Saturday, December 5, 2009

Twins Sons of Different Mothers

  President Obama gave a speech on Tuesday night outlining his reasons for adding more troops to Afghanistan. It sounded a lot like the speech Bush gave for adding more troops to Iraq (the 2007 Surge). While Obama addressed some of the criticisms that were leveled at Bush’s speech (exit strategy, holding the host country accountable, a gentler tone), if you just looked at the actions of our last 2 presidents, you would never guess that they were polar opposites of the political spectrum. From adding troops to bank bailouts to stimulus packages, they are in lock step. Obama is supposedly the Anti-Bush, black not white, young not old, urbane not country, smart not stupid, thoughtful not impulsive. I believe the differences are in style only, not substance. The Democrats in Congress grumble about the new troops in foreign lands, but they will go along with Obama just like they did with the Bush Iraq Surge. The Republicans in Congress grumbled about the Bush bailouts, but just enough voted for it to have it pass. When no republican votes were needed for the Obama stimulus, none were provided. When 3 republican votes were needed in the Senate to pass the Obama stimulus, 3 were found.

  The only real differences I see in the so-called 2 party system are the 2 religious issues of our time, abortion and gay tolerance. Moderate Republicans complain that the anti-abortion and anti-gay wing majority of the Republican Party is forcing them to switch to the Democratic Party. It makes it seem that the Republic Party is the party of intolerance. Where is the anti-abortion and anti-gay wing of the Democratic Party? They must have been forced out a long time ago. When it comes to any issues other than those, can the 2 parties be distinguished from one another? To quote the last line from George Orwell’s Animal Farm: "Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

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