Friday, December 17, 2010
It's official, President Obama is Bush 2.0
Now I know that may seem like a harsh statement, but it's true. President Obama is signing into law tonight the extension of the Bush era tax cuts, completely reneging on his campaign promise of letting the cuts for the top 2% expire. One would think with having 58 out of 100 seats in the Senate that the Democrats would be able to get a lot of legislation pushed through. The Republican minority has taken control of the Congress, especially in the Senate, by threatening to filibuster anything President Obama proposes, inclduing the Defense Authorization Bill and the START missile treaty with Russia. The president has the spine of a jelly fish and refuses to call the GOP's bluff and force them to filibuster. If he had the guts to do so, it would prove once and for all that the Republicans are the party of "NO" as it would show that they don't care about the umemployed, the middle class, and national defense. Instead he caved to the minority and turned his back on the people that got him elected in the first place on the pledge of Hope and Change in Washington. As progressives and liberals and independents, we should have seen this coming because during the health care reform debate, so many ideas that the president promised (like the public option) were pulled from the bill despite the GOP not even voting for the final bill. Even ideas that the Republicans intially proposed were scrapped because they refused to support them after the President backed them. As Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida said on the House floor "If the President ordered a BLT, the right would outlaw bacon." But I digress.
This isn't the first time Obama has continued a Bush era policy. The prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is still in operation and presumably "enhanced interrogation" aka torture is still being used. Wall Street is still only loosely regulated. PayGo, the plan to only sign bills if they can be paid for, is still not used despite being reenacted by Obama. No Child Left Behind is still in place, despite the call for further reforming our education system. The list goes on and on. I supported the President because I thought he would finally bring our country back on track, but as it turns out, my Republican friends are right when they say "Where is all the Hope and Change that was promised." This is not to say that I'm switching parties, because the Republicans are the ones for the most part that got us into this mess and are proposing to dig us even deeper in the hole. Rather I am saying that it's time that our government got back to its fundamental roots set for by Abraham Lincoln (the first Republican and also a progressive), that government should be "of the people, by the people, for the people."
Throughout history, the conservative old guard in government hasn't succeeded because of one fundamental flaw, that is wanting to preserve the status quo when the status quo is no longer relevant. Time moves forward, not backward and therefore our government's policies should follow suit.