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Why I Gave the President $50 Just Now

Regular readers know I’ve been exceptionally disenchanted with President Obama for the past year or so. Whether it’s been extending the “Patriot” Act, the Bush Tax Cuts or refusing to prosecute the torturers of the last administration, there’s been a lot of legitimate disappointment for me.

I never regretted voting for Obama over McCain and no one on the Republican side impressed me after Gov. Gary Johnson left the race to no one’s notice. Still my plan was to provide zero support for the President aside from voting for him on Election Day after heaving a heavy sigh.

But yesterday President Obama took a couragous stand on marriage equality.  If we elected our President by popular vote, it might have made political sense. Instead I think it is likely to deny him the electoral votes needed for a second term. I hope that I’m wrong. But his announcement made me feel proud to have him as President for the first time in a few years.

I think courage should be rewarded so I did the following:

  • I donated $50 to his campaign.
  • I wrote a thank you message on the White House web page.
  • I wrote this blog entry.

If you like this historic support for marriage equality, I encourage you to donate what you can, thank the President for taking a stand and blog about your experience.

Does this mean I’ll volunteer or give more money? I don’t know. Actions speak louder than words and President Obama’s support for marriage equality is about the only major positive I can point to over the past two years in my priority areas of civil liberties and access to information. But now at least I will listen respectfully to pleas for assistance instead of laughing/shouting them off.


6 Responses

  1. You were very generous. I am disappointed by Obama at times, but when he spoke from the heart on gay marriage, he completely won me over again. Thank you for the good words.

  2. Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by. I couldn’t say that the President “completely won me over again” this was a good start. I look forward to seeing whether this act of political courage leads to others.

  3. President Obama extended the tax cuts to those making $200,000 a year or less. It is the Repub Congress that wants the tax cuts to be extended for the rich. Remember the Congress is in control of the money.

  4. You have to also remember, the President IS NOT a prosecutor, so stop blaming him for not prosecuting Bush Adm people. The Justice Dept is responsible for that, and the President is not part of the Justice Dept, nor does he dictate to them.

    The President is the head of the Executive Branch of our government, ONLY. He does not control nor dictate to the Judicial Branch, or the Legislative Branch of our government.

    So stop blaming President Obama for things that are not part of his job description, and what he does not control. We elected him to be President NOT prosecutor.

    Our three branches of government.

    The Executive Branch is the President, Vice President, Sec of State. And their staff. Etc.
    The Judicial Branch is the US Attorney General and his staff. Etc.
    The Legislative Branch is the Senate, the House.
    Each play their own part.

  5. Hi Sam,

    As you say, Congress is in control of the money. However, the President is control of what he signs or vetoes as provided for in Article I, Section 7 of the US Contstitution:

    Section. 7.

    All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

    I am a middle class taxpayer. Based on his campaign speeches, I expected President Obama to veto any extension of the Bush Tax Cuts that was presented to him even if that meant I lost my cut. The country’s finances are just too much out of balance. If Congress overrode his veto and gave the wealthy tax cuts anyway, I’d be out there condemning Congress and praising the wisdom of the President. Unfortunately that’s not what happened. The President folded and signed. I’d rather have the country in sounder finances by making the wealthy pay more of their share than have a tax cut of my own.

    If President Obama was willing to keep the Bush Tax Cuts, he should have said so up front. I probably would have voted for him anyway based on his (kept) promise to withdraw from Iraq.

  6. Sam,

    You are misinformed about the judicial branch. Here is a statement of the three branches of government from the official federal government portal usa.gov (bolding mine):

    Executive Branch
    The executive branch of the government is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. The president, vice president, department heads (cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies carry out this mission.

    Judicial Branch
    Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws and how they are applied. They also decide if laws violate the Constitution—this is known as judicial review, and it is how federal courts provide checks and balances on the legislative and executive branches.

    Legislative Branch
    Article I of the Constitution establishes the legislative or law making branch of government. It has a two-branch Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—and agencies that support Congress.

    If this isn’t enough for you, the United States Government Manual designates the Department of Justice as an executive branch agency. Additionally, the official biography of Attorney General Eric Holder notes that he was nominated by President Obama.

    Because torture is a crime under 18 United States Code Chapter 113C, the Department of Justice has a duty to investigate it. Because the DOJ is an executive branch agency, reposibility for its performance ulitmately rests with the President. And the President is on record about blocking prosecutions under this law.

    So yes, I will continue to blame President Obama for his decision to block accountability for torturers. Since Romney came out in favor of renewing toture, I’ll never vote for him no matter what I feel about the President.

    As of today, I’m probably a 90% safe vote for Obama unless Alaska looks like a Romney blowout (>25%) to me, in which case I’d probably vote Green Party. But you ought to be very careful of being so judgemental to other reluctant Obama voters. Your insistance that they have no legitimate grievances might drive them into the arms of third parties or make them stay home entirely.

    Instead, try being grateful that the President’s act of courage on marriage equality has made me and other reluctant voters willing to donate to the President’s campaign.

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