No pass for Obama

Phillip Fujiyoshi has a Ph.D. in agricultural ecology and participates in Occupy Davis, among other activities

I am puzzled by support for President Barack Obama’s re-election. I oppose it, and here are some of the reasons why.

He has continued war in Afghanistan and Pakistan; added drone bombings; turned Russia and China obstinate regarding Syria; and built a defense budget larger than that of former President George W. Bush.

He’s negotiated “free trade” agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia; deported record numbers of noncriminal, undocumented immigrants (and lied about it); tacitly supported the Honduran coup; prioritized military occupation of earthquake-ravaged Haiti over aid; and supported murderous dictators in Bahrain and Yemen (and even Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak until near the end).

How about his economic crimes, like bailing out big banks but taking no control of them? Obama substantially cut back Justice Department prosecutions of financial fraud; preserved the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy; instituted a salary freeze for federal workers; supported the anti-stimulatory Deficit Reduction Commission; and undermined Social Security by reducing contributions (his “payroll-tax cut”).

As for the environment, this administration wrecked the Durban climate talks; pushed for increased U.S. oil drilling (even offshore); delayed the Canadian tar-sands pipeline, but only on procedural grounds; and continued its commitment to nuclear power after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

And in human rights, I oppose his approval of military tribunals of Guantanamo detainees; expanded wiretapping; indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charge; and expanded use of the Espionage Act against whistle-blowers. He’s tainted the Bradley Manning trial (declaring him guilty in advance); allowed the assassination of a dissident U.S. citizen (and his teenage son) in Yemen; and failed to pursue war crimes charges against the previous administration.

I’m dissatisfied that he’s given us Romneycare, which enriches the insurance industry, instead of single-payer, which would actually provide health care for citizens, and adopted Sen. John McCain’s plan to tax labor unions’ health plans. He opposed same-sex marriage during the Proposition 8 campaign; defended “don’t ask, don’t tell” in a Supreme Court brief; and waited until after the North Carolina vote banning domestic-partner benefits before announcing his personal support for same-sex marriage.

My vote is my voice, and I will not waste it on a candidate who acts against my interests.