Hope and Change
The Broken Promises of the Obama Administration
After writing the piece on Republican flip-flops I decided to write one on President Obama as well. After writing Obama’s version, I was struck by the different motivations behind the position changes. The Republican candidates appeared to change their positions due to political expediency; they think it is what voters want to hear. Many of Obama’s flip-flops and broken promises result from Congress. Congress was largely responsible for keeping Guantanamo open and it was Congressmen who wrote the Health Care Reform bill and Dodd-Frank, not the administration. Other broken promises resulted from the corruption of power, like Obama’s poor record on transparency and his prosecution of whistleblowers. The change in the time-table for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq was also Obama’s decision. I think that the time-table we ended up with was the correct one, even if Obama was trying to extend it. My biggest disagreement with President Obama is with something he has been consistent on since the beginning, Afghanistan.
Without further ado, we join our satirical heroes rejoicing on election night after having just won the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States.
Obama: I can’t believe it.
Biden: You better believe it Barack; you are now the president-elect of the United States.
Obama: This is such a historic opportunity. Democrats also won large majorities in the House and Senate. This is our chance to do what Democrats have dreamed of for generations, finally pass comprehensive health care reform.
Biden: Universal Coverage is finally within sight.
Obama: And we’re going to do it right. There will be no mandates to buy health insurance. Following that logic we could solve homelessness by requiring people to buy a home. Those who don’t have health insurance don’t have it because they can’t afford it, pure and simple.
One of the ways that we can help make health care more affordable is to provide the people with a public option for health insurance that won’t have to use people’s health care premiums to pay for a company’s profit.
And the policymaking will be done out in the open, on c-span. The public will make sure that the bill is fair and that lobbyists and unscrupulous politicians don’t corrupt the process.
Biden: And we will put new regulations on the banks to make sure we never see another financial collapse like this one again.
Obama: And in the meantime we’ll create an agency that will renegotiate the loans of Americans facing foreclosure so that they can stay in their homes.
Biden: We’ll finally put this country on the right track again.
Obama: We will reverse the disastrous and counterproductive national security policy of George Bush. I will end that unnecessary and costly war in Iraq within 18 months. Guantanamo Bay Prison, the ultimate symbol of the brutality and lawlessness of the George W Bush administration will be closed within a year.
We must remember the brave whistleblowers who brought the injustices of the former administration to light. Whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and will be protected from reprisal. Our administration will be more transparent and accountable than any before.
Biden: You bet. Well, we have a lot on our plate; I suggest you get some sleep before we begin changing the world.
Obama: See you tomorrow, Joe.