4 Myths About Barack Obama You Probably Didn't Know You Bought in to

ByBrian Hynes

Barack Obama is credited and blamed for many sensational actions. Opponents accuse the president of destroying the economy single-handily, while supporters lavishly praise Obama for what they perceived as taking on the big Wall Street executives. 

These Americans, however, are clueless and should abstain from spreading disinformation based on intellectual fallacies. The media’s abandonment of informing the public has created an alarming amount of sensationalism, or the appeal to emotion, convoluting the “news.” Its effects on the populous are pronounced. Obsession with rhetoric has effectively clouded the president’s actual policy agenda. Alarmingly, the myths reach the point where they are simply contradictory. 

America has astonishing levels of apprehension towards deductive logic, instead using emotional fallacies to intellectually deceive him or herself to protect the mind from any attempt at productive debating or rational conversation. To sift through all of the subjective emotional appeals, I will use nothing further than an objective measurement that a president’s actions can be measured by, and thus be deemed objective actions. 

Setting the agenda and policy direction is objectively illustrated when the president uses his authority to set executive orders. Hereby he can clearly, without obstruction, move and enforce a policy agenda. Additionally, the president can influence legislation in Congress either by submitting his own bill for voting. Post-legislation, he may veto bills that pass both levels of Congress, or alternatively sign bills that come to his desk, endorsing the bill. From this, actions can be measured up against common perceptions about the president’s policy-making. Therefore, this leaves out rhetoric, campaign speeches, editorials, and other immeasurable claims.

Contradiction #1): Habeas Corpus -- Common False Perceptions: Obama is “pro” habeas corpus, and against indefinite detention, and is closing down Guantanamo Bay (GTMO)

Obama has plenty of sound-bytes speaking about restoration of Habeas Corpus in the 2008 presidential campaign. However, objective evidence has illustrated that policy actions resulted in the exact opposite effect. After an initial executive order “promised” to close down GTMO detainment centers in 2009, that promise expired and has “evolved” to now be "misunderstood." On January 7, 2011, Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, which places restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the mainland or to other foreign countries, thus impeding the closure of the detention facility. 

He recently stated in a press release that he would not allow Guantanamo Bay to close because “he does not support terrorist actions.” Additionally, Obama demanded the inclusion of the sub-section giving the president power to revoke habeas corpus for citizens with the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. Obama specifically requested American citizens’ exemption from indefinite detention to be removed. 

Reality illustrates the president has proactively sought to remove protections of Habeas Corpus from both American citizens and foreign detainees. 

Contradiction #2): Wall Street -- Common False Perceptions: Obama is the candidate who will“stand up against wall street.”

The table above is taken from Opensecrets.org and illustrates a self-evident conclusion that contradicts the mainline theory. The fact is that Obama was the favorite candidate of Wall Street during the 2008 campaign. Conversely, 47% erroneously blame Obama for creating TARP, which is also not true, yet never corrected. In fact, this month, Obama continued the media’s coverage of the president’s recent “lambasting”  of Mitt Romney’s venture capital firm shades underlying credibility issues. In fact, Bain Capital has donated more to Barack Obama’s campaign than that of Mitt Romney. Obama has yet to pursue a single federal lawsuit against malpractice on any of the Wall Street firms; a stark contrast from the previous financial crisis of the 1980s, where special government task forces referred 1,100 cases to prosecutors, resulting in more than 800 bank officials going to jail. Obama, as of May 2012, has prosecuted zero

Contradiction #3): PATRIOT Act & Fourth Amendment -- Common False Perceptions: Obama is against Domestic Wire Tapping, spying on Americans, which he has demonstrated by rolling back and or repealing the PATRIOT Act. This is backwards. As recently as February 14, Obama signed on to H.R. 658, a new bill to allow 30,000 drones to fill American skies by 2020. There has been no recorded executive action to reduce such actions by Obama that would indicate he is repealing the federal government’s policy for domestic CIA intrusion on citizens without warrant.

Contradiction #4): Marijuana Agenda -- Common False Perceptions: Obama has backed off from Bush’s archaic marijuana agenda, and respects the states’ rights to realistically deal with the issue in a “practical” manner.” Despite admitting personal usage of illegal cocaine and marijuana in his past and campaign promises of “practically” dealing with state issuance of medical marijuana. Obama has gone 180 degrees on his statement “it didn’t make any sense to raid medicinal dispensaries.” Instead, Obama has now raided medical marijuana “suspects” at a far greater rate than George W. Bush. 

The appeal that the media caters to is not one of information; but intentionally designed to hit natural human fallacies that spark the antithesis of intellectual discussion or development. It is frightening that these are the voters in America’s population.