“Look at your guy. Now look at me.” That Old Spice commercial encouraged us to size up what we have, and compare it with the guy on the screen. Let’s do that with the President.
Since taking Office in ‘08, Obama has governed the States, while Prime Minister Stephen Harper has led Canada. These men ran G7 nations facing very similar circumstances.
It seems fair, and an appropriate time, to contrast their track records during Obama’s tenure. Word constraints will prompt me to use point form comparisons. Although some references may be unfamiliar, I will try to use searchable terms for those who would like more detail. Here we go.
Look at your guy. He is a lawyer / community-organizer. Now look at our guy, an economist and former president of the small-government, lower-tax, anti-union National Citizen’s Coalition.
Trade. Your guy vetoed Keystone and — some would say — violated NAFTA with the “buy American” clause in the stimulus bill. He inked trade deals with S. Korea, Chile and Panama. Our guy has signed 9 new trade deals, and wants deals with 50 other nations.
Military. Your guy, Obama, prioritized military spending cuts. Our guy, Harper, prioritized the modernizing of an aging military.
Environment. Your guy has squandered a king’s ransom on pipe dreams (i.e. Volt, solar energy), and shut the door to opportunity (i.e. Keystone) to appease “Green” pressure groups. Our guy withdrew from Kyoto, and streamlined the environmental assessment process.
Perks. Your POTUS and FLOTUS take separate planes on their trips. Our PM brought Canadian evacuees home from Lebanon on his own plane. (No media were present.)
Respect of Constitution. Your guy led an undeclared war with Libya (end run around Congress), made recess appointments (now challenged), appointed numerous “czars” and generally tilted the Separation of Powers in favour of the executive branch. Our guy honoured Parliament’s decision to bring armed forces home from Afghanistan. He then worked within our existing system, seeking to appoint provincially-elected Senators.
National Borders. Your guy slashed spending and is closing 9 border stations, in the same year that nine headless corpses were swinging from a bridge just over the border from Laredo. Our guy is actively asserting Canadian borders, particularly in the North, anticipating future disputes over resources.
Immigration. Your guy has called his own immigration policy a failure. Our guy is transforming a broken system into one that increasingly detects and deports fraudsters. It has an increased emphasis on skills and language requirements of applicants. Applicants! Meaning: we have final say on whether you immigrate to our country. (Don’t you wish your guy understood that word?)
Law and Order. Your guy has Eric Holder and the DoJ. Fast and Furious. Black Panthers. Presumed that Officer Gates was a racist. Our guy has raised minimum sentencing for certain violent and sexual crimes to counteract an overly-lenient judiciary .
Unions. Your guy is deeply connected and indebted to SEIU, ACORN, and the like. He sympathized with the Wisconsin teachers’ strike and OWS movement. Our guy has negotiated a voluntary pay freeze with our typically-militant public sector unions, and has issued back-to-work legislation for two other unions in strikes he believed would hurt the national economy.
Celebrities. Your guy is a shamelessly fawning fanboy, a “taker” who basks in the fame of others. Our guy stunned a concert audience by joining Yo-Yo Ma in an unannounced onstage performance of a Beatles tune. (He played the piano.)
Budget. Your guy hasn’t bothered to pass one. (What CEO could do that without being fired?) Our guy will take awhile to tame our bloated deficit (2015, likely) but at least he plans to (eventually) tame it.
Business. Your guy slams Joe the Plumber, business, banks, and anyone else that might have a nickel he can squeeze out of a wallet. Taxes are high, and will go higher. As it is, he presides over the highest corporate tax rate (35% in 2010) of any G7 nation. Our guy, conversely, is intentionally making corporate tax more lucrative. Our corporate taxes are now the lowest among developed countries.
Red Tape. Your guy loves it. Bigger and bigger bureaucracies, thousands of new IRS agents, a thousand-plus-page document that you “needed to pass to learn what was in it”! Wow. Ever-widening scope of government powers. Our guy is taking Canada in the other direction. He kept his promise to scrap the Long Gun Registry, and fought against releasing the information to the provinces, for privacy reasons. He removed the legal requirement to fill out the long form census (and associated penalties of fine or prison).
Sovereignty. Your guy installed a “wise Latina” willing to subject American citizens to international law. He also habitually angles for other nations’ approval. He just finished apologizing for any discomfort the First Amendment may have caused to Muslims abroad. He also snubbed Netanyahu so he could go on Letterman. Our guy publicly denounced entrenched anti-semitism, opposed Hamas, and was called an “extraordinary friend of Israel”.
Space is running out, I need to wrap up. I couldn’t even get to employment or debt load. (Look it up, if you think you can handle it.)
“Socialist” Canada could elect a leader like Harper. What could the US do? Look at Obama. Now look at Harper. Look back at Obama. As November 6 approaches, ask yourself: Is your guy really the best the US can do?
Image: Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama; 19 February 2009; www.whitehouse.gov/photogallery/working-with-canada/; Pete Souza; public domain