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On The Re-Election Of The President -- An Analysis

By       Message Lawrence Davidson       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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PART I  --  Positives and Negatives

Barack Obama won reelection last week (6 November 2012). And, what was the Left's reaction?  "So what?"  Well, we are spared four years of Mitt Romney. Again -- "so what?  They are both two peas from the same pod."  Well maybe, but even peas can vary. Here are some positive differences to consider. These will be followed by some negative similarities to Romney and his conservative advisers. We will start with the bright side:

-- In terms of probabilities, under Obama the U.S. is less likely to find itself at war with Iran then would be the case with Romney. On such issues as war in the Middle East, Obama seems to be able to think relatively independently while Romney, by his own admission, can't tell the difference between U.S. interests and those of racist Israel.  

-- Obama took a sensible attitude toward the Arab Spring uprising except, of course, in Bahrain where its support for the monarchy was lamentable to say the least. Romney's reaction would have been to ring up Netanyahu and ask him what to do.  

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-- On issues of women's rights, Gay rights, environmental and educational concerns, an Obama administration is much preferable to a Romney one. 

-- If there are Supreme Court vacancies in the next four years, we are much less likely to have extreme conservatives nominated than would have been the case under Mitt Romney. 

-- Obama dropped Bush's torture directive. Given Mitt Romney's neoconservative advisers, he might well have been tempted to reinstate it.

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These are only some of the positive things and they are far from unimportant. Nonetheless, Obama has a definite dark side that sometimes echos the conservative Republican mindset. For instance:

-- Barack Obama is an African American with, apparently, only selective concern for civil liberties. He employs another African American, Eric Holder, with similar blind spots. Holder, who has ultimate authority over the FBI, and has allowed that agency to entrap Americans mostly of yet another minority group, in this case Moslems, in alleged terrorist activities which, without the FBI's scheming, would almost certainly never have been carried out.    

-- Throughout his first term Obama went after "illegal aliens," deporting them in high numbers, and only modified this policy as the election neared. He cannot be trusted on this front.  

-- Obama has continued to enforce president Bush's criminal policies many of which are  institutionalized in the Patriot Act.  These  include unconstitutional practices such as indefinite detention and warrantless eavesdropping.  

-- And while Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East probably will not lead to the war so ardently desired by Romney's buddy, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, he is still willing to kill innocent people with drones and harm even more with draconian sanctions. 

Part II -- Romney's 57,591,058 

The election itself was anything but reassuring. Take a look at the map  showing who won which states and there is a scary amount of red (how the media came up with the color red for Republican states only one generation after the demise of Russian communism is beyond me!). The only saving grace is that these are (with the exception of Texas) the less populous states. 

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Nonetheless, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's final election figures (8 Nov. 2012, p. A12), some 57,591,058 American voters cast their ballots for Romney -- a man who is the obvious incarnation of the "dwarf chameleon" -- a subgroup of lizards that are particularly adept at "adjusting their colors for camouflage in accordance with the vision of species" confronting them. This number includes 62% of voting white men and, surprisingly, 56% of voting white women.   Were most of these folks just motivated by a desire to vote against Obama rather than for Romney? Or were they good hypnotic subjects who were easily mesmerized by expertly choreographed flip-flopping? 

Part III -- After the Victory 

After his victory, the re-elected president gave a "let's all come together" speech that, under present circumstances, is embarrassing to listen to. Having been crudely defamed and ridiculed for months on end, one would like to see from Obama a public hint -- a mere glint -- of annoyance with the Republicans. Those feelings would be human and proper.  However, according to Obama, though some of us might disagree "fiercely,"  the insulting tone taken toward him was just a manifestation of "noisy and messy" democracy.  

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Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.

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