1. I do not believe in a politician who doesn't have the courage to express an opinion. Voting "present" is the act of a coward. Voting "present" on the issue whether 15 year old black kids should be tried as adults is COWARDICE.
2. The fact that he was conveniently not available to vote on Kyl Liebermann. However, what some people forget, he co sponsored "The Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007." which states:
“(14) the United States should designate the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which purveys terrorism throughout the Middle East and plays an important role in the Iranian economy, as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, place the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of specially designated global terrorists, and place the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters; “This didn’t pass. However, does it mean that he should be given a free pass because of it?
I don’t think so. However, in light of Barack Obama’s track record on missing on important votes, I have to wonder whether he intentionally missed the Kyl Liebermann vote. It is very easy to criticise those with the c ourage to stand up and be counted when you don’t do it yourself.
It might be interesting to remember that Barack Obama’s link to Liebermann is long and well documented. If he would have been in the Senate that day, would he have voted against his friend and mentor’s measure?
This question has to be asked, because you can’t miss on votes when you are president. If the Democrats do not ask these questions, the Republicans will.
3. The pandering to the homophobes- see SC tour. This is in my opinion a severe issue for the LGBT community. Or at least it should be. There is no good reason why a candidate who pretends to be on our side should give a stage to someone who regards us as liars and dangerous, to someone who wants to destroy us.
I have heard people telling me that he is trying to unite the black community by appealing to both the LGBT community and the homophobes, but I cannot buy it. I have heard an explanation that might apply to this situation, but I am not sure if I can accept it, namely that , since he is heterosexual, he doesn’t have the experience that the rest of us have had with the homophobes, and thus he believes that a common ground could be achieved.
The problem with that however is that I have problems believing that Barack Obama is stupid. I do not think that he was unaware of the implications of his action, the fact that he did not appear on the same stage with McClurkin speaks volumes. However, he did not drop McClurkin either.
So my question is: in his quest for each and every vote, is Barack Obama taking the LGBT votes for granted? Yes, I know that he has made a discourse supporting LGBT since. Still, the fact that, although he had been warned repeatedly that such an action was extremely offensive
So what does this tell me?
It tells me that barrack Obama wants both the votes of the LGBT community AND the votes of the homophobes. And that he is willing to compromise with our interests to get both. Even if it is disrespectful to us, that doesn’t seem too important since we don’t have anywhere else to go. It’s not like anyone but the most misguided ones would vote for McCain. So in the general , the LGBT votes would have to go to him, because where else would they go?
You don’t have to appease those who are sure of. And that brings me to another question:
Barrack Obama needs the votes of the LGBT community now. If he cannot be bothered to respect us, my brothers and sisters, now when he needs us, do you think he would respect us when he doesn’t need our votes anymore?
4. The fact that he complains about lobbyists while having one in his NH campaign as co-chair, namely Jim Demers, a lobbyist for drug company interests in NH.
This one speaks for itself, and it is called hypocrisy. It might not bother others, and I am sure the “Hillary is worse” cries will erupt like volcanoes, however I believe that a politician who is running on a “change” platform should start the change with himself.
There is also another issue that ties into this, namely the healthcare plan issue. According to him, the HMOs and big Pharma should be trusted to lower the prices for healthcare on their own accord. Anyone with an understanding of capitalism and big corporations can understand why this is an extremely unreasonable expectation. Corporations will never cut into their own bottomline without being forced to do so. That is the whole foundation of capitalism.
5. The fact that while he continuously talking about “Change” he constantly failed to explain what he wants to change.
This is important. “Change” is a very powerful word, but not all changes are good. GW Bush brought change upon the USA, but that was not a good change, was it?
There is nobody with 2 neurons to run together that would not agree that the USA NEEDS change. However, what does Barack Obama plan to change?
Does he plan to change the faulty US political system, the dual party system that hurts democracy? Does he plan to change the electoral college?
The ruling hand corporations have over his country? The wage slavery?
All of these are things that need to change. All of these are things that have to change.
But stating that you want to change one particular thing is a commitment. You can be held accountable for not keeping a campaign promise. But if you don’t say what exactly you want to change, nobody can hold you accountable for breaking a promise, and everyone can project their hopes onto you. They all can interpret your words as saying what they want you to say.
They can invest you with the mantle of the knight in the shining armor, and , what is more important, you don’t have to do anything about it.
6. Voted for Dick Cheney's energy plan.
In my personal opinion, this in one of those unexplainable and unpardonable things that make me look at Barack Obama with squinted eyes and a grimace on my face.
The energy plan is nothing short of evil and corporate pork, so why, oh why would a candidate who is running for “change” would vote for it?
7. Voted for all the spending bills for the Iraq war despite claiming to be against said war. Exactly the same votes as Hillary ( with one exception, Hillary was against confirming General Casey, the former Commander of Multinational Forces in Iraq, to be Army Chief of Staff).
Yes, I have heard about how he voted for all the funding bills in order to “support the troops”, but… that is not the vote of someone who opposes the war. Everybody and their mothers knew the money was about the big fees for Haliburton, Blackwater etc. Those money were not for the soldiers.
Also, here are a couple of declarations of Barack Obama regarding the war. First in July 2004:
“I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know”
“There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.”
There is also the issue of Barack Obama smacking down the Kerry proposal to withdraw the troops from Iraq in 2006.
“... .. For all these reasons, I would like nothing more than to support the Kerry Amendment; to bring our brave troops home on a date certain, and spare the American people more pain, suffering and sorrow.
But having visited Iraq, I'm also acutely aware that a precipitous withdrawal of our troops, driven by Congressional edict rather than the realities on the ground, will not undo the mistakes made by this Administration. It could compound them.
It could compound them by plunging Iraq into an even deeper and, perhaps, irreparable crisis.
We must exit Iraq, but not in a way that leaves behind a security vacuum filled with terrorism, chaos, ethnic cleansing and genocide that could engulf large swaths of the Middle East and endanger America. We have both moral and national security reasons to manage our exit in a responsible way.
I share many of the goals set forth in the Kerry Amendment. We should send a clear message to the Iraqis that we won't be there forever, and that by next year our primary role should be to conduct counter-insurgency actions, train Iraqi security forces, and provide needed logistical support.”
Beyond Chron has a better tally of Obama’s contradictory declarations here
“First, he opposed the war in Iraq while in the Illinois state legislature. Once he was running for US Senate though, when public opinion and support for the war was at its highest, he was quoted in the July 27, 2004 Chicago Tribune as saying, “There’s not that much difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who’s in a position to execute.” The Tribune went on to say that Obama, “now believes US forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation – a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration.”Obama’s campaign says he was referring to the ongoing occupation and how best to stabilize the region. But why wouldn’t he have taken the opportunity to urge withdrawal if he truly opposed the war? Was he trying to signal to conservative voters that he would subjugate his anti-war position if elected to the US Senate and perhaps support a lengthy occupation? Well as it turns out, he’s done just that.
Since taking office in January 2005 he has voted to approve every war appropriation the Republicans have put forward, totaling over $300 billion. He also voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State despite her complicity in the Bush Administration’s various false justifications for going to war in Iraq. Why would he vote to make one of the architects of “Operation Iraqi Liberation” the head of US foreign policy? Curiously, he lacked the courage of 13 of his colleagues who voted against her confirmation.”
“Recently, with anti-war sentiment on the rise, Obama declared he will get our combat troops out of Iraq in 2009. But Obama isn’t actually saying he wants to get all of our troops out of Iraq. At a September 2007 debate before the New Hampshire primary, moderated by Tim Russert, Obama refused to commit to getting our troops out of Iraq by January 2013 and, on the campaign trail, he has repeatedly stated his desire to add 100,000 combat troops to the military.This is not the position of an anti war candidate. Pardon the wonkish me, but this is not in any way consistent. This is however someone who seems to want to garner all possible votes, and consistency be damned.
At the same event, Obama committed to keeping enough soldiers in Iraq to “carry out our counter-terrorism activities there” which includes “striking at al Qaeda in Iraq.” What he didn’t say is this continued warfare will require an estimated 60,000 troops to remain in Iraq according to a May 2006 report prepared by the Center for American Progress. Moreover, it appears he intends to “redeploy” the troops he takes out of the unpopular war in Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. So it appears that under Obama’s plan the US will remain heavily engaged in war.”
How could I trust him?
8. Skipped the MoveOn.org vote
Do I need to explain this further? I don’t think so.
9. Refused to vote ( aka voted “present”) on a law that required children to be taught respect for others in schools.
“Mr. Obama was also the sole present vote on a bill that easily passed the Senate that would require teaching respect for others in schools. He also voted present on a measure to prohibit sex-related shops from opening near schools or places of worship. It passed the Senate.”
Why would anyone in his right mind abstain from voting on such a common sense measure?
However, senator Obama did not vote “present” on the re authorization of the Patriot Act. He approved of it. Go figure.
10. As a president of a Senate subcommittee who deals with the relations with the European Union, senator Obama did not even hold one hearing in said subcommittee. This is a serious issue for those of us who are looking at the US’ standing in the world. The two possible explanations for that would be that either he isn’t interested in relations with the European Union, which is an unbelievably daft thing to do for any US politician, or just he didn’t have the time to do so, since he spent most of his term campaigning.
Neither of these motivations bode well. In the first case, one could be wondering whether he took that position to pad his resume only. In the second case, if we corroborate this little occurrence or lack thereof with the fact that senator Obama has the 4th highest record of absenteeism in the Senate, it’s starting to look like the citizens of Illinois who sent him to the Senate were a little bit defrauded since the candidate sent to look after their interests is a lot more interested in running for president than representing their interests. Should the US Senate be a corporation de jure as it is de facto, Barack Obama would have been fired a long time ago for fraud, as in “getting paid for work he didn’t do”.
This list initially stopped here. However, more facts coming to surface have forced me to expand it.
11. Nefarious connections with Nuclear Industry lobbyists and lying to voters.
While campaigning in Iowa in December 2007, senator Obama claimed that he had passed a Senate Bill requiring nuclear leaks to be reported immediately. The truth however is a bit different:
“The truth, however, was that Obama allowed the bill to be amended in Committee by Senate Republicans, replacing language mandating reporting with verbiage that merely offered guidance to regulators on how to address unreported leaks. The story noted that even this version of Obama’s bill failed to pass the Senate, so it was unclear why Obama was claiming to have passed the legislation. The February 3, 2008 The New York Times article titled “Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate” by Mike McIntire also noted the opinion of one of Obama’s constituents, which was hardly enthusiastic about Obama’s legislative efforts:"Senator Obama's staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft," said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. "The teeth were just taken out of it."
As it turns out, the New York Times story noted: “Since 2003, executives and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at least $227,000 to Mr. Obama’s campaigns for the United States Senate and for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest fund-raisers.”
On short, Senator Obama made sure that the interests of his fundraisers were protected. In the process, he lied to the Iowa citizens about it.
However, tied with his vote on Cheney’s Energy Bill, we do get an image of a corporate owned senator who is running on a platform of lies and air.
12. On September 29th 2006, Barack Obama voted on building 700 miles of double fence at the border with Mexico. When campaigning in Texas for the latino vote, he stated that he would “employ a different border solution”. It doesn’t seem to have worked for him though.
13. Barack Obama is pro death penalty.
This, correlated with his vote to have teenagers trialed as adults, tells me that he is not even remotely a progressive, nor is he a compassionate person.
14. Barack Obama opposed impeachment of G W Bush (“Obama: Impeachment is not acceptable,” USA Today, June 28, 2007)
Impardonable on all counts.
I am really sorry people, but these are not the deeds of a progressive candidate. They are however the actions of a ruthless politician who wants to win at all costs.
The main issue however, from a feminist’s POV, is the fact that his campaign has been consistently sexist. The sexist attacks against Hillary Clinton appear to be not isolated incidents, but a pattern of thinking that regards women not as half of the human species, as full human beings with equal rights and obligations, but yet another special interests group to be pliated with promises, but not actually listened to and respected. And now it appears that we are taken for granted, because no woman in her right mind would vote for Mc Cain. The spectre of Roe being overturned should keep all women voting Democrat, so there is no need for them to be placated anymore, is there?
Again, if during the campaign when he actually needs our votes, Obama is willing to throw us under the bus, what will happen when he doesn’t need women’s votes anymore?
What can happen? Obama’s website tells us that he believes that women should have “some” control over their bodies. That scares the hell out of me, because some is not “full”. “Some control” is double speech for “no control”. Either you have control of your body, or you don’t.
I do not have a problem with anyone who chooses to vote for Barack Obama based on his issues and his track record. I do however have a problem with those who cast a vote for the feel good candidate that will make everything better by his mere existence.
When someone tells you one thing and all of his actions go in the opposite directions, would you trust that person? Would he be your friend in real life? If your work colleague would tell you how hard of a worker he is, but you would be confronted every day with evidence of his laziness … would you still believe them?
When your friend tells you that he wants A but everything he has done is in support of the opposite of A, will he still be your friend?
He won’t. You’d probably call these people on their dishonesty and at least attempt to remove them from your life. So why would you give a political candidate more leniency?
I know that for a lot of people, a lot of young people, experience is a bad word. I know that experience doesn’t matter for those who don’t have it. It might also be the word used to give the job to someone older than you, although you felt that you were the better candidate, but they have this nasty experience thing.
Unfortunately, experience IS necessary. Actions speak louder than words, and this is a truth that seems to be missing from this campaign.
Words are cheap. Anyone can say those same exact words. But when one’s actions contradict those words, then you should beware.