His promised transparency turned out to be a lie. The process to pass his government healthcare takeover scheme demonstrated such after the public was denied C-Span-like access to the process, and after Republicans were shut of negotiations. With that not only did Obama’s promised transparency disappear, so did his promised unity and non-partisanship.
In the area of promised change, the only difference we actually see is in unemployment, taxes, the economy, relationships with allies and enemies, and ideology.
Despite his unsustainable record spending, unemployment remains fluctuating between high and higher.
On taxes, contrary to his claims, President Obama has in fact done nothing but raise taxes and with his promised fight to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, he is about to allow taxes to increase by historic proportions. This is a change but not the change most Americans wanted.
As far as foreign relationships go, President Obama has changed the dynamics of those relationships by reversing the roles as he tries to satisfy our enemies and offend our allies. While President Obama dedicates hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called humanitarian aid to terrorists groups like Hammas, he continues to snub and opposed Israel and its Prime Minister, he has soured relations with the new British Prime Minister, maintained an immigration policy that recently led to an actual Mexican standoff, opposed the legal government of our Honduran allies in South America and totally offended the recently deceased Prime Minister of Poland when he broke the promise of a strategic missile defense shield for our Polish allies and gave Russia a window of opportunity to fully exploit.
It is this type of support for our enemies and turning of our back on our allies which recently led Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana to take to the floor of the House and logically ask “Mr. President, whose side are you on?” The question is a legitimate one and it certainly lays out on example of the type of promised change that no one asked for.
But one of the biggest differences that people expected to see as a result of President Obama’s promised change was in politics. His relatively fresh face on the political stage allowed people to fall for President Obama’s attempts to make us believe that he would be a truly transcending figure, a figure who would transcend politics and simply join all sides together and do the right thing, not the political thing. But in what is becoming the defining moment of the Obama Administration, the Gulf oil calamity, President Obama is demonstrating that there is absolutely no change at all.
When reviewing the facts as they have revealed themselves so far, President Obama has done nothing but mishandle this disaster. Some of the reason for his mishandling of the situation come from inexperience. Some of it stems from his natural arrogance. But most of the reasons for the President’s failings in this situation are borne out of his politics.
In what is far from change, politics as usual has been responsible for turning a grave situation into havoc and the worst and most widespread environmental disaster in American history.
It was politics as usual which forced President Obama to reward the Deep Sea Horizon oil rig with a safety award just days before it exploded, killed eleven men and unleashed environmental ruin. After receiving more campaign contributions from BP than any other American politician, this award was a perfect example of political favoritism and politics as usual.
Then, after essentially giving BP a pass on certain safety requirements, in what is one of the most ironic of all ironies, just days before the Deep Sea Horizon sank and ruptured its pipes, President Obama broke his promised opposition to offshore oil drilling and announced that he was lifting a ban on offshore oil drilling.
By breaking his promised opposition to such a pursuit of natural resources, the President was probably making an attempt to negotiate the eventual passage of his Cap-and-Trade tax scheme in the senate. He figured he could answer some of his critics on the right and still be let off the hook by his liberal base.
And then the Deep Sea Horizon exploded.
Now, as days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months, the oil continues to gush, wildlife continues to die, and as the beaches of the Gulf begin to get marred by the hundreds of millions of gallons of tide swept oil, and as tourism and the state economies that rely on it, continue to dwindle, President Obama continues to play politics.
Not only did the President initially fail to mobilize the proper resources to defend the Gulf Coast from what turned out to be a disaster, he continues to fail to mobilize such resources . In fact he is even preventing progress in the containment of the undersea oil
Thanks to an outdated regulation from the 1920’s called the Jones Act, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of experienced professionals from 17 other nations can not assist in the containment operation.
The Jones Act was meant to protect the U.S. maritime industry and unions by allowing only U.S. flagged vessels, crewed by at least 75% U.S. citizens and having a minimum percentage of those U.S. citizens being unionized, to operate in the region. This prohibits non-unionized interests from participating in operations like the one we see now.
Fast forward 80 years or so and sitting in the White House is a President who is more beholden to unions than any other in recent history. So between the Jones Act and President Obama, you can be sure that what unions want, unions get.
President Obama has the power to suspend the Jones Act, just as President Bush did during Hurricane Katrina, but almost two months into this crisis and President Obama has refused to do so. He refuses to offend the union hands that feed his the political monopoly that keeps Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government.
By refusing to suspend the Jones Act, the ongoing attempt to contain the endless flow of oil is being denied the use of some of the most proven effective tools in the international community. One such example of what is being refused is the aid of a Dutch vessel that is specifically designed for skimming tens of thousands of barrels of the polluting oil in single sweeps.
Nehru once said “A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action”. In evaluating the subconscious thoughts employed by President Obama regarding his reaction to the greatest ecological disaster in our history, it is easy to see that his instincts are to play politics as usual. Instead of suspending the Jones Acts and offending his union allies, President Obama prefers to blame it on Bush and allow his oil disaster to engulf our Southern shores.
It almost seems as though President Obama is willingly sacrificing the Gulf states for his unionized political patrons. After all, with the exception of Florida, President Obama did not receive a single electoral vote from those states now being effected by his disaster. And even before this event took place, it was a pretty sure bet that he would not be receiving any of the electoral votes next time around. So being the partisan political animal that our President is, it is only logical for him to sacrifice the South to ecological and economic ruin for the sake of his friends in the SEIU and AFL-CIO.
No matter what President Obama does now, it is too late, but as they say, “better late than never”. So if President Obama wants to try to get back to his campaign promises and again pretend to be that “transcending” figure that he told us he would be, he should put his politics aside and suspend the Jones Act.
And after that Congress needs to repeal it.
The Jones Act is an antiquated law that is not only inhibiting the clean up and containment process underway in the Gulf, it kills jobs in America and also helps to price U.S. companies out of the ability to be competitive in the global market.
But in the meantime, as the Gulf states enters into some of their darkest days ever, until President Obama puts down his political playbook and starts acting like an American leader, we are all left wondering the answer to Congressman Mike Pence’s question…….who side is he on?