Thoughts on the Obama Eurofest

Could Obama be a team player in the global political scene?

I guess you can say I’m an Obama supporter. After all, I’d rather see him in the Oval Office than McCain. Like so many other people, I think McCain (1) is too old and (2) will give us yet another 4 years of Bush-like decision making. And although I may be part of the higher-income group that won’t benefit from Obama’s economic plan, I really think it’s time to stop letting the ultra-rich ride the U.S. economy without paying their fair share.

When it was Obama vs. Hillary, I couldn’t decide. I’m not registered as a Democrat, so I couldn’t vote in the primaries. I had to let others decide. I don’t even know which one Arizona chose. It didn’t matter. What mattered was the final result. When Hillary dropped out, I felt relief — not because I preferred Obama, but because I (like most other Americans) was sick of the media coverage on the race.

But since then, I have yet to be convinced that Obama is a better candidate than Hillary. (Or that Hillary would be better than Obama, for that matter.)

And no, I don’t subscribe to any of the bullshit satirized on the New Yorker cover. Although I found the illustration distasteful, I certainly do understand the concept of satire. Unfortunately, much of middle America doesn’t and is likely to find the illustration confirmation of their misguided beliefs.

On the pro side, I believe Obama does represent hope and change. He’s young, he gets people excited, and he does not represent the same political establishment we’ve been looking at for years. I believe he does have the country’s well-being at the top of his list of interests.

But on the con side, I think Obama lacks the experience necessary to get things done in our government. I think he’ll have to waste a lot of time and effort getting his ball rolling in the establishment he’s so obviously not a part of. If he wins, he’ll have a struggle ahead of him to succeed in his goals.

McCain sometimes applies the word “naive” to Obama; I don’t think that’s too far from the truth. But I also think that Obama has the intelligence and drive to rise above that.

Still, Obama’s rise in our government has me troubled. He’s come a long way in a short time and doesn’t have much to show for it. After all, when you’re sprinting to the finish line, you can’t stop much along the way to get things done. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

But what makes me hopeful for a President Obama this week is the reception he’s getting in Europe. The Europeans evidently love him. That alone is a point in his favor.

On September 11, 2001, America was the victim of a horrific act of terrorism. We suddenly had the good will and support of most of the world. The Bush administration, through its independent actions and attitudes, has squandered all that goodwill. This cannot be argued. Not only does most of the world now look down on us, but we’re actually hated in many parts of the world.

While many Americans are convinced that we’re better than anyone else and have some kind of God-given right to do whatever we want to do, I believe America is part of a global community. We need to be a team player. We need to work with our allies for the good of the world.

I believe that Obama understands that, too. But what’s more important is that the rest of the world might see Obama as a team player in the global political scene. Because no matter how low Bush’s opinion ratings are here in the U.S., I’m willing to bet they’re a lot lower overseas.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Obama Eurofest

  1. You said, “I really think it’s time to stop letting the ultra-rich ride the U.S. economy without paying their fair share.”

    Hmmm.. Maria, leading with the class warfare appeal? Ouch.. but you should get it right. There is a balanced analysis at the link provided under the Website label, here is a piece: “As can be seen, the lower half of this “oppressed group”, the 50 to 75 percentile, actually pays only 12.65 percent of all income taxes despite the fact that they make up 25 percent of the population. The next group, the 75 to 90 percentile, pays about 18 percent of all income taxes, slightly more than their 15 percent share of the population. However, the 18 percent is still less than their 22.5 percent share of income and is therefore less than they would pay under a flat tax. The next group, the 90 to 95 percentile, pays 11.48 percent of all income taxes, slightly more than their 11.18 percent share of income. Hence, it is primarily the top five percent of taxpayers, those making over $130 thousand, who pay more than they would under a flat tax, making up for the lower 90 percent, who pay less.”

    My addition to that analysis is the adage that “A taxpayer who votes for Obama is like a chicken who votes for Colonel Sanders.”

    Maria, anyway you look at it, the “make the wealthy pay” argument is a just another call to class warfare for the Democrats. Probably best avoided by someone who claims to be “eclectic”.

    You said, “The Europeans evidently love him. That alone is a point in his favor.” Ummm.. why? I mean, they love Jerry Lewis too. How does that help us? Sorry, but I don’t have such a need to be loved. I don’t see the benefit. I’d rather be respected. And a bright kid running a mega-corporation isn’t respected for himself. His peers might say all the right things, but they are only waiting to pick his pocket.

    You admit that Obama doesn’t have a lot of experience. I certainly agree with you. I wouldn’t hire him to run any company larger than 5 people. So, let’s project a future. IF he gets sworn in, I forsee three years of international bliss. While at home, the American public is getting robbed blind by the Congress. With sky high tax rates for everyone, businesses will leave the US (it is a very easy thing to do today) and Obama will see double digit unemployment by the second year of his term. Tax revenues will plummet and the debt will increase. It’s simple economics and examples have been seen around the world for decades. Or, to quote you,”This cannot be argued.”

    IN the third year of his term, after the international community has gotten every accomodation, every “deal”, every negotiated settlement out of him that they can, THEN it will be time for hardball. It might come from the Russians, or the Chinese, or some group, but they will “test” him militarily. By his 4th year, Obama will be drowning at home, karate chopped internationally and hoping for the cut-to-the bone military to pull him out. He will NOT have a chance for re-election in 2012, and Hillary (or a Republican) will be there to take the mantel. In other words, I see unmitigated disaster. And, being “loved” in Europe is no offset.

    Please LISTEN to what the man says and what he has written. His plans are socialist and promise more than a chicken in every pot. His plans are smooth talk and rhetoric, but his economics make no sense in the real world.

  2. I should make one thing clear here, since it was obviously not clear enough in my original post: there’s nothing anyone can say that would convince me to vote for McCain.

    And as an American who cares about America as a citizen country of the world, it’s more important to me that we again become a respected member of the world’s political scene than maintaining the arrogant stance Bush has given us over the past 7 years.

  3. You said, “…there’s nothing anyone can say that would convince me to vote for McCain.”

    Yup.. that’s almost the way I feel too. McCain is scary. But, Obama is deep down frightening. I’d rather have anyone but either one of them. How about the new Governor of Lousiana, or the Governor of Alaska? Both excellent folks. No, this time around we are not blessed. It’s going to be a tough time , a really tough, time for the country until 2012. And then, Hillary? Bloomberg?

  4. Maria,

    Poor Mr. KeysGuy. Me thinks he’s out-to-lunch. Income taxes (and his numbers are suspect – they don’t have a time line) are only part of the equation. Up to $104,000 income each and every one of us has to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes at a fixed rate. This hit’s middle incomers the hardest and the increases since the 80’s hardly get any press. In addition, whatever marginal income tax rate the 1%’ers or 2%’ers or 5%’ers face (take your pick) they usually get to defer or shelter a great deal, as well as hire lawyers to slide more of it into trusts untouched by the taxman.

    We won’t go into the various thrusts of his ideas on foreign policy or economic theory, they’re the untutored mutterings of the madding crowd – IMHO.

    Mark in Dallas

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