The Choice

A lot of progressives don’t like Obama, or at the very least, are very critical of him.

I know this, because I am one of them.

The Sins of Obama:

  • Taking a conservative stance and approving an expansion of offshore oil drilling in the weeks leading up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Taking a conservative stance and approving an expansion of nuclear power in the weeks leading up to the japanese tsunami and the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster.
  • Taking a conservative stance and nominating some of the architects and enablers of the economic collapse to high government posts because their “business acumen” has some sort of perceived value.
  • Taking a conservative stance and watering down much-needed reforms, especially by starting the compromise process at the reasonable compromise position, and then compromising further from there.
  • In specific, taking a conservative stance and watering down the recovery package with unneeded, ineffective and non-stimulative tax cuts, giving he Republicans ammunition for their “See, stimulus doesn’t work” argument.
  • I distrust the postponement of the keystone XL pipeline decision until after the election.  Either be for it, or be against it, and stand up for what you believe.
  • Paying for a social security tax reduction with funds from general revenue.  Social Security should be self-funding.  While increasing take-home pay is a good idea during an economic downturn, it should be done by other means, like raising the ceiling from $110,100 to something less arbitrary and less regressive, like $∞.  Taking the money out of general revenue just feeds into the (bogus) conservative storyline about how Social Security is insolvent and busting the budget.

What He’s Getting Right:

  • Obama’s recent “evolution” of his views regarding same-sex marriage, while not a personally relevant issue for me, is a welcome, if somewhat belated, development.
  • His stance on tax fairness is very welcome.
  • The parts of the healthcare law that have taken effect have been a boost to the financial security of everyone.
  • Heck, the fact that he got a healthcare law passed at all is a big achievement.
  • withdrawal from the quagmire (the Vietnamese word for “Iraq”)
  • While the efforts seem anemic, the nation is generally headed in the right direction, finally.
  • And the most important thing of all…

Here is what it boils down to.  The alternative is strongly in favor of the things that Obama is sorta doing wrong, and is absolutely against any of the things he is doing right.  In short, he’s not Mitt Romney.

If Obama is pushing rather anemically toward where things ought to be, Romney would drive full-speed in the other direction.    Yes, Mitt isn’t Santorum/Goodhair/Bachmann/NeinNeinNein, any of whom would not only drive full speed in the wrong direction but do so after strapping rockets on the national economy to make it go in the wrong direction further and faster.  Remember that it is the Republicans and their enablers who got us into this mess, and whose regressive policies and stalling tactics that have slowed the recovery to a fraction of what it should have been.

If you are not in the 1%, is one man’s (non-legally binding) endorsement of  icky gay stuff really that much more important than preventing the return of the reverse-“Robin Hood” policies that have made the last decade so difficult for you?

If you are a member of a minority whose religious or cultural heritage is opposed to the idea of  homosexuality or to the description of the recognition of the permanent relationship between consenting adults as a “marriage”, is it really so important to side with people who (completely aside from the nearly open bigotry and hostility toward you just because of your heritage, language and/or skin color) offer policies that will only make your life more difficult?

Yes, a ringing endorsement from Me – vote for Obama because the other guy is a lot worse, and letting the other guy win would just bring back the bad old days that we haven’t really even recovered from yet.

Yes, I worry that his reelection will enable more of his conservative mistakes.  But I think that it is more important that the election repudiate ideas espoused by Faux News, and help people realize that the nation is not as conservative as Faux News would have us believe, and allow more time to make more progress.

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