Obama Scorecard: Numerous Bush Policies Intact…Some Expanded

Posted in General by TBartine on August 26, 2009 1 Comment

By now, Republicans along with much of the right-wing fringe have attempted to paint President Obama as the “most liberal” president ever, who is making “drastic and rapid” changes that are somehow fundamentally changing the country we live in.

But…upon what information are these claims based?  What has changed so PROFOUNDLY as to make these people feel that “their America” is slipping away from them?  Truthfully…is Obama really even THAT liberal?

Some points for your consideration:

-  Obama kept Gates as Defense Secretary and Petraeus as commander of U.S. Central Command…it was said that this was to preserve some sort of “continuity,” but the truth is, with our military so politicized under Bush, and our efforts in Iraq so badly planned and managed, is there really ANY justification for the holdovers?

-  Obama kept Geithner (elevating him to Treasury Secretary) and kept Bernanke as head of the Fed…and recently re-upped Bernanke for a second term.  Again, while many may credit Geithner/Bernanke with helping to “avert an economic collapse“…don’t we at least have to blame them a little for, well, WHAT LED US TO THE COLLAPSE?

-  Obama has stopped our torture programs.  And recently, he put a very special man in charge of making sure our interrogators don’t torture:  John Brennan, the same man who, under Bush, helped DEVELOP the torture program.

- Obama, while closing Gitmo…has kept the military commission available for use.

- The Obama Administration backed the Bush policy that Bagram detainees in Afghanistan…have no constitutional rights.

-  The Obama Administration opted NOT to release the photos of the mistreatment of detainees, despite their claim that such items CLEARLY fall under the Freedom of Information Act.

-  Obama has asserted the same, controversial “state secrets” policy employed by Bush to protect the government against multiple lawsuits…no matter how well-founded the charges.

-  Obama continued the Bush policy of refusing to release the White House visitors list.

-  Obama has repeatedly resisted calls to investigate torture committed by U.S. personnel…despite mounting evidence.  When forced to initiate investigations…he has called for inquiries to go no higher than the interrogators themselves (that is, ignoring the individuals who ORDERED the torture)…and only those interrogators who exceeded the fundamentally flawed DOJ memos which gave only the semblance of legality, not actual legality, to the interrogators’ actions.

-  Obama has continued the use of Bush’s infamous, and unconstitutional, “signing statements.”

-  The White House is required to save all emails…millions from the Bush years are missing.  The lawsuit from two advocacy groups calling for those emails to be recovered?  The Obama White House opposed it and took steps to kill it.

-  The Obama Health Care Plan?  Not even half as “nationalized” or “socialized” as the Clintons’.  It still allows for a system dominated by private insurance, even IF the public option is included.

-  A challenge against the anti-gay marriage “Defense of Marriage Act?“  The Obama White House asked the court to dismiss it.

-  A case that would have put the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in front of the Supreme Court…the administration let the deadline to file a Supreme Court appeal pass quietly.

-  The rendition/kidnapping program…kept alive.

-”Targeted killings” (we call them assassinations) in Pakistan and Afghanistan…expanded.

-  In fact, almost all but two of the eleven key components of Bush’s anti-terror tools have been kept (torture, and “black sites” are gone), some of them have even been expanded.

-  Warrantless Wiretapping…the Obama Administration actually fought to keep it in place.

-  Here’s another look…and another…and another

In fact, it looks like the people who most bought the “campaign rhetoric” of “CHANGE“…were Republicans.  Because despite the fact that Obama has led as nothing, if not as a centrist…who has to date NOT called for drastic nationalization of the banks or the health care industry…who has NOT drawn a firm line in the sand towards defending civil liberties and equality…and who has NOT reversed more than a handful of the Bush administration’s most odious and unconstitutional policies…the Republicans are still seeing Obama as some sort of “lefty crusader.” New flash guys…you should be thanking your lucky stars:  the majority of Americans DID want real change, are ready for “lefty policies,” and are ready to see a return to the Constitution and the Rule of Law…we are the ones who should be most disappointed and scared thus far, not you.