So why Obama?

So last week I got into an FB debate with a friend of mine of the very far right persuasion (I knew he was conservative, but then he started warning me how Obama was going to help the UN’s Communist takeover of America). And when I said that Obama, for all his flaws, was preferable to anything the Repubs were going to offer up (or have in the last two elections), he demanded to know how that was possible.
I don’t really have the time to devote to prolonged FB debates (and it’s not like either of us will convince the other) so I decided to state my case here. As you know if you follow my political posts, I think Obama’s policies on Gitmo, surveillance, the failure to prosecute CIA torturers and the ever-expanding wars (not to mention assassination) are horrible. Case in point, the Bush White House attorney James Comey, who authorized the NSA’s illegal eavesdropping program under Bush and defended the imprisonment without trial of Jose Padilla (a US citizen accused of plotting terrorism, then locked up as an enemy combatant), is Obama’s pick for FBI head.
But there’s not the slightest reason to think anyone running for the Republican party is going to challenge them. Rand Paul got a lot of attention for questioning the possible use of drone strikes on US soil, for instance, but overseas, he’s solidly in favor of the Bush/Obama tactics in the war on terror, the detention and military trial of terrorists and so forth.
On the economy, the Republicans have one policy which is tax cuts for millionaires.
On government spending it’s slashing the social safety net and boosting the defense budget (I can’t imagine that will run anything less than Obama’s) and government handouts to rich welfare queens. For example, Tennessee Rep. Steven Fincher who condemns food stamps as an unChristian theft from hardworking tax payers but gets millions from the federal farm-support program he’s pushing to expand. As Slacktivist points out, Fincher is pushing to give less to the poor so that he can get more, then claiming it’s what Jesus would do.
And last but not least, there’s the hate and the passion.
Repubs are intensely passionate. A large chunk of the base is passionate about ending abortion, making it harder to get birth control and generally hating women’s rights, even the right to vote.
A lot of the base is equally passionate about hating gays and gay rights—for example this charming pastor, whose response to his wife’s death was to declare he had a real marriage, unlike all those gay marriages which don’t actually exist because god doesn’t approve.
A large chunk of the base hates blacks. A great huge honking chunk hates Muslims (Tennessee wants to give vouchers to religious schools but excluding Muslims); hell, one of their issues with Obama (over and above the fact he’s committed the crime of being elected while Democrat) is that he just doesn’t hate Muslims or want to kill them. Oh, sure, he wages war in the Middle East, but he’s not out to crush them the way the worst part of the religious right wants them crushed.
The Democratic base, myself included, is far from perfect. We can’t be. We’re human. But for all our flaws (as Greenwald points out, Dems are accepting policies from Obama they condemned in Bush) Obama (and the next Dem president, whoever he or she may be) doesn’t have to deal with the rabid bloodlust a Repub will. A lot of Republicans can’t get past the fact that white conservative Christian men are becoming just one more minority, and it’s bringing out the worst in them.
The Dems are flawed and inadequate, but right now they’re preferable to the alternative.

4 Comments

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

4 responses to “So why Obama?

  1. Pingback: “Some people should be beaten regularly, like gongs”—Noel Coward | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: I’ve got the feeling, somebody’s watching me | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: And yet he’s still better than Republicans | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: No I don’t get how you felt about Obama | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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