Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Transparent Man

Though Obama has done exactly what he said he would do regarding how he would conduct the imperial agenda from presidential signing statements to transparency in government Obama has reversed his position time and again. First consider the following from Obama’s website.

Link

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.


The above sounds great yet consider Obama’s reversal on the issue of releasing photos of torture -- a result of a suit brought by the ACLU -- by the U.S. on the grounds that the photos would endanger U.S. troops the more likely reason being that the photos are proof of torture being more widespread than previously acknowledged.

Link

President Obama’s administration – specifically the office of the Solicitor General, Elena Kagan – this afternoon formally requested that the U.S. Supreme Court block the release of photos showing detainee abuse. The brief calls the behavior depicted in the photographs “reprehensible,” yet argues the court of appeals ruling ordering the release of the photographs made an improper judgment regarding the exemption allowed to the Freedom of Information Act, when the release of certain information would put certain individuals in danger.


The reference to certain individuals of course is that Obama maintains that release of the photos would endanger the troops. Well, one can always find a good reason for doing the wrong thing and I guess strengthening democracy can always be put off till another day. Can’t you sense that commitment to transparency in government at an unprecedented level? I can’t either, oh well.

Then there are those signing statements – basically a presidential “fuck you” to Congress -- that Obama denounced during his campaign.

Link

In the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama called Mr. Bush’s use of signing statements an “abuse,” and said he would issue them with greater restraint. The Obama administration says the signing statements the president has signed so far, challenging portions of five bills, have been based on mainstream interpretations of the Constitution and echo reservations routinely expressed by presidents of both parties.

Still, since taking office, Mr. Obama has relaxed his criteria for what kinds of signing statements are appropriate. And last month several leading Democrats — including Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts and David R. Obey of Wisconsin — sent a letter to Mr. Obama complaining about one of his signing statements.

“During the previous administration, all of us were critical of the president’s assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of Congressional statutes he was required to enforce,” they wrote. “We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude.”



So where is this transparency in the use of signing statements the purpose of which is to eliminate legislation done in the open thus allowing a president to grab more power with the flourish of a pen?

From W. Bush to Obama it has been one smooth and seamless continuity and though I am impressed with Obama’s heart-felt concern for the well being of the troopers if he was really that concerned he could always withdraw them from Iraq and Afghanistan removing them from “harm's way”.

The only thing transparent about Obama is that it had been obvious from the first exactly what Obama is and represents. All you had to do was read a few of his speeches to have seen what Obama is --the status quo. The only thing that might be surprising is he has been unwilling to take a stand on any controversial issue what-so-ever. You would think that with all the noise accompanying his rise to power he would at least have one issue he believed in. Apparently Obama doesn’t really believe in anything. Obama is the Transparent Man.

4 Comments:

At August 11, 2009 9:34 PM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Nice one, Rob.

Obama learned at Bill Clinton's feet, so to speak. Clinton would hold a number of positions, each one imprecise enough to give him wiggle room, or loaded with modifiers and scarce on factual nouns. As Dennis Perrin recently remembered, Clinton deftly turned his impeachment testimony into an assessment of what are the definitions of certain words, whether they are susceptible to different interpretations. The focus never really sat on his impeachable offenses, it sat on his equivocations. Which means the offenses went by the wayside and if you'll recall, the strongest criticisms by the end of the testimony were that Clinton may have perjured himself. Sure a few partisan enemies continued to cry for his impeachment, but I'm talking about Clinton's public performance.

Obama is shrewd enough to have learned the lessons of Clinton's tenure in the White House. He also has the advantage of being some time down the road, with the average American's attention span growing shorter by the day. This means it's easier for him to be inconsistent and not get called on it.

 
At August 12, 2009 1:20 PM, Anonymous Guy said...

attention what?

 
At August 12, 2009 1:21 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Charles,
Yes, I read Dennis Perrin’s blog all the time. He says he wants to get away from writing about politics and I don’t blame him but when he does write about it it’s always worth reading. Obama is smooth for sure and he was affiliated with Joe Lieberman for a while as well and I’m sure he learned from that experience as well. Let’s face it, the reasons Obama was chosen by the Dems is that he was a new face, black, and would toe the party line of the Dem Clintonian centrists. In return Obama will get rich after his four year stint, eight if he is really lucky and smarter than I think he is, by doing what most prezes do when they leave office, travel about giving speeches for huge sums of money. We’ll all be in the bread lines by then but not Obama.

 
At August 13, 2009 12:55 PM, Blogger Truth Excavator said...

Good post, Dethroning Obama will be even more fun than kicking Bush when he's done.

Obama's campaign won the top marketing award for the year 2008. That explains it all.

The man is too calculated to represent any real change. He's a pole climber, a suck up. But that fits his role - he's a politician - so it is the American people's fault that they believed what he said. I'm not really mad at him. In fact, I'm even starting to forgive Bush. Not Cheney and the rest of the gang though.

 

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