Monday, November 5, 2012

You're Voting For Who?

I live in the Bay Area so it shouldn't come as a surprise that when asked on a number of occasions, "Are you voting for Obama?" my simple reply of, "No." was met with incredulity at best. Those who've asked the question should be thankful I used my second answer as option "A" was "It's none of your F'ing business you nosy tool!"

In less than 48 hours we’ll know if we have another 4yrs of Barack Obama in the White House or if we are going to try something different in Mitt Romney. Our election system isn’t perfect but it beats the hell out of systems in place in most of the world and the process is often fractious at best. Campaigns can and do get nasty but anyone with an honest view of history knows that this is nothing new. A lot of things, some true some not, get said about candidates. That’s just the way it goes and that’s the way it’s always been.

If you read this blog often or follow me on Twitter you’ll note that I am pretty fair in my criticism of the President. I give credit where due and endeavor to stay away from ad-hominem that some engage in and attempt, when possible to compare/contrast what the President says against what he does using factual, referencable data.

There are things about the guy that I like: 
- He is a man a faith, and like me came to his faith as an adult. 
- He has a great family and is by all account a devoted father and husband. 
- He’s a sports fan and although his allegiance is to an American League Baseball team, I’m pretty sure we’d share a common view that the Dodgers suck...see 1959. 
- He strikes me as a pretty nice guy and if he were my neighbor, I’m sure we’d get along just fine.

In matters of policy there are things he’s done that I agree with: 
- I applauded his repeal of “Don’t ask Don’t tell” and allowing the sunsetting of the Defense of Marriage Act. Two sad vestiges of the Clinton Administration that I’m happy to have seen disappear, a trend I’d hope might continue should President Obama be re-elected.
- In 2010 I applauded Obama’s extension of “The Bush Tax Cuts”. 
- Despite his campaign promise to close it down, I have consistently applauded Obama’s decision to keep GITMO well stocked with terrorist a-holes. 
- Despite his campaign promise to hold civil trials for terrorists on US soil, I applaud his decision not to do so. 
- And of course, once the CIA’s decade of effort yielded appropriately solid and actionable intelligence his decision to go ahead with the mission to dispatch Osama Bin-Laden is commendable as well.

However, there are a number of negatives regarding President Obama and his Administration that I simply cannot ignore.

He said he’d cut the deficit in half by the end of his 1st term stating that if he failed to do so, his presidency would be a 1-term proposition. We still have TRILLION dollar deficits and in fact, as a result of the administrations policies and the legislation he’s signed, the CBO reports that we will have Trillion dollar deficits for the next four years.

Candidate Obama in 2008 said that raising our national debt was “irresponsible and unpatriotic”. President Obama is responsible for an increase of over $4 Trillion. The debt sat at $10.6T when he was inaugurated and was at $14.6 and climbing as of September.

As a US Senator Obama described increasing the debt ceiling as “A Failure of Leadership” and voted against an increase. As President, he signed a resolution to increase out debt ceiling in 2011 and earlier this year made another request for additional increases. The impact of doing so is a hotly debated topic among economists and I honestly don’t understand it enough to comment one way or the other but I think it’s important to note the contrast between what the President says and what he does.

Candidate Obama promised “The Most Transparent Administration In History” further promising that the committee debates surrounding the construction of the healthcare bill would be broadcast on CSPAN. The Administration has been a lot of things, Transparent is not on the list and not only were the committee meetings not broadcast but the contents of the bill were kept secret until after its passing.

Candidate Obama promised that his Healthcare Reform would lower average insurance premiums. They've gone up and continue to trend in that direction. 

Candidate Obama promised that “Lobbyists won’t find a job in my White House.” President Obama has over 55 current or formerly registered lobbyists either on the Administration payroll or in official advisory positions.

Candidate Obama and his DOJ appointee Eric Holder promised to bring to justice anyone on Wall Street who engaged in illegal activity related to the economic meltdown. It could be that the DOJ found that while certainly unethical, the actions that led to the meltdown weren’t strictly illegal but the lack of success in fulfilling the campaign promise does stand out.

President Obama promised an environment that would foster job growth and repeatedly touts a claim of 5.2 million jobs created since he took office. That sounds good until one looks at the details. When he was inaugurated there was 133.56M Americans with jobs. Today that number sits at 133.76M for a net growth in jobs of 200k. But…..every year America produces 1.75M new college graduates that enter into the workforce and 1.56M non-college graduates enter the workforce giving us ~3.25M new Americans entering the workforce annually (not counting immigration) against ~3M Americans who retire from the workforce annually. The job growth touted by the Administration fails to even keep up with the growth in the adult population, let alone address the losses incurred as a result of the recession.

One of the Presidents key strategies for job growth was investment in “Green Energy” and “Green Jobs. I’ve written a number of pieces on the topic and won’t rehash them rather, I’ll refer you dear reader HERE: The Folly Of Green Jobs Spending   and HERE: The Obama Administration and "Green Investment"    suffice it to say that the efforts have been a miserable and very expensive failure.

I don’t want to get too deep into the details but I simply cannot ignore the “Fast & Furious” debacle. The bottom line is that the Dept of Justice is in the Executive Branch and its head, Eric Holder was appointed by the President. The department engaged in an operation that put scores of guns into the hands of criminals. Those guns were used to kill at least one US Law Enforcement agent and 200-300 Mexican citizens. The President has used Executive Privilege to protect documents related to the operation from Congressional inquiry. Executive Privilege is “supposed” to be used when the POTUS has direct knowledge of materials or operations that need to remain protected in the interest of national security or where they impact an ongoing investigation. All well and good, but the President claims that he had no knowledge of the operation prior to the finding that Border Agent Brian Terry was killed with a weapon from the operation. So either a) The President is lying about when he knew about the operation, or b) The President is misusing EP. Someone in the Executive Branch authorized the operation, the President either knew about it and lied or he’s misusing EP to cover an appointee. Either way, he shares culpability for the result of the operation and should bear the responsibility and accountability.

Finally, we now know that the Obama Administration received emails from Benghazi indicating that they were under terrorist attack and that a terrorist organization had claimed responsibility. There were ~300 Administration officials on the distribution list that received those emails beginning 2hrs into the 7hr long attack. I’ll grant them possible “confusion” during the attack itself leading to inaction. That would make the Administration merely, but unsurprisingly incompetent. But that from the very evening in question, the Administration willfully misrepresented (nee lied) about the motivation for the attacks to either support their “We’ve decimated Al Qaeda” narrative or to provide cover for the now exposed operation to move weapons lent to Libyan Jihadist rebels to suspected Jihadist rebels in Syria is nothing short of appalling and might be the most reprehensible, disgusting, loathsome, crass & callous example of politicizing a tragedy in my lifetime. The President, Vice-President, Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of State, Jay Carney, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, David Axelrod, Jim Messina and dozens of other Administration officials and campaign hacks forwarded the lie for nearly two weeks knowing full well that information in direct contradiction to said lie was in hand just 2hrs into the event in question.

Since the attack, Secretary Panetta has stated that they viewed sending in assets to help to be too risky in light of how little information they had at the time. Now, I served in the Coast Guard and not a combat unit so I don't know how much information qualifies as "enough" information but it seems like email from our people saying it's a terrorist attack, radio comms with the people under attack, live drone footage of the attack and the uplink from the lazing of the mortar launcher that is effecting the attack is quite a bit of information. Anyone know what else might be needed to give the okey-dokey?

Secondarily, I can't help but point out that sending our troops in to fight with, for and in support of a rebel uprising with an unknown leadership structure and possible connections to Jihadists was seemingly ok, but sending them in to defend our consul grounds and the lives of dozens of Americans while under terrorist attack....too risky?….and does anyone believe that nearly 8 weeks after the attack that the Administration still doesn’t know if a request for aid was, or was not received and/or denied especially given that Panetta has admitted to weighing sending in aid?

Except for Fast & Furious and Benghazi I could understand if someone was going to vote for the President despite his failure to meet the measurables he set out for himself. He is, at the end of the day, a politician and politicians fail to meet campaign promises and lie about what they will do when elected all the time. But the last two items, Fast & Furious and the actions during and since the attack in Benghazi are in my mind unforgivable.

In 1974 a Presidency ended, justifiably so, as a result of a burglary, illegal wire-tap and the resultant cover-up. Nobody died at the Watergate hotel and it is a poverty to us all that our press and so many citizens are so willfully ignoring or granting a pass to our current President regarding these two events.

I don’t think that the President and his Administration will be held to account for their failures, let alone for their misdeeds. 

Thankfully, there is an alternative. I have no idea if Mitt Romney will be any more successful than President Obama and frankly, neither do you. He might be merely average, he might be great, he might be awful. But what I do know is that the current President has been a miserable failure by nearly every measure including those he set for himself. The alternative is a guy who’s been a success at nearly everything he’s ever done. 

I think the choice is pretty clear. 


  1. 4 American deaths is tragic. 4 thousand American deaths, Tens of Thousands of innocent Iraqi civilian deaths, Tens of Thousands of injured veterans, and a trillion dollars down the drain is even more tragic. Particularly since the whole premise of the war was to find something that didn't exist.

    Think bigger picture. You are so intent on playing gotcha that you can't get your head out of the bushes.

  2. To the poster above; so you're saying that our votes against Obama shouldn't be for Benghazi and Fast and Furious, but for sustaining the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during his term? Because if you're selling tickets for a cruise on the "USS blame Bush", that ship sailed four years ago.

  3. For a guy who posts a large number of partisan hack pieces all over the interwebs, it's a little disingenuous to say "It's none of your F'ing business you nosy tool!". Either own up that you want to influence people's opinions or keep your opinion to yourself. Can't have it both ways, Tool.

    Also, where was the outrage about a whole, totally unjustified war that left 100k+ dead in Iraq??? Benghazi is definitely a cluster F, but there is no comparison to what happened when people intentionally fabricated a WAR!

    And about Fast and Furious. Another cluster F, but I thought people killed people, no? If it hadn't been the guns from F-n-F, it would have other guns that the same criminals used to kill the same victims. Again, not a good program from the start, but try and keep some perspective.

    May those lost, or those who have lost someone in these or other senseless violent incidents find peace.

  4. Boy.....this "Anonymous" character gets around.

    I'll leave the comments to allow others to see what boldness is created from anonymity but I care nothing for the opinion of, nor will I engage in debate with someone who won't put their name to their words.