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Debates Forum

  1. 28 Jan '11 03:17
    Is there not some common ground for both those on the left and right after the Bush/Obama legacies? Here is an article indicating that some in forming.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/actor-richard-dreyfus-obama-i-disapprove#

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    Academy award winning actor Richard Dreyfus says he "disapproves" of President Barak Obama, particularly because he believes Obama has simply carried on the policies of his predecessor George W. Bush.

    "I think it's one of the great oppurtunities lost and one of the great chances of a character in the American story to be much smaller than he might have been," said Dreyfus of Obama.

    At the National Press Club on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Dreyfuss about his past criticism of Presdient George W. Bush, "You cited in the past the wiretapping as a disapproval of President Bush's policies, the war in Iraq, Guantanomo bay, the Patriot Act, the Bush tax cuts -- President Obama has continued all of those. Do you feel the same way about him?"

    Dreyfuss said, "I don't feel the same way about Obama as I did about Bush, but I disapprove of Obama. I disapprove of him furthering all of Bush's policies. I think it's one of the great oppurtunites lost and one of the great chances of a character in the American story to be much smaller than he might have been."

    Dreyfuss spoke with CNSNews.com after he gave a speech on civic education and civility in politics as part of his "Dreyfuss Initiative" at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

    CNSNews.com then asked the Academy award winning actor, "What specific policy did you think President Obama would explore down a different path compared to President BUsh? What has you the most disappointed?

    Dreyfuss said, "You know, I made a promise to myself in 2004 that I was not going to follow local current affairs closely. I figured if something important happened, someone would tell me, okay? But the signing letters (statements) that Obama signs, which he got from Bush, are terrible. And not explaining thoroughly, completely, and openly, and going to the Congress to do it, his continuation of Bush's war policy is wrong."

    The "signing letters" or signing statements refer to legal letters issued by the White House relating to how certain legislation passed by Congress is applied by the executive branch, and usually addressing whether provisions in the legislation potentially are unconstitutional restraints on presidential power.

    Dreyfuss continued, "And just bringing the executive back down into shape, into the same size as the Congress and the Judiciary is something that Obama could do and bonfires would be lit all over Europe and Asia if he did it -- because there is a 100% agreement in the world that everyone wants America to be run by adults, not willful, ignorant children."

    "And any gesture toward that would be applauded because America is the most powerful country in the world and people are desperately afraid that its power could be misused for the wrong reasons," said Dreyfuss. "And so, anything that would show the executive being an adult with an outlook of knowledge, ethics, and wisdom would be applauded everywhere."

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    So I would say that the common ground here is the recognition that the two party system feeds off the right and left fringes, but both accomplish basically the same agenda's. Secondly, I applaud Richard's recognition that the executive branch is far too powerful compared to the other two branches of government, as I have harped about ad nauseum. I must call Richard out on a couple of comments, however. His comment about not following closely the local current affairs but, at the same time, preaches that the masses must better educate themselves to be "good" citizens are directly in opposition to each other. Essentially, he said it to dodge the question as to what Obama policy he most disapproved of. Secondly, he said that he hates Bush more than Obama, even though he admits Obama is just a continuation of Bush. So which is worse Richard? Is it someone who initiates policies you disagree with or someone who runs against those same policies and then gets elected yet still continues them?

    As far as hating Bush more than Obama, the numbers seem to indicate that Obama is the better. Then again, Bush did get elected a seond term so perhaps we are still comparing apples and oranges. I think a better indication would be comparing Bush's numbers to Obama's after Obama serves a second term. Of course, one thing Obama has on his side is that he is far more charismatic. There is simply no price that can be placed upon that.