From The BVX — “The Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder has never been an “Obama d–k-rider.” So it wasn’t a huge surprise that the season 3 premiere, “It’s a Black President, Huey Freeman,” took aim at the president and his overzealous supporters. But was this satirical take on “Obama-mania” and unrealistic expectations accurate?
Any rational person knew that our first black president wouldn’t cure cancer, make our teeth whiter or stop Kanye outbursts in his first 100 days but, nonetheless we did have some pretty high expectations for Obama. Similar to Boondocks’ character Robert “Granddad” Freeman, some of us were surprised to learn that Obama wasn’t lowering our taxes, bringing our troops home from Afghanistan immediately or against corporate bailouts.
In the episode McGruder seems to argue that Obama would continue the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush. But is he right? Is Obama merely “Bush light” or are his liberal credentials still solid as Barack? Let’s examine a few issues
1. Military Strategy
Contrary to the belief of the Boondocks’ Granddad, Obama never vowed to bring the American troops home from Afghanistan. In fact, throughout his presidential campaign he promised to beef up the campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan if elected. And in late 2009, he made good on that promise by sending an additional 30,000 troops to the region. Still, if you consider the way we were duped into getting involved in the Iraq war and everything that’s gone wrong since that conflict seven years ago, it’s not unreasonable to question just what, if anything, Obama thinks the Army can accomplish in Afghanistan.
2. Bailout Nation
Again, Obama didn’t promise to end government bailouts. As president-elect, he supported passage of Bush’s bank bailout known as TARP. After taking office, he authorized the release of millions more to large U.S. banks and later to the auto industry, both of which his administration deemed too important to the economy to let implode. And how was the favor returned? In some cases, with taxpayer-funded bonuses and “golden parachutes.” And now it looks like one giant investment bank, Goldman Sachs, is under criminal investigation for allegedly defrauding its customers. What Obama did that was eerily Bush-like was talk the talk about taking on Wall Street, while walking the walk with their donations to his campaign all the way to the bank.
You get the sense that Obama doesn’t really like the idea of expanding the use of nuclear power or drilling off the U.S. coast. But in an attempt to stay true to his reputation as the Great Reconciler, he disappointed environmental groups and said he’d be open to both. Bush also lobbied for these policies although the Democratic Congress he was dealt in the final years of his presidency blocked either from taking place. Of course, that was before an underwater oil well exploded and leaked a bazillion gallons of irony in the Gulf of Mexico. Bush seemed not to learn his lesson after a number of high-profile disasters and chose to pursue his wrongheaded strategies. Will Obama do the same with respect to offshore drilling?