See, this is what happens when two nerds get married and have little boys.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Politics! Shocking!

I rarely post about politics anymore.  Too frustrating.  But someone one Facebook (hi Ms. Behner!) asked, so I answered... and answered... and answered, to the tune of about 800 words.  So I'm putting it here, 'cause darn it, I worked hard! Ms. Behner (a committed Obama-voter, and one of my best teachers ever-- she's awesome) asked me what it was that President Obama had done that I didn't like.

I think the President has made a mess of our foreign policy.  It seems as if he's gone out of his way to offend half of our major allies (I'm sure he hasn't actually tried to, but it sure does look like it sometimes).  He dithered over the Green Revolution in Iran until it was far too late.  Diplomacy with Iraq is going nowhere.  Russia, far from being reset, is growing more aggressive, repressive (rhyming unintentional!) and anti-American by the day.  Libya was worth intervening in (and it seemed to me that much of what was done was illegal), but Syria is not?  There's reams of FP stuff I could get into, but I don't feel like digging up the links.
I think his choice of Sonia Sotomayor for SC Justice was poor.  I have no problem with Elena Kagan (I would have preferred someone who was more of a strict constructionist, but being Pres has its perks),  In fact, I think his stating decision process for picking Justices is poor.  Empathy should not be a deciding factor.  If the law and constitutionality are decided by empathy, then soon the rule of law will cease to mean anything.
Which leads me to immigration.  I feel worlds of empathy for some illegal immigrants, and especially their children.  It drives me bonkers when Dems (AND John McCain AND GWB AND The Wall Street Journal) state that conservatives are heartless/racist for opposing illegal immigration.  I'm not.  I come from a line of people who were refugees many times over.  I feel terrible for a lot of people who are here illegally... but at the end of the day, illegal still has to be illegal, or the word doesn't mean anything.  The rule of law is shivered to bits the instant we decide that it applies only to people who aren't favored constituents, or people who are sympathetic.  Take the GM shareholders, for instance.  They were owed money, by contract and law, before the union members were.  Yet the Administration skipped right over them, paying the union members first and shafting the shareholders.  Yes, the union members were far more sympathetic looking than the shareholders.  Yes, the union members were probably much worse off financially than were the shareholders.  But those are not good enough reasons to shuck off the constraints of the law.  There are few good reasons for any governmental entity to sidestep the law, and even fewer for any of the three main branches of the federal government, if for no other reason (and there are plenty of other reasons) than precedent.
Precedent being another thing, per the drone war.  I don't have a ton to say about that, other than a) it just feels wrong, and b) what happens when Iran/Syria/al Qaeda/North Korea/Cuba get their hands on drones and decide to start executing Americans?  What can we say to that, other than it was right when I did it, but wrong when you did?  (I'm open to that argument in a lot of cases, BTW, but that's hardly going to fly at, say, the UN.)
This chart ( ) shows another beef of mine with out me having to type out a mini-AP essay, so I'll just stick that there...
The next thing is a bit more ephemeral.  I think the President has drunk too much of his own Kool-Aid.  I know that running for President, let alone *being* President, requires an abnormally large ego.  But President Obama's seems almost monumental.  I remember  him saying "This is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" in his acceptance speech at the DNC Convention last time 'round.  Surrounded by Greek columns that made it look like a scene straight out of the original Clash of the Titans' Olympus set.  Why would he do that?  Why would he say that people (regular people!) who disagree with him are "bitterly clinging to guns and religion"?  1.  Those are two things which the Bill of Rights guarantees your right to cling to, and 2. What an arrogant thing to say!
He has also failed to work with a Republican-run Congress.  Heck, he had a hard time working with a Democrat-run Congress!  I know that they don't agree on any number of things, but his job and their job is to suck it up and work together.  I won't say that the Republicans have been good about it.  But neither has he, walking out on negotiations, getting concessions and then demanding more or he'll walk out again... politics has been nothing but Kabuki theater for the past two years, and he should share the blame for that.
Phew... I think I'm done!  Hopefully it would have earned me an A, even if you don't agree :)