Friday, August 17, 2012

Obama and Romney are the Same: Really?

Since we’re in the heart of the presidential election season, and I am a supporter of Barack Obama, I am going to continue to blog politically, this one a direct follow up to a comment I received in my last blog. Here's what Just Jeff commented: 

I respect his opinion, but it's not one I've not heard before. No ardent Romney supporters comment my blog; there are very few enough out there. Lots and lots of folks who will vote for Romney (or Obama, for that matter) just consider their choice the lesser of two evils. They don’t really support the guy, they just think that since there’s not much difference anyways, they might as well vote the way they’ve usually done, for the party they think they support.  

Well, this blog is addressing the “there’s no difference” believers. To those who say that Romney and Obama are the same, that they both serve the same corporate masters, that they wish Ron Paul had been nominated, well... it didn't happen. Sorry.  Now what? Ron is not launching a 3rd party campaign.  He's been careful not to criticize Romney.  If not Gary Johnson, then between Obama and Romney, if you think they're both the same, how do you decide? I want to point out to you in 26 points how your two remaining candidates differ. Alphabetically. They ARE different; from A to Z. 

 The A to Z of how Obama and Romney differ.

  A: AFGHANISTAN. Can you remember less than a year ago when the last US troops left Iraq? As a peacenik liberal, I was very disappointed that Obama announced that his “withdrawal” in 2009 would leave 60,000 American troops in country. Then, bam!, what seemed like out of the blue (but was actually in accordance with agreements we’d made with the sovereign powers in that country), we up and left, entirely. Oh, how Romney called this a mistake by Obama to leave Iraq. Point being, we have a similar agreement with Afghanistan for the year 2014, wherein we’re gone. Shoulda done it 10 years ago, but that said, based on how Romney viewed to protocols with Iraq, I doubt he’d leave the Republican’s favorite war just because some piece of paper told him to. Difference A: in his second term, Obama will get us out of Afghanistan like he did Iraq. Romney will not.  

B. BIRTH CONTROL. Romney has stated on television that he supports a “personhood” amendment that would outlaw the most popular forms of birth control (like the pill) as well as invitro fertilization. Romney also supports an employer exempting itself from the law of the land when it comes making sure that your company-supported health insurance provides coverage for perscription-only birth control (the pill, for many women, the only perscription they take). Difference B: Romney is anti-Birth Control

  C. COAL. Recently, Romney himself said Obama was on a “War on Coal”. Well, I’m not sure if that’s 100% true, but I sure hope it is. Sorry my brothers in West Virginia and environs, Coal is 19th Century fuel that we cannot support in this world of global warming. We need to do everything we can to get OFF coal, not just because it destroys entire mountains and watersheds through "mountaintop removal", but because it is the worst carbon offender when it comes to fuel sources. Heck, why not just go ahead and support wood-burning power sources?!? Difference C: Coal policy, for which we’ll take Romney’s word. 

 D: DIVERSITY. Let’s face it, the Republicans are the party of white people trying to defend white privilidge. Sure, there are lots of people of color who support the Republicans for their social or fiscal conservatism, but ever since the “Southern Strategy” of Nixon (and leave it to a guy like Tricky Dick to come up with this), a large part of the Republican strategy for winning national elections is to prey upon the fears and prejudices of the white majority. Fear of “The Other” is a natural human tendency, rooted deep in our primal concern for our tribal allegiances and fears that those strangers who look different than us will knock us out of our supporting territory. The Republicans have overtly tried to tap into that fear for 40 years in their attempts to procure power, kinda ironic for the party of Lincoln. The Democrats, by and large, are for overcoming the primal fears of our ancestors and moving forward to embrace the strength and vigor of diversity. Difference D: Romney courts those who fear those who look different; Obama looks different. 

 E. ENERGY. Every president in the last 40 years has said we need to ween ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil. None have succeeded. At least Obama supports things like ending the tax subsidies for big oil, something the Republicans oppose. Stopping oil pipelines due to environmental concerns also shows that Obama is not a slave to the oil interests. Sure, our current president could have done better when it comes to a progressive energy policy, but certainly a Republican like Romney would have done worse. Difference E: Energy policy

 F: FREEDOM: One very valid concern I’ve heard from several they’re-both-the-same friends is Obama’s continuance of Bush-era tendencies to allow for civil rights abuses within the USA. Many point to the NDAA from earlier this year as an example of how our government now has unprecedented ability to arrest, detain and oppress American liberties. Now, no one is saying these oppressions are actually HAPPENING. Unlike the Bush presidency, where we wire-tapped, monitored and actively broke the freedoms of American citizens, the Obama Justice Department has done LESS to impinge upon American freedoms whilst perhaps increasing their ability to do so. Sure, the executive branch has become even more powerful under Obama. Do we really want to turn these expanded discretionary executive powers over to the likes of Romney? Would he be so restrained? As most of this national security team are remnants of Bush-Cheney years, I think not! Difference F: Obama has not abused American freedoms  

G. GDP. Do you remember what people were talking about back at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009? Personally, I remember a conversation with my parents when people were fearing that the big company I worked for was on the bring of collapse. They told me I could move into the basement it everything fell apart, which seemed like a distinct possibility. We were on the very edge of the complete collapse of our economy due to the policies of the Bush Administration. Romney is proposing going back to those policies. It’s really difficult to credit someone for preventing something that might have happened but did not, but however much flak Obama has received for not shepherding a robust recovery, the kept our country from collapsing into the abyss of a 21st Century Great Depression. He kept me out of my parents’ basement. He’s grown our GDP for 3 years straight after seeing it decline at that critical transition 4 years back. Difference G: Gratitude, with me being thankful he kept me from losing my job.  

H. HEALTHCARE: How can anyone claim that the two candidates aren’t any different when the challenger openly declares that one of his priorities is to undo the most significant legislation passed under the incumbent administration? We’ll leave aside all the similarities between Massachusett’s Romneycare and Obamacare and just take Mitt at his word that he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He wants to allow for insurance companies to reject clients for pre-existing conditions. He wants to repeal the ability for young people to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26. He wants to allow for lifetime caps and allow insurance companies to drop people when they get sick. He wants to abandon the idea of state exchanges, wherein citizens who cannot get insurance from their employer can buy reasonably priced policies through the power of their strength in numbers. Sure, the ACA was not all it could be, but it was a step in the right direction and Romney wants to get rid of it. Difference H: The ACA.  

I. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: It seemed like during the Bush years, we saw footage on TV of street protests burning the American Flag as weekly events. From Morrocco to Mongolia, nobody liked America. In recent years, when we’ve done stuff like invaded Pakistan to get bin Laden or just had stuff happen like American soldiers accidentally, or South Carolina preachers purposefully burning Al Qu’ran, there have been the occasional DOWN WITH AMERICA protests, but all in all, no one will deny that our respect, influence and standing in the community of nations has improved under Obama. Now, some might say that’s not even important, we shouldn’t CARE about world opinion, but I’m not speaking to them. Furthermore, although we can’t say what a Romney presidency would produce in that regard, but if it’s anything like his recent foreign jaunt, I’m scared. Difference I: The World love Obama; Romney pisses people off.  

J. JURISTS: One of the most important roles of the President is to nominate Supreme Court Justices. I think it is somewhat sad that the judicial wing of our government has become so predictable based upon the political leanings of its justices, but given this climate of impartiality, who gets appointed next is of major importance. Who can deny the importance of Supreme Court decisions on our everyday lives? Obama’s two nominees have purported themselves well. You may not think Obama and Romney are all that different, but whom they might nominate to the Court certainly will be. Difference J: Jurisprudence.  

So... That is A through J.. a little more than 1/3 rd of the way through the alphabet. I'll be back for more, or if you feel so inclined, rebutt my argument with K, L, M, N, or P with how the candidates are, as I've heard so many say "The Same"...


  1. I think a lot of us that say, "they are the same" recognize the Federal Reserve as the issue.

    We have no power over our own currency - and in the end, we know that old Rothschild was right.

    "Let me issue and control a nation's currency, an I care not who writes its laws."

    I mean, nobody in congress can get a straight answer from Bernake - even when he does bother with an answer other than "no."

    This is essentially...maybe the single biggest reason why I support Ron Paul.

  2. That's all well and good. The governance of the Fed is an important issue, but not the only one. Does it determine war and peace? To use a sports metaphor, complaining about the Fed is like attacking the referees over the outcome of a game. There are significant differences between the two "teams". Are you going to root for one or the other or just be anti-ref?

  3. There are more than two teams. Presenting it as if there are only two teams when there are more - is what logic folks call a "false dilemma."

    Now, it is true that so long as people believe and only talk about a "two team" system, that the thing just perpetuates like a self fulfilling prophecy.

    So I can't go with that. I'll vote Green Party or Libertarian if I vote at all - because I just can't support the two party paradigm, or either of the two candidates presented.

    1. I'm all for changing our democracy into a proportional representation system, wherein if a party could garner 10% of the vote, they'd get 10% of the seats in a given legislature... That said, there are only two teams THAT MATTER in this upcoming presidential election. Sure, there ARE other teams, but just as in any sporting event, only one of two teams has a chance to win.

  4. I am having trouble figuring out how the Romney/Ryan proposed Voucher system for Medicare differs from the "Individual Mandate" in the Affordable Health Care Act.

  5. Has anyone noticed there aren't any Political Ads praising the Obama Administration on what a great job the Obama administration did saving American homes from foreclosure.

    And conversely no Republican Ads attacking this failure.


  7. I do see some of your points here, though I am more of an Independent than a whore to either party truth be told. Let's throw all the social policies in the trash for me. I cannot stand the GOP's views and the left leaves little to be desired for me either. On one hand the government has no business being in it. On the other, government cannot save one from themselves nor legislate virtue. That is an issue both sides need work on. As far as oil it would do you well to truly learn the oil business rather than read blurbs and headlines. We actually are now producing and selling more oil than we use domestically. I know this, I work in this industry. The high cost of energy is truly the one foot note you disregards. The devaluation of our dollar. Which both parties over the last 40 years have caused. When you print money from air, or just make it simply numbers on a pc without any commodity backing it you lose value. Hence it takes more dollars to purchase the same goods. So, prices have not risen, the dollar has become less worth. THIS is the issue. Of course alternative energy is important, you won't hear me say that. It is important for the future, and believe me, future as in a hundred years from now. We have time to develop. Gas is rising not because of oil, but because of our economy. Almost every woe you can claim can be tied to this devaluation in one way or another. The bottom line, until someone responsible begins making budgets it will only get worse. We have already seen the current admin. produce more dollars to cover debit. So did the last 4 or 5 as well to be honest. Romney claims to cut, but cuts him and Ryan speak of are cuts on future increases rather than anything substantial. The here and now is where it needs to be done. Not 30 years from now. The biggest issue, as much as you don't like it is social programs eat up more than 60% of the budget. As well, the military complex most of the other, the rest is alive only through debit. In order to save the economy, drastic cuts have to be made. We are no longer living the good life of post WWII American we have become spoiled on. And I will be honest, to save the country financially will hurt. It will hurt a lot. All, the rich, middle and poor. But, is uncomfort worth saving the nation is the key here. Most will say no, because we're spoiled with cheap, man made food, cheap value meals, 62" HD tvs, etc. Nothing will improve for any of us Joko until we redefine how we handle ourselves as a nation with reckless spending and deficits. And, lastly, this is a government issue. Not a left or right. Our entire system has become "acceptable" in these ways because no one has suffered quite yet as a whole, just segments. But, when the dollar crashes, when over night we see hyper inflation, maybe then, someone will do the right thing. Until then, I see no hope for either party or candidate you describe here.