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Why Obama?

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Currently, Barack Obama is at the top of national polls in the media and according to those polls and the media, the only threat to Obama is Hillary Clinton. An article on Associated Content titled, "Barack Obama Increases Grassroots Campaigning," details how Obama is mobilizing “foot soldiers” as “thousands of young men and women are flocking into basements” to support him. A article has even suggested he has a "Republican edge", which translates into the idea that people are now believing he could be a bipartisan president. In fact, when he appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as he was about to shake hands and leave, Jon Stewart casually wished him luck in curing the polarization that has deeply affected American politics.

But are the perceptions being thrown around between bloggers, supporters of Obama, and media outlets correct? Is he really as great as they make him sound?

On Foreign Policy

In the recent weeks, his foreign policy has come into the limelight and become a focus of this election. His foreign policy was something all Democratic candidates were asked to address on Aug. 19th during a debate in Iowa. Obama has made various statements and has even defended himself against Hillary Clinton as the media magnifies the subtle differences between him and Hillary while excluding all other candidates as viable possibilities for the White House. In regards to Pakistan:

"I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me for making sure that we are on the right battlefield and not the wrong battlefield in the war against terrorism," he said.

"If we have actionable intelligence on al Qaeda operatives, including [Osama] bin Laden, and President Musharraf cannot act, then we should," Obama said. "That's just common sense."
Ignoring the idea that we do not need to be on any battlefield right now and should instead pull back and regroup, Obama did in fact in this statement state that a cornerstone of his foreign policy would be invading countries that do not stand up to al-Qaeda. For a majority of Americans who believe diplomacy is an answer to the problems our unilateralism have created, it is not good that he is so popular. However, a comment on Obama's" blog reads:

Also, a stunning history lesson on the Daily Show of US involvement in arming extremist regimes in the part of the country where we are now in quagmires. I thought it was exceptional and set the stage for Barack's appearance.

Yet, with Barack going after Pakistan, whose to say that he won't have American troops in another quagmire? And whose to say that he won't continue to have us bogged down in Iraq in our current quagmire?

“If we put 30,000 additional troops into Baghdad, it will quell some of the violence short term.” But then he added, "All of our top military commanders recognize that there is no military solution in Iraq,” and “one reason to stop fighting the wrong war is so that we can fight the right war against terrorism and extremism.” []
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Here he is entertaining the notion that we could add more troops before telling the veterans that we need to bring troops home, which is what the majority of Democrats want. Is he pandering to the few Republicans who still want to "stay the course"? He does go on to say that Iraq has no military solution. But exactly what is he talking about when he says "fight the right war against terrorism and extremism"? Does this have anything to do with invading Iran? Does he have plans for more wars for oil?

"It is no longer sufficient for us to trot out the old formulas, the old tired phrases," Obama said at a rally on Thursday. "If we want fundamental change, then we can't be afraid to talk to our enemies."
"I'm not going to avoid them, I'm not going to hide behind a bunch of rhetoric. I don't want a continuation of Bush-Cheney; I don't want Bush-Cheney light," he added.

Obama has utilized ad hominem attacks as often as possible. It seems like he may be another Kerry. Without being able to give a solution to the problems we face but with the ability to state clearly that Bush and Cheney are people who often make poor judgments, it appears that he may be trying to get us all to pick the lesser of two evils. Hopefully, people don't realize picking the lesser of two evils is still picking evil because if they do, he may lose their support.

On Health Care

Obama in his campaign has advocated universal health care for all. But that's nothing new and innovative. Anyone with experience in politics can tell you people have been advocating universal health care for years. But Obama and others seem to be hoping conventional wisdom prevails. Obama seems to be thinking the popularity of Sicko will transfer into support for his immodest reform. To be specific, Sicko didn't advocate universal health care but a universal health care single-payer, not-for-profit system that would remove the health insurance companies from inflating the costs of health care. And to be specific, Obama has never advocated what Sicko made a brilliant case for.

Obama stated in this Newsday article:
"To help pay for this, we will ask all but the smallest businesses who don't make a meaningful contribution to the health coverage of their workers to do so to support this plan," said Obama. "And we also will repeal the temporary Bush tax cut for the wealthiest taxpayers." ...

..."That is not who we are. We are not a country that rewards hard work and perseverance with bankruptcies and foreclosures," said Obama. "We are not a country that allows major challenges to go unsolved and unaddressed while our people suffer needlessly."
But, Obama, we are. "Rewards" may not be the best word for it, but we are a country that allows more and more Americans to sink instead of swim every day. And I highly doubt that, although I support a repeal of Bush's tax cuts, that repealing the cuts will solve our nation's health care woes.

This can't be the best thing Barack has to offer on health care. If it is, that's just not enough to warrant any support of his health care plan. Because unfortunately, if Americans support what he has laid out as the solution, America will again "allow major challenges to go unsolved and unaddressed." Even his supporters  get this.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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