It’s been several month’s since I started blogging. In the beginning, it was just about anything that caught my eye on that particlar day. Over time, I found myself moving towards politics, which is my passion. I guess I knew that eventually it would work out this way. And as most readers know, I am slightly right of center. But I do consider myself lucky in that I have friends on both sides of the aisle. Even though we disagree on some very important issues, we can agree to disagree. Yes, some of my best friends are liberals. And lately, some of those liberals have been sending emails asking what my “problem” is with Barack Obama. Today, I will try to answer that question.
All of us have, at one time or another, had a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right about some aspect of our life. We can’t always put our finger on it, but we can’t ignore it either. I get that way about our government, sometimes watching what goes on in Washington and just being uncomfortable about it. For a long time, I ignored politics because of that feeling. I followed the crowd who said, “why pay attention to something you can’t change.” After 9/11, I found myself glued to the television, watching the news day and night. It was during this time that I once again got that feeling, and I’ve had it three distinct times since then.
The first was May 1, 2003, the day President George W. Bush flew onto the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. He gave a speech that sounded very much like he was declaring victory in our war in Iraq, all the while standing in front of a giant banner that said “Mission Accomplished.” The purpose of the speech was unclear to me, but it upset me. We had invaded Iraq under questionable intelligence reports that said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding large amounts of weaponry know as “WMD”, weapons of mass destruction. We had been told that it was vital to our security to invade Iraq and take those weapons out. My discomfort was due to the fact that the one thing we did know was that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks on our country, and he had not been found yet. I couldn’t stand the thought of him running loose in Afghanistan while we chased what I considered imaginary threats in Iraq. I didn’t agree with Bush, and “mission accomplished” was a slap in the face of those soldiers who were chasing Bin Laden. I felt that things just weren’t right. I was uncomfortable.
I continued to feel that way throughout the Bush Presidency. As the war in Iraq continued, we found Saddam, watched his trial, and cheered when he was hanged for his crimes. Bush praised the Iraqi people for their perserverance, and we set out to rebuild the country we had destroyed in war. I relaxed a bit after that, feeling like I was back at square one. “Why get all upset over things I have no control over,” was my theme again. As a conservative, I swallowed hard as I watched Bush sign legislation that blew our budget deficit wide open. Bill Clinton had begrudgingly left a fiscal surplus behind when he left office, his arms tired from being twisted by conservatives in Congress. But to his credit, he closed the deficit left by the Reagan and Bush administrations. But Bush II allowed it to get out of control again by signing on to liberal Democrats bills like “No Child Left Behind,” a Ted Kennedy favorite, and the Medicare Prescription Drug bill, that was estimated to cost over $70 billion a year, with no funding in the budget. “No Child Left Behind” allowed the federal government to have unprecidented reach into what I considered a state or local board of education realm. And Bush made sure that if any state refused to participate, it would see it’s education funding disappear. This alone turns the Constitution on it’s head. The Medicare bill was a really nice idea, if we could afford it. But again, there was no method of paying for it in the bill. The cost would be picked up by individual states, who were already struggling with budget shortfalls.
As we approached the election year 2008, I was certainly ready for change. I felt we needed to find candidates who were fiscally conservative if we were to ever turn the economy around. Unemployment was going up, trade imbalances were growing, and banks were failing at a record pace. On top of that, there were record numbers of home foreclosures, due to a loosening of the requirements to buy a home. People who had no down payment, some who had no credit, and some who had not completed bankruptcy terms were getting mortgages and they were going bad.
So Bush wrecklessly devistates the economy and an election is coming. I began studying some candidates that I thought would be willing and able to deal with the economy and find an exit strategy from Iraq. I settled on Mitt Romney, who had business credentials, had been Governor of Massachusetts, and had a solid plan for turning the economy around. My alternatives were Mike Huckabee, who preferred to talk about societal ills, Rudy Guiliani, who was considered socially liberal, and John McCain, who had also been buddying up with liberals in the Senate. I had supported McCain in 2000 when he ran against George W. Bush, who I considered too stupid to be president (I was right!). I knew I couldn’t support McCain when he proposed legislation that would grant “earned” citizenship to illegal aliens, which allowed them to jump ahead of those who were waiting in line legally.
Republicans lost my vote and any donations that I might have made when they rallied behind McCain, saying he had earned the nomination because he finished second to Bush in 2000. McCain then went on to vanquish Romney and Huckabee with love and support from the GOP. I could not bring myself to be an enthusiastic supporter. Andwhen he introduced Sarah Palin as his running mate, I knew he was dead in the water.
Watching the rise of Barack Obama was like watching a new movie star who makes a splash on the big screen in his debut. He came out of nowhere and was suddenly being endorsed by Ted Kennedy. The campaign of the assumed nominee, Hillary Clinton, seemed over. She found herself swamped by the celebrity of Obama. It would be Obama v. McCain, and I knew I would only be a spectator. Thus, my second occassion of feeling like something was just not right. The whole country was going gaga over a very liberal democrat who I could never imagine voting for. The reason for my refusal was based on a single vote that Obama had cast as a Senator. He had voted to allow children to be taken out of state to have an abortion without parental consent. Anyone could take them….caseworker from Planned Parenthood, teacher, friends parent….anyone. I believe that this vote indicates that Obama is totally irresponsible and I would not consider voting for him.
So the rise of this candidate disturbed me. But he went on to crush McCain and I began to hope that he would govern as he had campaigned, sort of in the middle. It would not take long to see that it was a pipe dream.
That brings me to my current feeling that something is wrong. With deficits skyrocketing, Obama has spent money that we don’t have. We are borrowing everything we are spending. And we are borrowing it mostly from China. He has greatly expanded the power and reach of the federal government, something that I feel is detrimental to our country. It has not been a year since his election, and already he has taken over General Motors, numerous large banks, insurance companies, and now he is reaching for our healthcare system. He has also spent nearly a trillion dollars on an ineffective stimulus package, and continues to lie about it’s impact. There were several billion more spent on the “Cash for Clunkers” program, which was a payoff to the United Auto Workers for the millions of dollars they sent to his campaign. It’s impact on the economy? None.
How will we pay for all this spending? I just have this feeling….