I read Cashill's article with great interest. It seems to me that a strong political bias appears in several points that may taint his analysis. He seems eager to present Bill Ayers as a Weather Underground radical; but I get fundraising emails from Ayers regularly, and it's clear that he's just a standard issue Democrat these days. Cashill compares Obama to Edward Said and Rigoberta Menchu, in an obvious attempt to portray Obama as some kind of leftist. A much more apt comparison would be to Kennedy and his ghostwritten Profiles In Courage; but Chashill would be loath to acknowledge that Kennedy, Reagan and Obama form a sort of triumvirate of misunderstood, and overestimated political opportunists.
Cashill makes a couple of errors that make me think he isn't as smart as he thinks he is; from what is a simple mistake, where he refers to Obamas election as "Harvard's first black president" to one that is a real whopper: where he says "Obama guards these more zealously than Saddam did his nuclear secrets." Saddam had no nuclear weapons, and said so. Bush said he was lying, and invaded. The invasion created the opportunity to expose the nuclear weapons and prove Bush was a hero, but none were ever found and the world knows Saddam was telling the truth, and Bush was lying. Surely Cashill wouldn't want to suggest that Obama is telling the the truth and he, Cashill, is lying? But that's exactly what his clumsy metaphor suggests.
RE: Birther claims - snopes debunks the stuff you cite, and some you haven't cited yet. I suggest you read the following to spare yourself the bother of dredging up more of this stuff.
I had thought they'd printed a copy of an Obama birth announcement in the local papers in Hawaii, I didn't see it this time. But it's just a short google search away: http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/obamabirth.php. This source isn't neutral like snopes, it's clearly partisan.
I partially agree with you. Carter was far from harmless to the people of Nicaragua, and the people of East Timor, for a start. Just about any US president could, and should, be prosecuted for war crimes by the standards that are applied to African despots - they get a pass because the power structure of the empire closes around them, so that each in his turn gets to be as criminal as he wants to be. In some ways Obama is no worse than those that came before, but in some ways he is worse. He claims the right, openly to target and kill anybody he wishes (including Americans) any time he wants, for any reason or no reason at all, with no restraint and no oversight. Assassination is a tool that's been available to the US presidency for some time - but it's an indication of the decay of our republic that our godfather can (and does) openly brag about his crimes.
incoherent.... comment... too.... many.... ellipses... to be sure.... what you are... trying to.... say.... If you are trying to say these are all inside jobs, I have nothing to say to you, you are beyond reach. If you are trying to say that the World Trade Center Pentagon attacks, etc are worse than what we've done to the rest of the world - consider the US terror attack on Iraq alone.
After Bush Sr. (mostly as a result of Reagan policies) and Bush Jr, the situation was created where Democrats swept into office with such force that people were pondering the end of the Republican Party, or predicting they'd be out of power for a century. The fact the the Dems screwed up things so badly people embraced the Republicans again only shows that the differences between the two parties are like differences between Coke and Pepsi - superficial. For a large percentage of the population they are interchangeable. It would be a mistake to use the metaphor of mirror, because they are more alike than opposite. Gore Vidal pointed that out very well, on many occasions; here is one nice example: "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat."
I'm sure that Reagan always kept up the avuncular act with the rich and powerful, he certainly had years of experience with that as the property of GE, a capacity he acted in for many years. I was thinking more about his "if it takes a bloodbath" about student activists when he was governor, telling a protester at one of his speeches to "shut up", his smashing the air traffic controllers union (an important event in the ongoing elevation of owners and forcing workers downward), his racist and wacky stories about welfare cheats, and opposition to the MLK holiday. He and Nancy were friends with Rock Hudson, so they had no problem with rich and famous gays, but he did nothing about AIDS; if you can find any reference to Reagan even talking about AIDS, you've uncovered something really unusual. His love for fascism in Central America and hate for democracy and the murderous policies he pursued in the region is enough to qualify him as a hater in my book.
Now Obama is a great admirer of Reagan, and has copied his style and approach to great success. Like Reagan, and unlike Nixon, he jokes with the press, which helps to coat him with teflon like his role model. Unlike Reagan, he has tremendous discipline - I certainly believe he's a very arrogant man, but if he's ever publicly threatened people who oppose him with a bloodbath, or told them to "shut up," I'd like to know about it.
I don't watch Obama's public appearances on TV, I don't think there's anything to be learned from these prefab interactions with people, but I can't help but occasionally run across clips of him making the rounds, and he seems as at ease and for lack of a better word "friendly" as anybody else.
It just seems to me you are putting Obama in a special, separate category of political evil because of personal antipathy, not because of an objective look at recent US political history or at Obama's character.
Whoa, hard to see reality through all the strawmen you throw up. All sorts of people are concerned about the criminal behavior or Reagan and the Bushes, not just "occupy anarchists and hippie rad lib crowd." Anarchists and radicals have no love for Clinton or Obama, either. It's true that neoliberals and reflexive democrats overlook Clinton and Obama for committing the same crimes as Reagan and the Bushes - but the inverse is true for Republicans. It's a terrible problem that most Americans think politics are sports, and are more concerned about being on the winning team than with integrity and justice - but you think the problems lie in one part of the small percentage of Americans that don't do this. Just like the idiots that think Nader is "worse than Hitler" for daring to run a campaign to the left of the chosen one.
How do you know this? Do you have a crystal ball? It's more useful to stick with the facts.
Nixon would have gone as far as he thought necessary to maintain power, including martial law. I suppose Obama would too, but we have different circumstances that make direct comparisons difficult. For example, we have a more passive population. Would people have been gunned down instead of beaten up when Obama closed down Occupy camps if Nixon had been in office? And if Obama explores imposing Martial Law, would his advisers advise against it, or say, "Yes, we can!" It hasn't come up because the great majority of the herders and the sheep are on the same page. If we get serious opposition, we'll be in a better position to know.
My argument is that Obama represents a continuation, sometimes an expansion, sometimes not, of the behavior of other recent presidents. The achievements, academic and professional of all presidents is exaggerated. Aside from Dubya, everybody assures you all these guys are genius level intellectuals (some would make that arguement for Dub). They were all huge successes in every enterprise they ever engaged in. They are all moral paragons. They assured us that Reagan was the Great Communicator even as he was first saying bizarre things, then was silenced, by dementia. Obama's status as a constitutional law professor is more firmly grounded in reality than a lot of nonsense people say about US presidents. You are correct to focus on his actual current behavior. Some of his attacks on the Constitution are unprecedented. Some aren't. I think current trends started under Truman, and accelerated under Reagan, Obama represents an exacerbated continuation of an ignoble trend.
This is obviously not the same document. The one you link to is dated October 10, 2012, and there is none of this language in it: "Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out." It would be interesting to compare the two documents to see what they have in common, and what they have changed, and what either of them have to do with hounding a whistleblower (and any nation that offers him sanctuary) across the entire planet.
First you make an absolute statement that remove any politician from the category of promise keepers. Then you say there are "a few" exceptions. Which is it, none, or a few? How many is a few, and how do you know? I agree that it's a good default to assume that politicians are liars, and proceeding on that basis until I learn otherwise. But that doesn't mean they all are. I have no idea how many are, and ready to have my mind changed based on evidence. It's the difference between skepticism and cynicism.
I too remember Nixon. The problem with Nixon is they went after him for the wrong crime - Watergate. It was two bit stuff, and it was largely politically motivated. They should have gone after him for the secret bombing of Cambodia - monstrous war crimes. I guess Americans didn't give a shit about Cambodians, any more than they care about Iraqis. At least, the politicians sure didn't/don't. I've read that part of Obama's "legal" justification for his much smaller, but still grotesque, drone assassination program was Nixon's bombing campaign. Now, if I kill somebody thinking I'll get away with it, because other murders have gone unpunished, I won't get very far with that logic. But in the executive branch, unpunished crimes are indeed precedent for allowing further crimes. Obama stands on the shoulders of giants. The kind portrayed in Jack and the Bean Stalk. And the idea that Nixon up because he cared about the nation is absurd. He did it to save his own neck, after exploring every other option, including imposition of martial law. The reason that subsequent criminals like Clinton, Bush, and Obama would never consider resigning is the precedent of Reagan surviving the feeble, inept, and perhaps deliberately failed attempts at accountability.
A little advice. You shouldn't lead with the wackjob stuff about his birth certificate. Your subjective stuff about how spiteful, hateful, etc he is weak also, given that the office has been occupied by people like Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Nixon, and Reagan, real haters. The strategy of rejecting a University as not real because they don't define things the way you do doesn't persuade me. "Professor" isn't a precise technical term anywhere. It's not the same as claiming you have a PhD when you have a Masters, for example. I'll check out your link.
I'd like to know how far you can push them. Do you know? Can you tell me what the tipping point is? Because you can only push them so far, but that's pretty far, and it's been true since Contragate. The failure to hold the Reagan crime cartel responsible for that set the stage for all future criminality.
As a state that creates terror, the US has no peer. We don't need to set off car bombs in markets because we can create so much more terror by dropping bombs from planes. Why limit ourselves to small, localized terror incidents when we can make really really massive ones? This does not make us a dictatorship, however. Most Americans don't oppose our status as the world's greatest terror state - most either don't know it, or they approve of it. There are very few consequences for most people who oppose government policies. As long as we stay inside the roped off free speech zones, and don't break laws, their monitoring of us was so discreet as to be unnoticed, until Snowden. So I wouldn't call it a dictatorship. Some kinda nasty, but not a dictatorship.