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Sullivan on Obama

2012-01-19 19:57:40.211467+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

As the sideshow that is the Republican presidential primary winds into full gear, the various smear campaigns against Barack Obama have started returning. Just this morning I got yet another forwarded email that attempted to revive the Obama birth certificate and "Connecticut" social security number and all sorts of other goofiness.

There are reasons to be displeased with Barak Obama's presidency, to be sure (NDAA, extrajudicial execution of American citizens, and so forth), but in a field of right wing wackjobs (ie: everyone but Rommney and Paul), an ideologically honest if politically inept guy who's still got some questionable stances on freedom (Paul), and a guy who's entire platform seems to be disavowing everything his political career has been up to now (Romney), I think it's important to evaluate the least of the evils.

To that end, I suggest Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's long game will outsmart his critics:

Obama’s foreign policy, like Dwight Eisenhower’s or George H.W. Bush’s, eschews short-term political hits for long-term strategic advantage. It is forged by someone interested in advancing American interests—not asserting an ideology and enforcing it regardless of the consequences by force of arms. By hanging back a little, by “leading from behind” in Libya and elsewhere, Obama has made other countries actively seek America’s help and reappreciate our role. As an antidote to the bad feelings of the Iraq War, it has worked close to perfectly.

Via David Chess, who includes some of the criticisms I think are worth revisiting.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: The media's "selection" for a presidential candidate: made: 2012-01-20 13:07:17.084907+00 by: jeff

The Republican presidential primary is just that, a "sideshow."

I had blogged long ago that Romney will be the "special interest" and ultimately the media's "funneled" Republican "selection."

Any other Republican candidate simply represents "noise," meant to suggest to the American electorate that we live in a democracy when, in fact, we likely do not.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-20 17:27:00.314982+00 by: TC

Yeah the GOP has pretty much been a who is the tallest pygmy contest. I've been hoping all along that it's anyone but Romney just so the election cycle could be less of a distraction from governance. Oh well.... who is left Newt and (it's hard to type this with a straight face) Santorum is surging.

I'm leaving out Ron Paul and those merry pranksters Stewart & Colbert because I like them and they are un-electable.

so C'mon Newt sleaze is a breeze in 2012

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-20 22:29:58.456116+00 by: papa0so

Whoever does get elected... I just hope they will find a way to begin some kind of reduction for the deficit, and make the environment more healthy for businesses to be able to succeed, thus creating more jobs (and less dependence).

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-20 23:27:59.202192+00 by: ebradway

Looking at Romney's record, even going back to his early days as an LDS leader, he looks even more moderate than Obama. Of course, he's trying to hide from that record... Also, did you know Romney's father ran for President? Oddly, that George W. wasn't questioned about his birth (born and lived in Mexico until age 5).

And yeah, I find Obama's failings absolutely bewildering. It makes me wonder if either Cheney screwed up the Executive Office so bad that Obama can't untangle it (like Gitmo) or Cheney cranked up the powers of the Executive Office so much that the Democratic Party decided to just roll with it.

I've become a passive supporter of Ron Paul despite the fact that I completely, totally disagree with him on several key issues. But I honestly think Paul is the only one who would really try to undo what Cheney's mess. The problem with a pragmatist like Obama or Romney is that they try to work within the existing structure rather try to change it. After Bush/Cheney, a pragmatist sounded like a good thing. Now I'm not so sure.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-21 00:37:43.142938+00 by: Mars Saxman

Indeed, I completely disagree with Paul's opinions about a number of things, but he is the only candidate who even gives lip service to the principle of devolving federal power back to the states and/or citizens.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-21 18:12:21.808398+00 by: Dan Lyke

papa0so, there's a simple solution to the deficit: Cut military spending.

But, generally, I'm not all that worried about deficit spending because if we can get the economy back on track, implement some health-care reform, stop centralizing our economy by sending all of our money and the fruits of our labors to Wall Street, we can start growing the economy once again at Clinton era rates and get back to running a surplus.

Eric, McCain wasn't questioned about his birth either, which completely confirms that the whole Obama birth certificate thing is either partisan idiocy or racism, or a combination of both.

Mars, yeah, I'm about to call my representatives and ask them to support Paul's HR3785. Paul is anti-choice, which immediately puts him in my "no way, no how" bucket, and has some other baggage I'm not comfortable with, but I do like a lot of his platform.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-25 21:37:09.305144+00 by: jeff

Dan--how do we get "the economy back on track" when everything under the sun is now being outsourced? What incentives are in place to support "Made in America?" Zero, it seems?

Current estimates place our military spending at approximately 40% of the total world military spending. That figure needs to be cut in half. I wonder what it has been historically?

Eric--you make good points about Obama and candidates "working within the system." The only way to effect change is to work "outside the system," especially if it is broken the way it is now...