Liberty Planet Weblog

100 Ways Barack Obama Is Just Like George Bush

Posted on: July 19, 2012

The election of President Obama was in no small part, a referendum on the administration of George W. Bush, and his victory was interpreted as a sound rebuke to eight years of open ended warfare, a vast and growing police state, the destruction of civil liberties, disregard for the Constitution, unchecked executive power, lies and broken promises, hypocrisy and arrogance, a lack of transparency in government, out-of-control federal spending, fever-pitch fearmongering, rampant corruption, and some really stupid gaffes. But what have we gotten instead?

More of the same. A LOT more of the same. In fact, every negative aspect of the Bush Administration has come back with a vengeance in the presidency of Barack H. Obama. Everything the American people detested so strongly about Bush has not only characterized the presidency of his successor, it’s gotten much worse. Don’t believe me? The following is a list of 100 ways President Obama is just like President Bush. We might as well consider it a third Bush term on steroids, or call Mr. Obama “Bush 2.0.” If you honestly didn’t like Bush, you can’t possibly justify liking Obama, not unless you ignore the facts:

One of the most disastrous and destructive aspects of the Bush Administration was a ramping up of the military-industrial complex to a level unprecedented in U.S. history. Bush’s Global War on Terror worried critics because of its lack of clear objectives, no set timeline, and no specific enemy (as terror is a tactic, not an enemy). Along with it came the Bush Doctrine of preemptive warfare against countries that had not attacked the United States, which formed the foundation– along with a few lies and sketchy intelligence– for the massive, costly, and deadly war in Iraq.

The antiwar movement in America reached a fever pitch under President Bush, and rightly so, but has Obama put an end to this tragic era in American history? He could be forgiven if he had merely taken some time to draw down troops in the Middle East and abroad, but instead, within his first term Obama has actually taken Bush’s war machine and put it in overdrive, sending significantly more troops to fight overseas, spending more money on “defense” than even Bush, and engaging the U.S. in even more conflicts on more fronts, sometimes even ignoring the Constitutional separation of powers (i.e. breaking the law) in order to pursue warfare on a level unmatched by the worst excesses of the Bush Administration:

1. Iraq – We should have known in 2008 that we wouldn’t see any real change from the Obama Administration. Despite campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2004 on a platform of voting against Bush’s war budgets, when he became a Senator, Obama voted for every single one of Bush’s requests to continue funding war in the Middle East. Apparently, his streak of broken promises started long before campaigning for the White House (and we’ll get to those later down the list).

Then right off the bat in February of 2009, a mere month into his administration, President Obama revealed a phony withdrawal plan that would take three months longer than promised, and leave a whopping 50,000 troops in Iraq (out of the 135,000 that were there when Obama assumed office). Eight months later in October 2009, 131,000 troops remained in Iraq, and Obama sent another 1000 at the request of theater commanders in Iraq. Seriously.

2. First Surge in Afghanistan – Think Iraq was bad? It gets better! Mr. (Blind) Hope and (Regime) Change kicked off his presidency with a 17,000 troop surge to Afghanistan in February of 2009. 17,000! Don’t defend him. Don’t say it was necessary to help win the war there. You would not have defended Bush and you know it. Mr. Obama started his presidency by radically escalating Bush’s war.

3. Second Surge in Afghanistan – But wait- there’s more! By December of 2009, less than a year into his presidency, Obama decided to outdo even himself and send another whopping 30,000 troops to Afghanistan! By this point, Al-Qaeda was scattered and devastated. Our troops were overseas fighting someone else’s civil war, not defending our freedoms or our safety.

4. Phony Afghan Withdrawal – In June of 2011, Obama announced a “troop withdrawal” from Afghanistan, and true to form, it was as phony as his Iraq withdrawal. Even if he stays on schedule and makes the most “radical” withdrawal on the table by the end of 2012– 30,000 troops– there would still be more than twice as many troops as there were in January 2009 when Obama took office. Only in the Orwellian world of U.S. foreign policy could something like that be called a withdrawal.

5. The Rise of Drone Warfare – The Obama Administration’s continued and extensive use of weaponized aerial drones to bomb enemy targets in countries throughout the Middle East (sometimes resulting in the deaths of dozens of civilians at a time when the drone operators or intelligence make a mistake) has touched off a drone arms race with the rest of the world, most notably China. Great. Just great.

6. Bombing Campaign in Yemen – Bush bombed in Yemen, but Obama’s really been stepping it up.

7. Bombing Campaign in Somalia – In Somalia too!

8. Bombing Campaign in Pakistan – Under Obama, there have been more drone strikes in Pakistan than there ever were under Bush, and they’re also claiming more civilians lives, Pakistanis claim, leading the country into uproar and protest against the United States.

9. Bombing Campaign in Libya – In March of 2011, President Obama took America to war in an entirely new country, Libya, taking sides with insurgents in a civil war against a dictator that Washington has supported for years up until now. Expanding Bush’s old wars wasn’t enough it would seem; Obama had to start some new ones of his own, against a country that had not attacked us and did not threaten us. And get this: in all likelihood, we’ve been fighting on the same side as Al-Qaeda in Libya’s civil war!

10. Defense Spending Levels – “Defense” spending has only gone up during President Obama’s first term from $616 billion under Bush in 2008 to $768 billion in 2011, and Obama still wants even more. We were promised change. Why are we spending even more on bombs and bullets?

11. Record Casualty Levels – Under Obama, the wars haven’t just gotten bigger, more numerous, and even more legally dubious than under Bush (more on that later)– they’ve gotten deadlier. According to the most up-to-date figures as of this publication, under Obama, the U.S. casualty rate in Afghanistan is five times greater than it was under Bush.

12. “Overseas Contingency Operations” – Despite ramping the Global War on Terror up to unprecedented levels as detailed above, the Obama Administration decided to seriously downplay its title by renaming it “Overseas Contingency Operations.” Chillingly Orwellian, isn’t it? And quite typically Obama: make no substantive changes at all (other than to make things worse and accelerate the damage done by Bush), but do make a big deal about changing a name or a logo!

13. God and War Rhetoric – To wrap up Obama’s continuation of Bush’s foreign policy, I give you none other than Jon Stewart, marveling at how similar Obama’s war rhetoric is to Bush’s, even to the point of invoking God in our fight against other countries, and “refusing to apologize” for our way of life (which apparently includes bombing everybody else)

Bush critics consider his presidency to have inaugurated an era unprecedented in U.S. history for violations of civil liberties, privacy, and the constitutional amendments that protect Americans from unwarranted police actions by the government. The creation of a vast, “national security” state has alarmed critics as something more akin to fascist dictatorship than American republicanism. Yet all of Bush’s worst and most tyrannical abuses have not only been continued by the Obama Administration, but taken to a whole new level:

14. The Patriot Act – A favorite target of Bush critics, the Patriot Act violates the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments of the Constitution. Passed and renewed over and over again with little debate or deliberation, this gargantuan bill gave the federal government sweeping new powers to police its citizenry while ignoring the constitutional restrictions our Founding Fathers created to protect us from tyranny.

It should be no surprise that after the failed efforts of one honest Republican senator to prevent its passage, Obama renewed the Patriot Act (from across the Atlantic Ocean by autopen) as president– he voted for its renewal as a senator. On one of the most important issues of our era, Obama is indistinguishable from Bush. He supports the (un)Patriot(ic) Act.

15. The TSA – Created by an act of Congress during the Bush Administration, and organized within the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA has been annoying and harassing passengers at airports for a decade now. But under President Obama, it has become more aggressive and oppressive than it ever was under Bush, with the installment of dozens of radiation-emitting “naked body scanners” throughout the country and directives from the DHS to use “enhanced” pat downs that many critics say amount to sexual assault. Under Bush, the TSA was merely annoying. Under Obama, it is horrifyingly out of control.

16. The War on Drugs – The decades-long “War on Drugs” has been a spectacular failure of public policy, resulting in billions of wasted dollars, record levels of incarceration, higher rates of drug fatalities, and the creation of a violent international criminal drug cartel that thrives on continued prohibition. The 2009 Ogden Memo signaled that Obama might change course in the failed “War on Drugs.” Nope. In July 2011, the Justice Department published a new memo indicating that things would stay just the same as they were under George W. Bush.

17. CIA Rendition – The CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program consists of seizing “terror suspects,” detaining them without warrant or trial, and sending them offshore to outsource their “interrogation” to third world countries where they are tortured for information and confessions. Seriously. Torture was one of the big criticisms faced by the Bush Administration, and in February 2009, the Obama Administration wasted no time in quietly retaining the practice of rendition.

18. Habeas Corpus – The Obama Administration also continued Bush’s suspension of the long-standing legal tradition of habeas corpus, insisting that it has the right to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely without trial.

19. You Do Not Have The Right To Remain Silent – The Obama Administration actually had the gall to ask “the Supreme Court to overrule long-standing law that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant’s lawyer is present, another stark example of the White House seeking to limit rather than expand rights.”

20. …or Test Genetic Evidence Used Against You -The Obama Administration has also limited “the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them.”

21. The DHS and Swine Flu – The Obama Administration further empowered the growing police state and set a chilling precedent when it let the Department of Homeland Security manage a health issue, a strain of flu referred to as “swine flu.” the DHS declared a state of emergency in the U.S. and got out in front of the (manufactured) swine flu “crisis.”

President Bush will be forever remembered by critics for his “imperial presidency,” his usurpation of power from the other branches of government in violation of the Constitution. Instead of a nation guided by laws, under Bush our country descended even further into the lawless anarchy of executive tyranny, unchecked by the other branches of government and unrestrained by the Constitution. An autocrat, Bush did as he pleased, whether the law permitted it or not. Obama has been no different. Actually, he’s been worse:

22. Faith-Based Initiatives – Obama curiously continued Bush’s unconstitutional faith-based initiatives (ever heard of the First Amendment?).

23. Signing Statements – On the campaign trail, Obama called presidential “signing statements” (letters of interpretation and recommendations attached to Congressional legislation) unconstitutional and promised not to use them… then attached a signing statement to a $410 billion spending bill as president. If you want to know why this is a dangerous usurpation of power by the executive, click that first link above and Obama will it explain it to you himself. This also counts as a broken promise, which you’ll read plenty more of soon.

24. Hillary Clinton Appointment – Unconstitutional. If you think I’m splitting hairs, you can bite me.

25. War in Libya – We already touched on this as one of Obama’s expansions to Bush’s open-ended warfare, but I didn’t mention one key thing: this was was completely unconstitutional. Obama went to war in Libya without a formal declaration from Congress– without even consulting Congress– and according to both the War Powers Resolution and the U.S. Constitution itself, it is only the people’s representatives in Congress that can take our nation to war, not the president alone.

Continue reading at: Humble Libertarian


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 32,110 hits


Top Clicks

  • None
%d bloggers like this: