I've been accused of being "in the tank" for Barack Obama. Guilty as charged. For the first time in my life I have contributed to a candidate running for office (any office). For the first time in my life, I have volunteered (a little any) to help a political campaign. For the first time in my life I have registered with a political party. It feels good to actually feel enthusiastic about a candidate and to be able to vote without holding my nose. I'm not going to be ashamed of that. I'm celebrating it.
But, I've been accused of being so blinded by the glare coming off of the Messiah that my eyes are no longer "wide open". I think some think I am incapable of seeing Obama's shortcoming, mistakes and ,yes, lies. So, I want to take a few minutes to tell you some of the issues I have with Obama and some of the mistakes I think he's made in this campaign.
- Barack Obama is not against capital punishment- Barack Obama is for capital punishment under certain circumstances. While he did vote to stop the wrongfully convicted men in Illinois from going to their deaths and he has written that he think the death penalty: "does little to deter crime." But he supports capital punishment in cases "so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment. I say, let's join the rest of the civilized world and eliminate the death penalty in all cases. The only justified killing is the taking of a life to protect another life. Killing the "captive in chains" is barbaric.
- Barack Obama is not strong enough on gun control. When the Supreme Court struck down the 32 year ban on handguns in D.C., Obama agreed with them the the law (which was working) "went too far". No Barack. I disagree.
- Barack Obama has been running negative ads- After promising a different type fo campaign, Barack Obama's ads are, quantitatively anyway, more negative than John McCain's. A recent analysis showed McCain's negative ad ratio in the 50% range and Obama's in the 70% range. Living in Ohio and getting the juiciest of both ads (we get to see ads most of you never see), I thought it was more like 90% and 95%. I can only recall one ad from either candidate that did not mention the other's name and that is a recent ad by McCain-Palin.'
- Barack Obama has been lying in his ads- until recently, most of the ads I saw by Obama seemed to be pretty much true. The $5M joke that McCain told (if you made less than $5M you're middle class) was pounced on by the Obama campaign though. That was a cheap shot. The 100 years in Iraq was taken way out of context. That was hitting below the belt. But, the worst so far is the mischaracterization of McCain's social security plans. That is a very McCain like ad, IMO. In Obama's defense, I think he has told less lies than McCain has and I think a scan of FactCheck.Org would back me up on that. And I think he's told less whoppers. But, I think he has allowed the McCain organization to pull him into the mud. American politics requires a politician look "strong" and to look "strong" Obama has had to hit back. Sad.
- The Obama campaign got sidetracked by Sarah Palin- they took their eye off of the ball on this one and played right into McCain's hands by allowing McCain to bring up the experience issue again by comparing Sarah Palin to Barack Obama. Fortunately, I think that one is behind us.
- Barack Obama needs to clarify his position on late-term abortions- a lot of people are still asking questions about Obama's decision not to vote for a bill that would have made it mandatory in Illinois to try to save babies "born alive" during late term abortions. I understand his position to be that he thought the law was designed to chip away at abortion rights (as did a lot of other legislators) and that it was redundant as doctors were already required to work to save born alive babies. However, the most clear information I found on this was on factcheck.org and it has not been very clearly addressed by the campaign, IMO. Now, as President, he would have very little (none?) say over what abortion limits are set. But, you've got people running around thinking Obama supports putting live born babies to death. A vote for Obama is not a vote to increase the number of abortions or on late term abortions. But, he needs to clear that up.
- Obama has allowed himself to be painted as a tax and spend liberal- He needs to be more clear on his message and the average tax payer needs to know their income tax goes down more under an Obama administration than under a McCain administration. How they've allowed this myth to linger this long is beyond me.
- His response to Reverend Wright wasn't strong enough or quick enough- Obama underestimated White America's fear of a screaming Black man. By trying to remain loyal to Reverend Wright for too long, he suffered permanent damage in the minds of a few anyway. His assertion (which I heard just a few days ago again) that he was not in church to hear those sermons is unbelievable to those who heard the clips and assume he must have heard some of it or at least something like it. While I can believe he did not hear those particular clips (the man is a United States Senator, I wonder what his church attendance record actually was), surely he heard things "like" this while he was in church. Obama knew Wright might be a problem back before he hit the political trail. For political expedience, he should have gone with his gut and distanced himself then.
- Barack Obama needs to learn to be more "to the point"- I admire his brilliance, his ability to see all sides of an issue, his nuance and his way with words. But, Joe Lunchbox thinks Obama is talking over his head and relates more to the certitude of John McCain (which scares me because it's reminiscent of the certitude of Bush 43). During the debates, he's got to learn to leave out some of the nuance and give a "straight" answer. I think the charges of elitism about Obama are not because he drinks wine or eats arugula. It's because intellectually, he is having trouble connecting to the average American voter. He needs to be a little less polished, a little less perfect. I know it's hard for him because all of his life he's strived for excellence.
OK. There you have it. Barack obama is not perfect and those are my top 9 reasons why he's not. Yes, I'm still "in the tank" for Obama. I still agree with him on most issues. But, I don't agree with him on everything.