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Presidents You Can Have a Beer With - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About Presidents You Can Have a Beer With

Previous Entry Presidents You Can Have a Beer With Jul. 19th, 2009 @ 12:14 am Next Entry
Guess that President:
This President helped make it illegal for citizens that had their 4th Amendment Rights violated sue the telecoms that eavesdropped on their telephone conversations.

This President made it illegal for those same citizens to sue the government that authorized the eavesdropping.

This President no longer allows the public to know who visits the White House. Which is, essentially, our house!

This President's idea of a stimulus package was to bail out the CEOs and Companies that helped get us into the financial meltdown, refusing to regulate and make meaningful changes.

This President is pushing to have CIA interrogations no longer recorded and also refused to release detainee abuse photos despite Freedom of Information requests.

Which President was it?

Most people probably read these things, got all foamed up at the mouth, and answered "BUSH!" And in many cases you'd be correct, but you'd be even more correct if you answered, "Obama". Obamapologists please start your long list of kowtowing and back flips as to why he did these things or HAD to do these things, but also how you forgive him or how they make us/him/the country stronger, blah blah blah... no, seriously, I'm listening.

Look, people that criticizism Obama tend to do so in a sloppy, ham-handed, "he don't throw dem baseballs no good" or "he probably be one of dem dere fer-reigners" kind of way. Or worse, in ways involving guns. It makes criticizing him dicey because one does not want to be thrown into the same boat as the Republican noise machine or just plain crazy people. So let me just say everything bad about Obama was bad about Bush, and though the conversion is not true, certainly there are a lot of things that Bush was big on with which Obama agrees whole heatedly. We have less of a 4th Amendment now than we did during Bush, and that is scary. Dick Cheney did not allow us to know who was in his meetings, but Obama doesn't even want us to know who is in our house. So why aren't liberals spitting mad? Why don't we hear the kind of rhetoric about Obama as we did about Bush, even as Obama is (clearly) going beyond even Bushian levels of the Imperial Presidency? The sad truth is this, neither Democrats or Republicans have a problem with the Imperial Presidency; they have a problem with the other side having it. As long as your "guy" is the king it is great to have a king, and the way things are going it looks like we are going to have 2 kings in a row, lucky us.

I humbly submit the following solution to the conundrum as to why people can berate Bush but give Obama the pass for the exact same (if not more conservative) policies: Liberals want to have a glass of wine with President Obama. Just like Conservatives nodded along as Bush said he was conservative and used all the right buzz words, only to then watch W wspit in their ideological faces (running up big debts, more intrusive government programs, weakening of States' rights, expansion of the government, etc.), they stood with Bush because they liked him - they could have a beer with him. So too are liberals gleeful at the thought of popping a bottle of wine with Obama and shooting the breeze. They don't care that he was listening in on our phonecalls, because gosh darnit you could have a beer, err, glass of wine with him! "He seems so real!" "He's such an intellectual!" "What a compelling life story!" "I just want to have a glass of wine with him!"

Being a teetotaler, I am immune to the charms of imbibing desire. It allows me to look at the issues, and under both Bush and Obama the issues are pretty scary. It's okay to like Obama. It's okay to want to have a glass of wine with him, but for crying out loud you are being just as stupid as those rednecks that liked Bush Administration because you could have a beer with him regardless of his policies. You can like someone personally but hate their politics. I think Ron Paul is a pretty cool guy, but an absolute psycho when it comes to what he thinks the government should do. I like Ron Paul but I would vote against him everyday of the week.

Much was made by liberals this last election that, "you can't pick a President on if you can have a beer with him". Exactly! Yet, as liberal sources remain relatively quiet about the horrid expansion of many of the most egregious Bush administration programs, I fear that mantra was never learned. Sure liberals substituted some hooty-tooty alcoholic beverage for beer or maybe we were thinking it'd be okay if the beer was an import, regardless, many liberals like the Obama administration because they like Obama. That is bad for our nation. If you like not having a 4th Amendment Obama is your man. If you like not knowing who is going to the White House, Obama is your man. If you like a strategy of rewarding the wealthiest people in this country and not properly regulating or punishing their recklessness, then Obama is your man. If you like an Imperial Presidency, then Obama is your man. But if any of these things don't quite sit right with you, than maybe you don't really like the Obama Administration, and it is time you say so, publicly.

I like Barack Obama. He's better than McCain would be. But "better" is not logically equivalent to "good" or even "adequate". I may really like Obama, I think he is an intellectual, I think he does have a compelling life story, but none of those things mean that I like the Obama Administration. I'd love to have a cup of tea with Barack, but I don't think my wanting to have a tasty warm beverage with Obama makes him a good president, and neither should you. There's more to this than likability. What makes a president good or bad is his/her policies and actions. If you didn't like the Bush Administration because of its secrecy, than you cannot like the Obama Administration for the same reasons. It is that simple.
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From:ophidios
Date:July 19th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
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I'm not a realy heavy-handed guy politically, so I may just be giving you the Bud Light of political opinions here, but I think the most prominent reason why Obama supporters excuse his behavior, while condemning Bush's behavior, is because of the old perspective situation. Obama supporters legitimately believe that what he is doing is "to protect us and our children" or its "for a greater good" - even though it does have a spooky echo to the things that Bush had done, it's that need to feel like you're stuck to a bi-partisan system, like the Browns vs. Steelers scenario. You have to pick one and defend it to the death, ha ha. And the left-wing, anymore, seems far less about personal freedoms and rights and so much more about the sacrifice thereof for the protection of everyone. They need big daddy government to come in and make everything fair, equitable and wrapped in gossamer. To which I couldn't agree less.

This does not make me a Republican either (far from it). I just like to think that I'm an ACTUAL liberal.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:July 19th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
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I totally agree with you. Politics has become way too much of a team sport. Like I said, neither Republicans or Dems really have a problem with the Imperial Presidency. What they really have a problem with is when it is in the opponents' hands. Another great parallel is this reconciliation option to pass things without the option of a filibuster that Dems are threatening to use to pass health care. When the Republicans were using it during the Bush years, the Dems decried the measure as anti-democratic, repugnant, etc. and the Reps claimed it was needed because of the obfuscation of a party of "No." Now fast forward and suddenly the talking points have literally been reversed. Power is only evil when you don't have it.

I also see it when I talk about how I tend to vote Green or third-party. Democrats tend to argue along the lines of, "Sure the Democratic candidates are shitty, but you HAVE to support them. S/He's the Democrat!"
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From:ophidios
Date:July 20th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
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I just wish that supporting the Green party, outside of expressing our right to vote how we want, were actually a viable and feasable alternative.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 20th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)

Obama

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Bush did not let people know who visited the White House. I'm not sure about OBama. Probably you are right. But don't let Bush off either.
Obama is trying to learn the game of "how to get things done in Washington." Hopefully, he will have a few successes and then can do what he really wants instead of all these stupid behaviors

If he doesn't improve, well, we will have the Dems for a few years and then switch back to the Repubs. Yuck. We need MORE parties. How about just independents. We need people who are willing to run as independents and then vote them in.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:July 20th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Obama

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Ohhh, don't get me wrong. The Republicans are worse than the Democrats 99% of the time. I in no way suggest that Bush is a better president than Obama. But the problem is that as long as we only have two parties we will always be doing this kind of silly D is better than R kind of comparison rather than being able to measure in a more nuanced and hopefully absolute way. Wouldn't it be great to be able to say P is a good politician rather than P is better than the schmuck that not-P's party is running?
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