Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seriously, Mr. President? Seriously?

I do not intend to use this blog to just promote Romney and beat up Obama. I do intend to represent both sides and all issues. However, today, I'm going to come right out with my biases and say,
It is making the rounds that our dear President has made a few interesting changes to the official www.whitehouse.gov site. The accusations are so completely ridiculous and outrageous that I had to do my own research to see if it is true. Because, come on, it sounds like a gag or a really bad vast right wing conspiracy internet meme.
Could it actually be possible that Obama has inserted himself into the biographies and accomplishments of past Presidents?
Yes, yes it is.
Here are a few examples, with links!
  • On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
  • In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.
  • President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed (sic) into law in 1965—providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”
  • On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.
  • Now, to be fair, he isn't taking credit for past accomplishments (which some in the vast right wing conspiracy allege). And these little additions are marked with an educational little bullet point that says, "DID YOU KNOW?" above it.  Which does make it slightly less ridiculous (to make it somewhat educational). I'm sure there is some marketing guru out there who came up with this plan (because, no, let's be honest here, I do not, under any circumstances think that a man who has to think about wars, healthcare, gay marriage, and all of the other major issues out there, is really thinking about ways to improve the White House website) thinks this is pretty dang clever. It is an somewhat educational tool. Look up something on Calvin Coolidge (and who hasn't done that from time to time), find an interesting factoid to tie him into modern-day issues. It's not so bad.
    But then... it also really screams of using the official White House website as a campaign tool. It's just bad timing. Had it not come right as his campaign is ramping up, I never would have cared.
    But then, maybe what is missing is the links to all other presidents? How come there isn't a link from one Roosevelt to another? Where are the factoids showing every President that made a change to Social Security?
    So, I'm sure that you, like me, are really curious to see what Obama's marketing person put on the GW Bush page, aren't you? Because you know that was a landmine waiting to be stepped in.
    Prepare yourselves. It's pretty funny.
    • In 2002, President George W. Bush’s State of the Union was the first to be live broadcast on the Internet. In 2011 and 2012, President Obama’s State of the Union speeches were available in an enhanced live stream version that featured infographics, charts and data side-by-side in real time with the President’s speech.
    Yes, instead of mentioning a major legislative initiative of GWB, like he had for all of the other POTUSES, he said GWB gave a speech. And that he, Obama, gave it better.

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