General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

What's the deal with Freddie and Fannie ties to Obama?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9171points) September 30th, 2008
“You look at Obama’s economic advisers, the guys he has counted on from day one and who have raised him a ton — and I mean a ton — of money: Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both of them are waist to neck deep in the mortgage debacle.”

Both Raines and Johnson have served as CEO of Fannie Mae, with Raines taking over from Johnson. Both are key political and economic advisers to Obama.

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29 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Jim Johnson was never accused of any wrongdoing connected to his loans. Despite this, when the issue came up, he immediately stepped down from the Obama campaign to avoid distracting voters.

As far as Raines being an economic adviser to Obama and somebody that he’s counted on…you must be joking. Raines has little connection with Obama.

lefteh's avatar

PS…next time, I’d cite a source that didn’t claim that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were formed under Bill Clinton’s administration….

dalepetrie's avatar

lefteh beat me to the punch on this…I know NOTHING about this 2nd site, but as soon as I read that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created under the Clinton Administration, it became clear that whomever wrote this piece had no respect for something called the truth. When I read something that is clearly a lie that even a 10 year old would know was a lie, I don’t find it worth putting in as much effort as lefteh did in debunking it, the fact that they posted a whopper in the midst of this article pretty much destroys its credibility.

As for the first link, if you will notice, even though Obama is 2nd in terms of overall contributions, he is one of the lowest in terms of PACs…almost ALL of the money he’s taken comes from individuals. And as I tell people, I work in the construction industry, I give money to the Obama campaign, but I certainly don’t think Obama is betrothed to the construction industry, because I don’t represent the industry…I have a job. I’ve also worked in agribusiness, insurance, student loans, manufacturing, high tech, and intellectual property law….they were all jobs, period. Individuals don’t curry favor for the $2,300 a piece they are able to donate, it’s the PACs and lobbyists (which from the start of his Presidential campaign, Obama has not taken a penny from), that look for a return on their investment.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

About the site that mentions Bill Clinton created FM and FM….
I did not even read that far down. I heard Hannity (I know, I know) talking about this today and just did a quick google search and asked the collective. The funny part is, after clicking on the link provided about Clinton, the article does not even blame Clinton for creating them. lol

I am in construction also. Im a union electrician. I will tell you that most of my brothers and sisters vote with their wallets. Union members(individuals) will contribute money because they feel they will get a return on their investment because John McCain will apparently make the entire US a right to work state, causing them to lose money and possibly jobs.

Do you not find it at all funny that a huge majority of PAC recipients received $20,000—$80,000 with the exception of John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and John McCain?? Notice some kind of pattern?

I make pretty good money. Maybe even somewhat comparable to some of the individuals working at these 2 companies. You bet ur ass if I am giving $2300 to someone, I am doing it because I might not have a job if he loses.

Up until last week, McCain thought our economy was “fundamentally strong.” I bet ya the people working in these 2 firms knew something was going on. Why would they give money to someone who thinks everything is fine and dandy? They are gonna give their money to someone who knows something is wrong and will help them with something such as a bailout.

dalepetrie's avatar

I do indeed love the PAC contribution figures. The thing that bothers me is people don’t differentiate. They’ll say things like “Obama took more money from the oil industry than ANYONE” but that counts every $200 in total contributions from anyone who works at a friggin’ gas station. You definitely have to vote with your wallet these days, money is the only thing that talks. I wasn’t even aware of the right to work issues, that’s fascinating. Here’s how I’m in the construction business…I’m the accountant for a very small real estate developer…basically it’s one guy who owns this company that designs Senior Living communities. But I’m sure my contributions are counted in the Real Estate/Construction pool! I vote with my wallet because as an accountant, it’s clear to me that trickle down economics don’t trickle down to enough people. But yeah, if I were afraid accounting rules were going to change in a way that would put me out of a job under one person vs. the other, you’d be sure that would impact if not my vote, at least how much money I give.

One good case for me, I’m diabetic. People with diabetes can’t get health insurance on the open market, it’s one of like 450 conditions for which health insurers will deny you coverage. McCain wants to move us away from employer based health care and try to force us into the market (and we can see how good letting market forces control everything is working, can’t we)? He plans to tax employer benefit offerings (which in this industry, we haven’t brought in cash in 3 years, we’re living on borrowed money and time as it is, if that $20k a month we pay for health insurance is also taxed, it could destroy our company), so employers will start dropping insurance for their employees (almost certain to happen here if that were the case), forcing us on the open market to get health care.

Well, if THAT happens to ME, I won’t even be able to BUY insurance, and then I probably won’t even get the $5,000 tax credit, and even if I do, well, let’s put it this way, my employer is billed $11,300 a year for coverage on me, my wife and my son. They pay $8,900 of that and I foot the other $2,400. Under McCain’s plan, even IF I weren’t diabetic, I’d pay more than $11,300 for coverage if I went on my own to get it. But let’s say that in some alternate universe fantasy world, I managed to get the same level of coverage for that same cost of $11,300. Well, My costs go up by $8,900 a year if my employer drops me, I get a $5,000 tax credit, I’m out of pocket $4,900 a year, and that’s if I were healthy and lucky enough to get a group rate as an individual. More likely as a healthy individual, I’d be more likely to get a rate of around $18,000 a year, so I’m out of pocket $13,000. And if I could get insurance with diabetes, I’d probably be looking at $30,000 a year, so $25,000 a year out of pocket. That’s almost 1/2 my take home pay, and I’m living paycheck to paycheck as it is. Now under Obama’s plan, he thinks he can save the average American family $2,500 a year…like I said I pay $2,400 a year out of pocket, and come renewal this year it will probably be $2,500. So essentially worst case scenario under Obama is he can’t save me anything, I still pay what I’m paying now, best case, my health insurance essentially costs me nothing out of pocket. Under McCain I will go bankrupt and my family will lose its home and starve to death.

galileogirl's avatar

It was funny this summer to find my name on a list of major campaign contributers. My standard presidential nominee contribution is $50. Last summer I decided that my candidate was so important that I was going to contribute $1000. Of vourse I couldn’t do it all at once, it took me a year but now it seems I am no longer a “little” invester, I am on a list with lawyers, CEO’s and even Linda Ronstadt. (My parents would have been so proud) BTW Obama got more of my money this year than the gasoline companies.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


Just so you know, I am not for McCain. I am not against Obama because I am for McCain. I want a president who does not answer to corporate masters. I want a president who answers to the constitution, since that is the only oath of office an elected official takes.

I dont even know if it would be possible to have a union without the government being involved (havent given it much thought), but I will admit that when the government passes laws for unions, it takes away rights from non union companies and I do not believe the government should give rights to one group, while taking away from another. I shouldnt complain about anything(my total package is about $75 an hour), but freedom and equal rights is more important to me than money.

dalepetrie's avatar

Oh, I get where you come from chris6137, and even if I didn’t agree with you I’d respect your right to vote your conscience. If you were a McCain supporter but had reasons to back it up, I’d understand. I just wanted to give my perspective and how it relates to how this year, it has become an issue worth not just my vote, but my money.

dalepetrie's avatar

And one thing I think people miss (you’re not, but many are) is exactly your argument. Our President needs to respect the constitution instead of running roughshod over it like has happened the last 8 years. Who do I trust more than someone who was a profesor of Constitutional Law for 12 years to do that?

And yes, I’m not just for Obama because of the health care issue, it’s just one more reason that I’m against McCain and would have voted for just about ANY Democrat this time around. I’m pro-Obama and have been since before he started running because I think he is NOT betrothed to big money interests…I think he believes in government of by and for the people. I think he can change the way business is done in Washington and how elections are conducted. I think he can restore honor and integrity to our government. And I think he’s a dealmaker, he’s someone who can garner support of both sides and come together to solve a common threat rather than deepen the divisions that have been widened by Rovian politics. Yes I think I’ll pay less in taxes and less in healthcare under Obama than McCain, and yes, McCain’s proposals might just push me into poverty so it’s become personal on that issue, but even if I had faith that he could never do what he wants to do (McCain), and that economic piece were not an issue, I’d still support Obama for other reasons.

But conversely, if someone were for example vehemently opposed to abortion rights, and that’s their issue, it is their right to vote their conscience. All I can do is spread the word on how I see the candidates affecting me and hope people can draw parallels to their own lives. I respect any reason anyone has for voting, the only thing I find unfortunate is that too many people don’t use issues at all in their decisionmaking process, and I think that hurts Democracy, and unfortunately though they end up with the leaders THEY deserve, the rest of us who put thought into it and voted for either self-interest or the greater good (or some combination thereof) are stuck living with decisions based on emotion instead of fact.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

FYI Im a Ron Paul supporter. Yes, I know he is no longer in the race, but it his ideas I like. They call him Dr. No because he always votes no unless it is pro-constitution.
Perfect example:

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

12 years of constitutional law and still voted for FISA is exactly why i question who controls Obama.

I truly believe that the issues are issues because we stopped following the constitution.
I believe that all rights derive from property rights. The first property you own is yourself when you are born. The only thing that limits your rights is someone else’s equal rights. I think the governments only job is to defend these rights and I believe that government has gotten so big that it only takes the rights of some and then has to take the rights of some more when the first law starts to fail.

I think government has been too big since at least the New Deal and it certainly isnt getting smaller, “conservative” or “liberal.”

dalepetrie's avatar

I understand where Ron Paul supporters come from. I can not vote for him for two reasons. One is that his experience as a doctor where he has seen the attrocities of partial birth abortion has poisoned him against the entire reproductive rights issue. He would refer this to a state’s rights type of thing, and I think that’s a bad way to go, because it will result in some states outlawing all abortions, which we’ve seen first hand in this country is deadly to women.

The other issue is that he wants to push everything onto the states and essentially almost eliminate Federal government. I believe the free marketers would have a field day with this first of all, no oversight, no regulation…how did we get into this mortgage mess…from not having ENOUGH regulation. I’m more of an FDR idealist, I think rather than unravelling the social safety net that has kept our nation healthy and prosperous for over 70 years, we need to strengthen it. I see far too many people fall through the cracks, because of unrestrained free markets with no governmental protection or oversight for the common man. I think greed can be a force for good in a capitalist society, but I think human greed is far more excessive than free marketers want to admit and it becomes an almost overwhelmingly destructive force.

And what I’ve seen come from those who have pushed to reduce government spending on everything BUT the military (and where Paul is different is he includes the military in these reductions), is that as we push back tax burdens to the state level, we end up with a situation where taxes are just structured differently. They are passed along to us in the form of consumption taxes (sales tax and gas taxes), or property taxes (paid even on rental property). Tolls on road, licensing fees, car tabs, etc. All these things are things you have to pay for no matter how much or little money you make. So effectively, the more you push taxes down to the state level, the higher the effective tax rate is on the people who can least afford to pay it.

I believe in a progressive tax structure which funds government to do those things for its citizens that they can not do for themselves. I beleive we should in this nation be able to ensure a first class education through college, we should be able to ensure that people remain healthy and productive, we should be able to provide roads and bridges and a transportation network, and we should be able to allow our citizens to retire when they reach a certain age. The government as I see it has a role to play in these things…we can’t privatize every school, road, bridge, health plan (I showed you why that is), and retirement plan in the nation, tens of millions would fall through the cracks, into the ranks of the ignorant and impoverished.

I think Ron Paul’s ideas are well intentioned, but I think they would utterly destroy America…I think now is not the time to get rid of the federal government, now is the time to use it to protect our citizens.

One other reservation I have about Ron Paul is that though I completely despise the war in Iraq and felt we should have never gone there, I think a precipitous withdrawal would be a mistake, plunging the country into chaos and making us all less safe. Yes, we should take a more Switzerland like approach to foreign affairs, but I find it hard to swallow that after years of meddling we’re going to be able to just tell all these hostile nations and terrorists that we’re taking our chips and going home. I think that would be a sure fire way to bring attacks to our shores.

As for Obama and FISA, I don’t like that either, and I think his hand was somewhat forced to be honest with you. I think it falls under the category of if you live in a political world, you sometimes have to play the political game. I don’t like it, but we have to operate in the world we have, not the world we want if we are ever to get to the world we want. And even if I can’t fully justify his cooperation with something I wish he hadn’t cooperated with, and even if I can point to the fact that it would have passed with or without him, I have to say that the FISA compromise in the grand scheme of all that his candidacy represents to me is small potatoes. To be honest, if he’s President, he can go back and fix the problems that he was unhappy with in the FISA compromise, and as they say, you can’t make an omellette without breaking a few eggs.

So bottom line for me, you do have to vote your conscience. I personally, even if I liked a 3rd party candidate (like Paul) better this time around however, know that a 3rd party is not going to win this year, so even if this election were yet another “lesser of two evils” for me, I’d have to give my vote to the lesser, to avoid the consequences of the greater if I had anything to say about it. But this year, I like, respect and trust one of the candidates, he has my vote locked up. And conversely, I find the other guy to be the mirror opposite of everything I like about my candidate. So there is no choice, there could be no choice. To me it’s a matter of the protection of our very Democracy, and if Obama loses this election, I fear this great 200+ year experiment will fail once and for all. But again, I think you need to vote your conscience…you understand the issues from your perspective, and you don’t have to agree with me, that is fair, that is a Democracy, and I’d much rather have someone who understands the issues vote for someone I don’t support, than to have someone who just plain doesn’t get it vote for a candidate I don’t support because they’d “rather have a beer with him”.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Another thing that bothers me is that Obama wants to help bail out wall st and main st. Sounds good, but to me that is price fixing. Now, instead of me being able to take advantage of foreclosures and falling housing prices, $1 trillion will be added to the debt that my generation will have to pay for. That to me is socialism.

I hear what you are saying. And it is why I am for relocalization. I think when multi national or even US corporations are as powerful as they are now, you need many regulations. When corporations started, their charter was for a limited time and must benefit the public. Now corporations are obligated to put profit ahead of everything. Of course you will need regulations. My idea is to localize industries, this way the public can hold these companies accountable for any wrong doing. It would also create competition, unlike the monopolies we are seeing today.

About the social safety net you speak of, what is going to happen to the economy when the boomers are all retired and the $55 trillion bill comes for SS, Medicaid, and Medicare??

On taxes, Ron Paul wanted to abolish income taxes(which would give me $12,000 more a year) and almost all federal taxes. His take on it is that most of this money is going to foreign countries, wars, and interest. If congress coined and printed money(no interest), we pulled out our troops from the 140 countries we are in, and we stopped these wars, it would be able to shrink the income the fed. govt needs to operate substantially. It would truly be a revolution.

The government has played a huge role in the things you mentioned and now tens of millions of people are falling through the cracks, especially ignorant and impoverished because they rely on the government to solve all the problems that government has caused. And let’s say the people do make it through this, at what and whose expense will it go to? Even if Obama does win and does a great job fixing these problems, it is only a matter of time when the economy becomes good again, people stop paying attention to the govt, and something as simple as a blow job brings in the next guy to screw things up.

I believe there has been a conspiracy going on since Ford (Bush Sr., Rumsfeld, Cheney, and a few others behind the scenes) are still active players in our government and my opinion is that these laws that have been passed (Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, FISA, and S1959, which is sitting in the Senate as we speak) are all laws to bring in an Orwellian police state. I know it sounds extreme, but licenses have become digitalized, surveillance cameras are being put all over, and GPS is a scary thing. Until Obama stresses the importance of these laws, I will believe he is part of the conspiracy.

And as long as corporations run our media, I do not ever expect a 3rd party like Nader or Barr to get any exposure what so ever, which in my opinion, Clinton set up via the Telecommunications Act.

Bri_L's avatar

I don’t understand how what Obama wants is price bixing and socialism. His plan and what he called for all the way back on Sept 21 was that Main st. not pay for it or be paid back for it and that they keep their homes.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

And if we were able to actually hold these people accountable for the things that they are doing, maybe I would think differently.

The market was artificially inflated because of bad loans. I dont know the exact numbers, but let’s say the average price of houses rose 40% over the past 8 years, instead of letting the market do its thing and let the prices fix themselves, it will keep people foreclosing on houses, in their houses, keeping prices higher than they should be, keeping a nonhomeowner like myself, from buying a house at true market value.

EmpressPixie's avatar

So I got in a huge snit (and fight with my boyfriend) over the FISA thing and while I detest the stand Obama took, I will give my boyfriend’s point of view light here. Not because I think he is in any way right (we’re still fighting it out) but because it makes sense:
If Obama did not support FISA, and McCain did, McCain would have been able to be like, “omg! supports terrorism! won’t help us fight terror! omg! omg!”.

The only people who really cared about opposing FISA are so locked into Obama that it is a calculated and well done risk to support it as he dodges criticism for not backing it and probably won’t lose any voters.

dalepetrie's avatar

I guess using your argument Chris, the thing about it is that OK, maybe (and I don’t really think so, but maybe) Obama is part of the machine. You acknowledge though that maybe he’s not, and maybe he does fix these problems at least temporarily. If he’s not, and he’s truly the outsider I believe him to be, and he comes in and breaks the stranglehold of big money on government, it might actually BECOME possible for a 3rd party candidate to win.

In this election cycle, it just plain isn’t because I agree with you, we are held hostage by this big money system, whether it’s a conspiracy or not. But essentially, and ironically, if enough people vote for a 3rd party candidate in order to strengthen 3rd parties, and BECAUSE of all the people voting for a 3rd party candidate, Obama does not get in, McCain does, and Obama would have been the real deal, you might have just taken a stand that actually destroys your chances of achieving your goal. To me it’s the same as a feminist who believes in equal pay and reproductive rights voting for McCain because Obama beat Hillary.

Yes, you would have to take a leap of faith to support Obama, but even you admit there’s more than a 0% chance that he’d break us from this system which is what you have a problem with. If Obama loses, McCain will not, that much is clear. I’d rather take an infinitessimally small chance (though I personally think the chance is far greater than this) that the change promised might materialize than to sabbotage that to cast my vote for someone who won’t win because it’s the moral high ground. Just my opinion, not trying to sway you by any means.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I’ve heard that before, Empress, and if Obama is the “truth teller,” he should have made a huge fit about cell phone companies, which people are also very locked into, handing over phone and internet records to the government.

I wonder the role the internet provider played in the arrest of 8 RNC protestors charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.

Its not necessarily each individual law that scares me, its all of them combined, kinda like Hitler’s Enabling Act.
Just read the text of S1959.

`The Congress finds the following:
`(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be used to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.
`(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.
`(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
`(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.
`(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.
`(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.
`(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.
`(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
`(9) Certain governments, including the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.

Might my views make me a “home grown terrorist?” And where is the media on this bill??

As far as the 3rd party goes, people would have to stop relying on corporate media and actually watch all the debates or even Cspan.

Bri_L's avatar

My thoughts are this.

McCain was at one point and eager cheerleading participant in the situation

Obama is, in my opinion, our best chance for reform out of it. I don’t understand why they can’t be held responsible. There is a greater outcry from main street than any in recent memory. If anyone wants to keep their seat in congress, they will listen.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

By responsible, I meant Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld for war crimes. And where was the media and Obama when Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against Bush?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

`(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission’ means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.
`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
`(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
`(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.

Based on the 2nd definition, I can see why this bill is still sitting in the Senate. Bush would definitely be guilty of that.

And lets say, for the sake of argument, that my conspiracy theories are true, and tomorrow the economy crashes and they say, “Hey, we are gonna throw out the constitution and merge with Mexico and Canada,” Im sure people might get pissed and finally take to the streets. Guess what. You are now a violent radical or a homegrown terrorist.

dalepetrie's avatar

No argument from me there…I would like to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the whole lot hanged for treason, because I think it rises to that level. As I said about Obama, I don’t think anyone would get to where he has gotten though if he espoused that view. I have to have faith that he will take steps when President to hold the previous administration accountable for its misdeeds, and there have been some hints that he may be willing to do so, but I also have to temper that by being prepared to be disappointed. I was appalled when Pelosi took impeachment off the table before she even assumed her new role, but I realized that this is politics, and again, you have to play with the rules that exist, not the rules as you wish them to be. Your profile says you’re 25, and I’m 37, and 12 years ago, I think I would have agreed with you…I HATE politics, I wish people would say what they mean and do what they say, rather than playing games. But this world has run me through the wringer, and I’ve realized that you simply can’t win the game without playing by the rules, even if the rules suck and corrupt. As we get a bit older we lose a bit of that idealism and replace it with a bit more pragmatism, and it’s unfortunate that we have to, but tha’t the way it works, and ideally, I’d like to see the rules change.

But I have enough idealism left to see Obama as a path to making the rules a bit more idealistic and a bit less “political”. And therefore what would have been a grave, unforgivable disappointment to me a few years back (Obama’s support of FISA or his unwillingness to do the right thing and support the impeachment of the Bush administration), has become unfortunately a necessary evil. He’s playing the game…he has to. If he did not, he’d be where Kucinich is today…nowhere near the top of the ticket.

It’s hard enough for a person to seriously make a run at the Presidency when you’re the first African American to do so in what is still a very racist country, he can not afford to be too idealistic. Already he’s pegged by the right as the most liberal Senator there is…if he starts going to the left of that, he’d NEVER win.

I have to admit, I’ve been met with more than one disappointment along this path. I thought I knew who Obama was from the get go, from his speech in 2004. One thing we discussed is, and I’ll quote you, “they rely on the government to solve all the problems that government has caused.” What Obama said in 2004 was, “People don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better.”

For me, THAT’S what it’s all about. Taking away government’s role in fixing the problems that it admittedly created is the one sided solution favored by the neocons, in different packaging, sold to those who are very idealistic and who place no trust in the ability of government to solve problems (and why should they, when government has done nothing but cause them in their entire lifetimes?) But where the mantra of personal responsibility is used to say that people are just looking to government to solve all their problems….that’s just not true, that’s scapegoating the disadvantaged.

What Obama favored was not a handout, but a hand up. And that is idealism in it’s purest form. And this was what he said when he was not running for President. I tend to think this is the Obama that we can believe. I tend to believe the rhetoric he put forth from an early time, when he wasn’t under the glaring spotlight where his every word, his every move needs to be crafted to make sure to impress the most people and offend the fewest, that is the Obama I believe still exists.

I believe Obama has a passion to changing what is wrong…the same things you and I see as wrong. The problem is there are a lot of voters out there who will gladly vote against any candidate who is portrayed as too this, too that, too the other thing. So I agree with EmpressPixie, if Obama comes out and votes against FISA, at a time when there was no foreign surveilance law actively on the books, he would have been hammered by accusations that he would not keep America safe, scare tactics would have been used to destroy his chances…he was backed into a corner.

And he had to play by the rules there were, not by the rules as he wanted them to be.

When Pelosi said we are not going to impeach, she did so as a wholly political calculation. Going after the President, even an unpopular one, will make you look like a partisan hack…or will give the other side ammunition to paint you as such. The thing about politics is, it’s a game based not in reality, but in perceptions. I’ve worked in a Fortune 500 company where politics was the name of the game. Whether you did work was not as important as how you did it, who you moved the project through, who you got alignment with, how did it look. You could be gone from your desk for 5 hours straight and if no one needed to talk to you, no problem, but you could step to the bathroom for one minute and if someone came looking for you and you weren’t there, your boss would find out about it.

It’s not fair, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s the rules Obama has to play by if he wants to win this game. And if he doesn’t win, he can’t change those rules. It’s the ultimate catch-22.

So I tend to judge him based on his background. I tend to believe that someone who shunned several 6 figure job offers to take a $13k a year job working for the betterment of poor people on the streets of Chicago is not someone who can be bought and sold by the big money machine. I think someone who has shunned money from PACs and lobbyists, and who has instructed 527s to stay out of it is a person with integrity. I think the content of his character shines through in how he’s conducted his life and his campaign. And though the idealist in me screams every now and then when he plays the game, I have to realize that he’s just doing what he has to do, it sucks, but maybe, just maybe if he plays his cards right, our entire system of government and the very way we elect leaders in the future will have all this nonsense removed, and we will end up in that world the idealist in me has been hoping we could get to some day.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Very well said, Dale. Believe me, I would love nothing more than for him to win and change the rules, but if after winning, he doesnt attack these laws, my views will not change.
But I hope you are right about him. He is obviously a very smart man. Hopefully smart enough to play by the rules until he gets himself in a position where he has nothing to lose. I am a “conspiracy theorist,” not because I want to be an iconoclast, but because of the information and videos I have seen. I would love to be proven wrong.

Thanks for the very fair and civil conversation. Hopefully the censorship committee doesnt come along and erase this thread for being a “political rant.” lol

btw what are 527s?

Bri_L's avatar

chris6137 – you rule. you have brought a lot of great perspective to the threads!

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Thank you Bri. That means alot. Im usually attacked and dismissed for my views. It is alot easier to express my views when Im not getting railed from everyone(and I have learned that sometimes it is because of my presentation.)

Bri_L's avatar

What I like about you is that, not unlike Dale, you don’t get frustrated with me. You answer and educate me.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I do have one comment about a response you had, Bri.
“Obama is, in my opinion, our best chance for reform out of it. I don’t understand why they can’t be held responsible. There is a greater outcry from main street than any in recent memory. If anyone wants to keep their seat in congress, they will listen.”

We vote for congress this year too?!?!? lol
Im just kidding. I just find it funny that everyone I know, personally, thinks all they have to do is vote for Obama.

I forgot to mention something about Ron Paul and abortion.
You may be right about him being poisoned by being a doctor towards reproductive rights. But I believe the reason he gave for being against abortion was a human rights issue to him, not reproductive rights.
PAUL: Yeah, okay, but somebody sees this- I have, as a physician, I’ve been trained to bring life into the world. And if I do harm to the baby, I get sued. So the baby is alive and has rights, right?

Bri_L's avatar

Yeah, I could have phrased that better. hehe

dalepetrie's avatar

527s are the independent agencies set up to run attack ads against a candidate that are not tied to the political campaign itself. Most famously in 2004 the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth which got a bunch of people who were supposedly on the Swift Boat with Kerry in Vietnam and attacked him for not being fit for any kind of command. It was all lies, but it’s credited far and wide for giving Bush a 2nd term.

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