“Why I Support Obama”: Points 2 & 3

The second point made by the Facebook Obama Supporter (from this post) was:

He ended the war in Iraq and is drawing the war in Afghanistan to a close.  Like he said he would.

In my original post, I mentioned that only one point was really related to the President’s job.  This is it.  The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the military and responsible for our country’s security and foreign policy.

I think the Obama supporter makes a good point here. But, Obama’s other foreign policy and security measures leave a bit to be desired.  Stepping over the Congressional balance of power to get involved in Libya, along with his domestic actions, tells me that the President doesn’t hold the Constitution or his oath to defend it in high regard.

The third point made by the Obama supporter was:

He thinks women should have access to free preventative health care.  Why is that an issue?

This is a free country and even the President can think what he wants.  However, actually providing this as President is not in his job description.  Forcing other to provide this makes this country less free.

For me, this is like saying that according to my Homeowner’s Association covenants, it’s my neighbor’s job to stock my fridge with free bottled war.  My supporting argument is very similar to the supporting argument for free birth control: Without it I might die of thirst and if I’m dying of thirst, that will cause many social costs, like I might steal water from others.  Or, society will lose my production.

But, most people will instantly see problems with my argument.

One problem is that there is no such thing as free bottled water. Someone would need to pay for it. So, had the Obama supporter said “third-party paid preventative care” instead of “free preventative” care this would be more accurate.

A key problem is that HOA does not have the power to force my neighbor to provide me with bottled water. It’s not in the HOA covenants and if someone tried to amend our covenants to add this, the other homeowners would have a good laugh.  What’s not funny is how many people think it’s okay for our Supreme HOA to do things that aren’t in its covenants, for no better reason than thinking, ‘that’s the way things ought to be.’

Finally, the most devastating blow to my argument is that I will not die of thirst if my neighbor doesn’t provide me with bottle water.  Potable water, while essential to my life, is cheap and clean enough from the tap or bottle that very few people in our country go without it.

Also, I’m guessing that the average cost of water, even from the tap, is about the same or more than the average cost of women’s preventative care on a monthly basis.  Yet, amazingly we don’t have arguments about having the government force third parties to provide everyone with water.

And, if there are a few people who have trouble paying their water bill, we take a more targeted approach than changing the entire water delivery system for everyone.  We help them out voluntarily.



Here’s Obama’s SOTU in a nutshell:

I’ve picked winners.  I’ve picked losers.  

I want to continue to exceed the authority granted to me in the Constitution to pick more winners and losers.

I want to work with everybody in Congress to do things that I want done.  If you are against what I want, well, then, you’re bad.

Here’s my dream SOTU address:

As your President, I commanded the military to protect you so that you could continue to enjoy a level of freedom and standard of living unsurpassed ever on this planet and continue to pursue your happiness — even in these hard times.

I’ve preserved, protected and defended the Constitution, just as I solemnly swore to do when I took the oath when you elected me President.

I ask Congress to continue to pursue a rollback of government interference in your lives.

We’ve had some hard times.  Mistakes have been made.  I hope we all have learned from them.  One of the key lessons I hoped we all learned, is that when we manifest our generosity by demanding that others do something, rather than doing something ourselves, things end badly.

I’d like to encourage you, if you see a problem, work with your family…your friends…your neighbors and do something about it.

Good night.

Debate formats

They irritate me.

Debate formats do very little to expand the viewers’ knowledge of the participants’ actual ideas and why they think they are good.

It’s a circus.  Participants take pot shots at each other.  For example, Michelle Bachman’s characterization of Cain’s 9-9-9 plan (“Turn it upside down!”) was infantile.  I hope there was more substance than that.

Moderators ask obtuse, “gotcha” questions.  The candidates’ arguments are sound bites and slogans and they just don’t have much opportunity to present their cases (maybe that’s the way they like it).

Recently, I heard a radio show caller make a great point.  He observed that Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity videos on Youtube are better than debates.  They lay out a case without as much campaignspeak and the noise of the moderators and other participants.

He also pointed out that few candidates actually produce such videos.

His comment jogged my memory of Reagan’s radio addresses in the 1970s.  Those were effective because he was able to get his position and the reasoning for it out in the public.  By debate time, he had message tested much of it and he could articulate it well.

Besides, what’s the purpose of debates?  To sort out the best debaters?  How often do President’s debate?  Not often.  It’s like hiring the best trial lawyer as a CEO.  The skills do not necessarily transfer.

I like the caller’s idea.  I’d much rather see an ongoing series of Youtube videos between candidates that cuts the noise, allows them to build their cases in thoughtful manners, respond to critics and allow people to comment on them.