Saturday, January 16, 2010

Obama and Bush are the Same

Obama needs to be careful - people wanted change from Bush but that doesn't imply they wanted change from the path the country was on prior to Bush. Obama's "change" agenda is not increasing his base. He can argue or reason that it is because of macro factors, like the economy, but based on voting, the country certainly preferred, by a wide margin, Bill Clinton to Obama or Bush. Even Reagan was moderate, but Bush standards, because he left the religious radicals out of the mix. So the way I see it, from Reagan to Clinton this country's leaders were moderate. And my POV is that the country pretty much liked it that way. Obama, like Bush, is taking advantage of events to lead the country in ways it doesn't apparently really, really want to go. (Bush took advantage of 9/11; Obama took advantage of Bush.)

Bush and Cheney took advantage of every political opportunity to further their private "change" agenda too. They didn't call the doctrine of regime change, pre-emptive strikes, suspension of the Constitution, and New American Imperialism a "change" agenda, but it was. And it was bad, really bad, for Americans and the world.

I just wish Obama wasn't doing the same thing as Bush and Cheney but in the opposite political direction. He's not my president anymore, like he asserted in his acceptance speech. But he had a real chance to be. Just like Bush had a chance to be a "uniter, not a divider", Obama is not really even representing all the people that voted for him, not any longer - the moderates are leaving him.

Rule by one party is bad. It doesn't really matter which party. Bill Clinton was smart enough to realize that when the country wasn't embracing his more liberal perspectives that he should move to the center. Obama, like Bush, seems to be the exact opposite - ignore the apparent mood of the country and try to drive a highly partisan agenda before fading support makes him ineffectual. I think it is a horrible approach for this country. It seems to lead to swings back and forth from one extreme to the other because the country doesn't really want either and the moderates get sick of one, then the other.

If it weren't for Bush & Cheney's extremism, fueled by 9/11, not by the voters, a radical "change" agenda wouldn't have sounded so good. If Obama can't grasp that "change" meant from Bush, not from the course the country followed prior to Bush, he's going to be a one term president. I would like to see better for such a smart and charismatic leader.