February 20, 2008

Seven Reasons For Turning Away From Obama

The following was published in Democratic Underground a few days ago. I found it to be interesting, especially in light of Michelle Obama's recent statement.

I am now a Hillary supporter, although I was an initial supporter of Obama late last year. Since then, I've done about 200 hours worth of research on all the candidates and their positions, including the Republicans'. For what it's worth, here is why I won't vote for Obama in the general election:

(1) His decision to have Donnie McClurkin campaign for him amongst religious constituents in South Carolina, and then defense of that decision in the interests of "unity," because "many voters hold his views." When challenged, he said McClurkin "isn't against gays who are happy being gay!!" This makes me question his commitment to civil rights. I am a straight woman, with lots of gay students and clients, and this is not a fuzzy issue to me. You either defend everyone's civil rights, or you don't.

(2) His commitment to increase the military by 100,000 soldiers, and to raise the military budget well beyond where it is now (which is IMHO too high, given the $78,000 which is each citizen's share tonight of the national debt).

(3) His decision to make a business deal with someone he's described as "a friend for 12 years," to allow that person (Rezko) to hold fundraisers for him, and to accept personal cash contributions to his campaign (of which he has returned 75% under pressure), and then to defend himself by saying he didn't do anything wrong. That isn't the point. Of course he didn't do anything illegal. The point is, I know no one who could befriend a man, have lunch with him for 12 years, whose spouse hung out with his spouse, who read the newspapers who were already investigating Rezko at the time, and somehow miss that he is an extortionist who is going to go to the big house for good reason. Who is Obama therefore likely to appoint to advise him in the White House?

(4) His nonverbal behavior during the debates toward Clinton (he does not look at her when she is speaking--and he's the only one not to, and she's the only one he doesn't look at...this does not unity make). How is he going to nonverbally interact with world leaders, or members of Congress, etc. with whom he does not agree? This is not conciliatory, and certainly "world leaders" are going to present much more of a challenge than Clinton does.

(5) His continual victim stance regarding ads against him...does he not realize this is a campaign? Does he not read factcheck dot org about what the lies his own campaign is spewing out? And is what he is saying about any of this going to inspire "unity"? Given that Clinton is his "enemy" at the moment, shouldn't he be treating this situation in a conciliatory way, given that that is his entire platform? Showing us he is capable of bringing together vastly opposing points of view? But that is not what is happening. Instead, he is splitting the world into good and bad.

(6) His determination (expressed clearly in the 2nd to last debate, and again yesterday) to pre-emptive invasion of Pakistan (a nuclear nation) if "intelligence" tells us that Bin Laden is somewhere in Pakistan.

(7) His answer to the Columbus, OH Dispatch reporter about why he is the best candidate for President when it comes to foreign policy (part of a longer interview, with all candidates, just this week). McCain & Clinton gave detailed answers about their foreign policy experience, Senate Armed Services Committee service, Clinton's already established and positive personal relationships with dozens of world leaders, etc. Obama said he is the ONLY person who could bring world leaders together because he grew up in Indonesia (and therefore the Muslims will like and understand him), and because he has a grandmother in Kenya who has no running water (and therefore, people in poverty will like and understand him). In psychological terms, this demonstrates grandiosity and naivete (which tend to go together).

All of this is beyond inexperience. It certainly doesn't give me any hope at all, and it's not the kind of change I want.

Notice that we don't hear much about any of this in the media. It's all out there, verifiable, fact. I am really disappointed in Obama, but glad I discovered all this before voting. (And for God's sake, man, send your grandmother some money!)

I believe the question we would all be wise to ask ourselves is why were we so willing to be lied to before the Iraq war? Why didn't we act, if we all KNEW how bad an idea the war would be? Why didn't we DO anything? And is that tendency, to line up behind the media's point of view of the moment, operating now as well? Are we just a lazy country, unwilling to do the work to check out what's being fed to us? Doesn't that make us vulnerable?

* I, for one, will not be voting for Obama...but that decision was made long before reading this person's reasons for not voting for him.

I can think of a lot more than seven reasons not to vote for him., and just as many not to vote for Hillary Clinton.

When it comes right down to it, one hardly has the desire to vote at all, but then who really wins?

Whether Democrat or Republican, it will be interesting to see for whom we will get to vote in this election.