El Gringoqueño

All a man needs out of life is a place to sit ‘n’ spit in the fire.

Obama Was Not Right from Day One

I was surprised to find out today that Barack Obama isn’t being truthful about his Iraq War Voting record.  I know I know, I’m bummed.  I liked the guy.  Up until today I would have supported him.  Maybe I still do.  But I’m not so sure anymore.  How can people be so disingenuous about such big issues?  And why has no one else mentioned this.

Barack Obama may have opposed the war in 2003, but he never voted against it.  What?!  You heard me right.  He never actually voted against it.  Why?  How? Wha?

He didn’t vote against the war, because he didn’t become a senator until 2005, that’s why.  When the debate and vote on whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, or whether or not we would go to war with Iraq, Barack Obama was a state representative (local state politician, not national), for the 13th District of Illinois.  He wasn’t there.  He was just a twinkle in his Senate seat’s pants.

What!?  How could this be?  Haven’t we heard about how he was right from day one.  What was day one for him?  How can you be right from day one when your day one didn’t start until January of 2005? 

If we are going to elect people on their ability to be "right" then elect me.  I said in 2002 there were no weapons of mass destruction.  I said we shouldn’t have gone in.  Check this post. I wrote that back in March of 2003.  I knew it was wrong.  Props for Obama as an armchair foreign policy quarterback, but it sure as hell isn’t anything upon which to base your complete campaign.

I like the guy, but if he wasn’t a member of Congress, he had nothing to lose by taking that position.  I had nothing to lose.  I had no authority.  He had no authority.  I had no access to classified intelligence.  He had no access to classified intelligence.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, Obama based his opposition to the war on a hunch.

Sounds remarkably like our current president, doesn’t it?

7 Comments

  1. Just to put all the cards on the table, who are you backing for the Democratic nominee?

    I back Obama, though not necessarily for his war record. I may not have been for the war, but I don’t think that, policy-wise, the Dem candidates are going to be much different in their approach to it now.

    That said, your attempt to compare Obama’s comments with those of a blogger are, with all due respect, ridiculous.
    Barack Obama was already an elected official at the time, and he made very public statements widely covered by the media. To say he had nothing to lose is simply not true. He had his own political career to worry about at a time when emotions were running hot and the political climate was very rough for people who disagreed with the President, especially when it came to doing something about terrorism. He may not have had direct access to all of the “secret” information that members of the U.S. Senate have, but much of the dicussion on the intelligence on Iraq was already being publicly discussed in the media. To discount his opposition as being based “on a hunch” is to be dismissive just for the sake of it.
    If you don’t like him, don’t vote for him. But be honest about the history of his and Hillary’s positions on the war. They are not the same. Obama’s statements about the war in 2002 and again in 2003 should not be ignored just because he wasn’t already in Congress. He wasn’t some nameless blogger or armchair pundit, he was an elected official willing to go public with an unpopular stance and to make arguments for it. He was right from the beginning. He just wasn’t in Congress at the time.

  2. Um, that’s my point. Thank you.

    To perhaps restate the obvious, my only contention is this:

    Obama says: I was right from day one. I ­was against the war from the beginning.

    I agree with him. I agree with you. Yes he did oppose the war from the beginning. But who was he in the beginning? My contention is that as a state senator he was essentially in no better a position to be "opposed" to the war than myself. Okay, maybe he was in a marginally better position. I’ll grant you that.

    So here’s the kicker now, pay attention, because this is easy to miss. I don’t take anything away from him, I just don’t grant him some sort of heroic status for that particular opinion.

    He had an opinion that happened to turn out to be right. Good for him, but don’t build your campaign on it.

    As for Clinton’s position. I hardly think that matters here. Her double speak exists in a realm all its own, independent of Obama’s position. Those two things are distinct and it has no place in this topic.

    My point is this:

    If Obama is going to base nearly his entire campaign on "I was right from the beginning" don’t you think he should define what the "beginning" is? I think a lot of people believe that he had a lot more on the line than he actually did. Smells of resume padding to me.

    The value of your opposition goes up the more you have to lose.

    As for who I will vote for? I actually can’t. As a resident of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, I have lost my right to vote in the US, unless I move back. Ain’t that a bitch? If I lived in Europe, I would be able to vote, but in a US protectorate no. I was born and raised in the US. I’m a veteran of the Iraq war (Captain), but I can’t vote.

    But that is neither here nor there, I guess.

  3. At this point, I’d probably still vote for Obama though. I thought he was a little more courageous than he turned out to be though, so I’m a little let down.

  4. Obama says: I was right from day one. I was against the war from the beginning.

    I agree with him.

    I think the title of your post kind of contradicts that. 😉

    As for the rest, I don’t think Obama has ever said he voted against the war from the beginning, only that he spoke out about it early on and he was “right” in that he has been on what is now considered the “right” side of the argument by much of the Dem establishment, since day one. I give him that, even if I don’t, same as you, give him any special status because of it. If he had done anything to give people the impression he voted against it, then I’d be pissed.

    As for the voting thing, that is a bitch. I’m actually from PR, but now that I live in NY, I can vote. Funny that.

    And I’m glad you made it back.

  5. What part of PR are you from?

    Well, the title is provocative, yeah. But that’s not really the point. His “beginning” isn’t really the beginning most people think it is. Semantics, I guess. Here’s another example:

    Me: I am a veteran of the Iraq war.

    Someone else: Did you actually fight in Iraq?

    Me: Um, no.

    Someone else: Did you actually make it to Iraq?

    Me: Um, no.

    Someone else: ???

    See how it goes? Technically, I am, but if I want to just hang it out there like it means I was some infantry grunt on the ground slogging my way into Baghdad leaving a trail of dead enemy behind me, I just leave it at – veteran, right?

    And back to Obama – he can say he was right from day one. A lot of people nod and say, yeah, he was right. I want that kind of leader, yeah! The problem is that Obama wasn’t really anyone when he was “against” the war, just like a lot of Americans. Who was right first? Does it really matter in a pissing contest? It’s only when there’s something really on the line that it counts.

    So in my case, to say I was a veteran, is factually true, but leaves out a lot. I could add that there was a certain president that said Mission Accomplished WAY TOO FUCKING EARLY. He decided that the tens of thousands of additional troops that were set to pour into Iraq (myself in that bunch), would be “unnecessary” and he sent us home.

    We all know how that turned out, huh.

    All said and done, I’d feel better with either Obama or Clinton. I still prefer Obama, but he’s got to keep it real.

  6. LOL… Well, then maybe I should congratulate you on not having had to go in the first place. 😉
    I dunno, since I knew who he was, and I was living in Chicago during the run-up to the presidential race, I was never under any illusions as to who Barack was and what he was doing. You saw him everywhere. Illinois loves him.
    Anyway… I grew up around Isla Verde, pretty much. I have family in Fajardo too.
    PR needs more bloggers. Keep it up. 😉

  7. Obama has never said he “voted against the war.”

    However, a lot of bloggers have wrongly said he has.

    What he has said is: “”I spoke out against what I called ‘a rash war’ in Iraq.”

    He’s always said he was “opposed” to the war, or “spoke out against” the war. He’s never said he voted against the war.

    I’d love to see someone come up with a direct quote.

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