George W. Obama

by Jim Longworth

Citizens of Metropolis didn’t realize that Clark Kent and Superman were the same guy because the two never appeared together. And were it not for some photos taken at the last presidential inauguration, I’d swear that George Bush and Barack Obama were one in the same. After all, the similarities in their administrations bear more than a passing resemblance.

George Bush attacked the wrong country and invaded another, killing nearly a million innocent civilians in the process. Barack Obama pledged to bring our troops home, but thus far has escalated those wars while innocent people continue to die.

Both Bush and Obama pledged to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, yet despite having technology at their disposal that can identify and blow up an Iraqi coat closet from a thousand miles away, neither man can find one lone nut who distributes regular videotape messages to the media.

Bush endorsed torture of terror suspects, as well as their detention at Gitmo and other venues without trial or representation. Obama signed an order to close Gitmo by January of this year, yet prisoners still reside there.

Bush trampled on our civil rights by authorizing illegal wiretaps, and obtaining phone records of US citizens. Obama now wants to revamp Miranda so that authorities can have their way with terror suspects who are American citizens.

Bush gave the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries a free hand to raise rates and grow profits on the backs of sick people. Obama’s so-called healthcare reform package did nothing to cap premiums, and was preceded by a back-room deal with Big Pharma to keep affordable import drugs out of the hands of Americans.

Bush allowed US-based corporations to decimate their workforces here at home and restart new plants in foreign countries where they could pay slave wages and increase profits. Despite campaign promises to stop giving breaks to greedy companies who export jobs, Obama has done nothing to end tax breaks for those companies, or close loopholes in bad trade agreements that have facilitated their bad behavior.

Under Bush, the flow of illegal aliens into our country grew by the millions. Under Obama, there is still no plan in place to stop that flow and secure our borders.

It’s not surprising, then, that a growing number of Americans believe Obama is no different than Bush, and that Democrats are no different from Republicans. That sentiment has been particularly validated with the government’s handling of the BP oil spill, which is now the largest in our nation’s history.

Under Bush, oil companies were free to drill without fear of regulatory enforcement or proper inspections from the now-besieged Mineral Management System agency. Those abuses continued under Obama, who will now clean up MMS in short order. The problem is his failure to clean up the gulf in short order. And that brings me to one of the most disturbing similarities between Bush and Obama. The former president was widely criticized for his slow response in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, but the lessons we should have learned from that debacle make Obama’s foot dragging in the aftermath of the BP disaster even more perplexing and unforgivable.

Only last week, a full month into the spill, White House officials finally began to question BP’s competence. Said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar “[I’m not] completely confident that BP knows what it’s doing.” But Salazar and Obama didn’t need to wait four weeks to come to that conclusion. David Gergen, normally an Obama cheerleader, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “If our government had fought World War II the way we’re fighting the oil spill, there’s a good chance many of us would be speaking German today.” Gergen’s wartime analogy wasn’t misplaced. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley criticized the president for not making the gulf clean-up a military operation from the start. Said Brinkley,”The White House needs to understand that a whole region is in peril.” Added Gergen, ”President Obama cares. But it’s not enough to care. You’ve got to take charge.”

After taking time out to joke around with the Duke basketball team last week, Mr. Obama finally visited the Gulf Coast, and seemed to take charge, as he pledged to hold BP’s feet to the fire. But talk is cheap, especially from a man who only weeks earlier had authorized more off shore drilling sites.

Indeed, the evidence is mounting that Barack Obama and George W. Bush are the same person. In fact, the current commander in chief is even starting to articulate ambiguous thoughts like his predecessor. During his Louisiana press conference, the President remarked, “This is a man-made catastrophe that is still evolving.” One might say the same thing about the Obama administration.

Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).