Third Party & Independents Archives

Obama & Romney, Identical Cousins

With supporters of both the Republican and Democrat presidential candidates treating each other as if they are total opposites in their views, but the reality is that there is very little difference between the two.  A recent article written has listed out 100 areas in which they are similar.

W E Messamore has compiled a list of 100 Ways Mitt Romney is Just Like Barak Obama.  It was based on a New York Times article that could only come up with three, obviously they didn't give it much thought.  Let's take a look at some of the highlights.

4. The signature legislative accomplishment of the man that Republicans have chosen to repeal and replace "ObamaCare" was "RomneyCare," which was the blueprint and model for The Affordable Care Act.

11. The same Wall Street recipients of TARP bailout money that were top Obama donors in 2008 are top Romney donors in 2012.

14. Like Obama, Romney supports taxpayer bailouts of struggling corporations- handouts that go from hardworking Americans to wealthy companies with irresponsible management.

19. Another thing that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have in common is that the numbers strongly suggest they were both wrong about the 2009 economic stimulus package.

21. On monetary policy, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama do not see any urgent need to change the status quo and any reform of the Federal Reserve system is not a public policy priority for either candidate.

22. Like Barack Obama, who reappointed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Mitt Romney has approved of Ben Bernanke's handling of the financial crisis and monetary policy in America.

23. Mitt Romney approves of Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner's record on economic policy as well.

32. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama's federal budget plans would add trillions of dollars to the already unsustainable national debt over the next ten years.

33. Neither Mitt Romney, nor Barack Obama have offered a plan of detailed, substantive spending cuts to the out-of-control federal budget that pass the straight face test.

36. Neither Barack Obama, nor Mitt Romney's actions are consistent with their rhetoric on earmarks.

37. Spending categorized as defense-related has only gone up during President Obama's first term from $616 billion under Bush in 2008 to $768 billion in 2011, and Obama still wants even more. So does Romney.

42. Despite running on a platform of change, Obama's first term as president has demonstrated his commitment to the Bush era strategies of nation building and counter-insurgency. Mitt Romney doesn't think Obama's commitment to nation building is strong enough.

43. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama support the Bush era doctrine of preemptive war.

44. Mitt Romney agrees with President Obama that the president can act unilaterally to take the country to war without Congress.

45. Though Obama paints Romney as an American unilateralist willing to take military action without the blessing and cooperation of the international community, Romney and Obama actually both agree with the Bush era foreign policy of unilateral US military action, and Obama took unilateral military action in the Osama bin Laden raid.

51. Barack Obama has been a consistent supporter and escalator, as both Senator and President, of George W. Bush's war and counter-insurgency operations in Iraq. Mitt Romney thinks he isn't supportive enough.

56. Tim Pawlenty- on Romney's short list for a VP- has suggested that Mitt Romney would expand Barack Obama's already unprecedented use of drone warfare.

61. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney support indefinite detention of terror suspects without trial as a valid and legal tool in the national security state's war on terrorism.

66. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama support the warrantless wiretapping of the Bush-era USA Patriot Act, which Romney has praised and Obama has acted to renew multiple times as both Senator and President.

68. Like Obama, Romney believes in the legitimate power of the president to execute American citizens by "targeted killing" done in secret without charges or trial.

69. Mitt Romney emphatically supported Barack Obama's decision in 2011 to use "targeted killing" to execute US citizen Anwar al Awlaki by drone strike without charges or trial.

70. On the Bush and Obama-era TSA, Mitt Romney's position is tinker a little, but maintain the status quo.

72. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama support continuing drug prohibition and the forty-year-old, Nixon-era War on Drugs.

73. Mitt Romney also supports the continued raids and prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries (and even patients) that have characterized Obama Administration as well as Bush-era policy on medical marijuana.

75. Despite criticizing Bush for unconstitutional executive overreach via signing statements, Obama has continued the practice, and Mitt Romney says he will too.

The writer leaves several more out that they couldn't fit into the 100.  In reality the list could continue for quite some time.

People were tired of Bush and wanted something different.  They were promised that in Obama, but more often than not were rewarded with just more of the same.  And now, along comes another just like them both that will keep rolling things down the hill, expanding the power of the federal government and limiting the rights of the people they are supposed to be serving.

It is also why 80% of the people in the US are willing to look at a viable change to the current Status Quo and vote for a 3rd party candidate, one that isn't beholden to entrenched powers that are only after the accumulation of power into one place to be easily wielded.

It explains why Gary Johnson at this point, before any real news support or inclusion into the debates, is polling higher than any other 3rd party candidate in the past 20 years. 

Even if you are a supporter of the Democrat or Republican party, admit to yourself that neither candidate is adequately representing your views or needs.  They don't feel they have to, they just have to make you dislike the other guy and you'll 'forgive them'.  The only way to actually get them back on track is to put a scare into them.  Demanding that a viable 3rd party candidate be included in the debates and allowed to be brought into the discussion is the only way they will be forced back to their base and listening to you again. 

Support Gary Johnson's inclusion into the race, you don't have to support him or say you support him, just that he should be included.  After all, choice is good, right?

Posted by Rhinehold at July 19, 2012 10:29 PM
Comments
Comment #348913

Gary Johnson deserves to be included in the debates and such as long as his party fields candidates in other federal level elective offices,IMHO. I will not vote for anyone that is running for president unless his/hers party has a person I can vote for Representative or Senator. I’m tired of having 12 choices for president but only 2 for representatives or Senators.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 20, 2012 8:43 AM
Comment #348914

j2t2, I think you’ll find that the LP has candidates for every federal state and house race, as well as most state and local offices, sometimes when the other candidate would be unopposed (this happened to me one year when there was no republican candidate to the office I was running for, so it was a two party race, democrat and libertarian!)

Happy voting!

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 20, 2012 9:01 AM
Comment #348921

“…but the reality is that there is very little difference between the two.”

Calling Obama and Romney identical cousins because they allegedly have so many views in common is like calling humans and chimps the same since we share about 96% of the same DNA. But obviously that 4% makes a big difference, wouldn’t you agree?

We don’t elect presidents that are polar opposites anyway. We have a certain standard and then voters seek only slight deviations from the standard either to the left or the right depending on the national mood. That’s why we elected Bush and not Nader, why we nominated Kerry and not Kucinich, etc. It’s not simply that the other person had more money though that certainly helps.

But going back to the differences: If you think that Romney would have gone to bat for the LGBT community and unions the way President Obama has, or signed into law healthcare reforms at the federal level and ARRA as well then you’re kidding yourself. The little things matter a lot when you’re sitting in the White House.

“It is also why 80% of the people in the US are willing to look at a viable change to the current Status Quo and vote for a 3rd party candidate…”

I’m interested in seeing facts related to this statement.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 20, 2012 10:04 AM
Comment #348924
But obviously that 4% makes a big difference, wouldn’t you agree?

Not really. The president isn’t a dictator, what he can and can’t do is limited by congress, that 4% is pretty minor, especially when you look at how this country has been run for the past 20 years. There was almost no difference between Bush and Obama’s administrations, in fact many will say that Obama’s has been worse because of the power he has decided to grab for the president going forward.

If you think that Romney would have gone to bat for the LGBT community

And neither has Obama. Yes, he finally caved to pressure from groups saying they wouldn’t donate to his campaign this year if he didn’t at least SAY something about gay marriage, but other than ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (put in place by a democrat) he has been pretty absent on the whole community. And you are making the assumption that Romney would not have ended it, maybe he wouldn’t, but he has stated that he is in support of rights for the LGBT community, which the original article detailed.

and unions the way President Obama has

Well, that is true, Obama did screw over the rule of law and the taxpayers in order to hand the union a bunch of money they didn’t deserve or earn, I doubt Romney would have done that.

or signed into law healthcare reforms at the federal level and ARRA as well then you’re kidding yourself.

I have no doubt in my mind that he would have done just that (though you may have disagreed with some of it, it would have been almost identical to what we see now because it is based on HIS plan to begin with, remember?). I also have no doubt in my mind that he has no interest in actually ‘repealing’ Obamacare… Just as Obama had no interest in ending nation building…

I’m interested in seeing facts related to this statement.

http://reason.com/poll/2011/05/10/80-of-americans-voting

The fact is that you may like one or two things that this president has said or done as opposed to Romney, but what about all of the other things that you disagree with this president on? Shouldn’t you be looking for a candidate that actually represents your views, not just a couple of them that are different from the one he is running against?

Want to end the war on drugs? Want to end the endless war in Afghanistan? Want to stop nation building? Want to be for peace and not the defense department? Want Americans who are charged with a crime to be brought to justice and have their day in court instead of being put on a hit list and killed outright? Tired of the US having the highest per capita prison population? Tired of borrowing money from China to pay for our debts? Want complete freedom for the LGBT community?

None of that is going to be done by either of these candidates. However, the LP has been advancing these as a matter of course for decades. I guess it depends upon what you really want, the advancement of your party or the advancement of your ideals?

BTW, I do like the ‘isidewith.com’ site, it is helpful in this regard… Just make sure to always select ‘other options’ to get a fuller list of nuanced answers to the questions.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 20, 2012 11:07 AM
Comment #348940

“There was almost no difference between Bush and Obama’s administrations…”

This is what we hear from independents and third party folks all the time. I used to say it myself when I authored in this middle section. An orderly transition of our government every two years does make for a lot of similarity in how power is wielded by the two parties but it’s foolish to extend similarity into equality.

“And neither has Obama.”

He’s done an incredible amount for this community.

“Shouldn’t you be looking for a candidate that actually represents your views, not just a couple of them that are different from the one he is running against?”

In the end I’m going to back the person most likely to be able to actually accomplish my ideals, not just the person who feels exactly the way I do about everything.

The link about 80% is interesting indeed but I wonder if it would make more sense if it had been done over multiple years so we’d get a sense of what a normal amount would be.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 20, 2012 4:18 PM
Comment #349041

Third Parties will not be viable unless we amend the Constitution and replace our current “first past the post” voting system with something else such as STV or IRV.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 21, 2012 4:32 PM
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