This chart sums it all up quite nicely:
First of all – I want to preface this essay with a simple statement: I am not a partisan hack. I am not a “bleeding heart liberal”, hell I’m not even a registered Democrat. In fact, I hate BOTH parties and absolutely LOATHE the two-party system in America. If I had it my way, Ron Paul would be my President and the United States would stand for: Less Government, More Freedom, Fewer Taxes. I am a registered Independent (I) and swear no allegiance to either party. I suppose you could call me a “centrist”, or as Rush Limbaugh calls us, “The Silent Majority.” (ps – FUCK Rush Limbaugh. It’s too bad he didn’t overdose during his oxycontin-fueled whore binges earlier this decade. Blowhard.)
Anyway, the reason I say “wow” is because all I seem to be reading in the paper and hearing on the news is what a fuck-up Obama is and how FAIL the Democrats are. And to to that I say – REALLY!?
The Republicans (most recently under George “Dubya” Bush) had absolutely NO problem whatsoever racking up the national debt to incomprehensible levels to pay for two things: I) Defense. Namely, the Illegal War in Iraq (side note: Yes, Sadaam Hussein was a genocidal despot that deserved to die. No, Iraq did not have WMD’s [the ENTIRE, you know, premise for invading their country.] I think the problem could have been s0lved by creating a Sunni resistance movement funded by the CIA to kill Sadaam, and then install a puppet government to run the show. Just my opinion.) The Legal War in Afghanistan (I hold no opposition to the ouster of the Taliban.) And II.) Finally, tax cuts for the – wait for it… WEALTHY!
Just how much did these tax cuts for the rich cost our country in tax dollars you ask? $2,480,000,000,000 (yeah, that’s ten  zeroes – $2.48 TRILLION dollars!) over a decade (2001-2010.) Mind-boggling.
Now let’s compare that number to how much the recent health care package passed by Congress plus the federal unemployment extension has cost our nation: Health Care Plan – $1,600,000,000,000 ($1.6 Trillion) plus the Federal Unemployment Extension: $66,000,000,000 ($66 Billion dollars [$0.066 trillion].) That comes out to $1.67 trillion COMBINED (health care + federal unemployment extensions [there have been four since 2008.])
Tax cuts for the rich? $2.48 trillion. Unemployment extension for those with NO income? $0.066 trillion ($66 billion.) Nice.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? $948,292,875,212 ($948 Billion dollars) and counting (http://costofwar.com/), and that includes $718 billion for Iraq (which, to date, is an Epic FAIL) and $266 billion to Afghanistan. How much was that health care plan again? Ah yes, $1.6 TRILLION (steep indeed.)
What I’m getting at is the inherent hypocrisy that exists in politics. The Democrats cry foul when the Republicans wage costly wars (which is somewhat justifiable in hindsight) and gives tax breaks to those who need it LEAST, and the Republicans flip their proverbial fucking lids when the Dems shell out for unemployed workers in states like California, Michigan and Nevada, where unemployment is hovering above 12.6% (5.0% is considered “good”) and the REAL rate of unemployment (unemployment rate + those who gave up looking for jobs + part time workers searching for full time jobs) is anywhere between 16 and 20% in most states right now.
Plus the whole health care thing… I’m done talking about. I don’t love it. I don’t hate it. Whatever. The Republicans have no room to bitch over spending, that’s all I’m saying. There is no such thing as a “fiscal conservative” anymore (and if there is, they are un-electable misers like Ross Perot or weird Lebanese-American consumer advocates like Ralph Nader.)
I’m just disgusted right now. I hope this opens some eyes. The whole system is a joke.
For those keeping score: It’s $3.5B for the Republicans and $1.67B for the Democrats. HOWEVER, in the defense of the Republicans, they racked up that debt over the course of 8 years. The Dems have only had 18 months or so.
Post Script: An obligatory quote from my favorite Libertarian – “Jesus hated bald pussy” – Kingdom of Fear, p. 65-7 – “Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine?” – Hunter S. Thompson
I’ve been hearing a lot of Obama-bashing lately. I’ve also been seeing a lot of Sarah Palin in the news. I am a registered Independent (I), which means my loyalty lies not with the Democrats (see: Liberals), or the Republicans (see: Conservatives.) I am free to vote in any primary election I see fit, and I consider myself a political centrist. I am neither “left” nor “right.” I believe in fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. My political motto is simple: Less Taxes, Smaller Government, More Freedom. I believe the United States Constitution should be literally interpreted, and I believe that any changes to this document should come in the form of amendments, not executive or judicial interpretation (which, coincidentally, is how the “Founding Fathers” designed it.)
With all that being said, allow me to share with you what I feel to be the three (3) most important qualities in a President. I will also compare these qualities to those of Obama and Palin and see who would be more fit to run (or ruin) this nation.
Barack Obama: Attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA for two years before transferring to Columbia University and receiving a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in International Relations. He then graduated Magna Cum Laude (the top 1% of his class) with a J.D. (law degree) from Harvard. (Daaaaaaaaamn homie!)
Sarah Palin: Attended Hawaii Pacific University(?) for one semester. Then attended North Idaho University(?) for two semesters. However, she did win the “Miss Wasilla” (pop. 5,469) beauty pageant at this time. She then attended the University of Idaho for two semesters, transferred to Matanuska-Susitna College(?) in Wasilla, AK for one semester, before transferring back to the University of Idaho and earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism.
EDGE: Obama. While Palin was busy taking her “hard” courses (note: Are there any difficult courses in Communications? From what I understand there’s not) at various community colleges before transferring to the University of Idaho to earn her patchwork degree, Obama was nonchalantly becoming the first ever black man to become the President of the Harvard Law Review. Although I do contend it would be interesting to see what someone with a Community College education would do with the power of the Presidency, I feel a bit more at ease knowing that a man with a vast and extensive knowledge of American Law, the U.S. Constitution and a Harvard fucking education is running this nation.
Obama: Member of the Illinois State Senate 13th District (Chicago), January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004. United States Senator from Illinois, January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008.
Palin: Member of the Wasilla City Council, 1992-1996. Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, 1996-2002. Chairperson of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2003-2004. Governor of Alaska, December 4, 2006 – July 26, 2009.
EDGE: Obama. Until abruptly resigning from the office of Governor of Alaska in July of 2009 without explanation, Sarah Palin had been involved in politics at some level for the better part of 17 years. Unfortunately, her experience was tantamount to that of Leslie Knope, the Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation on NBC’s hit comedy Parks and Recreation. Meanwhile, Obama was serving as community activist, state legislator and U.S. Senator in America’s third-largest city. Let’s compare:
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredible feat to be elected Governor of a State (just ask my Governor – Arnold Swartzennager.) However, Alaska is home to just 686,293 citizens, whereas Chicago alone is home to 2,853,114 citizens. Plus Illinois is America’s fifth (5th) largest State with a population of 12,901,563. So, while as Mayor of Wasilla, Mrs. Palin had the duty of taking care of the concerns of 5,000 people, Mr. Obama had his hands full in Chicago dealing with millions of citizens and the rampant corruption that comes along with Illinois and its government. I think I’ll go with the Senator from the big state. There’s just this uneasy feeling I get about trusting the Governor of an obscure quasi-Russian/Canadian territory that isn’t even a part of the continental United States.
III. Pragmatism, Prudence and Foresight:
Allow me to first define what I mean by “Pragmatism”:
- A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
- A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.
- Wise in handling practical matters; exercising good judgment or common sense.
- Careful in regard to one’s own interests; provident.
- Careful about one’s conduct; circumspect.
And of course by “Foresight”, I simply mean I enjoy a President who doesn’t suffer from myopia. I’ll go ahead and define “Myopia” for you as well:
- A visual defect in which distant objects appear blurred because their images are focused in front of the retina rather than on it; nearsightedness. Also called short sight. (For the purpose of this essay, definition 1 is intended to be used metaphorically.)
- Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning.
Let me begin by explaining why I believe these three qualities are so important: When a President fails to learn from the mistakes of others (Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon – Vietnam), he is doomed to repeat these mistakes (George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld – Iraq.) Another fine example are our nation’s bankers who, apparently not very well versed in the history of the U.S. stock market, essentially substituted the inadequately-financed stocks of the 1920’s with the inadequately-financed real estate of the aughts. Same principles, same great wealth accumulation, same devastating crash.
Prudence is important in a President because, in order to run the world’s largest Capitalist economy, you had better know what the fuck you are doing. Without going too far in depth economically, I’ll just say that it’s important to lend aid to citizens who have a legitimate need for said aid (if the financial impact of this aid outweighs the converse impact of inaction), but the funding should come from a reasonable (and ideally perpetual) source. Blah… you can just ignore this paragraph.
Foresight is important for the same reasons. I live by the philosophy that every generation’s children should be better off than the generation that preceded it. Simple, right? Same goes for American citizens in general.
Oh yeah, these traits of intelligence are also very important to me, because they lay the delicate balance between what is considered progressive, or “liberal”, and what is the traditional status quo, or “conservative.” These two philosophies must work hand-in-hand in order for a society to prosper. (See: Rome, Ancient Greece, Modern Day Western Europe.) When traditional values are held onto for too long, you get the Middle-East (see: post-1979 Iran, Hussein’s Iraq and the Talibani Afghanistan.) Conversely, when a society attempts to accelerate progressive movements at a pace that is not in tow with the thoughts, ideals, resources or support of its citizens, you see great failure and revolt (See: the USSR, Nazi Germany, Modern-Day Cuba.)
Anyway, let’s continue:
Obama: Since he is the acting POTUS, it’s pretty easy to grade his performance thus far. I give him a “C” for effort. One thing people need to understand is that whoever won the 2008 Presidential election (be it Palin by way of McCain, or Barack Obama, they would likely serve but one term.) Why? Well, because the FUBAR they inherited from the Executive Branch Davidians (see: Dick Cheney, et al) was so severe that it would likely crush the soul, spirit and resolve of not only the person elected, but that of the entire county as well. Thanks, Dubya! So far, Obama’s stimulus has not been something I particularly admire (neither were any of Bush’s fiscal policies, either.) One thing I do enjoy is the closing of Guantanamo (say what you will about these prisoners, but a semantic game should not be played here. Either try them in the Hague as war criminals, or on U.S. soil as terrorists. Just stop violating the Geneva Convention [or rather, exploiting its loopholes], and fucking do something!) Also, his views on how to close the American chapter in Iraq is questionably in my estimation. Doing away with the PATRIOT Act was excellent, and as far as his Health Care proposal is concerned – it needs major work.
Palin: What do we know about Palin? Not much. She’s a small town girl with a small-town mind and a small-town education. She lacks the basic fundamental understanding of global politics and domestic social programs and their taxation to be an effective leader at anything higher than, well, the Alaskan level. Additionally, she has bizarre religious views (Pentacostal, anyone?), apparently opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest (what does that tell you?) and famously has no fucking idea where one of America’s most volatile “allies” is on a map. Palin is very outspoken and this makes her popular with individuals suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome and Alcholism (the two most likely crowds outside of Tourettes to speak their mind.) Political entertainers such as Bill O’Reilly and Rush “Oxycontin” Limbaugh seem to support her fervently. Palin recently released a book that was heavily criticized for its inaccuracies, with the AP stating, “Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer’s dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.” Additionally, she has taken several insane stances she resigning from office, including supporting creationism in the classroom (she believes that dinosaurs and humans once interacted) as well as inventing the term “Death Panel”to criticize Obama’s proposed healthcare plan (a term that has been slammed as grossly erroneous and completely fictional and without merit.)
That’s right. Despite the fact that Sarah Palin is a small-town hick from the meth capitol of Alaska with little-to-no education and an incredibly loose grasp on how American politics, society, taxation and the electoral system work, Obama has proven to be so incredibly liberal and reckless with the American taxpayer’s dime that I really cannot support anything he’s done. Now, does this mean I would prefer Sarah Palin as an alternative ? Absolutely fucking not. Under no circumstances whatsoever. I would move to Canada if she were ever elected (although I cannot see the American people doing something so unprecedented and appalling, though they did once elect Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter consecutively, so who knows.)
You may be wondering who I would tap as an alternative to these two. Well, Ron Paul of course.