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Barack H. Obama: Just another George W. Bush?

By Doug Thompson
September 28, 2009

As a candidate for President, Barack Obama promised to end Constitutional abuses and infringement on freedoms by the administration of George W. Bush.

As President, Obama has continued the abuse and now backs many of the rights-robbing practices of his predecessor.

Since becoming President, Obama backed Bush’s controversial use of the National Security Agengy (NSA) to wiretap Americans without warrants. He has expanded, not curtailed, Bush’s “war on terror” and has done nothing to roll back the Constitutional abuses of the USA Patriot Act, a law he voted to extend while serving in the Senate.

Obama the President is a far cry from Obama the candidate. He continues to use “signing statements” that allow him to bypass laws passed by Congress while appointing a multitude of “czars” that have widespread power without the normal checks and balances of a Congressional confirmation process.

Obama may well become more of an “imperial President” than the one he followed.

Writing in the New York Review of books, journalist-historian Gary Wills notes:

Even in areas outside national security, the Obama administration quickly came to resemble Bush’s. Gay military personnel, including those with valuable Arabic-language skills, were being dismissed at the same rate as before. Even more egregiously, the Obama administration continued the defiance of the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause, which requires states to recognize laws passed by other states, when it defended the Defense of Marriage Act, which lets states refuse to recognize gay marriages legally obtained in another state. Many objected when Dick Cheney would not name energy executives who came to the White House in 2002, though Hillary Clinton, as First Lady, had been forced to reveal which health advisers had visited her. Yet the Obama team, in June 2009, refused to release logs of those who come to the White House. (It later reversed itself, but only in response to a lawsuit.)

Some were dismayed to see how quickly the Obama people grabbed at the powers, the secrecy, the unaccountability that had led Bush into such opprobrium. Leon Panetta at the CIA especially puzzled those who had known him during the Clinton years. A former CIA official told The Washington Post, “Leon Panetta has been captured by the people who were the ideological drivers for the interrogation program in the first place.” A White House official told Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, “It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

While campaign promises usually disappear once the oath of office is administered on Jan. 20th, the speed of Obama’s transformation surprised some Washington watchers.

He quickly abandoned his promise to not appoint lobbyists to his administration. He backtracked on a promise to pay for every dollar of new government spending and unleashed a wave of programs that drive the budget into record deficits. He promised an end to military tribunals and to release photos of prisoners but reneged on both promises.

Obama even lied about Osama bin Laden. During the campaign, Obama said capturing or killing 9/11 terrorist attack mastermind bin Laden would be a top priority of his administration.

Alex Conant of Politico writes:

During the presidential debates last year, Obama declared that capturing or killing Osama bin Laden “has to be our biggest national security priority.” In his first TV interview after winning the election, he said the terrorist leader was “not just a symbol. He’s also the operational leader of an organization that is planning attacks against U.S. targets,” and that the additional troops being sent to Afghanistan would hunt him down because “capturing or killing bin Laden is a critical aspect of stamping out Al Qaeda.”

Bin Laden’s significance to Obama dissipated during the transition. By the time Obama gave another interview in early January, he said killing or capturing bin Laden was not necessary to “meet our goal of protecting America.” A few months later, when he announced his Afghanistan troop surge, he made no reference to the hunt for bin Laden.

Obama did keep his campaign promise to ramp up the war in Afghanistan and that promise threatens to turn into another Vietnam-style debacle.

Maybe that’s the promise he shouldn’t have kept.

 

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21 Responses to Barack H. Obama: Just another George W. Bush?

  1. Sandra Price

    September 30, 2009 at 7:25 am

    curmedgeon. You are right but does this mean that we simply sit back and ignore it? I have a little fight left to try to correct this mess but I cannot locate the action required. We cannot fight the 545 without the correct people to replace these critters.

    Is it not possible to have the power in our direction?

  2. woody188

    September 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    To put the power in our direction we have to stop playing the game by their rules.

  3. Sandra Price

    September 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Woody, tell me more…

  4. woody188

    September 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Violence plays right into their hands as they will label any violence as terrorism. So we have to go non-violent. Gandhi style types of non-violent civil disobedience. Although with the use of agent provocateurs on the rise even this type of resistance is less likely to work.

    So it has to be non-violent/pacifist and any and all mask wearers or violent aggressors must be stopped by the protest group and turned over to the police before things get out of hand.

    The Viktor Yushchenko protest and the Orange Revolution is the most recent example I can think of showing how to proceed.

    How about a little disorganized resistance? Worth a shot.

  5. almandine

    September 30, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Ah yes, the leaderless opposition that evinces legitimacy by its mere magnetism toward truth and justice.

  6. woody188

    September 30, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    First rule of disorganized organization is that you don’t talk about disorganized organization. ;p

    Second rule of the disorganized organization is that non-violence is the only method of persuasion allowed and violence will be actively discouraged by all. It must be understood that violence only serves to further the objectives of the current power structure. The population must remain on “our” side or all will be lost. We will unite this nation and remind them that they are strong, they are free, and there is no need for fear. Our weapons will be the words of our forefathers and the light of truth.

    You got a better idea?

  7. almandine

    September 30, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Nope. That’s a good place to start. My comment was a confirmation.

  8. woody188

    September 30, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Darn I was really hoping you had something. :)

    So I guess we start with a Re-Declaration of Independence from the plutocracy?

    Any Jeffersonian thinkers have any ideas or want to write one?

    Remember we might act alone, but we are not alone.

    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. ~ Henry David Thoreau

  9. woody188

    September 29, 2009 at 12:15 am

    No I wouldn’t forget. It’s pretty much the only business keeping your part of the nation (Pacific Northwest, as I recall) from being like mine. (Rust Belt)

  10. Carl Nemo

    September 29, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Things aren’t well in Clark County Washington where I reside which is suffering 25 percent unemployment. It’s the same in Oregon and the Seattle area. Hi tech has been wacked bigtime as well as construction and service related businesses. Everything is slow to ever-slowing.

    I’ve been retired for 14 years, so I’m out of the loop so to speak, but my heart and intellect goes out to those that are suffering.

    Unless we can somehow get the sob’s in D.C. to stop unfettered, uncontrolled outsourcing along with the issuance of an endless supply of H1-b visas then our national recovery is simply theoretical physics as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t pay the bills, put food on the table or allow families to educate their children if we don’t get back to providing the goods and services necessary for our day to day lives;ie., globalism and “China be damned”…!

    We might as well have had an “in our face” enemy take over our nation’s Capitol. The enemy is no longer at the gates, but has breached the walls and has been relentlessly hammering at the castle’s keep to get the last of our national treasure; ie., our “life’s blood” since we as a nation are now abject debtors with nothing of value in our pockets so-to-speak…!

    I wish American’s had fire in the belly to stage national strikes, monster marches and protests on our nation’s Capitol like the French and others who go on rampages from time to time. Our citizenry is seemingly mesmerized by their HDTV’s along with endless, mindless programming and their unfettered ability to still shop until they drop, swiping their almost maxed CC’s no doubt. We are a nation of hypnotized “bots”; ie., human sheep all marching lockstep to our collective slaughter.

    ***

    “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” – Edward R. Murrow

    ***

    Carl Nemo **==

  11. woody188

    September 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Yup, for all our freedom fries we can’t seem to exercise any actual freedom. Look what happened in Pittsburgh just last week over the G20 summit.

  12. Sandra Price

    September 28, 2009 at 6:36 am

    The power has corrupted the candidates for more years than I can admit to remembering. I have never known of a single newly elected President who told the American people that he was forced to change an agenda after learning the truth about the situations. By the time and elected President gets into the White House, he is no longer a man of the people. He is simply a man of the power.

    We have given this power to everyone in D.C. according to the organizational charts of the whole damn mess.

    No matter if our candidate wins or loses the voters will stand behind him and his mistakes. Only chance for a man of integrity to be elected is to turn to an Independent who is not part of this two-party war we live in.

    This will never happen and many of us have left the system of voting. I even left the system of trying to make a difference on the internet. The masses have worn me out. I see a light in the closet here at CHB and I wait for “The Rant” with anticipation of words of improvement.

    Sandy

  13. keith

    September 28, 2009 at 7:47 am

    The Democrats and Republicans are simply two factions of the same “country club” and have been for years.

    Why do we now expect Mr. Obama to be any different from his predecessors?

  14. Carl Nemo

    September 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Hear…hear Doug Thompson! Thanks for nailing our not so “dear leader” for his ongoing duplicity on your public forum. : )

    I’ve done so a number of times in my posts which are never well received by the bleeding hearts and folks that absolutely refuse to see that this President, once candidate Obama, is nothing but a “judas goat”, evidently having been groomed to lead this nation to absolute, total ruin… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  15. bryan mcclellan

    September 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I’m having trouble equating anything except an oxygen consuming turd with that which masqueraded as our previous self exalted leader Doug.

    The previous is unmatched for his moral turpitude and in all fairness the present Oval occupier has better than three eons left in which to become at least as rank and fetid.

    My caution stems from the wonder that if he is this close to despots Nirvana in eight short months, what is the true form of this shape shifter?

  16. woody188

    September 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Bush and Obama both stopped hunting bin Ladin because they need a boogeyman to continue the regional war in the Middle East. I’d call it the War on Terror, but really it is just a war of terror on Muslims for their natural resources and the location of bases near the perceived challengers to US global hegemony, Russia and China.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain

  17. Carl Nemo

    September 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Woody188,

    Also don’t forget the derivative benefit of a virtual blizzard of U.S. dollars being swallowed by their MIC sponsors in additon to a host of 20,000 plus camp-following minor contractors doing the same with little accountability. : |

    I thought I’d supply a bonus link by Justin Raimondo concerning “The Welfare/Warfare State”; ie., the U.S. at this point in our history. It was written in June 2008, but surely predicted the outcome of an Obama win and how the Democrats would betray their base by doing nothing to change the course of the USS America from a terminal iceberg field crisis. It happens that the title of his article is my favorite description as to what our country has devolved and what seemingly is our swan song as a nation.

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2008/06/20/the-welfare-warfare-state/

    Carl Nemo **==

  18. Sandra Price

    September 29, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Carl, where is the the power of the voters to do as you requested? We have tea demonstrations and gun toting fools who have not a clue why Obama is doing the wrong things. They claim he is Muslim and a Marxist and they have no intentions of locating a strong opposition to run against him in 2012. Gov. Palin is as good as they can come up with.

    We cannot run any Republicans in 2012 as they are foolish old white men, and a silly white woman. Third parties have no media attention so where do we go?

    Rush and Glenn Beck are the spokesmen for the GOP. They are making millions on the stupidity of the GOP. I will never again vote Republican but the Democrats offer nothing but government control over our lives. We have no choices…..

  19. Carl Nemo

    September 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Sandra Price,

    “Carl, where is the the power of the voters to do as you requested?”

    I didn’t make any reference to the ballot box as being a solution for our dire situation as a nation.

    It’s going to take some in the streets protesting and national strikes and in their face unrest to get their attention. Our leaders could care less what we think or even outcomes of the ballot box at this point in our history. Both parties have merged and report to the same corporatist controllers.

    If the Dems were still the “people’s party” as it once was decades ago then we might see some differences in leadership. Seemingly in our grayshade times we shall see little difference when there’s a sea change in the White House.

    President Obama has completed nine months on his watch and all we witness is either a continuation of Bush era policies or this President picking up where they left off while engaging his own spin and enhancements to moving the U.S. further into dire financial and military straights; ie., business as usual with the new boss being the same as the old boss.

    The ballot box has become a sick joke; ie., an excercise in futility not including the possibility of electronic voting machine fraud that’s reared it’s ugly head in the past ten years.

    Warren Buffet, the successful billionaire investor and founder of Berkshire Hathaway recently said the U.S. is being reduced to a “banana republic” and I’d say he’s spot-on. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  20. Sandra Price

    September 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Carl, I saw the Republicans gather together in 1964 when LBJ won the white house and we managed to bring in several Republican Senators by the sheer effort of appealing to the voters. We did it again in 1994 when the House took the majority in President Clinton’s first term. It is a game played by many old timers involved in the work of the districts of both parties.

    I see that today there is no agenda to fight for and the GOP are concentrating on destroying the Dems.

    You are correct and our elections are not overseen by the authority from the people themselves. The voting machines are programmed to bring in one Candidate over the others and we have little control over the powers of the programmers.

    Winning the power is the end game and the agendas are not part of the debates. At this point I need a political movement to work for; to protest and march for and I can’t find one.

    Every day in the last 20 years has become an emergency. I know this came in with the Neoconservatives to terrorize Americans into the kind of government we learned was harmful.

    We lived on the Palisades facing the Pacific Ocean and the threats of Japanese planes repeating their attack on Pearl Harbor was a daily stress. It started a neighborhood watch in our area of Santa Monica and the kids my age were trained to take on the watch and see that everyone had what they needed. Our scout troop wound bandages for the Vet’s hospital and we sold those little stamps that helped support our troops. Every Sunday we visited the Wadsworth Hospital to offer our help to the wounded. We did not panic as we soon learned that our small area could survive anything anyone threw at us.

    If Americans have lost this survival training, it is no surprise that they choose to live with terrorism.

  21. curmudgeon

    September 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Blame the 545

    Corporations own the government.

    Obama was a “hope” that didn’t materialize.

    By the time the people catch up to what has happened, the wealthy will have moved overseas and anarchy will be.

    Grass roots don’t exist.

    Greed rules.

    The first clue came with the appointment of Geithner et al… and the great payout to Wall Street.

    Power is the game, and we are pawns.