Obama's regressive record makes Nixon look like Che

Redditor Federal Reservations has made a handy post enumerating all the regressive, authoritarian, corporatist policies enacted by the Obama administration in its one-and-a-bit terms. You know, for someone the right wing press likes to call a socialist, Obama sure makes Richard Nixon look like Che Guevara. And what's more, this is only a partial list, and excludes the parade of copyright horrors and bad Internet policy emanating from the White House, via Joe Biden's push for Six Strikes, the US Trade Rep's push for secret Internet censorship and surveillance treaties like TPP and ACTA and TAFTA; the DoJ's push to criminalize every Internet user by expanding the CFAA, and much, much more.

Obama extends Patriot Act without reform - [1]

Signs NDAA 2011 (and 2012, and 2013) - [2]

Appeals the Federal Court decision that “indefinite detention” is unconstitutional - [3]

Double-taps a 16-year-old American-born US citizen living in Yemen, weeks after the boy's father was killed. Administration's rationale? He "should have [had] a far more responsible father" - [4]

Continues to approve drone strikes that kill thousands of innocent civilians including women and children in Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries that do not want the US intervening; meanwhile, according to the Brookings Institute's Daniel Byman, we are killing 10 civilians for every one mid- to high- level Al Qaeda/Taliban operative. This is particularly disturbing, since now any military-aged male in a strike zone is now officially considered an enemy combatant - [5]

Protects Bush’s war crimes as State Secrets - [6] [7] [8]

Waives sections of a law meant to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers in Africa in order to deepen military relationship with countries that have poor human rights records -[9]

Appoints Monsanto, GMO company with multiple unsafe practice violations, lobbyist to head the FDA - [10]

DOJ raids marijuana dispensaries that are now legal pursuant state law - [11]

Obama protects AG Holder from Congressional “Fast and Furious” gun walking investigations - [12]

Brings no criminal charges against bank executives that misused bailouts - [13]

Engages in a war on whistleblowers - [14]

Grants immunity to CIA torturers - [15]

Quadruples Bush's warrantless wiretapping program - [16]

Allows innocent man to die at gitmo - [17]

Increases Drug War budget - [18]

Supports intrusive TSA pat-downs and body scans - [19]

Says it’s legal to track individuals by pinpointing their cellphone without warrant - [20]

Renews FISA and NSA’s unregulated spying and banking of all wireless communication - [21] [22]
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/whistleblower_the_nsa_is_lying_us Appeals SCOTUS ruling that warrantless installation of tracking devices on cars is unconstitutional - [23]

DOJ overzealously prosecutes [read: persecutes] activist Aaron Swartz, ultimately leading to his suicide in the face of trumped-up charges brought forth to silence his movement for open information - [24]
http://rt.com/usa/secret-service-accused-of-misconduct-in-aaron-swartz-case-020/ Obama nominates JP Morgan defense lawyer to head the SEC, the regulatory agency in charge of keeping Wall Street in line - [25]

Picks Goldman Sachs partner Bruce Heyman—who, along with his wife, raised $1 million for Obama—as an ambassador to Canada - [26]

Thanks Obama!


  1. These are all perfectly true and mostly reprehensible. 

    However, as Stephen Colbert noted during a recent forum in New York, documents have been revealed that Nixon actually extended the Vietnam war so that he could win the 1968 election. 

    LBJ was secretly recording his ambassadors, and found out that Nixon was telling North and South Vietnam not to take the offer being negotiated by the Johnson administration, but to wait until he was elected and he would give them a better deal. 

    Johnson couldn’t reveal he knew this, because that would reveal he was recording his ambassadors. 

    The result was that the war went on for years, at the cost of tens of thousands of lives. 

    1. So Obama’s not as regressive as Nixon, but that’s because Nixon was in fact scummier than we thought he was for thirty years? Now that’s something.

    2. And I’m sure the surge in Afghanistan was because we were fighting for freedom over there.

  2. This tends to bear out something I’d already noticed in UK politics: it’s not the party that’s nominally in charge that matters, but the underlying trends.

    When the Conservatives finally yielded control to New Labour, many of their policies were hard to distinguish from those of their predecessors. On some issues, such as civil liberties and privacy, they sometimes seemed to favor an even more hardline position. (Some commenters will observe that leftist governments are no strangers to authoritarianism, but these decisions had a particularly ‘corporatist’ flavor).

    What we’re seeing now in the US has been brewing for many years, and Obama is simply riding the wave. And the next administration, whatever it is, is unlikely to reverse the trend: a future Democratic administration will accept the current trend to authoritarianism as “the new normal”, and a future Republican administration will assume that whatever Obama did in this line didn’t go far enough.

    “Interesting” times ahead.

    1. YES.
      When Americans talk about the Democrats and Republicans being “basically the same party”, this is what they’re talking about.

      They’re not saying that there’s no difference, they’re saying that those differences aren’t what determine how the government operates.

      Our society may be made up of Democrats and Republicans, but our government is made up of Authoritarians.  They are all people who think they should be in charge of us, and their top priority is maintaining and expanding their power and influence.

      In short, politicians of every stripe will go where the wind blows.  They’re not really making independent decisions so much as responding to the prevailing winds.  So where do those winds come from?  From society at large.  Who is in charge of our society?  Well, mostly corporations.  Owners of lots of property and jobs, those who control large segments of the economy.  They dictate what issues will be debated when, what the terms of the discussion will be, and what ideas or issues are simply off the table.

      If we want to control our government, the first step is to take back control of our society.  It doesn’t matter who’s president if we’re not even in control of the society that he’s taking his orders from.

      1.  ” Who is in charge of our society?  Well, mostly corporations.  Owners of
        lots of property and jobs, those who control large segments of the

        Also, the media. That’s a reallllly big one.

        I remember reading a wikipedia article with criticisms of the “winner-take-all” first past the post voting system that we have in the US, and one of the criticisms is that the media has a very large effect on who becomes popular and who doesn’t.

        1. “one of the criticisms is that the media has a very large effect on who becomes popular and who doesn’t.”

          Exactly.  Once the mainstream _corporate_ media decides that a candidate “has no chance of winning” they ensure that by no longer giving them any coverage.  And the “non-partisan” Commission on Presidential Debates is a farce, a duopoly run only by Dems and Reps to maintain their dominance.

          THIS is an accurate description of “our” government:


    2. I agree. I believe this really tells us much less about the kind of president Obama actually is, and a lot more about what every president is now faced with. The president is essentially powerless against the corporations that have been allowed to grow into Godzilla-like mutations of their former selves. I know Obama can’t push the agenda he’d probably like to against this political landscape… but then, I have to wonder how much worse it would be if McCain or Romney were in the “top” spot.

      1. I dunno, apologism much?

        Not to stir up a whole hornet’s nest, but on your blog you’ve got a post about how an opportunity to commit heinous crimes ought not to be misconstrued either as the right to act without conscience or as a blame-free, unavoidable scenario within which to act free of repercussions. Isn’t it an accurate corollary to say that a president who is choosing to green-light or even push authoritarian policies because there’s an opportunity to do so, or pressure to do so, is committing a similarly heinous crime that’s being falsely masqueraded as an inevitable, blameless, circumstantial act? He can still simply choose *not* assault our rights and freedoms — that he’s choosing to do so is far from blameless.

        1. I don’t think he’s blameless, I think he’s powerless, and I think that directing blame for everything on this list to Obama is an oversimplification. It is more constructive, I think, to consider why Obama is powerless against forces like Big Pharma, Monsanto, the prison/industrial complex, the defense industry, the oil industry, etc. Obama deserves scrutiny for signing off on this stuff, certainly. But the institutions that are pushing this kind of stuff are, in my opinion, the more worthwhile target of both action and examination.

          1.  He’s not powerless, and he’s in charge of his apointees arnd there actions. From his cabinet appointments we can see that Obama is a corporatist. Or, at the very least, Obama wants a cushy retirement on the Pete Peterson gravy train a al Bill Clinton.

            Of course, Adolph Reed called this all in ’96.

          2. I don’t think he’s blameless, I think he’s powerless

            Isn’t there possibly maybe some in-between? I didn’t think that the President could have much influence against the inertia of government until we went from Clinton to Bush and I had to give up that comfortable notion. It would seem that Presidents can almost always move things to the right and almost never move things to the left.

          3.  “It would seem that Presidents can almost always move things to the right and almost never move things to the left.”

            I definitely think there’s truth in that because a typical, unheroic president will only do what won’t be harmful to their party.  Any movement against the wishes of those who provide them with the money to win elections in our ignorant, corrupt election process will result in them losing the power they lust for.  So, it’s a perpetual series of   compromises by BOTH parties between what is right for the nation and what is acceptable to their owners, with the national interests losing the vast majority of the time.  The issues used to bring the faithful to the polls, “guns, gays and god,” are issues not of much interest to their owners (big pharma, oil, BANKS, insurance industry, etc.).  Thus, debate is allowed.

          4. Powerless? He’s gone out of his way to appoint Monsanto darlings to positions of power. This from a recent article on “Top Ten Excuses for Signing Monsanto Protection Act:” At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.
            As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the prince of darkness, Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto.  Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
            As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack.  Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.
            As the new Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.
            As the new counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.
            As the new head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, who had previously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research.
            We should also remember that Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm.  That firm was counsel to Monsanto.
            Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court.  Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in theMonsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.

      2.  That excuses almost all of Obama’s choices, IE you are going too far the other way. Obams is probably really, deeply grey.

      3. Complaining that the president is powerless does NOT absolve him of his responsibility to the people that elected him based on his promises.  In fact, Obama’s claim of “a mandate” from the election requires even greater responsibility on his part.

        Big business actually has a lot more integrity since they’re doing exactly what they’ve always done…protect their interests and profits.

        We need more integrity in our elected officials who for the most part are highly skilled at deflecting blame.

  3. I have not seen one single piece of presidential anything in the last 32 years that has been done to improve “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” beyond the slow, grudging, partial acceptance of gay people as humans.

    1. If you think Alexander`s story is great…, last pay check my friends sister basically also got a cheque for $7099 workin a twenty hour week from home and their neighbor’s step-sister`s neighbour did this for 6 months and got a cheque for more than $7099 in there spare time on their labtop. applie the tips on this page……….. ZOO80.ℂom

  4. To be fair, under Nixon neo-liberalism was just finding it’s feet. It’s in full swing now, pulling the left to the right.  Go read some Bethany Moreton and her work on the “soul” of neoliberalism. She wrote a great book on Walmart (To Serve God and Walmart).

  5. IIRC, under Bush we were hitting wedding celebrations with 500 lb bombs every month or so.

      1. Have it your way, we need to go back to bombing weddings just as a matter of principle.

        1.  This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who bombed who..

        2.  If you’re trying to demonstrate that Obama isn’t a rat by showing that Bush was a rat, you need to consider the possibility that there is more than one rat per planet. 

      2. If you’re in the middle of a discussion comparing one politician to another, why is it suddenly off limits to compare one politician to a different politician?

        1.  I’ve seen the “tu quoque” argument before, and my usual response is “Huh?” because it’s not being used  correctly.  Applying it broadly makes it meaningless and the use of “tu” emphasizes that point.

          Now if my response had been “Don’t you dare compare Obama to your hero Nixon because he was a rat,”  then “tu quoque” would be appropriate.

  6. You’ve got to love the Obama apologists.  “Oh, Nixon was really worse.”  “Oh, we’re just feeling the effects that were set into motion during the Bush years.”  There’s just no excuse for what Obama is doing.

    1. The only excuse is “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He’s got to do his part to keep the dream alive.

    2.  No, no excuse. But now let’s start the imaginary list of Rmoney atrocities. I’ll start: war with Iran.

      1. Right, we’re only allowed to compare Obama to Nixon in this thread for some reason.  Don’t bring up Romney or Bush, or it’ll break “the rules”.

    3.  It’s nice to not have to go over to a far right wing blog to hear the phrase ” the Obama apologists.”

      1. Shorter version of “Obama apologists”: Obots. And there are liberal blogs, such as Balloon Juice, where it’s probably safe to say that the majority of people posting in the comments section are Obots.

        Another term for the idea that it’s the current political climate, not any president’s particular personal beliefs, that accounts for policies that get presidential support is the Overton window, which, for some reason, always seems to be moving to the right.

    4. I’m fairly sure that Obama was still better than the alternative, but the lesser evil is still pretty big in this case.

      You guys really need to work on getting some better alternatives.

  7. And Corry Doctorow is now a Tory who can’t distinguish drone strikes from years of carpet bombing; but knows that the important thing is to move the political spectrum further right.

    1. I don’t think that pointing out and condemning destructive, conservative policies that the right approves of and actively supports will really “move the political spectrum further right.”

      More likely, ignoring destructive, conservative policies while lending support to those who enact them is much more likely to “move the political spectrum further right.”

      1. Attacking the political middle for being too far right undermines support on the left forcing them to move right.  This is the same tactic Cory is using to support the British right (though in British politics he’s doing it in more substantive ways). Notice that this article is not an attack on destructive policies or positions that Obama has taken.  It is an attack on Obama; and therefore it is support for the Republicans. 

        1. Notice that this article is not an attack on destructive policies or positions that Obama has taken

          You mean the one above that starts with “Obama’s regressive record”?

        2.  It is an attack on Obama; and therefore it is support for the Republicans.

          Yes, thanks to recent advances in ethical science, we have discovered that all moral judgments come in only two flavors, “Democrat” and “Republican”. If you criticize a Democratic policy, it’s logically impossible that you could be in favor of a third alternative other than the Republican policy! 

        3.  But surely it has been the kind of “agree at any cost, never break ranks” from people like Grover Norquist & co. that has driven the right to more and more bizarre extremes. If you can’t question the party you prefer, how are they to improve and accurately represent you? Saying you shouldn’t criticize your own team sounds a lot like the complaints that anyone wanting to admit military mistakes and overreach “Hates America.” Surely we can do better.

          1. Do you not see a difference between criticizing a policy of Obama on the one hand, and claiming he’s worse than Nixon on the other?

          2.  Absolutely, and I think that’s a good point, and an important one to make. I believe that we should be critical of our allies, but I agree, not critical of them to the point of dishonest, hyperbolic comparisons to our ideological opponents. I do think that a sense of betrayal and feeling hoodwinked by an ally burns with a special kind of hotness, which leads to this kind of overreaction. This is a far subtler and more precise statement than your original, which was pretty broad, though

          3. Some of us have been pointing out since before the 2008 election that Obama is to the right of Nixon.  We’ve also pointed out that every other viable Democratic and Republican candidate is as far or farther to the right.  You’ve taken this criticism out of context, and your point is fallacious.

        4. It is an attack on Obama; and therefore it is support for the Republicans.

          This shallow philosophy is what was behind our active support of some of the worst tyrants of the 2nd half of the last century.  Back then it was, “An attack on (fill in the blank: Suharto, Samoza, Pinochet, etc.) is the same as support for communism.”  Of course, it wasn’t.  But during the Cold War, two dimensional thinking reigned supreme, as it always has in partisan politics, where loyalty trumps justice and honesty every time.

          One has to be completely immersed in partisan tribalism to be unable to see that the policies Obama is being criticized for are policies that are strongly supported by Republicans.  The Republicans appreciate your cooperation just as much as Obama does.

        5. It is an attack on Obama; and therefore it is support for the Republicans.

          Are you sure you’re not a conservative republican?  Because that’s a fantastic example of black and white thinking.

    1. it’s true…  the “A is so bad he makes B look like C” syllogism will almost always fail when one fully examines B and C.  (Gandhi tended to have sex with his nieces.  Hitler was a vegetarian …etc)  it’s tedious rhetorically but probably one should more often go with “A’s actions are bad”

    2.  As a shorthand for ‘extremely to the left’, Che works just fine. Also, Che still loses to Nixon on body count, for whatever that’s worth.

  8. I wonder as Bill Hicks mused, if incoming presidents are led into a cigar filled board room and shown a never before seen  angle of the Kennedy Assassination and then a booming voice says, Any questions?”

    1. New presidents are just plugged into a system and told what they can do. I recall reading about Alan Greenspan and a few other then unquestioned masters of money meeting the newly elected President Clinton an telling him straight up there was no money, he could not do any of the things he campaigned on.
      I’m sure the national security apparatus took a newly elected President Obama in told him what they were doing and how he absolutely had to keep doing it. It may not have been true but I bet there sure was a convincing and fixed system in place.

      1. So, money is the reason for renewing the Patriot Act.  I tend to be conservative (well, closer to libertarian), and think that the US Constitution is the most wonderful piece of writing in the last millennium or so.  Bush went again 4th, 5th, and 6h amendments.  Obama do not really undo any of that, but is adding the 2nd amendment to the ones that he really does not like.

      2.  And at the same time they surgically removed his vocal cords and replaced them with a radio receiver, which is why he is unable to tell us about what They did.  I don’t know how they control his fingers to preventing him from writing out the truth like Vanunu did, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
        It’s not ClintonBushObama’s fault, because bad men made them do it.

  9. Our elected officials serve the power elite.  Faux oppositional politics is one of the keys to keep us confused and distracted.

  10. Actually, since Che was a fascist killer for the brief amount of time he held governmental power, that’s not so much of a negative for Obama in terms of a comparison… 

  11. Fascinating how Progressives feign intellectual consistency now after they spent 4 years bullying and demonizing anyone who criticized POTUS.

    Bunch of hypocrites, you are.

  12. On another note, completely worth condemning Obama and the enabling Democrats for the above list of actions. It’s just worth remembering a Republican in the White House really becomes a Republican multiplier for all of the above. Consider, as a comparison, all of Bill Clinton’s many dicey actions – and the actions of GWB after him.

    Or even LBJ > Nixon. LBJ started a horrible war with a lie. Nixon scuttled LBJ’s attempt at a peace treaty, then expanded the war to include the bombing of nearby nations, and then stalled another possible peace just long enough to get reelected. Not too mention Nixon’s at-the-time unprecedented level and scope of violations of civil liberties.

    We live in an imperfect world, and we need to be aware of the flaws of all of those in power and who want to be in power if we’re going to continue to change our world for the better….

    1.  all of this ‘security’ stuff works on a ratchet. once a President claims a power, no subsequent President will avoid claiming that same power because to not do so would be seen as abandoning national security. whoever gets elected in 2016 will do everything Bush did, plus all of Obama’s extensions, and then some.

      the only way to turn any of it back will be for the courts or Congress to say NO. but Congress won’t dare be seen as tying the President’s hands, so that leaves the courts…

    2. You’re underselling the war part.  Nixon illegally expanded bombing into Cambodia and lied to Congress about it.  This killed between 40,000 and 150,000 Cambodians and an unknown number of Vietnamese soldiers.  Comparing a US president to Nixon is like comparing a dictator to Hitler; they have to be really, really horrible for it to have merit.

      1. And we’ll probably never be able to say how much that enabled the Khmer Rogue to have their little party that killed 1/4 of the population or more. 

  13. So, assuming Obama is worse than Nixon, and all his political decisions are his choices, and not due to some unknown political expediency, or the lesser of two evils, who would you want as president instead?  Who would make a difference and why?  I’m taking zombie Nixon and zombie Che off the table as choices.  

      1. I was channel-surfing one day, went by the West Wing, looked at some other things, changed channels again and there was Bartlett arranging for the murder of his mistress.  WTF?  Bartlett?  Except it wasn’t; it was a movie two channels away and Martin Sheen was playing an evil politician rather than Bartlett.

    1. Looking past Zombie Lincoln for a minute I’d honestly say I’m not sure who I’d want. However i’d want them to have Doctorow and others as advisors, or at least call the geeks in as a panel in closed door meetings to figure out what the grievences of past elections are without the constant cameras and whatnot.

    2.  Jill Stein. 
      Any presidential candidate who is arrested and handcuffed to a chair by local cops, to prevent her from attending a presidential debate, has got to be a better choice than the parade of butt-kissing, Cayman-depositing, reflexive liars we’ve been offered for the past few decades.

    3. I voted for Bill Richardson in the 2008 primary and abstained in the general election. I’ve been saying, since before 2008, that I am never again voting for another Blue Dog Democrat; if we’re going to get the same policies no matter which party wins, I’d rather the Republicans get blamed for the ensuing disaster.

      But at this point I’m done with electoral politics altogether. Until the public learns that militarism and Reaganomics are just plain wrong, not just morally wrong but factually wrong, it doesn’t matter who we vote for or who wins, we’re going to get more militarism and Reaganomics. As H.L. Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

      Vote if you feel like it does any good, but give your money and your volunteer hours to someone in the business of actually persuading the public, like Think Progress or the Campaign for America’s Future or Move On.

      1. Voting is still vitally important. Even bluedog dems don’t actively attempt to thwart voting rights like republicans do.

        Keep voting in the greater evil (by not voting) and eventually we’ll lose our right to vote, period.

        And, in the meantime (while you’re waiting for republicans to get blamed for the ensuing disaster) there’s more human suffering here and around the world than otherwise.

        Not worth it at all and just sends us even further backwards.

        It’s best to keep voting AND volunteering, supporting good organizations, etc.

        Hold your nose, vote and then tell everyone you know about the stink and work to change it.

      2. But at this point I’m done with electoral politics altogether.

        And you’re a heterosexual, white male, yes? Because for some of us, even choosing between two evils makes an enormous difference in the quality of our lives.

      1. If they made a movie of his political career, it would be titled Who? Oh, That Guy.

  14. Does any person over the age of 30 really think that a POTUS has any power to create change which goes against the grain of corporate rule and control? A Republican admin is always perfectly ideologically in lockstep with what corporations need to politically thrive vis a vis de-regulation across all parts of corporate laws from environmental to labor, tax breaks, and subsidization.

    Obama was able to get an incredibly weakened and compromised healthcare bill passed, and that’s probably it. Which is monumental when you think of it.

    It’s going to be some interesting times. Things may come to head, or we may just accept our corporate overlords. Luckily, we have power-hungry sociopaths like the Koch Bros. (pronounced “cock”) who are secretly pining for a neo-antebellum utopia, and a sea of crazed white gun nuts who are angry that white privilege just doesn’t pay their bills as promised.

      1. im afraid the environment now is toxic to his kind, selective pressures make a candidate with his qualities deleterious.

        now don’t get me wrong, politics in teddy’s time were a lot like they are today (he just kinda pushed em down for a while til the toxic miasma could erode away the stopgaps he put in place) but it’s worse now, the news media makes it nearly impossible for a politician who rocks the boat to get any tv airtime, everything you say and do online is recorded and WILL be used against you in a campaign. in teddy’s time the trusts had near complete control of the government yeah, but the government wasn’t as powerful then as it is now, in a way his expansion of government power to crush them became the weapon they wield now to crush those who would dethrone them.


    1. he only got it through because it included a prevision which requires people to get health care. it’s not providing universal healthcare it’s forcing people to buy healthcare…of course insurance companies LOVE that. the public option where the government would provide insurance they HATED that, because it cuts into their profits…so now it’s gone. the miracle is that he got through the provision for not denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions (insurance companies HATE having to do their job, they like it when you give them money and have a very low probability of ever getting any of it back, preexisting conditions make it more probable that you will get some of it back, and that is inconceivable!) this one MIGHT actually be because of the near-unanimous public support for it…but im not that optimistic im afraid, someone gets payed…im just not sure who

  15. Picks Goldman Sachs partner Bruce Heyman—who, along with his wife, raised $1 million for Obama—as an ambassador to Canada – [26]

    We exiled him to Canada. Surely this has to count as a point toward Obama.

  16. But I have it on good authority (or at least loud authority) that Obama is the most radically anti-business socialist in the history of our country! Plus he’s gonna let people marry their cats.

  17. It’s the nature of the beast. If you read much Chinese history you see that the Emperor is, to a degree, a prisoner of the Court and it’s bureaucracy and only acts as a multiplier or a leash on their tendencies.  That is unless, like the Empress Wu, you just bring in your personal troops and bypass/purge them but that has it’s own problems.

    It just keeps getting worse until, near the end of the dynasty, there’s no actual governing going on; just a continuous fight to get into positions of power for patronage purposes.

    1. Why would extending an act that was only introduced by the previous opposing administration simply be the nature of the beast, when the Republicans certainly didn’t pass it out of inertia and don’t plan to treat health care the same way?

      How can appealing decisions by the Federal Court and SCOTUS be imposed on him by the bureaucracy?

      I don’t understand how anxious some people are to give Obama the man a pass on these things.

  18. “. . . . The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category….”
    (Mein Kampf, p118)

      1. Besides, if I’d said it was Martin Luther King, you probably would clapped like a trained seal. 

  19. Double-tap?  I had to click through to learn what that meant.  Really?  We now call blowing up a civilian with rockets “double-tap”?  Why that sounds so much cuter than “murder”!

    1. i think it resonates more with older people who remember what a double tap used to be used with (it was generally an action performed by gangsters, and was in fact considered too uncivilized for the mafia, that’s right…we are using techniques the MAFIA considers heinous)

      1. Nope. A “double tap” is traditionally the firing of two shots in rapid succession to increase the chances of hitting the target. In the more colloquial context of drones, it’s the strafing of people who respond to give aid to a target that has just been hit. It’s reprehensible, but it has nothing to do with gangsters.

        1. I never looked into the origin of the term, but I’d always thought it came from ‘double click’, like selecting a target on a computer.

        2.  Example would be the RAF during WWII, similar to how the second and later waves of bombers would come in while the firefighters were out to attempt to control the fires that were begun by the early waves.
          Take out the civil servants and nothing will stop you from burning out the enemy’s cities.

    1. Extending Godwin’s Law to include Nixon would mean that we’ve determined that comparing someone to Nixon is as undesirable as comparing someone to Hitler. 

      To do that, we must compare Nixon to Hitler. 

      And such a comparison of Nixon to Hitler would violate Godwin’s law.

      Ipso fatso: nope.

  20. Hey, it’s your blog, feel free to post all the silly, reactionary comparisons you want. 

    1. I’ve had to stop saying that Dubya Bush was the worst US president ever, because of people like Andrew Jackson.  Even Woodrow Wilson was fairly far into the Dark Side; his policies on free speech before we entered WW I are the reason we have an ACLU.  (If you let Jefferson Davis play, he wins the game hands down, of course.)

      But the only half-decent Republican president we’ve had since Eisenhower has been Bill Clinton. 

      1.  Woodrow Wilson is the one who made Blacks lose any supervisory roles in the Federal civil service and even screened “Birth of a Nation” at the Whitehouse. Not Exactly a role model for policies of equality.

        1. Some of us have had the foresight to sign employment contracts in advance and will be on the other end of the pitchfork.

  21. Whoa guys stop the presses: A Redditor thinks Obama is worse than racist, warmongering, Scalia-appointing Nixon. Post it on Boing Boing! Truly, this man is a genius.

  22. You know what made Merle such a good character on “The Walking Dead?”  He would always say things that were more or less true while talking out both sides of his mouth on every issue. And the way he lectured people on morality, you would have thought he was a tent show evangelist rather than a psycho.

  23. In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste
    of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one
    of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and
    vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat
    on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His
    fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of
    authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale
    solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process
    over program — the point where identity politics converges with
    old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I
    suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics

    Adolph Reed 1996


    He’s a vacuous opportunist.I’ve never been an
    Obama supporter. I’ve known him since the very beginning of his
    political career, which was his campaign for the seat in my state senate
    district in Chicago. He struck me then as a vacuous opportunist, a good
    performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him. I argued
    at the time that his fundamental political center of gravity, beneath
    an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal.

    Adolph Reed 2008

  24. Administration’s rationale? He was in the same place as Ibrahim al-Banna, the Egyptian media chief for al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate… Defense Ministry in Yemen described Banna as one of the “most dangerous operatives” in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. FTFT

    Distorting reality to bend to an overall point makes the argument as a whole less convincing. Concentrate on the crap stuff Obama has done instead of dressing up every possible occurrence you can think of to try to make a point.

    1. if you walk around a large city you are probably in the same place as any number of gangsters. if you live in the middle east you are almost always going to be in the same place as a member of al-qaeda.

      that is no reason to execute an american citizen without trial.

      1. Huh? What do gangsters have to do with anything?

        What do you mean “in the same place”? That is patently false, unless you define ‘place’ as ‘country’.

        Lt. Col. Jim Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman, said he didn’t know how many countries had an al Qaeda presence. He said the current government estimate for al Qaeda is 3,000 to 4,000 members.

        The other thing I think you’re conflating is the targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki. The US targeted the kid’s dad, not the kid. The kid happened to be eating with a high-ranking AQAP member who was the target. Collateral damage is never good, but then the US has a bit of history of Collateral Damage. Pity the only time a majority of you care is when it’s an American citizen.

    2. I’d want to hang out with a guy named Ibrahim al-Banana too.

      Shoot. Read it wrong.

  25. That’s unfair. Che tried enemies in kangaroo courts and didn’t care much about civilian deaths. So he’s a lot more like Obama than Nixon.

  26. For me, Obama’s first, worst sin was his unwillingness to undo the legacy of George Bush admin and demand that they take responsibility for their dishonest wars. The Patriot Act, Guantanamo and economic policies that continue to favor the rich over the working poor don’t look like change to me. Malcolm X talked about how conservatives were more honest as those wolves looked like wolves while the lib’s wore sheep’s clothing. 

  27. While the Redditor brings up some very valid points, a McCain/Palin or Rmoney/Ryan administration would have done all these things plus:
    1. Further deregulated the banking industry and Wall Street
    2. Rolled back worker freedoms and opposed even the concept of a minimum wage
    3. Opposed LGBT equal rights
    4. Pushed even more tax cuts for the rich and big corporations
    5. Tried to inject even more unconstitutional theocray into our government, infringing on the rights of non-christians
    6. Scaled back any efforts on Green Energy and environmental protection
    7. Increased the size and scope of the military/security complex even more
    8. Expanded the drug war and be far more aggressive in persecuting marijuana freedoms
    9. Opposed any campaign finance reform or disclosure reforms
    10. Try to raid/poison/or kill popular social programs like Social Security and Medicare

    1. Stop making excuses.

      You have no proof of any of that. Even if you do, it doesn’t fucking matter. Obama is president, not Bush, not Romney, not McCain. Obama did these things, or appointed the people who did. Just accept that he is a bad man, and move on. Just because Mao killed more people than Stalin doesn’t make Stalin good. They were both evil. Debating over who was more evil is completely pointless.

      1. Debating over who was more evil is completely pointless.

        This might fly if you’re 13 years old. No one is completely good or evil. And the differences between Presidents can mean life or death, equality or oppression for many people. Your argument is specious.

        1. And somehow comparing what a candidate might have done to what a sitting president has done is valid? The Obama apologists in this thread make me sick. Obama has failed to live up to expectations in almost every measurable way, and most of the comments in the thread want to give him a pass. You completely missed the point of my original comment, instead choosing to respond based on the last sentence.

  28. And Obama has done some things that legitimately outrage the right wing, such as ObamaCare. 

    So we’ve established that he’s neither a true (complete) liberal, nor is he a true conservative.

    What does that leave?

    A bunch of people throwing around slurs they don’t fully understand.

    An excellent way to identify a radical of either side.

  29. I guess I don’t get the point of this post and the link. First, to seriously argue that Obama is worse than Nixon is just insane. Nixon kept us in Vietnam an extra 4 years at the cost of 100s of thousands, maybe millions of lives. An enemies list, slush funds, the Southern strategy. Nixon started the drug war, for crying out loud.

    As a matter of fact, the whole argument–the same tedious argument I’ve heard over and over–sounds nothing like what it’s ostensibly trying to do. Instead it almost sounds like the plaints of a betrayed lover, as though Obama promised to be true, but once he married the Reddit guy Barack started stepping out. Maybe they need to rethink their relationship.

    And I understand that the Reddit guys doesn’t like Obama, but just whining about him with some list that supposedly nails done his respective perfidy does us absolutely no good whatsoever. I want someone to tell me what to do about the situation.

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