Hello, Everyone. Hopefully we can get some feedback from both sides in this thread. In many discussions dealing with the current heated political
climate, some members will criticize Bush but defend Obama for a certain action while some will defend Bush but criticize Obama for a certain
I'd like to take this opportunity to show how similar the actions of Bush and Obama really are to each other. The below will be a sample from various
controversial subjects including religion, the Middle East conflict, bailouts, lobbyists, corporations, and the treatment of citizens under each
administration, to name a few.
The following will differ sometimes. For instance, in some of the below information Bush was 'worse' while in some information Obama was 'worse.'
Or perhaps Bush started a program but Obama continued it. So there will be some minor differences in a few segments but in the end, I hope this helps
everyone realize how alike they truly are.
This thread is by no means complete and of course Obama and Bush do differ on some accounts. However, this thread is simply a starting place in an
effort to show how they're two sides of one coin regarding some of the biggest issues frequently discussed.
BAILOUTS & STIMULUS PACKAGES
Bush: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
President Bush signed the bill into law within hours of its enactment, creating a $700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank
The bailout passed in spite of polls showing overwhelming opposition from the public and the grass roots protests that took place in 41 states, in
over 100 cities, at over 250 events.
. It is also known that the bailout cost more than it's initial $700 billion figure.
Obama: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The Act of Congress was based largely on proposals made by President Barack Obama and was intended to provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy in
the wake of the economic downturn. The measures are nominally worth $787 billion... The bill was signed into law on February 17 by President Obama at
an economic forum he was hosting in Denver, Colorado.
The stimulus passed in spite of majority public opposition and it subsequently sparked protest movements across the United States as well.
. Like the bailout above, we
also know the stimulus package will be costing more than the original figure.
I often see it asked why there were only protests under Obama and not Bush but this is not so. As mentioned above, there were grass roots protests
under Bush. Both bills were passed in spite of public disapproval and both bills were presented to the public as something that had to be done to save
us all. Both bills were rushed through without giving the public and even congress enough time to dissect the legislation. There are too many
similarities to defend one but criticize the other. In my opinion, they both robbed the taxpayers.
Obama is not the only one with czar positions in his administration. Bush had them, too.
* Cyber Security Czar
* Regulatory Czar
* AIDS Czar
* Bird Flu Czar
* Intelligence Czar
* Health IT Czar
* Katrina Czar
* Manufacturing Czar
* Drug Czar
* Domestic Policy Czar
* War Czar
* Copywright Czar
* Abstinence Czar
* Mine Safety Czar
* Latin American Czar
* WTO Health Czar
* Corruption Czar
* Privacy Czar
* Health Czar
(My apologies in advance for having to use such a vitriolic source. My goal was to find impartial sources for this thread
but this link was the best because it allows you to click on each appointee to read more about them and their role.)
1. Herb Allison-TARP Czar
2. Alan Bersin-Border Czar
3. Dennis Blair-Intelligence Czar
4. John Brennan-Terrorism Czar
5. Carol Browner-Energy Czar
6. Adolfo Carrion, Jr-Urban Affairs Czar
7. Ashton Carter-Weapons Czar
8. Aneesh Chopra-Technology Czar
9. Jeffrey Crowley-AIDS Czar
10. Cameron Davis-Great Lakes Czar
11. Nancy-Ann DeParle-Health Czar
12. Earl Devaney-Stimulus Accountability Czar
13. Joshua DuBois-Faith-based Czar
14. Kenneth Feinberg-Pay Czar
15. Danny Fried-Guantanamo Closure Czar
16. J. Scott Gration-Sudan Czar
17. Richard Holbrooke-Afghanistan Czar
18. John Holdren-Science Czar
19. Van Jones Green-Jobs Czar
20. Gil Kerlikowske-Drug Czar
21. Vivek Kundra-Information Czar
22. George Mitchell-Mideast Peace Czar
23. Ed Montgomery-Car Czar
24. Dennis Ross-Mideast Policy Czar
25. Gary Samore-WMD Czar
26. Todd Stern-Climate Czar
27. Cass Sunstein-Regulatory Czar
28. Paul Volcker-Economic Czar
(Note: The above list is not complete as Obama is still appointing Czar positions after that list was compiled).
Czars are nothing new. You may CLICK HERE
for a list of U.S. czar positions under Obama, Bush, Clinton, Truman, Roosevelt, Johnson., etc.
Many of us feel very uncomfortable because of Obama's czars and on one end we should because he has been appointing some very questionable
characters. But I did want to show how both Bush and Obama have appointed positions dubbed czar.
In 2002, as a part of ongoing anti-terrorist operations, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans
and others in the United States making contact with persons in other nations. According to a The New York Times report, the NSA monitored the
international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of "hundreds, and perhaps thousands of people" inside the United States over the
past three years without warrants.
In a stunning defense of President George W. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, President Barack Obama has broadened the government's legal
argument for immunizing his Administration and government agencies from lawsuits surrounding the National Security Agency's eavesdropping efforts.
In fact, a close read of a government filing last Friday reveals that the Obama Administration has gone beyond any previous legal claims put forth by
former President Bush. SOURCE.
What started under Bush was protected under Obama. CLICK HERE
to read a
summary of Bush and Obama's actions, the content of the bill approved by Obama, and his response to the criticism.
FEDERALLY FUNDED FAITH BASED GROUPS
In January 2001, President Bush created, via Executive Order, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Since then, Centers
for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives were established at five federal agencies, assistance and guidebooks were provided to religious groups to
help them to apply for federal funds, and websites were created for speedy access to applications.
And in February 2004, the President issued an Executive Order earmarking an astonishing $3.7 billion to be doled out to faith-based and other
At a time when the White House faith-based-initiatives office created by George W. Bush has precious few supporters on the left or right,
President Barack Obama is following through with his campaign pledge to expand its scope and influence within his Administration. Obama made that
clear Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, announcing a new Presidential Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
that will weigh in on matters ranging from funding of social-service providers and poverty alleviation to the more controversial issue of abortion
Bush received a lot of flack from citizens for being 'too religious' in office while Obama is sometimes criticized for not being religious enough.
Both have had the sincerity of their beliefs questioned and both have been at the center of conspiracies alleging they don't follow the religion they
claim. I won't be the one to judge another's heart but it is interesting how they both support federal funds going to faith-based groups.
As a person of faith I do not have issues with the above but I know many secular citizens do. We cannot criticize one but not the other.
A CALLING FROM GOD
We'll do this segment a little differently. Once again, Bush was often criticized by various groups for claiming to 'do God's will' in his
politics. What some fail to realize is Obama also invoked God and destiny as well. The humorous comparison of the speeches can be seen side by side in
THIS VIDEO CLIP
The quote from Obama which sparked the comparisons is as follows:
Obama: 'This is the source of our confidence. The knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.'
The above was part of Obama's inauguration speech. Coincidentally, in Bush's farewell speech, he mentioned the struggle between good and evil and
America's role in the battle.
As president, George W. Bush was praised - and pilloried - for a faith-based certitude that guided his decision-making. Even as he prepared to
leave office, he invoked in his farewell address the divine drama of good and evil on earth - and America's role in that battle. And he did it, as
always, with a confident clarity.
That's not Barack Obama's style. And yet, Obama is no stranger to expressions of faith. In his inaugural address, the newly minted president said:
"This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape our uncertain destiny."
The question: Is there a place for divinely inspired certainty in the governance of the nation? What's the difference between Obama and Bush on this
point, and how will that difference be reflected in decisions to come?
In the video above, another comparison is shown side by side:
Bush: Freedom is a universal gift of an almighty God.
Obama: The God given promise that all men are equal. All are free.
If you share my opinion, you probably find yourself asking, 'So?' in response to the above. The above personally does not bother me. However, again,
there were many who criticized Bush for claiming to do 'God's will.' There were many who believed he used empty religious rhetoric to appeal to a
Christian base for support.
We cannot criticize one but not the other. We cannot claim one was using such rhetoric to garner support from the masses while the other is just
expressing his personal beliefs. We can't accuse one of being insincere but not the other. I really see no difference between Bush claiming God told
him to invade Iraq or Obama saying it's God's will we fulfill our destiny. For those secularists who had a problem with Bush's statements, do you
have a problem with Obama's? They are phrased differently but at their core they are similar. Both presidents tell the public America must follow
MEETINGS WITH RELIGIOUS LEADERS
Bush Meets Privately With Christian Leaders
Obama Meets Privately With Christian Leaders
Bush Meets With The Pope To Discuss Political Issues
Obama Meets With The Pope to Discuss Political Issues
Bush Meets With Muslim Leaders
Obama Meets with
4). Bush Attends Iftaar White House Dinner for Ramadan
Obama Attends Iftaar Whie House Dinner for Ramadan
Bush Meets With Dalai Lama
Obama May Meet With The Dalai
The list goes on but the above are five examples. I'm not going to point out what I personally believe to be good or bad but the above is presented
as food for thought. Do you criticize one for their religious involvement but not the other? Do you think one president meeting with religious leaders
had nefarious intentions but not the other? Do you criticize one for allowing religious groups to influence their politics but not the other? Why or
Presidents meeting with religious groups and leaders has occurred for decades but Bush received much criticism for his meetings with Christian leaders
while Obama received much criticism for his 'Muslim tour.' Bush was accused of appealing to Christians while Obama was accused of appealing to
MIDDLE EAST ISSUES
This segment may be an eye opener for some. The general stereotype is that Bush was a loyal Zionist supporter and blindly supported Israel in every
endeavor while Obama will take America away from Israeli support into either a moderate position or even a pro-Palestine position.
But let's see what's really going on:
Bush Says the U.S. Would Defend Israel Against Iran
Obama Says the U.S. Would Defend Israel Against Iran
2). Bush Warns Israel Against Attacking
Obama Warns Israel Against Attacking Iran
3). Bush Supports Financial Support to Israel
Obama Supports Financial Aid to Israel
Bush Pledges Aid to Palestine
Obama Pledges Aid to Palestine
Bush Supports Two State Solution
Obama Supports Two State Solution
Are we seeing a pattern here? It's not that either one was adamantly on one side of the issue while the other was on another side of the issue. They
both have very similar levels of involvement, action, and proposals.
Whatever your opinion is on the Middle East conflict will be left up to the reader but I mention the above because it is a very divisive issue that
brings out strong opinions from both sides of the debate. Many times the plans of Bush and Obama in relation to Israel and Palestine have come up in
political disputes. However, ultimately they supported the same stance.
Many Christian evangelicals supported Bush for his support of Israel while many Muslims believe with Obama they'll finally have an American
politician speak for them. However, both Bush and Obama's stances aren't so clear cut and they show a remarkably similar approach to the Middle East
conflict for two presidents who are presented as being so different.
President Bush has installed more than 100 top officials who were once lobbyists, attorneys or spokespeople for the industries they oversee.
Among the advocates-turned-regulators are a former meat-industry lobbyist who helps decide how meat is labeled; a former drug-company lobbyist who
influences prescription-drug policies; a former energy lobbyist who, while still accepting payments for bringing clients into his old lobbying firm,
helps determine how much of the West those former clients can use for oil and gas drilling.
The Times of India claimed that Barack Obama had appointed seventeen lobbyists to high government positions in the first 14 days of his
administration. Politico provided a list of twelve of these last week, a handy reference with which we can start building our lists of
“exceptions” to the Obama Administration Ethics Policy:
Here are former lobbyists Obama has tapped for top jobs...
The above is provided to show that what occurs under each administration is not necessarily what Bush wants or what Obama wants or that they are in
control with their personal agendas. They both have their juevos in a vice by lobbyists.
The common perception is that Bush supported corporate interests above the citizen while Obama will crack down on corporate interests in favor of the
citizen. In some ways, like taxation, that is a correct assessment but things aren't always as they appear. Both appear to be working in ways that
support corporate interests. For Bush it may have been military and oil in the Iraq War, for Obama it may be pharmaceuticals and environmental
agencies in his health and climate bills.
THE TREATMENT OF DISSENTERS UNDER EACH ADMINISTRATION
This is a very serious issue for all of us because this segment involves an issue where we are constitutionally protected. And that is, the freedom of
speech and protest. However, during both administrations, protesters were ridiculed by the media, citizens were denied their rights on some occasions,
or activists were placed into free speech zones. Let's examine some examples.
Please note we cannot completely blame both presidents for being directly responsible for all of the following. The below is just to show how
dissenters were treated under both administrations. I see many posters from both sides claiming protesters were treated worse under Bush or worse
under Obama. Although some reactions towards dissenters are different, in the end, the incidences are equally appalling in their own way.
Bush Free Speech Zone Incident:
Obama Free Speech Zone Incident:
At the 2000 GOP nominating convention in Philadelphia, candidate Bush created a fenced-in, out-of-sight protest zone that could only hold barely
1,500 people at a time. So citizens who wished to give voice to their many grievances with the Powers That Be had to...
Bush Detainment for Mundane Incident (Wearing a T-Shirt):
“I finally find them, and they’re across the street,” recalls Cooper. “And I ask them what’s going on, and they say, ‘We were asked by
the Obama folks to clear off and go to the free speech zone.’ So I said, ‘That’s bull----. I’m going to go back across.’ Tom said,
‘You’ll probably be arrested.’ But I went across, and a USC cop hustled after me. This guy was larger than me, and was threatening to arrest
Obama Detainment For Mundane Incident (A Bumper Sticker):
Police took Nicole and Jeff Rank away in handcuffs from the event, which was billed as a presidential appearance, not a campaign rally. They were
wearing T-shirts that read, "Love America, Hate Bush."
"We weren't doing anything wrong," said Jeff Rank. The couple, who said they had tickets just like everybody else, said they simply stood around
the Capitol steps with the rest of the spectators. SOURCE.
Marginalizing Citizen Protest Efforts by the Media:
A Louisiana driver was stopped and detained for having a “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker on his vehicle and warned by a police officer
about the “subversive” message it sent, according to the driver’s relative.
Example: Cindy Sheehan, Antiwar Protester
Example: Tea Party Protesters
Bush: Dissenters Labeled Possible Terrorists
Obama: Dissenters Labeled Possible Terrorists
In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center (the FBI-administered organization
that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States) had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007 - and that the list
was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month.
By those numbers, the list now has over one million names on it. SOURCE.
Protesters Arrested For Civil Disobedience:
Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of
public protests should be regarded as “low level terrorism.” ACLU attorneys are calling the approach “an egregious insult to constitutional
values” and have sent a letter to the Department of Defense demanding that the offending materials be changed and that the DoD send corrective
information to all DoD employees who received the erroneous training.
About a dozen war protesters were arrested Tuesday morning during a peaceful demonstration against President Bush’s speech before the U.N.
Police took the demonstrators into custody after they knelt on the sidewalk in an act of civil disobedience at the rally near the United Nations.
Sixty-one anti-torture protesters were arrested outside the White House on Thursday in a planned act of mass civil disobedience at the end of an
event organized by Witness Against Torture and Amnesty International.
I really hope this segment especially opened the eyes of those who may claim it was worse under Bush or worse under Obama. Looking at the similarities
it seems American dissenters were treated terribly under both administrations.
NATIONALIZATION OF AMERICAN INDUSTRY
Bush (Bank Industry):
Obama (Auto Industry):
The government put itself four-square into the country's banking business Tuesday, resorting to what President Bush conceded was the unwelcome
choice of a partial nationalization in order to loosen paralyzed channels of credit.
The president said the decision to to buy shares in the nation's leading banks—a kind of federal intervention not seen since the Depression
era—was "not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it."
Once a symbol of capitalist might and U.S. industrial prowess, General Motors would be half owned by the Treasury under a new sweeping plan that
would also shut down GM's Pontiac operations, lay off 21,000 workers and impose harsh terms on the company's bondholders.
The partial nationalization proposal -- a last-ditch effort developed by GM and the Obama administration's auto task force to keep the leading U.S.
carmaker out of bankruptcy... SOURCE.
Both administrations engaged in partial nationalization of American industry. To relieve taxpayer angst, the cover is that 'the taxpayers own part of
the companies' but of course it's not as if we'll be receiving any profit checks. Our taxes go to bailout the industries while others profit.
AGREEMENT ON VARIOUS SOCIAL ISSUES
Since we've looked at some serious political issues, let's take a look at some social issues where Obama and Bush seem to agree. The List is taken
and will be summarized by myself.
The below issues aren't necessarily good or bad like some of the serious issues above in this thread. However, they are simply included in this
thread to show the similarities between both presidents even when it comes to social programs. Bush and Obama do differ in approaches or in other
respects on some issues but in many startling ways they share the same causes and stances.
Abstinence & Contraception
Both presidents funded programs to teach sexual responsibility including abstinence and contraceptives.
Both presidents believe reforming the role of affirmative action in institutions of higher learning.
Obama voted with Bush on his budget plans (including 19 spending bills).
Both support capital punishment in extreme violent crimes.
Both support charter schools, merit pay for teachers, and voted in support of community learning centers.
Obama voted to pass Bush's bailout package and both support tax cuts of various segments of the population.
Obama voted in support of Bush's $12.3 billion energy bill and both agreed it would lessen dependency on foreign oil.
Both presidents define marriage as being between a man and a woman and are against gay marriage.
Both were/are very active in the global spread of AIDS, contributing much funding to abstinence, education, and medical research.
Although different in many respects, both agreed the main problem with American health care is affordability. Bush also expanded community health
centers to cover the uninsured.
Middle Class Tax Cuts
In 2001 Bush implemented tax cuts for the middle class and Obama currently has a proposal to do so.
Both Obama and Bush took steps to increase the possibility of homeownership for minorities.
The PATRIOT Act
Both Bush and Obama voted in support of the PATRIOT Act.
Although Obama initially opposed offshore drilling, he now supports it in order to find alternative oil sources. This is in agreement with Bush who
has always supported offshore drilling.
Bush issued a directive to ban racial profiling in 2001 and Obama, during his campaign, made a promise to call for a ban on racial profiling.
Supreme Court Ruling on Gun Ban
While Bush has always supported gun rights, Obama initially supported partial gun bans but later said in response to the Supreme Court ruling, 'As a
general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms.'
Both presidents are interested in welfare reform. Obama hopess to transfer able bodied welfare recipients into gainful employment while Bush believes
welfare should be used as needed for children and families but not abused.
Of course there are many more similarities between the two but the above should be a good start. In addition, they both have very similar plans
including the time tables in withdrawing troops from Iraq
), agreement in aspects on the war on terror
), Obama's reluctancy to investigate the Bush Administration
It's frustrating to constantly see support for one or criticism for the other- especially when it often comes down to supporting and condemning for
the same ultimate stance or action. It's frustrating to hear 'Bush did it' as if it justifies something Obama is doing. It's frustrating to only
see one side of the issue presented repeatedly or one side defended while the other is condemned. It's frustrating to see people torn along party
lines when there are so many ways that Obama and Bush are on the same page.
My apologies for any mistakes made in this thread. I'm not very politically savvy but still wanted to address this issue.