Not Voting Obama or Romney October 18, 2012
I'm not voting for Obama (or Romney)
In 1998, I decided that I would never vote Republican again. That was the year that the House Judiciary committee voted, along party lines, to bring impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. In 1998, the Republican party lost all legitimacy in my mind. They acted purely in self interest by attacking a successful and popular President for no legitimate reason. The Republicans engaged in a power-play that damaged the country. This played out again in the summer of 2011 when the Republicans did the brinksmanship thing with the debt ceiling.
So, Mitt Romney would never get my vote, even if he had a policy position I agreed with or a policy position that made logical or mathematical sense.
But I'm not voting for Obama either. I live in California so my vote doesn't matter. I also haven't given any money to the Obama campaign (I maxed out in 2008) this year.
What Obama has done well
Obamacare does a lot of the right things. Having relatives with pre-existing conditions and challenges finding work, I really appreciate the value of requiring insurance providers to insure everyone. Insurance is risk pooling and making sure that it is actually risk pooling rather than profit pooling is a good thing. I wish Obama had gone for single payer and gotten all the profit out of the health insurance business, but what he did is good enough for now.
Energy. I was not keen on Obama's "all of the above" strategy, but it seems to have worked. There seems to be a vibrant renewable energy set of businesses evolving. Perhaps the most visible in my world is the whole Tesla thing. It's also very good that we're domestically producing a higher percentage of oil and gas than we have in a long time.
Ending the war in Iraq.
Catching Osama Bin Laden. I would have rather seen him in court rather than killed, but Obama did what Bush failed to do.
Ending "Don't ask, don't tell".
What Obama has done okay
The 2009 stimulus. It was too small and too focused on tax breaks, but it was better than nothing.
Dodd/Frank. It should have been a lot tougher and brought back a division between commercial and investment banking.
What Obama has failed at
Explaining the the US Government is in fact the people of the United States. It's not an evil entity that should be choked to death or hated. Yeah, I get frustrated with all manner of institutional bureaucracy. But I think Comcast and XM/Sirius and Aetna and Bank of America are far more difficult to deal with than the IRS or the post office. Obama has failed to change the conversation to help people understand that the US Government is us.
Taking advantage of the super-majority in 2009. He should have shoved a ton of legislation through when he had the votes.
Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay.
Okay… the above is not a reason to not vote for him.
Why I can not vote for Obama
- Obama continues the US policy of torture.
- Obama assassinates US citizens.
- Obama is pursuing use of drones.
Obama does not meet my criteria for morality. I cannot and will not vote for him this November.
Obama's not a socialist
And for all you "Obama's a socialist" folks, no, he's not.
There has not been a president or a serious presidential candidate in my lifetime that has not advocated for some form of wealth transfer. LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all pursued policies that transfer wealth from some groups to other groups.
I don't always agree with the form or the amounts of the wealth transfers, but I also know that if you've got more than 1 person involved in any decision, somebody's not going to get what they want.
So, rather than calling Obama names that don't actually apply (or put another way, "I'm not sure you know the meaning of that word"), why not discuss his actual policies?
You don't like Obamacare… okay show me how the marketplace has succeeded in delivering lower cost quality care than various forms of government mandated/provided health care in other developed nations.