Gosh, when Barack “The Nazarine” Obama was running around talking about “Hope and Change”, I guess people expected that he was something different than either Bush or McCain, right?
In recent months, Dear Leader has started to gradually change into something that more closely resembles either George Bush or John McCain.
Remember how Bush and McCain’s critics blasted them for daring to say that the US economy was fundamentally sound?
McCain calls U.S. economy ‘fundamentally sound’ on same day Lehman Brothers declared bankrupt
John McCain appeared to have scored a huge own goal when he described the US economy as ‘fundamentally sound’ after the financial collapses of ‘Meltdown Monday’.
The Republican presidential candidate attempted to shake off the worldwide gloom following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers with an upbeat assessment.
As share prices tumbled, he said the ‘fundamentals of the economy are strong’.
His rival Barack Obama immediately seized on the remark, saying it showed Mr McCain was out of touch with the realities of American life.
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden led the criticism of Mr McCain and sought to tie the financial crisis to President George Bush’s administration.
‘He says that we’ve made great progress economically, in the Bush years,’ said Mr Biden while campaigning in Lansing, Michigan.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I could walk from here to Lansing, and I wouldn’t run into a single person who thought our economy was doing well, unless I ran into John McCain.’
Mr Obama called the situation ‘the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression’.
“This report indicates that our economy is structurally sound for the long-term and that we’re dealing with uncertainties in the short-term,” Bush told reporters after signing his annual economic report to Congress.
There are a lot of individual families who are experiencing incredible pain and hardship right now. But if we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy … we’re going to get through this.
And how about this one:
During the fall campaign, Obama relentlessly criticized his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, for declaring, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Obama’s team painted the veteran senator as out of touch and failing to grasp the challenges facing the country.
But on Sunday, that optimistic message came from economic adviser Christina Romer. When asked during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the fundamentals of the economy were sound, she replied: “Of course they are sound.”
“The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology,” she said. “We know that – that temporarily we’re in a mess, right? We’ve seen huge job loss, we’ve seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we’re in a – in a bad situation.”
Just a week ago, White House Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag declared that “fundamentally, the economy is weak.” Days later, Obama told reporters he was confident in the economy.
Not good enough? How about taxing your healthcare benefits?
The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.
The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.
In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage.
Or how about how Obama’s treatment of War on Terrorism POWs (the people formerly known as “terrorists”)?
Prisoners of W–
By now, President Obama’s lather-rinse-repeat approach to the legal war on terror is familiar: He lambastes his predecessor, then makes cosmetic changes that leave the substance of Bush policy intact. But Mr. Obama’s decision last week to renounce the term “enemy combatant” is almost a parody of this method, given that the “new standard” for detaining terrorists is identical to the old one.
Strunk & White counseled simplicity in prose, so whoever wrote the Justice Department’s filing with the D.C. District Court learned his elements of style elsewhere. To avoid using enemy combatants, we instead get “individuals captured in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations,” or “members of enemy forces,” or “persons who [the President] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, and persons who harbored those responsible for the September 11 attacks.”
These gyrations are bizarre because the brief is actually a solid legal argument for detaining e—- c———. Justice argues that the U.S. has the right to hold indefinitely, without legal charges, those who “substantially supported” al Qaeda or the Taliban, reserving the right to define what qualifies as “substantial” in each case. It also extends its writ to people who support terror networks away from the battlefield, such as financiers.
The concept of the unlawful enemy combatant is deeply rooted in international law and custom, including the Geneva Conventions. It refers to those who violate the laws of war by killing civilians or fighting out of uniform, and thus are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status. The Justice brief cites the Supreme Court’s 2004 Hamdi decision, in which a plurality of Justices held that capture and detention is “so fundamental and accepted an incident to war” as to be an afterthought.
The one difference between the Bush and Obama detention standards concerns core executive powers. The Obama team argues that its authority flows from the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Act, which Congress passed after 9/11 and authorizes the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” to prosecute “nations, organizations, or persons” associated with the attack. Here, again, there is less than meets the eye. Bush lawyers also cited this act of Congress, but in addition they asserted inherent war power under the Constitution.
Eric Holder’s Justice Department does not assert Commander in Chief prerogatives, but it doesn’t disavow them either. Justice knows it doesn’t need the argument given Hamdi and that it appeases the anti-antiterror left not to echo every Bush claim. The risk is that Mr. Obama could one day face a more isolationist GOP Congress, run by a Tom DeLay or a Senator William Borah that is unwilling to endorse the President’s national-security policies. Then Justice will not be able to cite its own precedents as the courts intrude on executive war powers.
We’re delighted that Mr. Obama has come around on one of the most rancorous controversies of the last eight years. Even so, Mr. Obama’s supporters must be suffering some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, because on the range of Bush antiterror policies that Mr. Obama has largely preserved — interrogation, surveillance, rendition, state secrets, now detention — no one seems to be vilifying him with the same intensity. Or maybe the problem with President Bush’s policies was that they were President Bush’s policies.
(Emphasis added by yours truely.)
Do I even need to start contrasting the amount of deficit spending that Bush did in comparison to Obama? Or how about the troop “surge” Bush used (and McCain endorsed) in Iraq being done now in Afghanistan?
I didn’t think so…
Cripes, if it wasn’t for his skin color and the slavish bootlicking by members of the media, I’d have a hard time distinguishing Obama from either Bush or McCain.