Obama’s Greatest Hits

It is the mere existence of President Barack Obama that sends the right wing into depths of inanity not often plumbed in politics. This has caused many very odd charges:

He is not an American.  Just for starters, to believe this requires the planting of a fake birth announcement in the Honolulu paper and it has gotten to the point where birthers would not even believe the words of Christ Himself that Obama is an American citizen.

Even if he was American, he was not really raised American because when he was six, he was moved to Indonesia, where he attended grades 1 – 4 before returning to Hawaii and his upbringing was Hawaiian, not American from that point on. I don’t even know how to respond to this: Hawaii was a state the entire time he was there.  I attended 1st through half of 4th grade there, and I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day, but maybe I pledged to some other country, or so some would seem to have me believe.

In Indonesia, he went to a Muslim school and was so indoctrinated.  Grades 1 – 3 he attended a private Catholic School; grade 4 was in an Indonesian Public School.

He is not a Christian.  Why this should matter, I do not know, but as an adult, he became a member of the United Church of Christ, which also has /had the following as members:  John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr, Howard Dean, and Jim Jeffords. I belong to the same denomination and know that many do not accept the denomination as Christian.  No winning for losing.

He hates the country and capitalism, is a socialist or a communist and will stop at nothing to destroy the country’s economic system. Given the bailouts and GM assistance and lack of prosecution of any bankers, this bucket just cannot hold water.

His former association with Jeremiah Wright disqualifies him for office. This is based on one sermon, which if read fully, is not as bad as the right wing would have us believe; it is difficult to get through, but far less damning that some of the things said by Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, there are any number of reasons to be upset with him without resorting to the ludicrous claims of those who seem to hate his very existence.

I personally am upset with him for:

Taking the public option off the table in the health care debate.

Not closing Guantanamo.

Keeping the war in Afghanistan going and maybe getting us into another in Iran.

Extending the Patriot Act.

Extending the use of warrantless wiretaps.

Killing an American overseas without apparent due process.

Extending the payroll tax cut.

Caving to Republicans at every step in the budgeting process.

There are some good things also:

Getting health care reform started after five Presidents before him failed to get Universal Health Care passed. It’s not perfect, but for the 47% not already on government health plans, it is a start.

Got some Wall Street reforms passed – now let’s see what they really do.

Ended the Iraq War.

Eliminated Osama Bin Laden.

The turnaround of GM and Chrysler—a much better option than letting them fail (why Republicans think they but not banks should fail is telling).

Eliminated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Stopped the “enhanced interrogation techniques,” otherwise known as torture.

Expanded Pell Grants.

Increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16 percent and 2011 budget by 10 percent. Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans.

Worked to reduce overall military spending.

Taking a chance and investing our resources in renewable energy.

Expanded wilderness protections.

So, there is my list.  Agree or not. We have a decision this year.  I hope we can make it based on reality and not the surrealistic visions of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz and the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party.

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