Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
......It CAN be used to indicate an indecisive state of mind, but most times, it’s to signal others to be cautious about voting this bill in or to
indicate some objection, not strong enough to vote “No”.
What it DOESN’T mean is I’m here, but I don’t have the guts to take a position one way or another. And this is the criticism that Obama’s
taking for his record of 129 “Present” votes in 8 years. Sometimes he voted with caution… with reservations.
Edit: Title changed for clarity.
[edit on 23-6-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]
In all actuality, those are your opinions, not facts. Voting "Present" does initially indicate indecisiveness. You did do a good job of backing up
your argument, so I give you A LOT of credit for that. However, let me put such "Present" votes into a another context. So Obama voted without a
truly decisive stance 129 times. Well, it may not seem like a lot according to the overall Yays, and Nays he cast (according to your information). Now
however, imagine Barack Obama as the United States President. He now has life-critical decisions to make, and they must be made within a timeframe of
12-24 Hours. What happens? What happens if he decides to hang his decisions in the balance while attempting to not take a side? If according to your
information, he simply did this due to certain sections of the bills he did not agree upon, what happens when he has to impose a unilateral operation
but he does not agree with every last aspect of the op? How will he EVER take a decisive Executive stance when he already seems to be shaky in taking
one with 58 Other Illinois State Senators?
Also, what is quite telling are the issues upon which he actually voted "Present" for:
-"Sen. Obama voted 'present' 129 times while in the State Senate." (New York Times, 12/20/07)
-"At least 36 times, Sen. Obama was either the only State Senator to vote present or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way. " (New
York Times, 12/20/07)
-"Sen. Obama was the only State Senator to vote 'present' on a bill that sought to protect the privacy of sex-abuse victims, and the only state
senator to not support the bill." (HB854, Passed 58-0-1, 05/11/99)
-"Sen. Obama was the only State Senator to vote 'present' on an adoption bill that imposed stricter requirements for parental fitness, and the only
State Senator to not support the bill." (HB1298, Passed 57-0-1, 5/6/1999)
-"Sen. Obama voted 'present' on a bill that would increase penalties for the use of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. The bill called for
the mandatory adult persecution of a minor at least 15 years of age being tried for using a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school." (SB759, Passed
-"Sen. Obama voted 'present' on a bill to prohibit the presence of adult sex shops near schools, places of worship, and day care facilities; bill
allows local governments to regulate the presence of adult sex shops." (SB609, Passed 33-15-5, 3/29/2001)
-"During Sen. Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign, the Illinois NOW PAC did not recommend the endorsement of Obama for U.S. Senate because he refused to
stand up for a woman’s right to choose and repeatedly voted ‘present’ on important legislation.
As a State Senator, Barack Obama voted ‘present’ on seven abortion bills, including a ban on 'partial birth abortion,' two parental notification
laws and three 'born alive' bills. In each case, the right vote was clear, but Sen. Obama chose political cover over standing and fighting for his
'When we needed someone to take a stand, Sen. Obama took a pass,' said Grabenhofer. 'He wasn’t there for us then and we don’t expect him to be
now.'" (Illinois Now)
Bottom line, I agree that no one is perfect, but Obama has consistently gone back and forth with his stances, and rhetoric. Granted, all people are
allowed to change their minds over time, but during the past Nine Months I have never seen someone so blatantly go about it such numerous times.