Sunday, December 19, 2010

Slick: Barack and Spilled Oil, Part 2

Back in June, in Part 1, I did a post on how Obama was essentially covering up the extent of the gulf oil spill disaster. The White House, together with BP, was burying information about the extent of the problem, and trying to reassure everyone that everything was under control, when in fact they were having real problems.

Perhaps now is a good time to take a closer look at how President Obama is viewed, not by the conservatives, but by many of the people who put him into office.

First, we review Barack Obama's Lost Principles, by Lawrence Davidson, December 18, 2010 (formatting in original):

Editor's Note: Many on the American Left feel betrayed by President Barack Obama’s endless compromising with Republicans and Washington insiders. Others say they never believed his rhetoric about "change," that they spotted him correctly as just another political opportunist.

Yet, whether Obama was sincere or not, it is beyond question that he quickly adapted to his role as president by behaving as if fighting for principles was a disqualification for the job, an issue that Lawrence Davidson addresses in this guest essay:

When President Obama ran for the presidency, his rhetoric was distinctly progressive. He is a very good orator and a superior debater and so we can be forgiven for taking the rhetoric seriously.

When you read the word "progressive", you need to think "communist". The communists refer to each other and fellow travellers as "progressive" - it's all about appearance, and how they can sell their one-world totalitarian agenda to a dumbed-down American public, because if America buys it, then the torch of freedom might really go out for a long, long time.

I have tried to reproduce the links found in the original.

He also often acted like a progressive up to that point. If he talks like a progressive, and acts like one, shouldn’t he be one? Here are some relevant biographical facts.

1. Barack Obama worked, albeit mostly in an administrative position, as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side during the years 1985-1988. He was apparently dedicated and successful in this effort.

2. He spent 12 years as a constitutional law professor (1992-2004) at the University of Chicago School of Law. His grounding in constitutional law is thorough.

3. As a U.S. senator, he sponsored legislation to improve "transparency and accountability in federal spending" (2008).

4. And, one of his early actions as president was to streamline procedures for the Freedom of Information Act thus making it easier to utilize (2009).

Two things to take from this passage. First, question his credentials regarding Constitutional law. Is he a fraud, that really earned no credible credentials? Or, does he, knowing what the Constitution says and why it says what it does, deliberately subvert it with his socialist program?

And, when you read the word "socialist", you have to ask yourself a question: is this international socialism, along the lines of what Lenin tried to impose on the world, destroying business in the process, or is this national socialism, along the lines of what Mussolini and Hitler tried to impose on the world, where humanity is sold as a commodity to big business by a totalitarian state?

The other thing to recall is that good, honest Americans, grounded in how this country was founded and why, want less government, and more transparent government.

Given that Obama consistently seems to be working at cross-purposes to this, why would he advocate transparency and streamlining the FOIA procedures?

However, soon thereafter President Barack Obama started to pursue anti-progressive policies. Indeed, this turnaround has been quite startling.

It has made many people angry and has destroyed at least that part of his political base that lies on the left. Here is a short list of the president's recent positions and actions:

1. He has absolutely rejected holding accountable any member of the Bush administration (or its private contractors) for actions which were in violation of both domestic and international law. Among these actions were instigating war on false pretenses and pursuing policies of torture and illegal detention.

The reason he has failed to hold Bush's Banana Republicans accountable is because the "change" Obama wanted was to change the people benefitting from the corruption. The war to defend us against Islamic terrorism continues to be prosecuted, as it was under the Bush Administration, but Obama is even more of an apologist for Islam than was Bush-43 with his pronouncements of how "Islam is a religion of peace".

There is a reason for that.

War is a money-maker. For powerful people, it is big business. No one who is subservient to these powerful interests wants it to end. That is why Bush wouldn't win it, and that is why Obama won't end it.

2. He has allowed (perhaps instructed) his Justice Department to promote and defend positions which sharply undercut the First Amendment of the Constitution. Specifically, the position, now upheld by the Supreme Court, that speech "coordinated" with groups designated terrorist by the U.S. Government is a felony. It is important to note that the designation of a group as "terrorist" is notoriously influenced by political pressure.

First Amendment?? What about the Sibel Edmonds case? The Bush Administration shut her up as much as they could because of all the bigshots implicated in her case. Now, Edmonds has actually gone on record and named names. Is there any kind of an investigation? Obama, too, is in bed with organized crime, probably much more so than the worst of Bush-43's cronies.

3. He has allowed the U.S. Army to hold Pvt. Bradley Manning, the soldier who leaked information to WikiLeaks, at the Quantico, Virginia, brig under conditions that come very close to cruel and unusual punishment.

Well, to these "progressives", anything the US military does is cruel and unusual, as is anything done against someone who has broken the law; take this one with a grain of salt.

4. He has allowed the harassment of Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, because he made public (but did not steal) embarrassing U.S. documents. This can be seen as the equivalent of government stalking.

5. He now has allowed (perhaps instructed) his Justice Department to prepare a conspiracy case against Manning and Assange for allegedly conspiring to obtain government secrets. This is an action that could seriously curtail the process of investigative reporting in the U.S.

Manning, by calling attention to things that embarrass the United States, is a big hero in the "progressive" world. However, he broke the law.

Assange, on the other hand, is doing what would be protected in the United States under the First Amendment; it is not for the government to decide who is a journalist and who isn't, it is not for the government to decide who should have free speech and who shouldn't. Does our "Constitutional scholar" understand this?

How are we to account for such a remarkable about-face by a man who is trained as a constitutional lawyer and who was a progressive until soon after entering the Oval Office?

It's simple: he's a liar and an opportunist, just like Clinton was (and still is).

I imagine the definitive answer to this question will have to wait for the opening of the Obama presidential library and the biographies that are even now germinating in minds of scores of historians. In the meantime here are some observations that may help our understanding.

First of all, time and position can certainly change a person. It is one thing to be a constitutional law professor and another to be a professional politician.

Constitutional lawyers often have consistent principles, be they conservative or liberal. It is harder, rarer, for a politician to act consistently on principle.

In his relatively brief pre-presidential political career Obama did maintain his progressive orientation. But then, suddenly as president, he ceased to do so. In order for this change to have happened so quickly and so radically one is led to the assumption that the man's principles were always associational and not fundamental.

Talk about hitting the nail on the head... in this respect, he is so remarkably similar to Clinton!

That is, Barack Obama has probably always adapted his behavior to the environment he finds himself in and the crowd he associates with. It is when he became president that both his environment and crowd apparently changed. He simply followed suit.

Second, presidents always seem to lose touch with the reality that lay outside the nation's capital. Obama is not unusual here. Once you hit the Oval Office, make your grand plans and pick your advisors, "groupthink" becomes a mainstay of your worldview.

It's not "groupthink" - it's "sell-out". Obama had it planned from the start. He was not going to serve his country, or even his fellow "progressives" - his change was about helping himself, and the Presidency is a powerful position to abuse for that purpose.

Obama's world no longer has any direct feed in from constituencies that might sustain behavior based on Constitutional principles. He is now in an environment that is essentially "value-less" and dominated by a deal-making culture.

Third, apropos of that culture, Obama appears to be constantly searching for political consensus. Under the circumstances, he cannot define his own principled political positions. He apparently feels forced to make constant changes according to the demands of special interests with which he believes he must compromise.

There is one principle that he will not compromise on, and that is the priniciple of looking out for Number 1!

Thus, the Constitution ceases to be a guide and instead becomes something that one sacrifices for the sake of political agreements. If going after the criminals of the last administration means alienating conservatives with whom he seeks consensus, he lets the criminals go.

"[T]he Constitution ceases to be a guide" - you're very naive if you thought it ever was for such a progressive opportunist as Obama.

The law becomes a secondary factor. If treating Manning and Assange according to the rules of law means alienating powerful Washington bureaucracies, he ignores their mistreatment. Again, too bad for the law.

If cutting ties with the apartheid state of Israel means challenging the Zionist lobby, he ignores the escalating crimes of our "ally." Justice and humanness also become secondary factors.

If championing the First Amendment means having to fight accusations of being "soft on terrorism," then free speech be damned. This is not political wisdom at work. This is political expediency. Nor has it provided him with a winning formula. Obama may well be a one-term president.

And, as is usual, along with political expediency comes hypocrisy. In October, Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Conversations With Myself, was released in the U.S. It has a forward by President Obama. In it he praised Mandela as a man whose "sacrifice was so great that it called upon people everywhere to do what they could on behalf of human progress."

That sacrifice inspired a young Barack Obama to become a political activist "coordinating" his rhetoric with that of Mandela in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. But, of course, Mandela and the organization he led, the African National Congress, was at that time a U.S.-designated "terrorist organization."

Fortunately for Mr. Obama, his rhetorical support for Mandela was then protected by the First Amendment. That protection is what present Barack Obama's Justice Department has erased. The FBI is now raiding homes and issuing subpoenas for people in Chicago and elsewhere who can fairly be described as acting just like Barack Obama in the early 1980s.

It reminds me of the story of another "progressive" who got voted in, back in 1917.

The trouble is, the gullible people who support such "change" wind up destroying far more than their own lives.

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