpreting his stance as socialist … indeed, some of them described him as Marxist.

The following quote gives the lie to these assertions:

"The necessaries of life occasion the great expence of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expence of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be any thing very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

This quote comes not from Karl Marx, but from Adam Smith in his classic statement of capitalist theory “The Wealth of Nations”.

Why didn't the "mainstream press pick up on" Obama's economic theories? Because there was no story there, that's why.

Despite right-wing attempts to portray Obama as such, he's not a radical ... he's entirely in the mainstream of American democracy and economic thought.

Now, fighting a years long war* that has cost billions and cutting taxes at the same time, pretending that the economy wouldn't suffer? That was radical.

*BTW, I was not opposed to the war. But I was/am opposed to the way it was carried out, and the pretense that it need not demand sacrifice by the American taxpayer.

bluke said...

Here are some of the things that he said:

The Warren Court was not really radical.

He could justify legal theories allowing the Supreme Court to redistribute wealth

This is not radical?

nyfunnyman said...

"In any case he is by far the least experienced President ever. He has been in the Senate for a grand total of 2 years. His biggest job before the campaign was as a community activist."

untrue. he has been in the senate for 4 years, first of all.I assume you are discounting his last 2 years b/c he was campaigning. fine- but you should be honest and say so.

And before he was in the US senate he was in the Illinois state senate from 1997-2004 where he actually did a lot in those 7 years, whether you agree with the laws he helped implement or not.

Let's compare his experience with George W. Bush. Before Dubya became president he was the governor of Texas for 5 years. That's it. and if you want to discount Obama's last 2 years b/c of campaigning, discount 2/5 of W's years- that election was just as heated as this one.

SO let's compare experience- Bush- 3 years as governor, Obama- 2 years US senator, 7 years Illinois state senator.

Let's not also discount what each did before they officially took a public office and see if their jobs were a stepping stone to their public office:
Bush- owned baseball team and developed Oil (very successfully, yes)
Obama- community organizer and practicing civil rights attorney.
Granted these jobs weren't glamorous but they clearly indicate his desire and dedication to public service.

Look, I don't trust him any more than you do (or don't). there are holes in his life story- but let's not repeat incorrect facts over and over without actually checking their veracity.

(please don't answer back that W's father was president and include that in his experience. that is not smart on so many levels).

bluke said...

My mistake, I for some reason thought he was elected in 2006.

Governor is probably the best preparation for the job of President as you are actually the Chief Executive of a state.

evanstonjew said...

One way of knowing him is having a sense of the people around him who have been with him from the beginning. Four names that come to mind are Cindy Pritzker, Judge Abner Mikva, David Axelrod and Immanuel Rahm. Chicago and Hollywood Jewish money helped him from the very beginning and were crazy about him all these years.

(I have supported him for President since 2006. I said as much in the comments to a post I wrote "Obama and Me " on my now defunct blog. I felt secure because the liberal community I know were all behind him, and because I don't shrink in horror at the thought that a politician was at one time left wing.Many of what is called the generation of '68 were far left ,the best examples being Joshka Fischer the foreign minister of Germany before the Merkel era and the current foreign minister of France. To govern most people on the left move to the center,as did Obama. Apparently 78%of the American Jewish community have come around to this way of thinking.

Forsberg21 said...

Not only is Obama pro-Israel, he is also strongly critical of Palestinians. On a lecture tour of the West Bank, he told Palestinian college students that it was the sole responsibility of Palestinians to build up their cities, not Israel or any other nation, that the only path to statehood was to earn it through working to build cities and businesses and talking with Israeli leaders, and he condemned to their faces the use of violence against Israel.

Obama is a defender of Israel.

Obama has broad appeal amongst young people who are increasingly antisemitic, amongst academians who are also increasingly antisemitic, amongst extreme liberals who consider Israel a terrorist nation, amongst European leaders who generally condemn Israel every chance they get (just like you...), and amongst the anti-Israel mainstream media.

Obama's position on Israel could sway these degenerates to support Israel's policies - for better or for worse, instead of constantly demonizing Jews and Israel and Israeli policies.

Obama just offered the position of Chief of Staff to pro-Israeli Orthodox Jewish politician Rahm Emmanuel, who is unequivocably pro-Israel.

The younger generation of Obama supporters and the mainstream news media are now being challenged by Mr. Obama to stop the antisemitic anti-Israel nonsense and support Israel.

Hopefully you will reconsider your viewpoint towards Obama.

I have read both of Obama's books, and coincidentally, I have both as text files.

I would be more than happy to make them available to you to read.

Am Yisrael Chai!!