Note: This is partly written to be glib and fun in order to bring a small amount of levity, so if the cursing offends you then I do sincerely apologize, that's just my sense of humor and I feel it's useful to get me through such moments.
It's that time of year when people abandon their principles -- if indeed they ever have them -- to demagogue the "greater of two evils". In a feeble attempt to show people that their party's elected representative for POTUS is actually a rather extraordinary d-bag I'm making my objective list of five reasons they are not the second coming their Facebook Someecards claim. I'm objective because I hate them both, which one could also claim makes me unobjective, so in order to show my objectivity and dedication to my principles I will also slam my own political god, Ron Paul.
I'll start with the incumbent since he's already demonstrated his hypocrisy with his position of power while the challenger's record with his promises remains slightly more projected.
Five Reasons President Obama is a Giant A**hole:
1. He has a kill list. Nothing on this list will top a Nobel Peace Prize winner having a kill list. Luckily, our faithful commander will not say who is on it or what evidence they have that justifies having it. Sweet. I'm glad he's establishing for future Presidents down the line that they can kill whoever they like. I, am, stoked.
2. He kills his own citizens without trials. Believe it or not, you're not allowed to do this at your own whimsy even if you are the "leader of the free world". This is a continuation of the kill list mentioned above, but deserves its own bullet not just because he killed an American -- Awlaki -- in a non-war-zone without trial or producing evidence, but because he also separately killed Awlaki's 16 year-old son. (link) That's pretty damn disgusting. But y'know, he quit torturing people, yay.
3. Takes credit for ending the Iraq war. He actually tried to extend it (link), but the Iraqis had no desire to have any troops there anymore and wanted the deal signed with George W. Bush in 2008 to be honored which would have troops out by end of year 2011. If he wanted legitimate credit for ending it then he should have followed his campaign promise to do so by the end of 2010, which he obviously didn't, or he could have ended the other pointless war in Afghanistan, which he hasn't.
There's so so so many foreign policy issues that I'd love to insert, like radically increasing the amount of drone strikes and not closing GTMO, but I'll move on to domestic grievances...
4. Escalated raids on Medical Marijuana. He promised he wouldn't use the justice department to go after state sanctioned medical marijuana usage (link), yet he has (link).
5. Signed the NDAA & The Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was originally signed by Bush in 2001, which granted some disgusting powers of warrantless wiretapping and broad arrest capabilities (link). The National Defense Authorization Act builds on the Patriot Act and allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens, without trial or evidence (link). I've only lightly touched on how vile these laws are. The thing is that he said he wouldn't re-sign the Patriot Act without revising it (link), and flat out said he wouldn't sign the NDAA with the indefinite detention clause attached (link).
All these brief things considered, you'll have a hard time convincing me President Obama is still the lesser of these two evils, and *I* originally voted for him. Will not happen twice.
Five Reasons Former Governor Romney is a Giant A**hole:
1. He's a Mormon. Oh snap, no I didn't! Oh, yes I did. I honestly don't really care about anyone's religious beliefs, but if you're a Scientologist or a Mormon it's going to be hard for me to respect you because you really have to not care about facts or evidence a whole damn lot. Like, a LOT. In the grand scheme of religions these were basically invented yesterday and aren't hard to fact-check. I can understand a brief phase even, you get sucked in for a year or two before realizing that it's utterly ridiculous, but Mitt has been a Latter Day Saint since at least 1977, if not his entire life. To continue so long I'm thinking he's either unintelligent, corrupt (or addicted to whatever perks come with being an affluent member) or a coward.
I also find it disgusting that Billy Graham removed Mormonism from his list of cults, that makes him a Giant A**hole as well. Lacking conviction at best, but probably the asshole thing. Of course, most devout Christians are doing the same thing, which I would ordinarily find quite encouraging if it weren't for the disproportionate vindictiveness against Islam. Somehow, I find it easy to imagine that if President Obama were a Mormon that this would be issue #1. Hard to find proof of this since it's hypothetical, but the principled outcry over Clinton's sexual escapades were rather quiet once Newt Gingrich became a serious candidate, so I think the precedent is out there.
2. He says whatever you want to hear. I could've wasted the rest of my bullet points listing various flip floppings, but let's just own up to this right now. If John Kerry was ridiculed by Republicans for flip flopping then Mitt Romney is like the god of a planet filled with flip floppers. Pretty much anyone can say that they believe Mitt is going to do whatever's in their interest once he's in office, because he has said his stance on anything is everything! I'm all for a candidate being allowed to change their stance, but if you objectively look at the convenience factor then I think you have to say that Mitt said whatever it took to become Governor and now he's doing it again to become President. I could list these out, but if you don't already know them by heart then you may be part of the problem, however, here's a quick video for the amnesiacs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUzEJiFpmsQ
3. Does not support Medical Marijuana. To ironically contradict my last point (not actually, as he's still pitching to his base with this stance but who knows what he really believes), this happened:
I find it strange that synthetic marijuana is okay, along with morphine and tons of other unnatural drugs -- but weed is of the devil.
4. Romneycare. It happened, you don't get to pretend it didn't. He paved the road for the much (rightly) maligned Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare", luckily he also gets to demonize it! But don't worry, he's going to do whatever you think he's going to do with the power of his Presidency.
5. He likes Obama's foreign policy, but wants to go further. Considering President Obama's policy is really an extension of Bush's, this is scary. I know this isn't really a downer to Mitt's voter base, but it's a little gross how flippant a partial pro-lifer can be about others' lives. I'm not saying we need to be responsible for everyone's life on the planet (quite the contrary really), but I don't think we should be so gung-ho about taking it either. When I say "he likes Obama's foreign policy", I mean that he approves of the increased use of drone strikes, the assassination of Awlaki and his son, the kill list and the like. He does disagree on how lenient the President has been on Iran though, if you can call crippling sanctions the hand of a softhearted guy.
Before you think I went light on Romney, understand that he's in agreement with Obama on #1, 2, 4 and 5, so I'm really just building on top of all that.
Now to be polite, I'll list a reason I like each candidate in all sincerity. President Obama removed "Don't Ask Don't Tell", I give him major kudos for that. Mitt Romney has a large family and I'm willing to bet he deeply loves his wife and kids which I think is awesome. Yes, I struggled finding a reason to like Mitt.
Okay, to prove I can be objective about the people I adore and celebrate, I present the two biggest things I don't like about Ron Paul:
1. The newsletters. My take is probably a little different from most in that I don't believe he wrote them, having read several of his books and hundreds of his articles I find them wildly out of his use of language and very precise & consistent ideology. However, my problem is that he lied about them. When they first came to light in the 90s he said they were taken out of context, but during the 2008 Presidential campaign he disavowed them as someone else's writings. He lied then or now, either of which I don't really like nor respect. He stated the reason he initially didn't disavow them was from the advice of his campaign manager, while I can understand the reasoning it doesn't mean I excuse the behavior/lie and it's discomforting to think of my hero as someone who could lie so publicly about something like that.
I also have mixed feelings on him not revealing who the real writer was. As someone with a very large reputation of running a tight ship and giving back tons of unused Congressional money every year I find it hard to believe he would have any trouble finding out who it was. On the other hand, I find it rather endearing and incredibly gracious to not out this person out of political expediency. A rarity in politics I would think. So, there's still silver lining. Plus, there's the story that he gained a track scholarship out of high school, but after busting up his knee and feeling like a shadow of his former self he gave the scholarship back despite protests from the school. He didn't think it would be right to take it.
2. He proposed an unbalanced budget. I'm sure many will say I'm splitting hairs, but these are the facts. Ron Paul has voted against every unbalanced budget, every time. Yet, his proposal for his first budget still included a $313mm deficit in year one, and would be balanced by year three. I even wrote about it during his own campaign, rather than holding my tongue until the campaign was over (link). Don't misunderstand me, I'd sure as heck take his budget over anyone else's, I just didn't care for his slight double-sided take. To be clear, I recognize that he has no trouble proposing it because unlike others he would actually follow his own plan, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have just figured out how to cut the rest on year one to live up to his own standards.
I'm sure I've managed to offend someone in some way, if not everyone who reads this (assuming anyone does, but my stats say I do have readers oddly enough), so feel free to email me or hit the comments to flame me, it's only fair. Oh, and to be clear, I'm voting for Gary Johnson on Tuesday.