Nov 032010
 

I more or less took a baseball bat to the bee's nest when I posted the following to my Facebook page:

Someone asked me yesterday why people hate Obama so much. I think maybe 40 planes carrying 3000 people to the tune of $2B has a lot to do with it.

Living in New Hampshire and working in Massachusetts, to say I have a lot of liberal friends and acquaintances would be an understatement. I assume that most of them are disappointed about the election outcome last night -- I know I would be if things had gone the other way. That aside, a lively discussion ensued on my wall and it became clear that FB isn't the right forum to host a fair fight. So the conversation continues here.

I'm a conservative. I didn't vote for Obama. I don't agree with his policies. I don't like him, but I can honestly say that no one has ever heard me say "I hate Obama"... and I'm pretty sure the person who asked me that question did so because they know I don't like him, not because I said I hated him.

So point by point... the comments to my little Facebook post in all their glory and a bit more of my humble opinion...

"In all sincerity, I have no idea what you are talking about."

That's fair. It was covered by quite a few news outlets, but would have been easy to miss since the price tag was only covered by the more conservative media.  Oh wait, you later told me to turn off FOX and flip to the BBC news and you will get a much less extreme political view.  You mean tune in to a media outlet that only reports half the story so I'm not motivated to do more research on my own?  No thanks. First, I didn't catch that little snippet on Fox -- it was reported by God knows how many online newspapers. Second, Obama's trip has been all over BBC albeit without the controversial details -- wouldn't want that, would we?  And third, I searched high and low for conflicting stories and all I found was one Yahoo post from some unknown that said the amount is rupees rather than dollars. While silence is by no means an admission of guilt, I would find it rather odd for no one to refute the story if the details were inaccurate.

"Nothing compared to 8 yrs bush cost us."

That doesn't even make sense. Why would I compare what Bush spent over 8 years to what Obama's spending during the course of 10 days?

"I don't think that you probably had much to say about how much Bush screwed up this country during his time in office."

Well... yeah. Not only am I a conservative, I'm human. Manufacturing complaints about a President who's more aligned with my views than one who isn't would not only be difficult, but would sort of put me in the same category as many of the politicians I dislike. Trying to be diplomatic is one thing, but deliberately misrepresenting myself is just hypocritical. If it matters, I didn't complain all that much about Clinton, either.

"What I love is that Obama is considered extreme."

Yup, look it up... extreme. As in not in the middle. In the same way I think other politicians are extreme. I think Sarah Palin is extreme and there are probably more people from both sides who don't want to see her in the White House for exactly that reason. I don't understand how you can call someone who campaigned on socialist values anything but extreme.

"I always considered him to be closer to a moderate myself."

I can't even respond to this one. I suppose I need to further contemplate the meaning of extreme, partisan and radical.

"pro-business but with oversight"

That by itself is fair... but I'm a conservative. I believe that jobs are created not by government, but by small businesses. The whole idea of a government trying to provide oversight for the private sector when it can't succeed at oversight for itself is just scary. The whole idea of a bunch of lawyers-turned-politicians deciding what's best for the private sector is even scarier. The first clue I've heard that Obama is even listening to small business owners came today when he admitted that the 1099 requirements in the new health care bill would come at a high cost for small businesses and they needed to change that. Hopefully the next clue will be evidence that he's willing to treat all businesses equal -- independent of whether they have unions who contributed heavily to his campaign.

"plan to withdraw our forces but while giving them a chance to win"

I'm not sure there was as much of a plan as there was a campaign promise he was hellbent on committing to, but I'm not going to credit him with all of the blame. What I have a problem with is that the way we advertise our plans is sort of like me posting my address on the front page of the Globe and announcing that my house is going to be empty for three weeks while I'm on vacation. He campaigned on draw-down and tied a date to it. He was a candidate with no military experience who has never served on the Armed Services Committee nor the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and made an uninformed campaign promise without one iota of expert opinion before deciding on the date -- his date. It's one thing to have a plan, but something quite different to make a campaign statement and stick to it come hell or high water, right or wrong just to be able to say "hey, look at me -- I kept my promise". See definition of extreme above.

"health care reform sure but without large federal infrastructure and budget neutral"

Well... I asked the question before but you must have missed it. How much of the bill did you read? While we're at it, how many of the analyses and OMB reports did you read? How closely have you been following the side effects? Yes, side effects -- there will be many and we're just starting to see some of them... like employers who are no longer hiring because they don't know what it's going to cost them. Don't get me wrong -- I'm as much an advocate for health care as the next person -- but there's something very flawed with a bill that will require citizens to prove they have insurance in a country where you don't have to prove you're a citizen. If the bill is so great, why did they have to give the State of Nevada a special deal on Medicare before Harry Reid would commit. If it's so great, why are members of Congress exempt? Why did Obama and his Democrats give Stupak a worthless promise that abortions won't be funded?  Yes, worthless because he did the one thing that's easily undone with a flick of the pen. In fact, why were they so worried about the Stupak Amendment when they repeatedly told Americans your current insurance coverage will not change. You are aware that's why the liberals didn't want the amendment in there, right?

"I don't think people know what a Liberal is anymore."

Maybe not, but I pretty much subscribe to the definitions in the dictionary. I particular like the one that says tolerant of his opponent's opinions. Please see the definition of extreme above... a man who refers to people who disagree with him as enemies can hardly be considered tolerant.

"Blaire was an absolute idiot. And the difference between the UK and the US is that I bet more than 1/2 of the US wouldn't know who Blaire is, while every UK citizen knows Bush is a jackass."

Totally irrelevant.  What I said was

What I'm really hoping for is that the combined effects of of the last 10 years will be more like what happened in the UK between Thatcher and Blaire.

What I was referring to is that long periods of far left and far right generally result in a move toward the center because otherwise nothing gets done. If you poll 100 people about two politicians -- one far left and the other far right -- all 100 are going to tag one of them as the idiot. I'd be afraid of someone who does otherwise because they're probably suffering from a severe personality disorder.  So Blaire is your idiot. It doesn't matter to me who the idiot is -- only that people realize that extended periods of extremes get in the way of progress and the remedy is for everyone to migrate to the center.

I don't think that Obama can make a trip without high security costs. Are you saying that the President shouldn't make trips outside of the country? Oh, and I love the "take advantage" like it's some sort of expensive vacation.

I think Obama's security costs should be significantly higher because I believe he's a high risk President.  But 3000 people? 40 planes?  See the definition of extreme above.  Should he make trips outside the country? Sure. Take advantage? I didn't even see that until you called attention to it -- it's completely irrelevant to the story and nothing more than some reporter's opinion. Opinions should be reserved for blogs and commentaries -- in a news context, they do nothing but stir up emotions.

Bush took 77 flights to his ranch in Texas of course.

I can't confirm or deny the 77, but if that's the number it sounds like you're taking issue with the fact that the man went home not quite once a month (he was in office for 96). Bush also traveled outside the country, but he didn't take an entourage of 3000 people on 40 planes.  I know for a fact that if he had, he would have never heard the end of it.  Truth be told, I have a bigger issue with Pelosi who goes home every weekend and doesn't like it when she has to fly on the little plane.

As I wrote this, I had a lot of time to think about all the reasons I didn't vote for Obama and what a disappointment he's been. I could probably overlook the arrogance and I've repeatedly speculated that 4 years of Obama will make a lot of people think long and hard about what they want for their government and I think that's a good thing. But what I will never comprehend is why someone wanted to be President of a country he's was so obviously ashamed of. Maybe the reason people hate him so much is because he hated them first.