Obama – worse than Bush?

14.5.12

Maybe it´s really because of me that David has just written this latest summary of Obama crimes and I believe all them, yet what I still don´t do is believe that he is worse than Bush, for who can be worse than him? Anyway, David, I am happy to forward this to whoever reads this here, just after a copy of that brief chat on facebook before.

  • Jochen Lembke Don´t spare the Brits, David, and give Obama a small break. 🙂 Your government sure is bad, but the rest of the world is not lillywhite either.

    Yesterday at 4:05pm · Like ·  1
  • Ken Hammacott Sorry Tony, The Queen is a CONSTITUTIONAL Monarch, not an ABSOLUTE MONARCH she is therefore subject to Parliament. Parliament decides her financial arrangements via the civil list. Parliament also decides the monarchs roll i.e. as being head of state. She has no authority over the house of commons and it’s ministers. As for the Queens speech, she doesn’t write it. She is fact an INSTRUMENT of the STATE.

    17 hours ago · Like
  • Anne Armistead I don’t think it’s illogical for us to see the truth….it’s the wealthy preaching austerity not the folks who have to work to survive in this insane economy for the 1%.

    14 hours ago · Like ·  1
  • Zoia Vass ‎@Jochen Lembke Why “spare Obama a little bit”? Cuz you bought the hype? The whole world might not be better, but we need to see the truth at home. Especially as Jr.jr was installed precisely to mollify the left by parroting some of their lines while serving the same masters. Cynically.

    7 hours ago · Like
  • Jochen Lembke

    ‎@zoia: Erm, a little bit refreshing on modern day American colloquialism and I sure can say, that I “did not buy the hype”. Obama advertised Messiah but delivered pretty much standard presidency, no one in Europe thinks any different about this, yet, as I gather, especially around David here there is an agreement he is “worse” than Alfred E. Bushman and I don´t see that at all, for me this is just disappointment about a false prophet.
    6 hours ago · Like
  • Zoia Vass

    He is worse than Bush. More wars, more tax cuts for the rich, more erosion of civil rights than during Bush. And what compounds the damage is that the resistance from the left that coalesced during Bush is now appeased, blinded, co-opted as an arm of the D party that abandoned any semblance of its original D agenda…In other words, this “kinder, gentler Bush” is allowed to abuse without checks. In US and abroad as you clearly demonstrate. Starting with his Nobel Prize for Peace, Obama gets way more breaks than any US president before him.
    6 hours ago · Like
  • Jochen Lembke

    I hear this a lot he is worse than Bush. But why? Please make a list: how many wars did Bush start, how many did Obama? How many tax cuts did Bush, how many did Obama? How many civil rights did Bush let erode, how many Obama? This is called being objective and if you realize you can´t really do this you must admit that anger and disappointment has led you to this judgement. As for the Nobel Prize, I see that as a go ahead for better policy on the part of the committee and I don´t think there isn´t anyone, who is not disappointed about Obama now and full of regret about this. As for being appeased, I personally am not, I think being only a wee bit better than Bush is still really, really bad and deserves a fight.
    3 hours ago · Like

Hopelessly Devoted By davidswanson – Posted on 14 May 2012

You’d never know it from watching television, but there are many thousands of people in the United States who take peace, justice, environmental protection, and government of the people so seriously that they don’t censor themselves whenever the president is a Democrat.

While many others are still debating whether it would be appropriate to criticize or protest President Obama after a mere three and a half years of disaster, the people I have in mind have been openly and honestly resisting the latest Wall Street war monger since before he was elected.

Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank have collected 56 essays from prior to, from early on in, and from quite recently during the Obama presidency.  The collection, just published as Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, has a consistent approach to its topic.  The authors, including Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeremy Scahill, Chris Floyd, Sibel Edmonds, Franklin Spinney, Kathy Kelly, Marjorie Cohn, Chase Madar, Michael Hudson, Medea Benjamin, Charles Davis, Ray McGovern, Dave Lindorff, Bill Quigley, Tariq Ali, Andy Worthington, Linn Washington, Jr., and many more, don’t agree on everything.  A few try to urge serious progressive plans on Obama that they would never have proposed that Bush champion, not even rhetorically, not even for laughs.  The book is not organized by topic; it’s a random, if chronological, ride through a catalog of catastrophes.  But it’s united by the theme of horrendously bad government in the age of Obama.  It ignores the mythology and treats Obama based on his actual performance.

Reducing the charges against Obama developed in detail in this book to a Declaration of Independence-like list of grievances might look something like this:

Obama has taken massive funding from Wall Street, appointed Wall Streeters to top positions, and followed their lead, to the benefit of banksters and the detriment of the rest of us.  Obama, despite promises the contrary, has put lobbyists in positions of power in his administration.  Senator Obama’s corporatist vote for the Class Action Fairness Act was in line with the rest of his performance as senator and later president.

Obama has taken massive funding from war profiteers and worked in their interest, empowering a collection of war hawks from the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton eras, and including no opponent of militarism in any high office.

Obama abandoned the people of Gaza to their fate beneath Israeli bombs.

Obama bailed out AIG, but not you or me.

Obama delayed de-escalation in Iraq and tried every way he could to avoid complete withdrawal.

Obama has expanded secrecy, sought retribution against whistleblowers, expanded warrentless spying, protected confessed torturers, revived military commissions, and expanded the military.

Obama has made anti-environmentalist corporate tools the heads of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.

Obama’s administration facilitated and accepted a military coup in Honduras.

Obama has continued and expanded upon aggressively inhumane immigration policies.

Obama championed corporate health coverage over Medicare for All.

Obama tripled the size of the war on Afghanistan.

Obama has championed nuclear power.

Obama has backed murderers in Colombia and put U.S. troops into that country in the interests of big oil.

Obama has dramatically escalated drone killings, developing a new type of war.

Obama has continued pointless killing in Afghanistan on the basis of false pretenses.

Obama has appointed a deeply flawed candidate to the Supreme Court.

Obama has expanded the weaponization and the use of nuclear power in space.

Obama facilitated the kind of drilling that created the BP oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, and then sought to cover up the extent of the damage.

Obama has kept tax breaks for billionaires in place, persuading his followers to continue calling them “the Bush Tax Cuts.”

Obama has claimed the power to torture and to “rendition” prisoners and kidnap victims to other countries that torture.

Obama has promoted corporate culture and CEO heroes, while failing to promote nonprofit groups — a fantasy that contributing author Ralph Nader proposes for Obama while never having proposed it for Bush.

Obama has pushed deregulation as a solution to the problems caused by deregulation.

Obama has served Israel at the expense of human rights, peace, and democracy.

Obama has gone around Congress and courts to approve of Monsanto’s GMOs.

Obama has tortured Bradley Manning.

Obama has pushed U.S. weapons sales on foreign nations.

Obama has punished Iranians with sanctions while threatening war.

Obama has expanded nuclear weapons spending.

Obama has worked largely against the interests of organized labor.

Obama has sabotaged efforts to protect the earth’s climate.

Obama has thrown Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block.

Obama has extended the worst parts of the PATRIOT Act, plus secret parts we haven’t seen yet but which are somehow nonetheless “law.”

Obama has militarized police forces, expanded wiretaps, prosecuted Muslims for speech, raided activists’ homes, preemptively detained journalists, and supported the prison industrial complex and the widespread use of solitary confinement.

Obama has launched a fraudulent war on Libya as a “humanitarian” effort, while aiding human rights abuses in Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere.

Obama has abandoned his effort to close Guantanamo, which was only ever — in reality — an effort to move one of the United States’ lawless concentration camps to Illinois from Cuba.

Obama chose to pursue an insufficient economic stimulus bill, not to mention increasing economically damaging military spending each year thus far.

Obama has continued the “war on drugs.”

And Obama has shut down activism in this country by appearing to be what he is not and by virtue of the malady that causes millions of people to believe that self-governance consists of cheering for one team in a sporting competition.

St. Clair and Frank describe Obama as “so innately conflict-averse that even when pummeled with racist slurs he wouldn’t punch back.”  But Obama does not appear to try to minimize conflict across the board.  He avoids conflict with those on the right — and often there is little basis for, or value in, supposing that his mental state is one of surrender as opposed to agreement.

There are two things that Obama is able to count on.  First, no matter how seriously he attacks the interests of ordinary people, major liberal groups will support him.  Second, no matter how much he supports the agenda of the right, major rightwing groups will attack him while demanding more.  These two states of affairs feed each other.  Attacks on Obama from the right are absolutely essential to generating his liberal support.  Obama is the Not-Romney candidate.  And that liberal support helps produce attacks from the right.  Hopeless could help some to break out of this cycle of guilt or innocence by association.

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About Jochen Lembke

Europe's cab-driving writer
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