Tag Archives: Bush

Obama needs to be more like Bush

I never thought I’d write this: President George W. Bush had it right.

When the opposition gave him a difficult time doing something, he’d say, “F— you, we’re doing it anyway.” Think warrantless wiretaps, tax cuts for the wealthy, Iraq.

And if he had the votes in Congress, he’d say, “F— bipartisanship and pleasing the opposition. We’re doing this my way, bitches.”

This is where President Barack Obama is very different from Bush, and why his healthcare reform plans are in trouble.

He’s a pleaser. He’s the type of leader who will always try to find the middle ground. This is actually the reason I voted for him, and the reason I knew hardcore liberals would be pissed at him.

This is also the reason why he wants these small steps of reform before he tackled anything as revolutionary as a single-payer system.

But I think it’s time for Obama to say, “F— you. We’re doing health care reform my way.”

Of course he’d go on to explain why it’s the right thing to do: it’d insure the uninsured, it’d remove health care discrimination, it’d make health care more affordable for all Americans, and it’d make healthier nation. Then he’d explain that while the price tag might be costly, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

“We can’t just run our nation for the present,” he’d say. “But we have to prepare for our futures.”

But he hasn’t, and my guess is that he probably won’t tell the Republicans, and the Blue Dog Democrats that make up most of the vocal opposition to fall in line. He won’t tell them that he’ll force the most liberal version of healthcare reform down their throats if they don’t support this tiny bit of reform.

Instead, he’ll continue to say, “I want a health care reform bill on my desk before August.”

The Senate and House will continue to wrangle out differences among themselves. The Blue Dogs and GOP will continue to fight over the “public option” and everyday these people will feel more empowered.

Come August, or right when Congress comes back for break, we’ll see a health care bill on Obama’s desk. It won’t be great. It won’t be bad either. It’ll have some necessary reforms that will improve this nation’s healthcare system.

But it probably won’t have the public option that is necessary to make this successful reform.

Since the president placed health care reform front and center in his first term, and with 60 Democratic Senators and a 79-seat majority in Congress, any plan that falls short of the goals laid out in his campaign for presidency is a loss and something that will hurt during midterm elections.

Obama needs to take a page out of the Bush playbook and remember that this is a battle Dick Cheney and others in the Bush White House would never lose.

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Wordle on the presidents’ speeches

Wordle.net is a cool Web tool that takes text and gives a visual diagram of how often words were used. I’ve taken the speeches by presidents Bush and Clinton to see what, if anything, they attempted to point out when they addressed their respective parties.

Here’s the DNC speech by President Bill Clinton on August 27:

And here’s the RNC speech by President Bush

My analysis:

Names: Both presidents, as would be expected, praised their respective candidates and repeated the gentlemen’s names often. However, Bush seemed to call Sen. McCain “John” much more than Clinton called Senator Obama “Barack.” It seems to be an attempt by the Bush speechwriters to make it appear as if McCain and the president are friends – not sure if that’s exactly a good thing for the senator.

Clinton’s five most used words:

  • America/American(s)
  • Lead/Leadership
  • Global/World
  • Health Care
  • Restore

Bush’s five most used words:

  • President
  • Know
  • Life
  • Congress
  • Man

From the Wordle diagrams, it appears as if the two presidents spoke to their strengths: Clinton’s specifics and Bush’s psychological analysis of McCain the Man.

The words Clinton used were attempts to paint Barack Obama as a world leader who will be able to restore America’s image around the world. While Bush painted McCain as someone who is an excellent man and human being who has devoted his life to serving Congress and America itself.

One interesting difference in the two speeches is that Clinton used the term Republican, while Bush mentioned the Democrats once. This is easily explained as the Republicans decided to tone down the party rhetoric because of Hurricane Gustav.

It will be interesting to see the role the two presidents take in the upcoming weeks. While Bill Clinton was one of the most popular exiting presidents in US history, George W. Bush is one of the most unpopular. Add to that the superiority of Clinton’s oratory skills and that could spell some major trouble for John McCain.

I’ll compare the Obama and McCain speeches after McCain accepts the nomination Thursday.

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CNN: Oil companies not drilling in already leased offshore fields

While the debate about whether ending the federal ban on offshore oil drilling rages on, CNNMoney did this nice little bit of reporting:

Of the 90 million offshore acres the industry has leases to, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico, it is estimated that upwards of 70 million are not producing oil, according to both Democrats and oil-industry sources.


But the oil industry says it pays millions of dollars for these leases, and that it would not make sense to purposely leave the areas untapped.

Rather, years of exploration is required before drilling can even begin. In some cases, no oil is found on leases they hold. In others, drilling the wells and building the pipelines takes years. It is especially hard now that a worldwide boom in oil exploration has pushed up the prices – and timelines – for skilled workers and specialized equipment.

Wait a minute… haven’t Republicans basically said, “End the ban, lower gasoline prices”?

Something isn’t jiving here.

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Friedman: W is “Addict-in-Chief”

The brilliant Thomas Friedman wrote this today in The New York Times:

Actually, it’s more sophisticated than that: Get Saudi Arabia, our chief oil pusher, to up our dosage for a little while and bring down the oil price just enough so the renewable energy alternatives can’t totally take off. Then try to strong arm Congress into lifting the ban on drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

It’s as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: “C’mon guys, you know you want a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more toke on the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we’ll all go straight. I’ll even put a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one more pop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweet offshore crude.”

It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is.

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