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by
Gary Wickert

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December 22, 2010 - 12:05 am

“It’s not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies,” Barack Obama said when he attacked John McCain at a June 3, 2008, campaign speech in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“The American people can’t take four more years of John McCain’s Bush policies,” Obama said to voters in Indiana on October 8, 2008.

“You can’t change America,” said Joe Biden to a cheering crowd in Springfield, Illinois, on August 24, 2008, “when you know your first four years as president will look exactly like the last eight years of George Bush’s presidency.”

President Barack Obama won the hearts and votes of far too many American voters in 2008 by claiming to be for change and by handcuffing his political opponents to the policies of George W. Bush.

Fast forward to the present, and it seems that we are witnessing our young president doing one of the best George Bush impersonations since Rich Little impersonated Dubya himself on the Late Show with David Letterman.

If it wasn’t for the ears and a slight height difference, it would be nearly impossible to tell the two presidents apart. When Barack Obama came into office, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice predicted he would follow the policies of Bush’s second term. And he’s done exactly that. From political superstar to George W. Bush impersonator, Obama’s nightclub act has caused a significant portion of his former groupies to ask, “Will the real George W. Bush please stand up?”

Liberals once berated conservatives who defended our actions in Iraq with horrendous human rights abuse stories and by explaining that we were simply “liberating” Iraqis from the oppressive rape rooms of Saddam Hussein. Yet somehow, even groups like Code Pink are sounding a lot like Dick Cheney and Sean Hannity in justifying the military surge in the name of human rights in Afghanistan. Obama has simply transferred the U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

“Obama will champion policies that get our economy moving and people working, instead of short-sighted tax-cuts for the rich that have failed to spark a recovery,” his campaign website boasted just a few short years ago. Just last week, President Barack Obama announced agreement with Republicans Monday night on a plan to extend expiring income tax cuts for all Americans, including the so-called “rich.”  ”We cannot allow this moment to pass,” Obama said earlier this month in a fervent plea for the very Bush tax cuts he once claimed were destroying the economy. He’s even stolen the credit and renamed them the “Obama tax cuts.” This, after being adamantly against extending the Bush tax cuts just three short months ago, and giving new meaning to the adage, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Candidate Barack Obama ignorantly and repeatedly attacked President Bush with regard to setting up the prison at Guantanamo in the first place to house terrorists seized after 9/11, and continually attacked both Bush and the Republican candidates for president during the 2008 campaign for the continuing policy of housing terrorists there. Obama offered no alternatives but he promised change that would never come.

In August of 2007, candidate Obama promised to “close Guantanamo.” In January of 2009, a highly trumpeted promise to return America to the “moral high ground” was made as Obama issued three executive orders, one of which ordered Guantanamo Bay’s terrorist detainee facility closed within a year. It was not only a commitment, but an “understanding that dates back to our founding fathers,” he passionately read from the teleprompter.

In July of 2009, Obama gave a six month extension on the prison’s closing. January of 2010 came and went and Guantanamo Bay was not closed. In May of 2010, his own Armed Services Committee prohibited the opening of a detention facility within the United States. In June of 2010, Obama said that there were more “important national priorities” than closing Guantanamo Bay, and Gitmo remains open to this day, in spite of a U.S. Supreme Court which held such detentions unconstitutional without giving detainees access to U.S. courts. It appears that the “false choice between our safety and our ideals” wasn’t so false after all.

Candidate Barack continually condemned and promised to close George Bush’s “secret prisons,” including one at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.  In January of 2009, Obama acted on this campaign pledge by issuing an Executive Order No. 13491, designed to shut down these secret prisons, ban Bush-era torture practices, and direct that the Red Cross would have access to any detainees. But this turned out to be short on substance. It turns out that only CIA prisons were ordered shut down, not those operated by the Department of Defense.  Then, in February of 2009, in a stunning reversal from his campaign rhetoric, Obama secured his own secret prison when he indicated his intention to continue the Bush administration policy of holding detainees at Bagram. He added insult to injury by declaring that the detainees have no right to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts, effectively denying them legal status altogether – in violation of the aforementioned Supreme Court decision. Today, the Obama administration is indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects at Bagram, even though they are captured far from any battlefield and despite not being charged with a crime – without any judicial oversight.

Obama’s impersonation of Bush gets even better. Despite endless criticism of Bush for “warrantless wire-tapping,” the Obama legal team began defending the practice and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in the name of national security. The Obama Justice Department took a legal position that was even more aggressive than Bush’s position. It argued that the court-ordered disclosure of the surveillance programs would cause “exceptional harm to national security” by exposing intelligence sources and methods.

“The Obama Administration stepped right into the shoes of the Bush administration, on national security generally and on this case in particular,” said San Francisco attorney Jon Eisenberg, who won a landmark decision against the government in California federal court earlier this year. “This is Obama. Obama! Mr. Transparency! Mr. Change! It’s exactly what Bush would have done,” Eisenberg complained after declaring that Obama is even worse than Bush on secret wiretapping.

Obama also continued the Bush administration policy regarding Posse Comitatus, ignoring the Act passed in 1878 and placing the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat team under the direct control of the U.S. Army Northern Command (NORTHCOM).  Barack’s night club impersonation includes ordering the continued training of the United States military to participate in purposefully undefined “emergency” situations within the borders of the United States, in contravention of the U.S. Constitution.

Obama’s impersonation of Bush drew rave reviews when Obama continued deadly airstrikes in Pakistan with unmanned U.S. Predator drones. Obama has also reauthorized the Patriot Act, despite the evil, Orwellian attributes it was given by Michael Moore and the ACLU, when Bush was in charge. Despite cries for Obama to abandon Bush’s agenda for the North American Union (NAU), the president has rebranded the NAU into the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” (SPP), advancing the same agenda as Bush had with the NAU. Obama also did a great Bush when he backtracked on his campaign promise to renegotiate NAFTA. Bush was heavily criticized by the left for seeing NAFTA as the model for any free trade agreement in the region.

The act goes on and on, and Obama’s impersonation of George W. Bush has been honed to virtual perfection. Most of the standing-room only crowd had come to see Barack Obama play Barack Obama, not their arch-enemy, the evil George W. Bush. It should be no wonder then that the performance is now interspersed with “boos,” Obama’s fans are abandoning him by the droves, and his approval ratings continue to fall into the cellar. Obama’s reviews are also in the tank. The latest – by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times – read as follows:

“We’ve known that the Left was mad at Obama, but now we know Obama is mad at the Left. Obama and Gibbs are upset that the Lefties won’t recognize the necessity of compromise. The Left is snapping back: What necessity? You won 365 electoral votes.”

The Barack Obama Show promises to only get better in January, when that precious majority becomes nothing more than a memory with a 14% approval rating, the worst in Gallup history. It seems that despite winning the White House in 2008, the American people got what liberals feared most – four more years of George W. Bush.

Gary Wickert is a board-certified trial lawyer, living in Cedarburg, Wisconsin with his wife and two sons. He has a political column in Reality News and has been an op-ed contributor for Ozaukee County's News Graphic as well as a feature writer for several Wisconsin magazines. He is also the author of several legal treatises on a variety of subjects and currently serves as supervisor in the town of Cedarburg. In 2011, Gary lost a bid for the Wisconsin Assembly in the Republican Primary by 72 votes.
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