I got this gem in the inbox today, attached with a chain email with lots of fun pictures of Obama and Blagojevich:
I think you mentioned the virtuosity of Mr. Obama? Mr. Clean?
1.) I won’t appoint any lobbyists to Cabinet positions – only a half dozen – unless more pay their dues.
2.) Cabinet appointees will be rigorously examined – unless it is only a few hundred thou of tax evasions.
3.) I will not tolerate “pork” in spending bills. A half trillion coddled in the “stimulus” package won’t matter much will it?
4.) I will bring bi-partisanship to capitol Hill. But Pelosi will shut Republicans out of the debate and I back whatever spending bill comes from her caucus. (And tell the public it is crucial to pass it NOW!) That is bi-partisan isn’t it?
5.) I will bring “change” to Washington. Except a horde of Clinton appointees and a few things mentioned above.
6.) I didn’t know Bill Ayers
7.) I didn’t know the Illinois Governor.
If this is honesty and transparency someone is wearing welding hoods.
I called it hot air from a snake oil salesman – from an “empty suit” (no character). Was I right?”
While I appreciate the opportunity for discussion, please don’t forward chain emails – if you’d like to share an article you’ve read or a video you found interesting, send it on, by all means. Chain emails, however, aren’t a reliable basis to form an opinion from – they’re just propoganda.
Thus far, I feel Obama’s done a great job. I like the majority of his appointees. While I wasn’t big on Daschle’s connections to big pharma, he was a very firm against single-payer health care, and I liked that. As far as tax evasion goes, I seriously doubt it was intentional for Dacschle or Geithner – no politician worth his salt purposefully makes that sort of mistake, and given the complexity of our tax code, I find it quite plausible that they simply made mistakes. I’m not such a huge fan of Geithner, especially after he alluded to some protectionist tendencies prior to his confirmation, but I’ll wait and see before I judge too harshly.
As far as the stimulus plan goes, overall I’m fond of it. I’ve read through a good bit of the original 180-page plan, and I can definitely get behind much of where the funding is going, but some of it seems ill-timed. That is, the target projects (ex: the National Mall) may important and useful, now isn’t exactly the time to be renovating our parks – important though they may be. There’s a fair bit that can be trimmed down, but neither party is doing what it takes to find out what both parties can agree to removing (and I’m confident there’s a lot of room for agreement). The process behind this bill has been disastrous. Multiple Republican senators have said they’ll reject the whole bill, regardless of what’s added or removed. Pelosi is also a part of the problem, and she seems (to me) wholly unhelpful in seeing this bill through. Obama can’t control her, however, nor can he be blamed for either party’s refusal to play ball. The most recent meeting between Nelson and Collins is evidence towards this.
I don’t think Obama was expecting so much resistance, and he was probably relying on the passage of this bill to come through on a lot of what he wants to change, which is why he’s trying to ram it through with relatively minimal consideration. What strikes me most, however, is that he’s utilizing similar rhetoric to what Bush used to justify the PATRIOT act, or the FISA amendments, or the war in Iraq. A lot of that is fairly standard political jargon, but I think if he wants to separate himself from previous administrations, he needs to come up with some new strategies.
I maintain that Obama’s a great guy, and his actions over the past few weeks have supported my feelings about him. Closing Guantanamo, exposing the current and past presidential records, denying Citibank its $50m jet, the $100k salary caps on White House employees, the $500k salary cap for all CEOs receiving bailout money, re-enforcing existing laws on interrogation, his weekly youtube addresses, and the simple fact that I can find all of his executive orders, memorandums, and nominations/appointments on the White House website seem to be a strong indicator that he’s starting off on the right foot and coming through on his promises of transparency and integrity.
He’s certainly not perfect, and I don’t appreciate the way he’s handling this stimulus plan – but if that and some photos of Obama with Blagojevich in a chain email are all it takes for you to hate him, then it seems to me that you’re simply looking for reasons to dislike him because he’s a Democrat. If you’re looking for reasons to dislike him, you’ll never run out – but that doesn’t mean you’ll be reasonably justified.