Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.
Before the election, longtime liberal actress Susan Sarandon gushed about her support of Barack Obama, saying she definitely would vote for him for president. Then she added the capper: "I can't wait to see what he stands for." The 67 million Americans who voted for Barack Obama and the 59 million who voted for John McCain were all anxious to see change. Now that it’s here, it turns out to be the same old Washington politics as usual.
“The greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result,” Obama read from the teleprompter over and over during his incarnation. “The change we need doesn’t come from Washington, it comes to Washington,” Even many Republicans perked up when he said that. So exactly what sort of change are we seeing at this early point in Obama’s administration? Is Barack following through on his many promises?
Leon Panetta, Obama’s pick for head spy-hunter at the CIA, is a career Washington insider and was chief of staff under Bill Clinton. Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s pick for chief of staff, was a senior adviser under Bill Clinton. Robert Reich, one of Obama’s economy guru’s, was Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. Eric Holder, our new Attorney General, was deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. Carol Browner, Obama’s global warming czar, ran the EPA under Bill Clinton. Susan Rice, Obama’s pick for the UN, was an assistant Secretary of State under Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton is back as Secretary of State. For all of the change he promised in Washington, it seems like he is choosing the same old usual suspects and Washington insiders to surround himself with. It will be an administration of the same old, tired familiar faces, most of them retreads from the Clinton administration. Let’s not forget Joe Biden, Tom Daschle, Paul Volcker, and even David Axelrod, chief puppeteer during the campaign and author of just about everything Obama said over the last two years.
It’s official. The Bill Clinton reunion is in full swing. Answering the phones as of recently for the co-chairman of Obama’s transition, John Podesta, is none other than Betty Currie.
Enter a stimulus bill loaded with pork and in one fell swoop breaking seven of President Obama’s promises with one stroke of his socialist pen. He promised he would make government more open and transparent, prevent pork from slipping into bills, put pork online and give the public at least five days to look at any bill before it is voted on. All broken.
Central to his campaign was a promise to disband the controversial White House political affairs committee central to the Karl Rove-style politics the Democrat condemned as a candidate. The office stays. Contrary to the campaign promises, it’s politics as usual in Washington. Barack is even keeping on Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was a key supporter of the surge in Iraq, which Obama opposed.
Last month it was reported that Barack Obama is also delaying another promise, one of the cornerstones of his campaign - rolling back tax cuts on high-income Americans as part of his economic recovery strategy. But why? He dazzled so many with his strong speeches denouncing trickle-down economics. There should be nothing to stop him from soaking the rich, right? Wrong. It’s called economic reality. Tax cuts increase revenue; tax increases decrease revenue. He couldn’t acknowledge that truth during his campaign because it made so many feel good to be sticking it to the so-called “rich”. But now that he’s safely elected Obama can give it to you straight.
On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised to get a million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015. His own new presidential limousine will be far from green, however. Obama also made campaign promises that one of his first acts as president would be to repeal the decades-old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays in the military. Oops. He’s backing off of that promise too, and will delay any action on it until 2010 or beyond.
According to Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Nov. 6-8, only 27% of Americans approve of the job Bush was doing as president. This contrasts with the 70% of Americans holding a favorable view of Obama immediately after his inauguration. But the magic is wearing off. His numbers are down 10 points to about what most presidents enjoy at the beginning of their terms.
Obama’s campaign may go down in history as one of the greatest swindles in American history, just slightly behind the Madoff hedge funds and global warming in magnitude; a feel-good marketing package which took the unsuspecting and emotional liberals in this country for every penny of political capital they had.
As sales begin to drop of the Obama commemorative plates, reading “Change has come” on the bottom, in which the commercials showing middle-aged white men adjusting the plate and admiringly looking at the Chosen One’s kind smile, we realize we’re not seeing change at all.
The mainstream media's support for Barack Obama's presidential campaign was so biased that even major insiders are now admitting they were shocked by its depth and depravity. Last week, even liberal Time magazine's Mark Halperin called the media's performance during the campaign simply "disgusting." Halperin told a panel of media analysts at the Politico/USC conference on the 2008 election, "It's the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war."
During the Obama Campaign Show, Obama has promised that the first thing he would do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, a proposed federal law which would nullify virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion. Not likely.
The list of campaign promises Obama read from the campaign script penned by David Axelrod is long. Most of them will be long forgotten or revealed as “impossible to keep” once he takes the oath of office. “We had no idea how bad the situation George Bush created was,” they will tell us. The list includes universal health care, an army of teachers, free college, free preschool, government-guaranteed pensions, lower food costs, bipartisan politics in Washington, energy independence, zero carbon emissions from coal plants, world-wide unity, peace, middle class tax cuts, lowered ocean levels, bankrupting the coal industry, and redistributing wealth. So far the last one is about the only one with any chance of rearing its ugly head.
In addition to the government bailouts of the banking and mortgage industries, the credit card companies, the auto industry and the indolent and lazy, Obama promise number 526 is the Terrorist Bailout Program – a promise to immediately shut down the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and move 770 detainees to the United States where they will be given lawyers, legal hearings, constitutional rights usually reserved for U.S. citizens, and long trials costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Hundreds of admitted and known terrorists and murderers who were not given their Miranda rights could be acquitted, set free and allowed to sue the U.S. government which will quickly turn around and settle, giving them green cards and millions of dollars in compensation. Trust me. The trial lawyers are already doing their research because there are big contingent fees on the horizon.
But wait! Now that the keys are being handed to Obama, he’s beginning to realize the Wonderland of political campaign promises doesn’t really exist in the real world. The Washington Post has now come out and said that, “You can't be a purest and say that there's never a circumstance in which a country like ours can preventively detain somebody?” All we’ve heard for the last five years was that there's no circumstance in which we could do this legally. Now all of a sudden, what's going on down there is fine. Obama’s staff is now considering ways to delay action on Gitmo because we don't really think it would be safe to bring these people into the country, and we don't know what would happen if they got acquitted. I guess President Bush wasn’t so dumb after all.
For seven years, all we’ve heard was threats of impeachment and criminal trials of Bush and Cheney because the Bush administration “increased presidential powers” through secrecy and unilateral executive orders and other action which allowed “secret spying programs”. Campaign Obama forcefully promised to rescind these atrocities. President Obama, however, has now indicated that rescinding them would limit his flexibility and harm the ability of U.S. intelligence and military forces to capture or kill wanted terrorists. It is likely that Obama will keep firmly in place this post-9/11 national surveillance state which employs information collection, collation and analysis as key methods of governance.
The misty-eyed and fainting Obama fanatics have all gone back to their government jobs, secretarial desks and college quizzes, ignorant of the fact that virtually every promise Obama made to get elected is in the process of being broken - and we’ve only just begun. It seems that the only “change” Barack Obama had in mind was that of changing his mind on campaign promises.
For those “ask what government can do for me” suburbanites and white-guilt obsessed voters who had Obama signs displayed proudly in their yards last November, author James Bovard made a brilliant observation some years ago just for you:
“For those who understand and cherish freedom, critical thinking is not optional. If people choose not to think, then they have chosen to submit. If people make no effort to understand the machinations of government, then they have chosen to be political victims."
Boy was he right.