The buck stops… somewhere else

Obama’s administration has sprung a lot of leaks lately and seems to be on the verge of sinking.  He’s also basically a lame duck president now.  The president depends on Congress to supply him with the power to govern and Congress barely gets its pants on each day.  Bipartisanship is still a distant memory and confidence is eroding with each new scandal.

I’ve been disappointed in Obama for very a long time.  To say I was disappointed with Bush would be to imply I had some form of hope going into that 8 year tragedy in which I saw hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians, hundreds of soldiers, 3000 Americans, global diplomacy, the economy, the Constitution, basic human rights, New Orleans, the courts, and the English language butchered.

Not all the problems of this administration are Obama’s fault and not all of Bush’s failures were his own.  Obama has very little to work with and the Republicans have firmly entrenched themselves as the opposition party.  If they can’t have America no one can.  I’m surprised they didn’t burn the White House down as they were leaving it.

The scandals haven’t really made a big difference for me.  Maybe my apathy is so all encompassing I simply can’t get angry.  Maybe it’s because he’s a Democrat.  “When it’s your own.” In fact, should the polls spontaneously open again tomorrow I’d vote for Obama again.  To me, he’s the best of the current crop of Democrat candidates.  Though I may be going back to third party votes, which I will elaborate on later.

Benghazi is still a non-issue for me.  We need to address the security issue.  Unfortunately, the biggest security issue is that we put embassies in places where destroying embassies is the national sport.  I doubt there’s an embassy anywhere in Africa, the Middle East or South Asia that isn’t asking for more security daily.  Benghazi is a tragedy.  It could have been prevented.  But as far as incompetence goes it barely registers.  As long as we maintain any presence in countries like Libya, we will always be in danger.  Now personally, I wouldn’t even put an embassy in a country like that without being allowed to build it at the center of a military base.

Darrell Issa saying that while Obama referred to the attack as an act of terror, but he didn’t mean it as proof he lied is a clear indication of madness.  Besides, even if the White House did mislead with its talking points, that’s a modern administration’s bread and butter.

For the IRS, I see no indication Obama knew.  Wouldn’t be surprised, but currently those dots don’t connect.  Many say it doesn’t matter, he should have known.  Yes, Obama really should know what’s being done in every government agency at all times.  Obama’s lack of omnipresence is damning proof he is in fact human.

Michelle Bachmann implied that the IRS controlled the powers of “life and death.”  I’m uncertain whether she’s implying that the IRS kills the people it investigates or if she’s accusing them of necromancy.  She falsely connected this to the idea that the IRS now keeps all your medical records because of ObamaCare.  Of course, that’s not entirely true.  In that it’s not true at all.

Seriously, some Tea Party political action groups were investigated.  They still exist.  No one seems to have been falsely executed, imprisoned or suffered serious negative consequences.  Now, I completely disagree with political profiling and whoever came up with this idea should get fired.  Instead of political profiling, they should simply destroy all these organizations, left and right.  SuperPACs and secret SuperPACs have no place in politics in my opinion.  My only disappointment is that it was left leaning instead of universal scrutiny to these ultra corrupt organizations.

Today, he’s in trouble again for Bush’s phone record pulling that he continued.  I actually don’t mind (in theory) the government having my phone records or listening to my conversations.  As long as it’s being used to prevent international scale crimes.  Terrorism, gun running, human trafficking, etc.  My problem is that I think it needs very clear and precise guidelines to prevent it from being used to bust people for the little stuff.  It shouldn’t be allowed for investigating non-violent domestic crimes and any evidence of such found during an investigation should be inadmissible in court.  In other words, we reserve it’s use purely for the most heinous acts possible.  It should be used as a scalpel and not a cudgel.  On the other hand, if there was a big push to get rid of it, I could easily be convinced to throw my weight behind such a movement.  People never will though.

I’m not a big fan of the Obama presidency, but I still like Obama as a person and I think he has a great family.  I feel bad for him.  It all has to be rather disappointing.  Big ideas and lofty goals sinking into the D.C. swamp.  Life can be so ambiguous too.  It’s hard to even figure out where things went wrong.  With all my own goals and dreams, it’s hard to say whether it was me or my environment that was the biggest impediment to them happening.  For politicians, it’s such a thin line.  You need to get elected to change the system, but you have to be part of the system to get elected.  You can’t do anything considered too extreme or people will stop backing you, but if you don’t do anything big nothing will get done and people will stop supporting you.

Considering how vehemently I hated Bush when he was in office, I sort of ended up feeling bad for him.  When he was headed off to that helicopter for the last time and the crowd was booing him, I suddenly felt oddly sorry for the guy.  I didn’t forgive what I saw as a litany of crimes and never will, but he knew how unpopular and how hated he had become.  He did what he thought was best and things did not go as planned.

I guess I just shifted the blame a bit.  He was elected president.  Millions of people voted for and supported him.  He’s also far from the first president who started a war.  Even an immensely unpopular war.  Vietnam is the usual comparison.  In fact, I once saw someone commenting on the Bob Dylan song Masters of War, saying that a washed up has-been like Bob Dylan had nothing to contribute and shouldn’t be criticizing Bush and the wars.  The song was written in 1962, so either we’re covering the same ground again or Bob Dylan is a prophet.  But I guess that’s all a prophet really has to do.

  • “Good old Nostradamus,
  • He knew the whole damn time,
  • There’d always be an east from west,
  • And someone in them fighting.”  -Education by Modest Mouse

http://www.myspace.com/bobdylan/music/songs/masters-of-war-album-version-1652291

Personally, I see more of a comparison with the invasion of Canada during the War of 1812.  A lot of people don’t know that the British invasion of America only came after our invasion of British controlled Canada.  It was a strange mix of political reasons, competition with the British, fear that the British were supporting Indian uprisings, including Tecumseh in the (then) northwest, and that Canada was essentially harboring and supporting our enemies and would be a staging area for potential attacks against America.  Also, the war hawks probably accused them of trying to purchase uranium from Nigeria.

Terrorist is simply the latest word for “the bad guys.”  Before terrorists we had communists, Nazis, the Germans, the Spanish, Native Americans, the South, Mexicans, Native Americans, the British, Native Americans, pirates, Native Americans, the British and Native Americans.

Russell Brand joked in one of his routines that he thought it was really nice of us to let Bush be president because in his country “We wouldn’t let him hold a pair of scissors.”  The more I learned about Bush the more I found a man who sort of fell into the presidency.  Have you ever had that happen?  Where circumstances just sort of push you into a line of work you weren’t really prepared for.  With Bush, it just went a step further in that he fell into the position of commander-in-chief of America.  Just another kid looking for dad’s approval, trying to survive and searching for purpose.  What we all wouldn’t give for an orderly and righteous universe.  The problem is that trying to force order on the universe is like shoving a square peg in a round hole.  You’re wasting your time and the harder you try, the more damage you’ll do.

Bush’s legacy is a done deal.  Obama’s continues on.  I hope there’s better days ahead for him and for the country.  It’s an uphill battle.  I worry that we can’t get our two parties to work together.  I worry that the opposition will slander and tear down Obama’s reputation with overblown scandals.  And most of all I worry that Obama won’t be able to live up to the expectations we’ve set forth.  We keep asking for heroes and all we ever seem to get are real people and, as one might expect, real people can’t be trusted with flying, missile shooting robots.

You know, when I said I wished life was more like a sci-fi movie, I didn’t mean the Terminator series…

Everything you need to know about American presidents:

http://www.myspace.com/jonathancoulton/music/songs/the-presidents-91748944

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About fanaticalhypocrite

I'm your average agnostic Irish Catholic Welsh Jew born in rural West Virginia as the mildly autistic son of a motorcycle riding nurse and an unemployed, ex-military, atheist theology major (likes there's any other kind.) Just another tragically disconnected member of the bitter American proletariat living in the twilight of U.S. world dominance. I'm a medical transcriptionist by day ("They're going to fire me tomorrow" has been my motto for 11 years), a security guard/campground host/lost & found department/problem solver/bouncer/bookkeeper understudy 24/7/365, and a nerdy wannabe writer by night. And also day. My life is basically a non-linear blender full of random activities. And now I run a blog because... why not? It's not like I was using my precious time to cure disease or end world hunger. Might as well tell a bunch of strangers about why [insert anything here] really pisses me off.
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