Author Topic: The Legacy of President Obama  (Read 4459 times)

michaelintp

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The Legacy of President Obama
« on: October 18, 2010, 08:16:08 pm »
As I see it, there are two important contributions to the history of the United States arising from the election of Barack Obama, one already realized, one in which we are in the midst of.

His first contribution, already realized, is the election of the first African-American President of the United States.  While some may wish to minimize this, indeed some may desperately wish to minimize this, it is important, for the message his election sent to all Americans and to the world.  Because, if America were truly a viciously racist nation, he would not have stood a chance of being elected.

His second contribution is that, by reason of his policies, for the first time in a very long time, we as Americans are having a serious debate regarding the Power of Government vs. the Rights of the Individual.  Barack Obama’s policies represent a dramatic expansion of Government power over the economic lives of Americans, as well as a dramatic, indeed an almost unlimited, expansion of the Government’s Power over the Individual under the Commerce Clause (if sustained by the courts).  

For the first time in years, Americans are actually discussing these fundamental issues.  

No matter how this plays out, both in November and two years from now, it is refreshing that people are actually considering to what extent they are willing to embrace their future … as Servants of the State or as Free Individuals willing to assume responsibility for their own lives.

Coercion vs. Freedom, that is what it is all about.  

So … thank you President Obama, for bringing these issues to the fore.  I have no idea how this dialogue is going to play out, but it is a dialogue that is critical for the future of America, and the time is NOW.    

THIS MESSAGE IS A PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT, BY CONSERVATIVE TROLLS.COM. AND THE EVIL U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

 ;)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 06:38:00 pm by michaelintp »

Offline moor

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 11:03:26 pm »
I'd argue that the irony here is that neither contribution can be directly attributed to the man himself.

The former is the result of over a century's worth of blood, sweat and tears donated by anonymous multitudes.  The latter, while seemingly saturated in the pop culture of 24 hour media outlets in recent years, has been actively debated for the latter part of a decade, and probably has as much to thank the Patriot Act for as it does our current President.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 02:54:07 am »
His election didn't prove that America is a non-racist nation. Obama had to run a deracialized campaign, a sign right there that many people, white and black, are still uncomfortable talking about or dealing with race.  The words of his pastor almost sunk his campaign. When has that happened to a white presidential aspirant? And Obama won with a multiracial coalition, not the majority white vote. America is a less racist nation than it was 40 years ago, but race continues to be a factor in this nation no matter how much some conservatives wish it weren't so, straight up deny it while playing to white resentments, or only can see black racism against whites. Flashpoints like Glenn Beck's comments about Obama, Henry Gates and Shirley Sherrod, and to a lesser exent the New Black Panthers and ACORN, show there is still divergent racial opinion in this country.

This whole debate about the power of the individual v. the government is undergirded by racial fears. Obama is not an 'American', he's an 'outsider', a 'socialist, communist, fascist, Muslim' whatever negative appellation some of his enemies can throw at him, merely just to emphasize that he is not like us (i.e. white folks), and that his motives are sinister. Bush expanded the size of the government and there was no Tea Party. Bush clamped down on civil liberties, and there was no Tea Party. These wars have ballooned the budget/deficit, going on for a decade, there was no Tea Party. If anything, some GOP'ers were quick to call anyone who criticized the war efforts unpatriotic. The debates over 'small v. big goverment' are nothing new. That's been going on since the formation of the republic and it would have happened if Hillary or McCain were president. I don't think that's animating a lot of the Tea Party fervor. I think it's a cloak to mask some white peoples' real fears that they are being overtaken by blacks and browns, that they are slipping in influence and power and they want to reclaim their 'lost position'. The funny, or perhaps disturbing thing is, that because there has been a sea change in how whites treat blacks and talk about blacks in public due to the Civil Rights Movement, that many Tea Partiers can't really say what's on their minds regarding Obama or blacks in general, so they talk about 'producers v. freeloaders' and stuff like that. And you can guess who are the 'freeloaders' and who are the 'producers' or the 'real' Americans.

America became a less racist nation not because people stuck their heads in the sand and pretended it doesn't exist like many conservatives and liberals want to do with race today, and quite frankly, have been wanting to do throughout. It happened because of 'agitators' of all hues, who protested, marched, sang, fought back, etc. The was never this magical moment where White America realized the undemocratic and ugliness inherent in a racial apartheid system in this country and changed their hearts and minds overnight. This has been a continuum of struggle that has gone on at least since 1619 and Obama's election isn't the 'end of black history' as some whites and blacks want to proclaim. In fact, I fear that with Obama as the front man, the verifiable 'proof' that racism is dead, might make it harder to root out continuing racism or to effect the structural changes we need in education, criminal justice, health care, etc. One black person wasn't brought to this hemisphere in chains, millions were, so why should we believe that just because one black/biracial person became President that that automatically uplifts the millions of others?

As for Obama's true legacy, that remains to be seen. His presidency will be notable I think for the following:

-Being the first non-white president.
-The recovery act/stimulus package.
-The bailouts. Perhaps saving capitalism itself, strange behavior for a Marxist Fascist Jihaddist.
-Health care reform.
-His handling of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
-His handling of immigration.
-Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
-The potential to restore America's image in the world, which was tarnished during the Bush years. It could lead to a reassertion of American leadership.
-His Supreme Court appointments.
-The rise of the Tea Party movement/change in the GOP.
-His response to the 2010 mid-term elections.

Obama has already had a consequential presidency no matter what the media says, and he has had a pretty good legislative record of accomplishment.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 03:01:10 am by Emperorjones »

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 05:59:46 am »
As for Obama's true legacy, that remains to be seen. His presidency will be notable I think for the following:

-Being the first non-white president.

How much do you want to bet that when a Black man (who isn't bi-racial) is elected President some day, that there will be people declaring he (or she) is the first "true" non-white/Black President?  

(I'm not saying their view point is valid or not, but I can just see people saying or rather blogging that, especially by those who were unsatisfied with his presidentency.)

But about the initial comment; I disagree.  I think this question (individual vs government) was being deeply discussed under the Bush administration and the Patriot Act.  Does the government's responsibility to public safety trump individual rights of privacy?  While the form might be different that the discussion now, it is still the same discussion.  (Only, the parties seem to be reverse--during Bush's term, conservatives supported goverment intrusion and liberals wanted the gov't to back off.)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 06:22:05 am by KIP LEWIS »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 04:22:11 pm »
^
Some people have already been debating Obama's ethnicity and whether he is in fact the first black president. There were news reports of whites shortly after the election who felt that Obama wasn't black because he was biracial and after Obama identified himself as African American there was an editorial in the Washington Post written by a person with an Asian surname that felt he shouldn't have done so because it was biracial and was not acknowledging his white heritage. There has also been the occassional grumbling that Obama isn't black enough.

I think the vast majority of African Americans see Obama as a member of their group and he sees himself as a member of that group, so case closed in that regard. Now, whether his policies that will ultimately help that group, which is his most loyal voting block, remains to be seen.

michaelintp

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 06:53:27 pm »
Why the Tea Party Movement now?  I'll tell you why, really why:

What the Obama Administration is doing is not only quantitatively different, in terms of the magnitude of government spending and debt, but also qualitatively different, by taking the position that "commerce" is virtually anything and everything that people do.  Because our actions, in the aggregate, may have a substantial economic impact. It is both the magnitude of the spending and the qualitative difference in the government mandating individual actions (yes, making us all slaves of the State) that has raised the ire of the Tea Party activists.

Here is a very entertaining and educational discussion of this expansion of Government Power under the Commerce Clause:

Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce Clause Made Congress All-Powerful


Really, watch it.  It is only around 10 minutes long, and is very good. Both a liberal and conservative law professor are featured, along with video clips etc.  It is fun.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 08:04:07 pm »
I find it very amusing that many of your ilk downplay the actual slavery that happened on our shores and the segregation/second class citizenship that occurred for nearly a century after it, yet are crying about the government making them slaves. Or they are going to be second class citizens. It's also funny that some of the people saying that Obama's administration will make them slaves have no problem supporting the Confederate flag as an expression of "Southern heritage", which was largely predicated on the actual enslavement of human beings.

Some right wingers were saying that Social Security, Medicare, and other government programs would also enslave people, but I doubt that many of the Tea Partiers are truly willing to part with Social Security, Medicare, School Loans, or a host of government programs, particularly any that are perceived as helping them. Now the ones that are perceived as helping the undeserving-blacks, browns, anyone not like them, well, yeah that's when government spending becomes out of control and monstrous.

The power and reach of the Federal Government has been expanding probably for about a century, at least since Teddy Roosevelt. Even the conservative demigod Ronald Reagan had massive deficits under his administration, so I don't think the size of government is really at the root of Tea Party angst. It's more a matter of who has control of the purse strings.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 08:10:04 pm by Emperorjones »

michaelintp

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 07:29:18 am »
EmperorJones, did you watch the video that I posted, above?  ???

I certainly do not minimize the horror of American slavery or the gross injustice of Jim Crow.

However, when I refer to slaves, I am not specifically referring to American history. Frequently the nations of Communist Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Red China were referred to as slave states by those opposed to International Communism.

When the government tells you what you must buy, and when, and is empowered to order you to do so, and is also empowered to mandate that you involuntarily engage in other acts, and you must bow and abide by its will, that sounds very much like the beginnings of slavery. It is the antithesis of the limited Government, and empowerment of the Individual, that the Founders envisioned.

Why would any person (and particularly any person descended from slaves) willingly embrace being dominated by the State? The only reason I can imagine is in return for the promise of "the Master" to provide. Such a trade-off is short-sighted, and self-destructive, in my opinion.

Offline Gooch

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 08:49:27 am »
EmperorJones, did you watch the video that I posted, above?  ???

I certainly do not minimize the horror of American slavery or the gross injustice of Jim Crow.

However, when I refer to slaves, I am not specifically referring to American history. Frequently the nations of Communist Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Red China were referred to as slave states by those opposed to International Communism.

When the government tells you what you must buy, and when, and is empowered to order you to do so, and is also empowered to mandate that you involuntarily engage in other acts, and you must bow and abide by its will, that sounds very much like the beginnings of slavery. It is the antithesis of the limited Government, and empowerment of the Individual, that the Founders envisioned.

Why would any person (and particularly any person descended from slaves) willingly embrace being dominated by the State? The only reason I can imagine is in return for the promise of "the Master" to provide. Such a trade-off is short-sighted, and self-destructive, in my opinion.


When has the government since the election of Obama told us what to buy?  Specifically what acts has his administration made us do things against or will?  What rules have changed that have limited our freedom under the Obama Administration?   


Where are the higher taxes?  most tax increases for me have come at the state and local level, and ironically I live in a republican controlled  state and a republican controlled county.

Personally I think the average Tea Party Member/leader/ follower are full of sh*t.    They are not students of history or economics,  They scream socialism and liken everything to Nazi Germany, however the Nazi's were not socialist,in fact they put communist and socialist opposition to death.     Lowering Taxes and trickle down economics have never stimulated the economy.   One thing that happens when you give large businesses large tax cuts (free property and state tax waivers, ect)  it may attract new business to your state for a while, but when the the tax incentives run out, the businesses leave.   Ask Georgia and a lot of the South who are getting hit harder economically then many other parts of the country.   
the game is messed up,  singers want to be gansters, gangsters want to be rappers, and rappers want to  be actors

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 09:36:50 am »
<<When has the government since the election of Obama told us what to buy?  Specifically what acts has his administration made us do things against or will? >>

Health Insurance.  Requiring everyone to have it is telling us what to buy, even against their will.

BTW, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with him; just saying, that requiring eveyone to have insurance, even if you have to buy it is an example.

Offline Gooch

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 09:51:47 am »
technically it has not.   It requires you to have it, not buy it.   requires employers to provide it, however they do give exemptions (ask McDonald's)  but that would be a straw man argument.   I will leave those to others/   
the game is messed up,  singers want to be gansters, gangsters want to be rappers, and rappers want to  be actors

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 12:13:46 pm »
If you're self-employeed or unemployeed, you're required to buy it too, or get it somehow.

But the "buy" isn't the requirement, the "have" is.  Saying you "have to" have health insurance, is the govt forcing you to do something you may not want to do.

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 01:59:47 pm »
If you're self-employeed or unemployeed, you're required to buy it too, or get it somehow.

But the "buy" isn't the requirement, the "have" is.  Saying you "have to" have health insurance, is the govt forcing you to do something you may not want to do.

Everyone who drives is required to have car insurance and nobody has an issue with that.

And if somebody's destitute self shows up in an emergency room the personnel there are ''required'' to take care of the person.

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 05:46:41 pm »
If you're self-employeed or unemployeed, you're required to buy it too, or get it somehow.

But the "buy" isn't the requirement, the "have" is.  Saying you "have to" have health insurance, is the govt forcing you to do something you may not want to do.

Everyone who drives is required to have car insurance and nobody has an issue with that.

And if somebody's destitute self shows up in an emergency room the personnel there are ''required'' to take care of the person.

Car insurance is not the same thing, because no one is required to have a car.  Also a car isn't a right, it's a privilage.   That's different than requiring every single to person to have some sort of health care coverage. 

And there are other, older, laws that "require" a person to do something against their will, but that wasn't question.  The question was what laws have been passed by the current President requiring a person to do something they may not want to do.

But again, I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing.  (Maybe it is, maybe it isn't--time will tell.)  I'm just answering the question, "When has the government since the election of Obama told us what to buy?  Specifically what acts has his administration made us do things against or will?  " 


michaelintp

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Re: The Legacy of President Obama
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 07:51:33 pm »
Hi guys. Yes, Kip is 100% correct. Given that health insurance companies don't give away health insurance for free, the Government is demanding that every citizen (who is not otherwise covered) buy health insurance. There is no ambiguity in this. That is one of the bases that several States are challenging Obamacare. In addition to the cost to the national fisc, and the increase in insurance premiums that this legislation is causing (contrary to Obama's promises to the contrary), why do you think people are so riled up?  It is because they see the writing on the wall. 

Indeed, this, more than anything else, is what got people riled up initially.

The Administration's rationale is that our individual actions and personal decisions, that in the aggregate have a substantial impact on "commerce," is subject to Government regulation. What they don't expressly say is that ... applying this standard ... virtually every aspect of our lives is subject to Government regulation, since virtually everything, in the aggregate, has a substantial impact on commerce in one way or another.  What we eat, how we live, how we choose to spend our money, whatever. In terms of health care, the sole criteria for applying this Government dictate forcing you to buy health insurance is that you are alive a breathing. Not exercising the privilege of driving a car, not choosing to engage in business, not doing anything else. Just alive and breathing.

Vic, Gooch ... did either of you watch the brief video I posted. It addresses all of your questions, in a very entertaining and informative way. Honest, this is not a trick question. You may well agree with the Liberal academic attorney featured in the video, in fact I would be willing to bet the farm that you do. But really, you should watch it. I would not recommend it if it were boring, but it is not. It is fun:

Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce Clause Made Congress All-Powerful

   

Maybe after watching it, you would at least get some real sense of why some of the "Tea Party" folk are stirred up (even if you disagree with 'em). 

The video is only a few minutes long, not a major investment of time. I would love to hear anyone's reactions to it.