Why Barack Obama? Part 1

As my friend Tom likes to point out when comparing McCain and Obama: Obama’s 143 days in office doesn’t compare to McCain’s 22 years of military and 26 years of congressional experience.  Tom feels, and I quote, The only way Obama should be in the White House is if McCain invites him over for dinner.

When you look at that way, it seems crazy not to vote for McCain so I truly believe that it is a fair question to ask:  Why would I, or anyone for that matter, vote for Obama?  I have a lot of reasons actually, none of which I feel will change the mind of a stanch supporter of John McCain. However, I’m going to put them out there in a series of posts over the next few weeks.  Let’s start with the obvious. We don’t need another Maverick.  One has been sitting in the Oval Office for 8 years now and I’m not impressed with how a Maverick runs things.  Besides, mavericks aren’t known for heeding the advice of pencil pushing, accounting types.

The following excerpt was taking from an article written by Jeremy Grant and posted on the Financial Times web site.  In it he speaks with David Walker, the former Comptroller of the Government Accountability Office.  He worked for 8 years in that top position under both Clinton and Bush.  His outlook for our country isn’t pretty:

The US government is on a “burning platform” of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

The fall of Rome?  Wow. That sounds dramatic.  How big was Rome before it fell, anyway?  Interestingly enough, when my husband and I traveled to Rome a few years ago, we came across a set of maps outside the subway station near the Colosseum and I took some pictures.

The little white dot is where Rome starts out.

The little white dot is where Rome starts out.

Rome expands...

Rome expands...

Rome gets even bigger...

Rome gets even bigger...

The Roman Empire at it's largest

The Roman Empire at its largest.

And then it all went to hell in a hand basket.  All that hard work, innovation, dominance, and power reduced back down to the minuscule spot on the map where it all started.

We are overextended and underfunded with an aging population of baby boomers that we can’t support.  The perfect storm, if you will, for complete financial ruin.  This will be an unprecedented position for a US President to face.  Similar to the unprecedented position President Bush was in after 9/11.  You remember Bush, right?  That other “Maverick” that was going to shake up DC just as soon as he lowered his golf handicap and got some home improvement projects done at his Crawford ranch.

Mavericks are not know for being smart or reasonable.  They’re known for being loose canons. They take big risks, because hey, FREEDOM ISN’T FREE! Well, guess what?  WAR ISN’T FREE either.  You can’t just charge it to your China Visa and worry about paying for it later.

Digging ourselves out of debt will NOT BE FREE.  If you think that you’re not going to pay for a balanced budget out of your own pocket then you’re not paying attention.  You cannot merely cut services to get in the black. How do I know this?  Because in every area of my functional day to day life I’m seeing prices go up to cover the increased cost of doing business.  Yet McCain the McMaverick is going to do the fiscally impossible feat of not passing the increased cost of running the government onto us.  I find that hard to believe.

We the people will be paying for the mistakes of the Bush Administration for decades, so we need a leader than can rally us.  All of us. McCain couldn’t rally the people that attended his own pep rally.  How the hell is he going to inspire the rest of us to sacrifice for the greater good of this country?

Obama doesn’t have all of the answers and he certainly can’t make good on all of his promises, either.  But he’s smart.  He’s reasonable.  He’s healthy for God’s sake.  He’s calm.  He inspires people.  People from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as from other countries that used to hate us.

They say that the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing but expect a different outcome. Therefore why would I put John McMaverick in charge and expect things to change?  I’d rather take a chance on the new guy and hope that he does right by this country and fast – before it gets reduced to a tiny little dot on the map called Jamestown.

I.O.U.S.A. is a new movie that examines our national debt and its consequences for the US.  I know I’m going to see it before election day this November.  Here’s hoping (there’s that word again) that the guys running for President will heed its warning.

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7 responses to “Why Barack Obama? Part 1

  1. Okay – the difference here is that we each have a different standard for the office of the president. Look if you want to give a newcomer a shot at being mayor or city council go for it but when it comes to what is the most powerful position in the world, I just can’t side with hope. Hope is not a strategy.

    I’ve said from the beginning that McCain is probably my least favorite candidate but from your standpoint, can you name someone as bipartisan as McCain? The man has a proven record of reaching across the aisle and getting things done.

    By the way, the Iraq War is not a mistake.
    Constantly telling our troops that they are being used for purposes other than what they were sent out there to do is misguided and wrong.

    If that is what one feels, then back it up with facts. If you don’t like their commander in chief, fine, but these brave men and women, both military and civilian, deserve nothing less than our true honest dedication and support.

  2. Where in my post did I rip on our military? Where did I say they were being used for purposes other than what they were sent for? Where did I not support them?

    I ripped on the folks in charge that went to war without knowing how they were going to pay for it because they were too busy being cocky and arrogant. I expect more when lives are at stake. Much more.

    I’m so tired of one’s patriotism being tied their feelings about this war. That by not wanting the soldiers of this nation to die means that I’m some how disrespecting them. What the fuck?

    A bunch of Mavericks, aka loose canons, started a war without a game plan. Whether you feel the war was right or wrong doesn’t matter. Something can be 100% right but erroneously planned out and executed. Again, I expect more from my leaders.

    Why don’t you?

  3. Well maybe I read more into the “mistakes of the Bush Admin” than I should have. But one of the biggest drains on the budget is of course the war and the war was not a mistake as Saddam had to go but that is neither here nor there. So here we are poised for victory when it was just a year ago the left would have had us declare defeat and empowered the terrorists world wide. Totally unforgivable.

    You may think the country has gone to “hell in a handbasket” but if someone would have asked you on September 12th, 2001 if you thought the US would be attacked again in the next 7 years, what would you’re answer be? I know what mine would have been and I’m astounded that we haven’t.

    Who should we thank for that?

  4. Again, read the post. ROME went to hell in a hand basket. I’m just saying that history has a tendency to repeat itself, right? Top economist and accountant types having been warning us for a while now. I’m not making this up. I’m not smart enough to make this shit up. I’m just curious why those in power aren’t smart enough to head the warnings.

    I am extremely grateful that we haven’t been attacked again. But I also don’t want to live under a bridge. Statistically speaking (and I honestly don’t know the numbers, just asking the reader to use common sense here) if I’m going to play the odds, should I be more afraid of a terrorist attack or losing my job, home, health benefits? What is more detrimental to me? What is more likely to happen? What is happening to Americans right now as I type this?

    Terror is a problem. I agree with you – I’m shocked that all has been quiet on the Western front for so long. But in terms of my functional daily life, terror is not the biggest thing on my radar. I fear the pedophile lurking in the bushes, the cost of feeding my family, fear that although I save every penny I can, I might not be able to afford to put two daughters through college and although my parents played by the rules and worked their assess off, fear they might not get what’s rightfully theirs.

    There are so many issues at stake here. I need reason. Calm. High level functional problem solving skills. Intelligence. Someone able to have conversations not just confrontations. Someone able to build coalitions, gather support from other nations and rally the people.

    I’m not convinced that McCain has those qualities. Experience? Sure. An honorable biography? Definitely. All of the skills necessary to begin to steer us out of this FUBAR of a situation? Doubtful.

    But if you think he has what it takes, then by golly you should vote for him. Put a sign in your yard, a magnetic sticker on your car, send a donation to the campaign, and blog about it daily.

    We’re not going to change each other’s minds. But we do have the potential to influence the undecided voter. So go post on your blog and I’ll link to it and we can keep the conversation going that way.

  5. Peace!

    You rock!

  6. You do Rock, Linda.

    I am so glad you are standing strong and expressing yourself so articulatly. I get so upset and flustered that I just want to shake and scream rather than have a reasonable debate with someone who differs from me. I will look to you for the voice of reason.

  7. Ditto Tom – you rock as well. I’ve linked to your blog. Please post often. There are definitely a ton of folks out that would totally dig your point of view. In fact, I’ll send KMan to your site,

    Thanks Bobbi – but keep in mind that I get to think, then write, then delete, then think, then write, then edit, etc. If only I were this articulate when speaking, which is how most of us have our political discussions.

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