Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama Says Drill Baby, Drill?!

Get me off this roller coaster! Obama is starting to confuse me and make me mad at the same time. Is he a Democrat or not? Let's look at some of his major decisions so far...all conservative. He campaigned on health care reform with a strong public option. The HCR bill that just passed was essentially the Republican answer to Bill Clinton's failed bill 16 years ago...or Massachusetts' Romneycare. While the bill does many good things, he never fought for the public option and still didn't get one Republican vote. In the stimulus package, he included tax cuts against the wishes of Democrats to get Republican votes that never came. Against the wishes of his base, 30,000 more troops were sent to Afghanistan instead of winding down military involvement. He's increased unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan where 32% killed are civilians. He's dragging his feet on DADT and DOMA even though he promised his base they would be removed in his first term, yet he supported expanding President Bush's church-based federal assistance program. He even signed a bill allowing loaded guns into national parks!

NOW he's going to do something that he actually campaigned against, probably hoping to get conservative Independents on his side for the mid-term elections which is unlikely to happen. Today, his administration announced that it plans to open vast swaths of the outer continental shelf to offshore oil and gas extraction, making large areas of the eastern seaboard, the Gulf Coast, and Arctic Ocean available for drilling. The Interior Department, estimates that 63 billion barrels of oil will be economically recoverable if the additional exploration is allowed. The U.S. uses 7 billion barrels a year. Is it really worth it just to appease the right wing? I'm starting to feel like this guy is all over the place with policy and for that, I blame Rahm Emanual. That said, it's time to man-up and be the guy we elected or maybe the Democrats need to find a real Democrat to run in 2012. We're watching Obama morph into Bill Clinton, and while Clinton did a lot of good things, I can't forgive him for the right turn he made on many issues. As Rachel Maddow recently said, "Bill Clinton was probably the best Republican president we ever had, if you look at the policies he passed." Oh, and Barack, the right wing still does not like you and never will accept you. Get over it! Perhaps you should focus on people who will actually support you if you do the right thing.

Don't get me wrong, President Obama was still miles better than the alternative in 2008. And maybe his die-hard supporters are correct when they say he's playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers, but so far he's not the tranformational guy I'd hoped for.

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