Barack Obama and the Solution that Wasn’t

June 19, 2010

Two days ago, Obama delivered his first speech from the Oval Office to a country that desperately wanted to know what was being done to address the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. What he delivered, to paraphrase Keith Olbermann, was a speech that could have described another country on another continent on another planet. Perhaps even a time and place long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Certainly, he discussed the many efforts the government has undertaken to address this disaster. And to the average, uninformed citizen, Obama would have left the impression that something was being done, even from Day 1.

It’s true that since the oil spill, Obama has been very busy. After all, there’s so much to do.

For instance, since day one, Obama has played at least 7 rounds of golf. He has welcomed at least 4 sports teams to the White House including the New York Yankees, the Duke men’s basketball team, UConn women’s basketball team and the Navy football team.

He has attended at least 3 fundraisers, one of which was held for Barbara Boxer on the same day as the memorial service for the 11 workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. I suppose keeping Barbara Boxer’s Senate Seat was more important. Oh, and did I mention that he attended a party with the Getty Oil family that day too?

Obama has even been on two vacations. Not to mention that Tom Strickland, chief of staff for Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, went on a “work-focused” trip that includes whitewater rafting in Arizona on Day 8 of the oil spill.

But let’s not forget that since the oil spill, President Obama has met with very important dignitaries like President Calderon of Mexico, sports analyst Marv Albert, Bono, and most importantly, Paul McCartney. However, it wasn’t until day 58 that he met with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and BP CEO Tony Hayward.

As much as Obama would love for us to believe that he has his “boot on the neck” of BP and that he is demanding to know “whose @$$ to kick,” it seems that he has other irons in the fire. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.

In sharp contrast with his actions over the past 59 days, Obama’s speech offered the illusion that he is in control of this massive disaster. Furthermore, he is begging us to believe that his cap-and-trade legislation will somehow address this monstrosity. The reality is that it simply will not. I believe Governor Bob Riley of Alabama said it best: “If my house is on fire, I don’t need the fire chief telling me I should not have built the house out of wood.  I need somebody to put the fire out.” We don’t need cap and trade, we need to “plug the d@mn hole” (to quote Obama) and clean up our shoreline.

Also, we shouldn’t have rejected assistance from the Dutch when they offered it to us days after the rig exploded. We should have repealed the Jones Act and let our allies help us with this disaster.

It is downright shameful of this president to use the oil spill as leverage to foist his economically inhibitive policies on our country. Cap-and-trade will not clean the oil from our shores. Cap-and-trade will not directly prevent disasters like this from happening. Cap-and-trade will not accelerate scientific advances in clean energy. Why on earth should we pass such legislation?

We must ask ourselves: does it make sense to throw more money at a government who has failed, as a result of bureaucracy and not a lack of money, to clean up our shores in a timely manner? Unfortunately, instead of concerning themselves with the actual oil spill, the White House is apparently more concerned with never letting “a crisis go to waste.”

Article first published as Obama and the Solution that Wasn’t on Blogcritics.


A Timeline of Obama’s Reaction to the Oil Spill

June 17, 2010
Back in 2005, President Bush was routinely criticized by the left-wing media for his handling of Hurricane Katrina. But in less than a week, he made it down to the gulf to survey the damage. Obama took nearly two weeks to view the areas affected by the oil spill. Let’s take a look at how busy our President has been throughout this crisis:

Day 1: The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes, killing 11 workers.

Day 3: The Netherlands government offers skimmers and other equipment to protect American shores. The Obama administration rejects the offer.

Day 4: Obama attacks Arizona’s immigration law, then goes on vacation in NC with a round of golf included.

Day 5: Another round of golf for Obama.

Day 7: Obama welcomes the New York Yankees to the White House.

Day 8: Tom Strickland, chief of staff for Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, goes on a “work-focused” trip that includes whitewater rafting in Arizona.

Day 10: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declares a state of emergency in Louisiana. Obama pledges “every single available resource” to take care of the spill, then attends a DNC fundraising dinner.

Day 11: White House says that there will be no drilling allowed in new areas until the cause of the explosion is known

Day 12: Obama attends White House Correspondents Dinner.

Day 13: Obama visits the gulf coast.

Day 14: Obama hosts the Navy football team at the White House.

Day 16: Obama hosts Cinco De Mayo party at the White House.

Day 19: Tar balls are found in Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Day 20: Obama delivers commencement speech at Hampton University.

Day 21: Obama nominates Elena Kagen for Supreme Court Justice.

Day 22: Another round of golf for Obama.

Day 24: Obama attends DCCC fundraiser.

Day 25: Obama criticizes oil companies for their “ridiculous spectacle” before Congress.

Day 26: Obama goes golfing.

Day 27: Obama golfs some more.

Day 28: Obama hosts UConn women’s basketball team.

Day 30: Oil makes landfall in Louisiana. Obama hosts state dinner for Mexican President Calderon.

Day 31: Obama meets with Bono.

Day 32: Obama addresses Wall Street reform at the White House Rose Garden.

Day 33: Obama golfs at Andrews Air Force Base.

Day 34: Governor Jindal announces that he’s tired of waiting for federal approval to build sand booms and that he will proceed without it. Obama discusses basketball with Marv Albert.

Day 35: The size of the oil slick reaches 30,000 square miles, enough to cover an area the size of Hawaii 3 times.

Day 36: Memorial service is held for the 11 men killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Notably absent: Barack Obama. Obama attends fundraiser for Barbara Boxer in California, as well as a party with the Getty Oil family.

Day 38: The amount of oil leaked reaches 38 million gallons. Obama hosts the Duke basketball team at the White House.

Day 39: Obama visits the Gulf Coast for the second time, saying “I am the president and the buck stops with me.”

Day 40: Obama heads to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend vacation.

Day 41: Obama goes to the gym in Chicago.

Day 43: Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs states that he has seen “rage” and a “clenched jaw” from the President over the oil spill. The Department of Justice launches criminal probe of the oil spill.

Day 45: Obama says he is “furious” about the oil spill, then rocks out with Paul McCartney at the White House.

Day 46: Obama makes 3rd trip to the Gulf Coast since the explosion. Oil makes landfall in Florida.

Day 47: Oil hits Alabama beaches.

Day 50: Obama says he would fire Tony Hayward, CEO of BP.

Day 55: Obama plays golf.

Day 58: Obama finally meets with BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

And you wonder why so many people want to be president…


Analysis of the Scott Brown Victory in MA

January 20, 2010

Could anyone have ever dreamed of a more unusual scenario? The seat held by Ted Kennedy for over 40 years has now been replaced by a Republican in Massachusetts.

The Stage was Set

Let’s rewind to 1994. In the midst of a surge sweeping across the nation against the Democratic majority after a Clinton victory in 1992, in Massachusetts, a man named Mitt Romney dared to challenge the lion of the Senate himself: Ted Kennedy. But while Romney managed to lose by the second smallest margin in Kennedy’s nine elections, the score was a 17-point difference: 58 to 41.

By 2004, Romney was governor of Massachusetts. In an effort to avoid a Romney-chosen senator should Senator John Kerry win the White House, the Democratic majority of the Massachusetts state senate passed legislation that would keep the governor from being able to appoint a U.S. Senator until a special election was held.

But in 2009, with a Democratic governor in place, the Democrats reversed the legislation to allow a Democrat to be appointed to replace Ted Kennedy after he died. Before his death, Kennedy had even requested the reversal himself. After Kennedy’s death, Paul Kirk was appointed to replace him. The seat remained in the hands of the Democratic party.

On November 3rd of that year, GOP candidates Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie won the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively. Both states had Democratic governors.

That same month in Massachusetts, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley led Republican Scott Brown by as much as 31 points. The Kennedy family endorsed Coakley to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. At that point, it appeared obvious that the seat will continue to be in Democratic control.  After all, in Massachusetts, Democrats outnumber Republicans by as much as 3 to 1. But independents outnumber Democrats in the Bay State. And the hypocrisy of the Democratic party had worn down the respect of their constituents.

The Meteoric Rise of Scott Brown

Through a series of gaffes by Coakley herself, Scott Brown began to rise. Coakley’s numbers started to drop. Whether it was the pointless sparring with Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling or the arrogant and elitist opposition to schmoozing with hockey fans at Fenway Park, Coakley couldn’t seem to keep her mouth shut. If that wasn’t bad enough, her claim that terrorists no longer reside in Afghanistan certainly didn’t buy her any foreign policy points.

But in spite of Coakley’s best efforts to sink her own campaign, it still seemed unlikely that a Republican would be the one to replace Ted Kennedy. However, in early January, a Rasmussen poll revealed that Coakley’s lead narrowed to a single digit margin, albeit a 9 point margin.

In a debate with Coakley, Brown was asked how he could sit in Ted Kennedy’s seat and vote against the healthcare legislation that Kennedy had fought so hard for in his career. Brown responded, “With all due respect, it is not Ted Kennedy’s seat. It is not the Democrats’ seat. It is the people’s seat.”

For some reason, the wind was suddenly at Brown’s back. Perhaps even to the surprise of some Republicans, Brown was gaining momentum. Rasmussen’s next poll had him losing by only 2 points. A Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll had him up by 1. Coakley’s lead was vanishing before her very eyes. In the latter polls of the campaign, it was fully erased, replaced by as much as a 15 point margin of victory for Brown according to PJM/CrossTarget.

On the night of January 19th, Coakley delivered her concession speech. Brown had won 52 to 47.

Is Brown the New Face of the GOP?

Perhaps it’s a bit early to say that Brown is the face for the GOP brand. Typically, Republicans require dues to be paid before its leaders are rewarded with a  higher status. It took Ronald Reagan several years to become a major voice in the party, having lost to Ford in 1976 before winning the nomination in 1980. But if there’s one politician whose own meteoric rise could provide Brown a pathway for an early entry into the presidential fray, it would be none other than Barack Obama.

Obama was  still a state senator in Illinois back in 2004 when he delivered the keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. He was elected as a U.S. Senator later that year. By February 2007, he had declared himself a candidate for the White House.

Brown was also a state senator when he won his U.S. Senate seat. While it may seem the least bit unlikely, Brown could very well be among the names floated for the 2012 GOP nomination.

But even if Brown did find himself amidst the field of candidates in the GOP primary, he would probably not win the support of many social conservatives. While Brown remains to the right of most Democrats on abortion, he is still essentially pro-choice. This would prove to be a rather difficult hurdle to overcome should Brown have loftier aspirations.

An Unusual Victory, A Glimmer of Hope

To say that Brown’s victory is historic would be an understatement. The Bay State has not had a Republican U.S. senator since 1978. Kennedy’s seat hasn’t been held by a Republican since 1952.

If he is seated soon, Scott Brown will bring a screeching halt to the Democratic supermajority in the U.S. Senate, thus being the one man who can dissolve the liberal dream of Obamacare.

It seems evident that there is a trend in America towards the right. A trend towards smaller government. A trend towards fiscal responsibility. A trend against runaway spending. A trend towards transparency in government.

Last night, the people of Massachusetts spoke to the nation about the kind of government they want. If this type of sentiment is displayed there, in the bluest of blue states, it will not end with them.

Finally, it seems that America may be correcting its course.


Why I Oppose Barack Obama

February 17, 2008

At the rate things are going in this election year, I believe there are two eventual nominees: Barack Obama for the Democratic Party and John McCain for the Republican Party. While certainly this primary season didn’t go nearly as well as I would’ve liked, there comes a point where you have to evaluate the candidates left standing. John McCain wasn’t really even in my top 3 candidates of interest this year, but unfortunately he has prevailed as the nominee for the Republican party, which forces me to at least consider voting for him.

But then there’s Barack Obama. He’s sharp, articulate, smart, amiable, hip and overall likable. I’d even go as far as to say that he’s definitely got a leg up on McCain in the likable and hip categories. However, that’s just a matter of opinion (albeit an overall consensus opinion). Nonetheless, he’s a very high-profile figure in America right now. In fact, I’d say he’s the most popular Presidential candidate since JFK.

So when I look at Barack Obama, those qualities stand out. They stand out a lot. And if it were about those qualities alone, I’d probably find myself considering him. Unfortunately, if you examine his record, all the glitz of his personality seems to fade away to reveal a man who stands for nearly everything I oppose.

As a Christian American, there are certain issues that are central to my decision concerning a political candidate. I’m talking about social issues, namely abortion and gay marriage.

Abortion/Life Issues

On abortion, Barack Obama is staunchly pro-choice. He was given a 100% rating by the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL). In many pro-choice circles, that’s definitely a badge of honor. Conversely, he was giving a 0% rating by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

In 2007, he voted against the banning of partial-birth abortion. Now partial-birth abortion isn’t a typical abortion. It involves partially removing the living fetus (baby) from the mother’s womb and killing it. This procedure is typically performed in the late stages of the pregnancy.

He also supports embryonic stem cell research, which often results in the destruction of human embryos. To me, this is a form of abortion on a premature scale. Stem cell reserach in and of itself is an undeniably good thing. But there are other sources of stem cells besides human embryos. So as a Christian, I believe we should avoid using human embryos for stem cell research.

Gay Rights/Marriage

On the issue of gay rights, Barack Obama is also quite liberal. He has stated that homosexuality is not a choice and is no more immoral than heterosexuality. While he does oppose gay marriage, he believes that it is a matter that should be left up to the states. Therefore, he opposes any federal amendment that would outlaw gay marriage.

While a federal amendment to the Constitution might be open to interpretation, Obama’s core beliefs on homosexuality seem to be in direct contrast to the Word of God (note Romans 1:18-32, 1st Corinthians 6:9). As a Christian, I personally cannot in good conscience, vote for someone who supports these things.

Other Issues

There are some issues that are mostly political in nature, which don’t typically lend themselves to any form of religious debate. However, I also disagree with Obama on a great deal of these issues as well.

As a supporter of the Second Amendment, I find very little comfort in Obama’s positions on gun control. I believe that our Social Security system is headed for bankruptcy. Therefore, I think we should have the option to privatize it at our own discretion. Obama opposes that. On illegal immigration, I believe we should enforce the rule of law by not rewarding undocumented immigrants who are here illegally with any form of amnesty or indefinite citizenship. Obama, along with John McCain, supported a bill that would grant a form of amnesty to illegal immigrants. He supported giving driver’s licenses to them as well.

As a pro-life, pro-family, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-growth, small government, law-abiding conservative Christian American, I find Barack Obama to be the political epitome of virtually everything I oppose.

It’s not about his religion (which is Christianity not Islam). It’s not about his race. It’s not about his charm, flair, charisma, gravitas, personality or whatever you call it. It’s about his policies. I disagree with Barack Obama on policy. And that’s what democracy should be about, voting for someone based on their policies and values, not their religion, ethnicity, or background. It is policy and policy alone why I oppose Barack Obama as President of the United States.

For more on Barack Obama’s record and policies, check out OnTheIssues.org.


Hey Hillary! If You Can’t Take the Heat, Get out of the Race!

November 2, 2007

I never thought I’d see the day when a major network (other than Fox) would give Hillary a tough time. Is there some type of weird tension between her and Tim Russert? Who knows?

So now it seems like everyone is saying that Hillary is going to play the “gender card,” claiming that every man in the race (Republican and Democrat), along with the news media of all people, is ganging up on the only poor defenseless woman in the race. This is an interesting strategy to say the least, but I personally think it’s a little pathetic.

This is the arena of Presidential politics. It’s not friendly. It’s not easy. It’s not all glam and softball questions. Hillary knows that…or at least she should.

So I don’t buy this whole “Little Red Riding Hood” idea where Hillary is naively prancing towards a “hard-earned” victory only to be attacked by the “Big Bad Wolf” of fellow contenders. She may think this will endear her to women voters, but I don’t think it will work other than being an excuse for women who were going to vote for her anyway.

If Hillary can’t take some jabs from her future running mate (Obama), she should have gotten out of this race a long time ago. But I like to think she’s a little more tenacious than her campaign is giving her credit for.

Hillary is tough enough to handle herself. Just ask Dick Morris or better yet….Vince Foster.


Joe Biden is an Idiot

October 31, 2007

Did anyone catch that tidbit from the Dem debate last night where Joe Biden said that Giuliani was “the most unqualified candidate since George W. Bush”? To me, that’s just laughable. This is the same guy that buys into the idea of dividing Iraq up into 3 states based on religion and ethnic background.

Sure, Biden is on his sixth term as a Senator from Delaware, but does that really make him any more qualified than Giuliani?

Delaware is a state with a population of less than 800,000. Now keep in mind that Biden isn’t the Governor of Delaware, he’s just a Senator, so from what I can tell, he has no governing experience and even if he did, he’d be managing a state that has less people than the city of Jacksonville, Florida.

Now, let’s compare him to Giuliani, former mayor of New York City. Giuliani served two terms as mayor of New York City, one of the largest cities in the world with a population of 8 million. And on top of that, he had a fairly good record in doing so.

So who do you think is more qualified: a man who has represented a state of less than 800,000 or a man who has managed a city of over 8 million?

Also: gaffe #185143490: he just revealed the location of a secret bunker.


Why I Plan to Vote for An Electable Candidate

August 3, 2007

This may be a controversial post and I’m sure many will disagree with me. But that hasn’t really stopped me before…

I’d like to start out with a quote from Winston Churchill:

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

That sounds completely un-American, doesn’t it? We strongly hold to the ideal of democracy in America. Our nation was founded on that principle. Quite frankly, it truly is the most optimal system. I’d be hard pressed to disagree with it.

But think about the majority of Americans. Think about the things that sway them, the factors that come into play. People look at a candidate’s religion, their family life, their looks, their background, whether or not they have a dog, how big their house is, how much money have, how they made their money, etc. Have you noticed that I haven’t mentioned how they stand on the issues?

Think about the reasons people vote (or don’t vote) for a particular candidate. “I like the way he (or she) looks.” “He seems to have a good family life so I could vote for him.” “I don’t like him because he’s a Mormon.” “I won’t vote for somebody named ‘Obama,’ that sounds Muslim to me.” “I don’t like him because he’s been married three times.” “He cheated on his wife, so I can’t vote for him.” “Well he certainly looks presidential.” “We’re not ready for a female president.” “I think America needs a black president.”

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to deny that this mindless drivel has entered into the political process! There are voters in America that vote based on trivial information rather than where a candidate stands on the issues. Furthermore, some will vote for a candidate of a particular party without questioning the candidate’s stances.

I wonder how many times a voter does not make up their mind who they will vote for until they arrive at their particular polling place.

So many Ron Paul voters, Mike Huckabee voters, and Sam Brownback voters act like I’m crazy because I tell them that their candidate won’t win. They act as if I oppose the issues that their candidate stands for. Oddly enough, I don’t necessarily disagree with thim on the issues! I just know that based on various dynamics and circumstances that we are in, their candidate is unelectable.

It’s not that I necessarily think that the Presidential election is a complete popularity contest. I do believe that some voters have truly researched their candidates and are voting according to their conscience.

But while truly educated voters do exist, there are several more that aren’t. It’s almost as if the candidates have to “trick” the American public into voting for them because honest and logical persuasion is merely an afterthought.

In conclusion, this post is not necessarily an argument against democracy, but rather an argument for an American public that will truly research its candidates based on ideology and principle rather than personality and popularity. I want Americans to see through the smokescreen of trivial circumstances and examine the candidates based on their stances. Until that is achieved, Churchill is making one heck of an argument against democracy.