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Advertise on the Tentacle

June 7, 2010

Three Nooses

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

President Barack Obama may not have been my choice, but I also don’t think he’s unfit, unqualified, or unworthy of the office of President of the United States. The “Birthers,” conspiracy nuts, and ultra conservatives, who suggest otherwise, sound a little goofy.


That said, President Obama is also nowhere near the savior he was made out to be during the 2008 campaign. Frankly, the longer he serves, the more the bloom comes off the rose.


Three recent news stories from across the country make the case.


Jobs – The president is a Chicago-style politician, and has surrounded himself with like personalities. Most notable is Rahm Emanuel, the foul-mouthed White House Chief-of-Staff known more for his frequent use of the “F” word than any meaningful policy accomplishments. These guys, trained in the ward politics of the Windy City, have mastered the art of offering employment and substantial favors in exchange for clearing the electoral path for their friends. A job here! An appointment there! A campaign contribution for the other guy!


Nothing out of the ordinary here, it’s the way things are done by the tough guys who know to take care of business. Problem: Chicago politics doesn’t translate so well under federal law. It is a violation of the law to offer employment or appointment to a person as a way to affect an election.


In the matter at hand, President Obama felt compelled to remove the sole obstacle from Republican-turned-Democrat Senator Arlen Specter (D., PA). Rep. Joe Sestak (D., PA 7th) announced soon after Specter’s switch that he intended to run and offer a “real” Democrat alternative. Team Obama rushed to Specter’s side, using former President Bill Clinton as some sort of ethics-challenged recruiter to lay out some possible options for Joe.


As evidence of their poor decision-making, they offer an administration role on an intelligence oversight board to a sitting member of Congress who, according to their own policy, is not capable of filling that role.


Not only that, but the member in question, Representative Sestak, was literally removed from his last major active duty command by the then-Chief of Naval Operations (now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) Admiral Mike Mullen.


In a well-documented move in 2005, Admiral Mullen removed Mr. Sestak from his senior position in command of a Navy think tank over questions about Sestak’s ability to command his agency. Morale was at an all-time low, and Admiral Sestak ignored his troops and treated people with disdain and disrespect.


And yet the president wants to offer him a significant position to get him out of Senator Specter’s way. Now we’re hearing about another Democratic Senate primary in the west with a candidate offered a full time job with the U.S. Agency for International Development if he’d agree to drop out of a contested race. One example equals anomaly. Two examples equal a growing trend. Bad judgment begat bad judgment.


Oil – Think back to the summer of 2008. Everywhere he went, then candidate Barack Obama railed against the Bush Administration for ignoring the plight of the residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. This was the presidential candidate who would be different, placing the interests of the little guy ahead of corporate America, listening to the pleas of the downtrodden and forgotten. He ridiculed George W. Bush for staying in Washington when the situation demanded a president on the ground, touching and feeling the challenges of his constituents.


Spin the clock ahead to today, and look in on that same Gulf coastline. Instead of flooded neighborhoods and people displaced by a storm of the century, we see shrimpers, fishermen and watermen all facing the loss of income and lifestyle. An environmental disaster of epic proportions is playing out before them, and yet this bold and innovative leader hasn’t had the time or apparent inclination to engage in anything other than the blame game with British Petroleum.


Boy, aren’t we glad we elected someone who is so much more hands-on and proactive than the last guy! The white sand beaches of Pensacola will be awash in oil, and we’ll still be wondering why we “can’t plug the damned hole” – Barak H. Obama.


Immigration – This bold and forward thinking leader is also embroiled in a battle over the interests of the people. Not so much the interests of the people of the southwestern United States as he is the interests of the people flooding over that border from Mexico and points south.


President Obama was opposed to the Arizona immigration law well before he’d bothered to read it. Why let those pesky facts get in the way of a quickly formed, albeit completely inaccurate, opinion.


The people of Arizona overwhelmingly support a law that allows police to identify and deport criminal illegal immigrants. Following the tenants of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) program, the Arizona law gives local law enforcement additional tools with which to uphold the laws of the state and nation.


To my progressive friends: We don’t really give a tinker’s damn about profiling concerns if the actions that lead to deportation ONLY occur after your arrest for a crime. Get it? Committing a crime will lead to your being asked if you have papers indicating legal status. If the answer is “yes,” you’ll still be punished for the crime that got you arrested. If no, then you’ll be sent packing back to whatever country of origin you belong to. Not too complicated, even for a Harvard-educated constitutional law-teaching ex-community organizer.


The only reason President Obama is opposed to this new law is because he sees every illegal immigrant, who can be taught to establish residency and subsequent benefit qualifications, as a potential Democratic Party voter. This massive breakdown in the protection of our border and national sovereignty is a blatant attempt to grow the voter rolls on a national scale to tilt the balance forever towards progressive politicians and policies.


If you haven’t read the law, which closely (VERY CLOSELY) mirrors existing federal law, please do us all a favor and keep your mouth shut. You embarrass yourself with the obvious ignorance of basic truth. Same goes for President Obama.


They called Katrina President George W. Bush’s Waterloo. Guess what? President Obama’s got his own, and while not yet as evident, as the full scale of the BP oil spill disaster continues to unfold, it seems likely that the Obama Administration will wear a sticky, smelly oil slick around their collective political necks.



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