“”If President Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent mullahs in the world, but not with House Republicans, maybe he is not the problem.
Soetoro "You didn't build that" Obama II (born in Nairobi, Kenya Honolulu, Hawaii, August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he is also apparently a devout Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, gay, atheist Martian Egyptian Antichrist.
A lot of Americans are wary of Obama as they do not believe — and may never believe — he is actually an American. This fear of an ethnic "other" is compounded by a fiery political climate in which some critics have called him a socialist, "Kenyan anti-colonialist," or a reptilian Visitor Queen set to infest the world population.
Barack Obama was ("allegedly") born in Hawaii, where he spent his childhood. His mother married Lolo Soetoro, so he also spent some time in Indonesia from 1967 to mid-1971. He later studied political science at Columbia University in New York City and law at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Prior to his election as President in 2008, Obama had previously served as a community organizer, Senator for Illinois, and a member of the Illinois State Senate. Obama was introduced to the world during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he gave a keynote speech that aspired to post-partisan solutions.
President Obama's wife, Michelle, is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law. She formerly worked in hospital administration, and has promoted the "Let's Move!"[wp] campaign to fight childhood obesity. The couple have two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
 2008 primary and caucus out-of-dates
He won the Iowa caucus and South Carolina primary, and a bunch of others on Super Tuesday. He went twelve-for-twelve in February and won Vermont in March. In May, he won North Carolina, whereupon he was declared the "presumptive nominee" by many pundits.
Towards the end of the race, he succeeded in maintaining a marginal lead over Hillary Clinton, in what became a two-way race.
By the end of the primary/caucus season, June 3 2008, he had garnered enough pledged delegates and endorsements from superdelegates to claim the Democratic Party nomination. This was confirmed further when Senator Clinton suspended her campaign on June 7, 2008, and pledged her support to Obama, effectively giving him the nomination. Clinton further sealed the deal, and also attempted to set the party back on the path to unity behind Obama by using her speech at the Convention to call for his nomination by acclamation (rather than going through the tedious process of delegate counting and voting).
One of the central themes of his campaign was an emphasis on "the politics of hope" — his motto was "change you can believe in." The extent of these changes is up to debate.
 2008 presidential election
- August 23, 2008: Obama chose Senator Joseph Biden as his Vice-Presidential candidate.
- August 28, 2008: Barack Obama was nominated by acclamation as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, making him the first African-American to become the presidential candidate for a major political party in the U.S.
- November 4, 2008: Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election.
- January 20, 2009: Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
 2012 presidential election
- April 3, 2011: Obama declares candidacy.
- August 5, 2012: Obama officially nominated by the Democratic Party.
- November 6, 2012: Obama is reelected for a second term.
 Actions as President
President Obama's term in office has been distinguished by starting with a deep recession that left unemployment above 9% for more than a year, a political environment of steadily-increasing vitriol and obstructionism, and a general continuance of Bush-era policies in national security and trade. The largest shifts in actual policies that have occurred have been with foreign policy; while the U.S. did engage in military intervention in Libya, it was a markedly different style of attack when compared to the full commitment of Iraq and Afghanistan. This was of a piece with the inclusive rhetoric espoused by President Obama, as well as with his generally centrist (moderate-right by European standards) approach — we can't see any socializmz there.
Obama has been criticized for getting the federal budget deficit to unprecedented levels, forgetting that the budget for 2009 was actually a series of continuing resolutions that kept spending at roughly the same as Bush's era. Keeping in mind the fact that Bush did not include war spending as part of his budgets, and the fact that the majority of debt is due to the recession, Obama has managed to decrease the overall rate of deficit spending, though obviously it's still present.
 Fulfillment of campaign promises
While Democrats view Obama's presidency as an improvement from the previous Bush-era domestic and foreign policies, a large number of his campaign promises remain stalled or completely broken. PolitiFact, which tracks how many promises Obama has kept, has found that by February of 2013 the President had kept or compromised on about 370 promises, while he had outright broken about 120. Some examples:
- Early in his campaign, Obama promised to abide by the voluntary spending limits required for public financing, but then went "never mind" when he saw the shitload of money he was raking in.
- Obama said that he would not go after medical marijuana dispensaries, but then did so, a sign that the War on Drugs won't die anytime soon.
- On January 22, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay within a year and for those incarcerated within to be dealt with as quickly as possible. No change has occurred and Guantanamo continues with little reduction in inmates (and it's not helping with a large amount of Republican states disapproving). Some abortive attempts at moving them to other states or countries have met with very limited success — essentially, no one wants them.
On the other hand, Obama has fulfilled many of his promises on other issues, mainly foreign policy and gay rights:
- On February 27, 2009, Obama set the date of the Iraq War's end to be August 31, 2010. As of December 2011, virtually all troops have left and the war is officially over. The number of troops in Afghanistan has sharply spiked, nonetheless, as Obama has pushed military spending to all-time highs, though after the death of Osama Bin Laden troops are expected to withdraw soon.
- On January 30, 2009, the abortion funding "gag rule" (preventing any clinic anywhere in the world that receives US funding from mentioning the evil abortion word) was rescinded, along with other Bush-era executive orders. This actions was shortly followed on February 9, 2009 by the lifting of restrictions on stem-cell research.
- With regards to health care, President Obama extended the S-CHIP program, and enacted the Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare") on March 23, 2010, with the aid of united Congressional Democrats. The Act, a fairly conservative implementation of universal health care, has been widely criticized on the left for perceived failings (such as the lack of a public option, which Obama did not as enthusiastically support as he did in his campaign) while attacked hysterically from the right.
- The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill signed on July 21, 2010, comprehensively regulated banks and insurance companies, ending the Bush-era financial bailouts and stopping "too big to fail" banks. This remains one of Obama's most popular legislation, with over 60% of Americans approving.
- He has told his Attorney General to cease defending DOMA, even though the Republican-led Congress has said they would fund the defense of DOMA themselves.
- In 2011, the restrictions in the DADT policy were eliminated, and gay and lesbian soldiers are allowed to serve openly. The military was even ordered to allow gay marriages in public buildings if straight marriages are allowed there.
- In 2012, Obama was able to raise taxes on the extremely wealthy back to Clinton-era rates, though he failed to get rid of the Bush-era tax cuts for people who earn between $250,000 and $400,000.
 Human rights and civil liberties record
Obama has mainly been criticized for disappointing actions concerning human rights in the War on Terror. For example, on January 23, 2009, a mere 72 hours after taking office, Obama authorized an armed strike against a village in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan — an ally of the United States (although the area being bombed, the "tribal belt," is not under control of Pakistan's government), — because the Pakistan Taliban Movement in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) had launched a campaign to discover local informants for the Central Intelligence Agency and had killed 40 of them. He has consistently continued this approach to dealing with foreign terrorists, arguing that drones are safer for Americans. Unfortunately, drones have also proven dangerous for Americans such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both of whom were American citizens living in Yemen who were killed by a drone strike on September 30th, 2011. Though both had been deemed terrorists, this action has been criticized for possibly violating the Fifth Amendment. Under Obama, drone warfare has become a central element of American military policy, a practice which critics have called into question.
In other questionable actions, on May 26, 2011, Obama signed an extension of the PATRIOT Act, which has been criticized by the left and civil libertarians as allowing violations of the Fourth Amendment. In 2013, news agencies confirmed that he has continued the levels of mass surveillance that was encouraged by his predecessor, as enabled by the Act. Similarly, on December 31, 2011, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which codifies the President's authority to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects without trial (there is currently a dispute over whether it changes existing law or not, due to apparently contradictory passages in the bill on the matter).
 Trade policy
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade deal that the White House is attempting to pass through Congress by the end of 2013. It would establish a free-trade zone from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people and nearly 40% of the global economy. While the push against protectionism is admirable, the text of the treaty was negotiated behind closed doors and kept secret from most of Congress, and more than 600 corporate advisers have access to the measure. WikiLeaks has revealed why: SOPA-esque copyright legislation.
 Various smear attempts
Many people have tried to smear Obama by claiming he is a Muslim (which, as Colin Powell rightly pointed out, shouldn't be a smear, but, alas, it is in practice), since his father (who was African) was (or perhaps he may have been an agnostic or even an atheist). However, Obama is a staunch Christian and often injects Jesus and God into his speeches. The myth of Obama's connections with Islam originated during his original campaign for the United States Senate. Ironically, there was a Muslim member of Congress elected only two years later: Congressman Keith Ellison. The Religious Right happened to target the wrong man.
Even if he was a seekrit Muslim, his lifestyle as POTUS would suggest that he'd be quite a poor one.
Additionally, many attempted to discredit the Obama campaign by claiming that he was not born in the U.S., a requirement for any U.S. president. Given that there is no evidence for him being a Martian, Muslim, gay or Communist, this has been the last refuge of those who, frankly, just can't stand that a black man with a foreign name won an election.
“”Either we throw Barack Hussein Obama and his corrupt, Godless Marxist/Socialist anti-American cohorts out of office or we face the real probability that our Constitutional Republic will cease to exist. That means the end of our Bill of Rights, including no more Second Amendment, no more Free Speech, no more Right to Assembly, no more Liberty.
Some of Obama's more hysterical opponents attempt to make the supporter of capitalism look like a Marxist by quote mining him, completely ignoring such glaring counter-evidence as the fact that he advocated for bailing out certain large corporations instead of nationalizing them. This is the same stuff that FDR had to go through.
In his first run for the State Senate, he received the endorsement of the "New Party," a highly obscure Marxist outfit that was aiming to reintroduce electoral fusion on a national level. Of course, no one outside the moonbat community actually noticed this until the wingnut community, scraping the dregs for any excuse to use "Obama" and "communist" in the same sentence, happened upon it. Therefore, the New Party is most known today for the right-wing fit this nomination provoked. The nomination is so obscure that, by Wikipedia rules, it cannot be mentioned in the article on Obama.
 Lack of phony patriotism
Unlike many in the political arena, Obama does not routinely wear a flag pin in his lapel, possibly because he can remember which country he's President of without having to look at it every few minutes. However, he did wear one given to him by a veteran at a 2008 campaign speech and continued to wear one sporadically throughout the rest of his campaign, notably at major political events.
In yet another horrific public display, Obama was observed not putting his hand on his heart while the National Anthem was being sung (gasp!).
 Obligatory religious nuttery
In his 2006 "Call for Renewal" speech, Obama, responding to secularists critical of the Pledge of Allegiance who had filed suit to have the practice discontinued, declared that "It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase 'under God.'"
Among a certain section of the country, it is widely believed that Obama has spent too much time on vacation, playing golf. It is an article of faith for some conservatives that this is yet another way in which he has been a demonstrably poor President. Unfortunately, Obama's vacation days are half of Reagan's (at this point in his presidency), and a third of the time George W. Bush spent on vacation at this point in his presidency.
 Abundance of melanin, etc.
His other major issues with winning over people include:
- His name terrifies illiterate rednecks:
- His skin color terrifies racist morons
- His alleged use of mind-control terrifies quacks
- His refusal to foam at the mouth or to cater to people's worst hatreds and fears has failed to motivate the extreme left; he continues to blindly stick with this strategy even though his opponents successfully use such methods to motivate their base.
Several conservative blogs and commentators, suffering from a huge case of sour grapes over the election, have stated that Barack Obama is a President of affirmative action. This quite idiotic and clearly bitter accusation is completely at odds with observed polling behavior related to race, known as the Bradley effect, where people of ethnic minorities get fewer votes in reality compared to polls.
 See also
- Joe Biden, his sometimes zany Vice President
- John Brennan, his current CIA Director.
- David Petraeus, his previous CIA Director.
- Hillary Clinton, his first Secretary of State.
- John Kerry, his second Secretary of State.
- John McCain, his 2008 opponent.
- Mitt Romney, his 2012 opponent.
- Michelle Obama, the First Lady.
- Center for American Progress
- Obama and fascism
- Barack Obama fly swatting incident
- Is Obama really a lefty? — an essay by a RationalWiki user (223 sources and counting?!)
- On March 18 2008, Senator Obama gave a landmark speech, responding to scurrilous attacks by rising far above them and addressing one of the deadly problems in American society. The text and video are available here.
- President Obama gives his acceptance speech (video, text, MP3 audio) after winning election as the 44th U.S. president.
- Barack Obama on science and Charles Darwin
- "The Second Term: What would Obama do if reëlected?" — a June 2012 essay by Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker
- Chart: Almost Every Obama Conspiracy Ever
- Blame Obama for absolutely everything.
- Obama's Anger Translator Four more years.
- The 44 Greatest Barack Obama Facial Expressions
- ↑ Obama's Indonesian stepfather's last name was "Soetoro" and because the president chose to go with that last name while he was a kid in Indonesia, some of the nuttier conservatives use it in the belief that it will somehow smear him.
- ↑ Epically taken out of context. But you wouldn't trust evil Factcheck, would you?
- ↑ USA Today: Obama, Romney share their Christian views 21 August 2012
- ↑ The Washington Post: Foes Use Obama's Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him 29 November 2007
- ↑ New York Magazine: The Tsuris 18 September 2011
- ↑ Sepia Mutiny: Is Barack Obama a secret…Hindu? 6 June 2008
- ↑ Christian Science Monitor: Is Obama the 'first gay president' as Newsweek proclaims? 13 May 2012
- ↑ The Blaze: Richard Dawkins — Barack Obama ‘Probably an Atheist’ (Lincoln, Kennedy & Clinton, Too) 24 January 2012
- ↑ MSNBC: Conspiracy theory — Obama went to Mars as teen 4 January 2012
- ↑ American Stinker: Obama and Akhenaten 8 October 2009
- ↑ The Daily Beast: Is Obama the Antichrist? 14 November 2008
- ↑ The Black Presidents of United States of America 5 November 2008
- ↑ Nobelprize.org: The Nobel Peace Prize 2009
- ↑ "How Obama Thinks", Dinesh D'Souza. Forbes.
- ↑ He's laying eggs!
- ↑ YouTube: C-SPAN's Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention
- ↑ Let's Move! website
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Info Please: Campaign 2008 — Primary and Caucus Results
- ↑ CBS News segment from YouTube: "It's Over" — Clinton strategist to Clinton
- ↑ CNN: Edwards endorses Obama, praises Clinton 15 May 2008
- ↑ MSNBC: Clinton ends historic bid, endorses Obama 7 June 2008
- ↑ The New York Times: Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate 23 August 2008
- ↑ Politico: Democrats nominate Obama by acclamation 27 August 2008
- ↑ Citation not really needed.
- ↑ CNN: Why Libya 2011 is not Iraq 2003 20 March 2011
- ↑ The New York Times: How the Deficit Got This Big 24 July 2011
- ↑ NYT: Obama Bans Gimmicks, and Deficit Will Rise
- ↑ CBO data from Wikipedia
- ↑ FactCheck: Obama’s Spending — ‘Inferno’ or Not? 7 June 2012
- ↑ "Obameter", PolitiFact. Numbers accurate as of specified date.
- ↑ The Baltimore Sun: Obama skips public finance 20 June 2008
- ↑ NPR: Obama Cracks Down On Medical Marijuana 12 July 2011
- ↑ The White House: Closure Of Guantanamo Detention Facilities
- ↑ ABC News: Guantanamo Bay — Still Open, Despite Promises 3 July 2012
- ↑ The Guardian: Six years after Iraq invasion, Obama sets out his exit plan 27 February 2009
- ↑ Reuters: Obama seeks record $708 billion defense budget for 2011 1 February 2010
- ↑ The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice: Repeal of the "Global Gag Rule" 11 June 2010
- ↑ The White House: Executive Order 13505
- ↑ Wikipedia: Legislative history of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- ↑ Gallup: Among Recent Bills, Financial Reform a Lone Plus for Congress 13 September 2010
- ↑ CBS News: Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA 23 February 2011
- ↑ HuffPo: John Boehner Has Collected $742,000 For DOMA Defense, Top House Official Says 28 March 2012
- ↑ Politico: End of 'don't ask, don't tell' is a 'historic day,' says Leon Panetta 20 September 2011
- ↑ CNN: Military chaplains allowed to perform same-sex weddings 30 September 2011
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 Salon: Obama's Vietnam? 26 January 2009
- ↑ BBC News: 'US strike' kills 27 in Pakistan 14 February 2009
- ↑ CNN: Civil rights groups sue U.S. for killing of Americans tied to al Qaeda 18 July 2012
- ↑ The intent is to make killing operations targeted in order to minimize civilian casualties, but an additional result is increased secrecy and problems having to do with international sovereignty. Supporters have argued it as a better alternative than going on full-scale war with another country, while critics view it as a form of sanctioned assassinations. Signature strikes (targeting people based on appearance) and double taps (attacking first responders who try to help those after the first strike) are particularly scrutinized. The additional fact that US citizens have been targeted and killed has raised additional problems of civil liberties and due process problems. Furthermore, he himself claimed that there were little to no civilian casualties as a result of drone strikes, even though on-the-ground reporters estimate that children were killed during drone strikes.
- ↑ Los Angeles Times: Patriot Act provisions extended just in time 27 May 2011
- ↑ The Washington Post: Al Gore calls Obama administration’s collection of phone records ‘obscenely outrageous’, 5 June 2013
- ↑ Slate: Obama Has Charged More Under Espionage Act Than All Other Presidents Combined, 22 June 2013
- ↑ The White House: Statement by the President on H.R. 1540 31 December 2011
- ↑ The Verge: WikiLeaks publishes secret draft of TPP treaty
- ↑ Snopes: Who Is Barack Obama?
- ↑ Politico: Dad's Muslim-to-atheist conversion omitted by Obama in Cairo 4 June 2009
- ↑ The White House: President Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate 27 April 2011
- ↑ Is Obama a Muslim? Examine the Evidence!
- ↑ Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.
- ↑ "Conscience of a Conservative"
- ↑ New Party archive: October 1996 update.
- ↑ CNN: Obama no longer wears flag pin 5 October 2007
- ↑ ABC News: For One Day Only — Obama's Flag Pin Returns 15 April 2008
- ↑ Look at the picture and see where his hands are. His "love" for his country is apparent.
- ↑ The New York Times: Obama’s 2006 Speech on Faith and Politics 28 June 2006
- ↑ CBS News: Presidential vacations: How does Obama compare? 17 August 2011
- ↑ Fox News of all places misspelled "Osama bin Laden dead" as "Obama bin Laden dead."
- ↑ YouTube: AASP proves obama mind control conclusively.
- ↑ American Thinker: 17 September 2012
|United States 2008 Presidential election articles on RationalWiki|
| Topics: 2008 U.S. Presidential Election - Democratic Party - Debate:Religious beliefs and public office - Republican Party - Same-sex marriage - United States Electoral College
Candidates: Hillary Rodham Clinton - Rudolph Giuliani - Mike Huckabee - John McCain - Alan Keyes - Dennis Kucinich - Ron Paul - Mitt Romney
Running mates: Joe Biden - Sarah Palin
Winner: Barack Obama
|United States 2012 Presidential election articles on RationalWiki|
| Topics: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election - Democratic Party - Debate:Religious beliefs and public office - Republican Party - Same-sex marriage - United States Electoral College
Candidates: Michele Bachmann - Newt Gingrich - Mitt Romney - Rick Santorum - Ron Paul
Winner: Barack Obama (incumbent)