Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered his inaugural address, symbolically beginning the start of his second term in office (he was actually sworn in on Sunday in a private ceremony, per constitutional requirements).
The ceremony was filled with the usual pomp and celebration that we’ve come to know with presidential inaugurations. Hundreds of thousands descended on the Mall in Washington to watch Obama take his oath and listen to his second inaugural address. Many stuck around to watch the inaugural parade, which went on into the evening.
The celebration, as Doug Mataconis explains, “places far too much of an air of monarchism around the Presidency.” Seeing the lengths we take to celebrate one branch of our government — one that is supposed to have only as much power as the legislative and judicial branches — is ridiculous; not to mention incredibly costly. But I digress.
For all of the celebrating that took place in Washington yesterday, President Obama’s inaugural address left much to be desired.
It was a well-delivered speech, but there wasn’t much there on substance. While he talked about the unifying, there was nothing in the speech that came even close to hinting that Obama is ready to work with Republicans in Congress. He couldn’t have delivered that message any clearer.
For the most part, political conventions today are carefully scripted affairs, the platform hammered out in advance, the nominations a foregone conclusion. More than anything it is a festive gathering for thousands of partisans being rewarded for years of financial contributions, door-knocking, and phone-banking. Rarely do we see such drama as the contested Republican nomination of 1976 between Ford and Reagan, and certainly nothing like the 1912 Republican convention where the Roosevelt and Taft contingents were so bitterly divided that barbed wire lined the stage under the bunting.
The 2012 GOP convention was meant to let voters see the personal side of Mitt Romney, a man tight-lipped about his private life, religion, and charitable endeavors, painted as a ruthless businessman who cares only for profits. While toned down, it largely succeeded in its goals. Beyond that, Republicans lauded the greatness of the American entrepreneurial spirit that built this country, and rejected the idea that government gets credit for all we have.
The Democrat National Convention, on the other hand, turned into a freak show of radicals panting breathlessly about evil Republicans and the coming holocaust if Romney gets elected. It was a celebration of taxpayer funded abortions, government dependency until death, calls to steal more from the producers to give to the slothful, plus a tribute to their messianic figurehead, Barack Obama.
Media darling and left-wing feminist activist Sandra Fluke is yet again in the news. She gave an interview to some CNN program called “Starting Point” that nobody watches, just like the rest of the programming on CNN but I digress. Ms. Fluke had some choice words for Republicans.
“I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift,” said Sandra Fluke.
Sandra Fluke, who rose to national prominence when she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh following her testimony in favor of increased contraception access, said Wednesday that many women personally feel “they’re under attack” from GOP policies.
“When you look at the facts, quantitatively, there have been a record number of bills in the House to limit reproductive health. … Women feel that. I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift, and not in their favor,” Fluke said on CNN’s “Starting Point.”
So once again in the mind of Sandra Fluke and other left-wing feminists, women are nothing more than vaginas and uteruses. The only issues that women care about are abortion and birth control in their minds. Something tells me that not necessarily true. Women, just like men, I’m sure care more about whether or not they will have a job in the failed Obama economy for starters. This whole “war on women” is a distraction from the real issues invented by the Democrat Party and their allies in the media and the feminist movement.
Over the last couple of years, libertarians have complained about the emphasis conservatives, particularly the Rick Santorums and Mike Huckabees their movement, have placed on social issues. We’ve noted that conservatives should focus their message on issues where they can attract agreement — such as repealing ObamaCare, lessening regulation on businesses, cutting spending, and reducing taxes.
While I support same-sex marriage and have grown increasingly pro-choice within reason, the Republican National Convention was a largely a breath of fresh air from this perspective . That’s not to say that I agree with everything said on the budget, economy or foreign policy, but the discussion of social issues was relatively mild with Republicans choosing instead to place a heavy focus on the economic record of President Barack Obama.
But watching the Democratic National Convention off-and-on for a couple of days, one can’t help but notice the heavy emphasis on social issues. There is certainly a discussion and defense of President Obama’s economic record, but abortion, same-sex marriage, and labor unions been featured heavily.
Of course, this is really isn’t surprising. Democrats have tried to change the narrative at several points since the beginning of the year; usually by complaining that there is some supposed “war” being waged against a segment of the American public.
Most people seem to come to libertarianism from the right. It honestly makes sense when you think about it. The right tends to be a place of minimal government and typically argues for more freedom. The problems kick in on some specific issues. Many libertarians came to libertarianism after searching for a more consistent ideology.
Me? I’m a bit of an oddball. I came from the left. I came from a place of seeking more consistency on the issue of civil liberties that I was getting from the Democrats. There have been times when I wondered if there was ever being a small “L” libertarian in the Democratic Party. Based on what’s being reported over the party’s new platform, I can see that is a resounding “no.”
The piece points out several issues where the Democratic Party has decided to back away from their stances on civil liberties just four years ago. Issues like indefinite detention, closing Gitmo, illegal wiretaps, and racial profiling all pretty much continue without any modification from President Bush’s era. Even torture, for which many wanted heads on the proverbial pikes, has reportedly continued despite an executive order ending the practice.
So which conservative or libertarian publication makes such remarkes about President Obama and the Democratic Party? Townhall? Nope. Red State? Not even close.
The Weekly Standard? No. The National Review? Hardly. Reason? Wrong again. Try the left leaning Mother Jones.
Many on the left are less than pleased that Obama has done so poorly on civil liberties. That says nothing over any meaningful move on gay rights (besides the appeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) or a host of other issues.
Courtesy of http://bit.ly/OViBY6
In 2008, then candidate Obama appeared to be a strong defender of civil liberties. At least his speeches indicated so. He assured us that a President Obama would be vastly different from a President Bush on this issue (and many others). President Obama would close GITMO, stop torture and renditions, scrap the Patriot Act, etc, etc.
Yet, for those of us who care deeply about the issue of civil liberties, the current president has turned out to be a nightmare. GITMO is still open, torture and rendition have been outsourced to foreign governments (in a clever sleight of hand by the Obama administration), civil liberties on US soil are more curtailed after the President signed off on indefinite detention (after initially threatening to veto such measures), and the Obama drone program is four times larger than Bush’s (one of the reasons he’s called “Bush on Steroids”).
Written by Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
Rumor has it that Democrats will include, at their up-coming convention, a proposal to increase the minimum wage. As documented in a recent Cato study, such a policy is likely to increase unemployment, especially as I noted elsewhere among teenagers. One would think that given how a weak economy is undermining Democrats’ chance to keep the White House, they’d actually make proposals to reduce, rather than increase unemployment.
Note: This is part two of a three-part series that will cover reasons that a voter may choose to support a specific presidential candidate. Part 3 for Gary Johnson will be online tomorrow. Part 1 for Mitt Romney is available here.
I never thought I’d be writing a post of reasons why someone should vote for Barack Obama, but I’ve given it some thought and have found that even though Obama has zero chance of getting my vote in November, there are some reasons voting for him might make sense. He won’t get my vote, but maybe he’s the guy for you. Here are some reasons you might want to vote for him.
You believe a Democrat victory is all that matters.
If you think Democrats are generally “for the people” and that Republicans are generally “against the people,” you’re wrong. (They’re both usually against the people.) But if you think that the Democrats are the good guys, you don’t have much of a decision to make. Vote Obama, and hope for the best.
You want division between the executive and legislative branches of government.
If the latter years of the Bush presidency proved anything, it’s that leaving one party in charge of the House, Senate, and White House is a recipe for runaway government. The GOP is going to keep the House in November and is expected to gain good ground in the Senate. If Obama is pushing for big government, Republicans will oppose it; but if Romney is pushing big government, Republicans will (for the most part) be cheering him all the way. Dividing government is a sure way to stall the erosion of freedom.
You and Obama are the same color.
Left-wing discontent with Obama is probably not as high as moderate, right-wing, or libertarian discontent with the man, but it’s getting there. In fact, some, including Matt Stoller of the Roosevelt Institute, are speculating about possibly taking Obama off the top of the Democratic ticket in 2012.
Not that it will ever happen, but hey, I only read Salon for entertainment anyways:
Democrats may soon have to confront an uncomfortable truth, and ask whether Obama is a suitable choice at the top of the ticket in 2012. They may then have to ask themselves if there’s any way they can push him off the top of the ticket.
That these questions have not yet been asked in any serious way shows how weak the Democratic Party is as a political organization. Yet this political weakness is not inevitable, it can be changed through courage and collective action by a few party insiders smart and principled enough to understand the value of a public debate, and by activists who are courageous enough to face the real legacy of the Obama years.
Obama has ruined the Democratic Party. The 2010 wipeout was an electoral catastrophe so bad you’d have to go back to 1894 to find comparable losses. From 2008 to 2010, according to Gallup, the fastest growing demographic party label was former Democrat. Obama took over the party in 2008 with 36 percent of Americans considering themselves Democrats. Within just two years, that number had dropped to 31 percent, which tied a 22-year low.
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate with Al Gore and ardent John McCain supporter, is considering a move to the GOP. According to this story from Politico, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has approached Lieberman and discussions have taken place.
Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), is apparently upset at Lieberman’s support for McCain which was cemented with his speech at the Republican National Convention in September. Lieberman, who has served in the Senate since 1989, had to run as an independent in 2006 after losing in the Democratic primary. He has continued to caucus and align himself in the Senate with the Democrats.