Thursday, July 31, 2008

Barack Obama and Health care – a Republican Perspective

The Republican idea that health care shall remain private, untouched by the government, and that people should all figure out ways to get their own health care was developed when the vast majority of Americans had employer-based health insurance, and health care costs were a fraction of what they are now. To continue this policy flies in the face of reality, as the number of uninsured Americans reaches over 47 million, and the majority of the insured have been seeing huge reductions in their benefits while their premiums rise 4 times faster than wages. The system needs to be fixed.

Senator Obama's “universal health care plan,” a term demonized by Republicans under President Clinton, is not a handout, nor does it replace current private health care plans. For the majority of Americans, nothing will change except lower premiums and better coverage under their current plans. However, Obama's plan will stop the disgusting methods of insurance companies of cutting off care for high-cost patients, denying health care for “preexisting conditions” that keep profits high by pushing those patients into public funding, and giving ridiculously inflated prices to continue in a group plan after losing a job. The Obama plan is simply a very large group plan – the same plan government employees enjoy – available to every American, with subsidies for the very poor. The government does not become the insurer, so it's not socialized medicine like Canada, nor do you have to worry about “going to the doctor will be like going to the license branch.”

As a Republican, I do wish there was a way to fix the system without another entitlement program. But the Republicans simply ignore the issue, and even encourage insurance company immoral behavior, so Obama's plan is the only practical plan available.

Barack Obama and Foreign Policy – a Republican Perspective

Senator McCain touts “experience” in foreign policy, while continually making massive informational errors. He mixed up Sunni and Shiite on several occasions, talked about the “border of Iraq and Pakistan,” and even referred to a country that no longer exists (he referred to Czechoslovakia twice in 2 days, even though it split into The Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993). Senator Obama, on the other hand, has shown tremendous knowledge of the world.

The question is whether “experience,” which in McCain's case is 24 years as one of 100 Senators (which is NOT international executive experience) versus judgment, which Obama has shown over and over with his opposition to the Iraq war, and recently his time line to leave Iraq that the Prime Minister of Iraq endorsed. John McCain even agreed on July 25th that Senator Obama's 16 month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is "a pretty good timetable," showing Obama ahead of the curve as McCain tries to catch up.

The current administration's policy of “punishing” enemies by not talking to them is new and completely ridiculous. McCain has stated he will continue this “head in the sand” policy. As President Kennedy said, "We should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate." Ronald Reagan dealt with “the evil empire” directly. Richard Nixon normalized relations with Communist China. Dwight D. Eisenhower met with North Korea. Only until this administration has that become defined as “appeasement.” Here is an excellent history of “appeasement” by Republican and Democratic presidents:

Senator Obama's European popularity is seen as a bad thing amongst the "God Bless America and no one else" crowd, with one pundit saying he's "popular with socialist Europeans" and FoxNews actually claiming that European people liking Barack Obama is a “red flag” against him. I am not sure at what point it became good for our allies to hate us. Is EVERYONE our enemy now? I only know that free trade will only work if we're trading with friends, and the world hating us for our arrogance does not help our bottom line. We are supposed to be world leaders, not bullies.

The true Republican principles of foreign policy are to engage our enemies, support our friends, only use military might if necessary for our safety, and do not try to build nations. We also believe we should never spend money we don't have, right? So borrowing a trillion dollars from Communist China to fund the Iraq war seems quite unRepublican to me.

The world is excited about Barack Obama's presidency. That is a good thing. With Barack's massively successful Middle Eastern and European tour, showing he can stand with world leaders as any president could, the choice is clear for the best president to manage our foreign policy. That choice is Barack Obama.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Father of Reaganomics" blasts Republicans

In a piece that does not take into account the large numbers of progressive Republicans, like the Republicans for Obama movement I'm a part of, Paul Craig Roberts gives a biting commentary on the Neocon Republicans' mismanagement of our economy. In more detail, he agrees with my statement that "trickle down economics" no longer works as the money is being spent in foreign countries and invested in non-jobs-creating investments. I call it "trickle away economics," which I hope catches on. Here is the article from Mr. Roberts:

I responded to Mr. Roberts with the following email:

I enjoyed your article titled The Mother of All Messes at, not because it is entertaining, which anything so blunt could hardly be said to be entertaining, but because it is so true. However, I am a progressive Republican, one of many who agree with you, but that you have said you can't find. I'm probably not "bleeding heart," but I am socially progressive and care deeply about the issues you talked about. Here is my testimonial, in which I say many of the same things you've said:

(Note: what do you think about my new phrase, "trickle away economics?" I hope it catches on.)

As you can tell, I am part of a movement known as Republicans for Obama, having held events and gotten media attention. We are Eisenhower/Reagan Republicans who reject the current Party takeover by the neocons and desire a return to the true Republican principles of our Party founders. We had a get together last week written about here:

A well known Republican for Obama is Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower, whom I spoke with last week and still considers herself a Republican but does not like where the Party is right now. The way she put it, "we were here first."

So, we do exist, and most likely in greater numbers than will admit in polls. I hope that our existence might stem some of your anger towards Republicans in general, and focus it more on the new neocon Republicans who have temporarily destroying the GOP.

Yours in Hope,

Chuck Lasker

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barack Obama and the Pro Life Issue – a Republican Perspective

What issue is more Republican than pro-life? Of course, the term no longer applies to the groups that call themselves part of the “pro life movement.” The movement has been reduced to overturning Roe vs. Wade and fighting premarital and teen sex.

In the 35 years since Roe vs. Wade, pro-lifers have spent billions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of man-hours, trying to overcome the Supreme Court ruling. However, since 586,760 abortions were reported in the United States in the year prior to Roe vs. Wade, clearly overturning Roe will not create realistic reductions. Additionally, in today's visual media-centric country, do you really believe Americans will accept seeing doctors and mothers sent to jail, and women forced to have babies against their will? Using legal means to force women to have babies is not a valid method of reducing abortions in 21st Century America.

John McCain has stated that he plans to continue the failed path of trying to use Supreme Court justice stacking, and, ultimately, the police force to reduce abortions. His belief in the value of human life is also suspect based on his continued support of the Iraq war, where it is estimated that over 1 million Iraqis have been killed. When asked about American exports of cigarettes to Iran, he replied, "Maybe that's how we can kill them." He then said he was joking, but joking about the deaths of an entire nation of people is not acceptable. Pro life is a base moral value, not just for the lives of babies, but all humans of any age and nationality.

Senator Obama is pro-choice, but understands the life issue is truly to reduce the number of abortions. Period. Senator Obama's plan is to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and therefore abortions, as well as to promote programs that help women keep their babies through health care, adoption programs, and education. Here is a quote from

Senator Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.

Therefore, the TRUE life candidate, the candidate who will work to reduce the number of abortions instead of just paying lip service to “moral issues,” is Senator Barack Obama.

UPDATE: Some people believe Obama's vote against the "partial birth abortion ban bill" was a sign that he is for abortions up until the day of birth. In reality, this bill did NOT have any exception for the life of the mother. In other words, if a pregnant woman came into an emergency room after a car accident, and it came down to whether the mother or the baby survived, this bill REQUIRED that the doctors kill the mother to save the baby, even if the mother had an 80% chance of survival and the baby had a 5% chance of survival. That is unacceptable, and a ridiculous restriction on doctors' triage options. It was not designed to pass, it was designed to force a NO vote from the Democrats so the Republicans could use it during campaigns. This is an example of my main point, that Republicans USE the abortion issue as a political wedge, and do nothing to reduce the number of abortions.

My video testimonial as a Republican for Obama

I am making a video for YouTube, and here's my script.

I'm Chuck Lasker, and I'm a Republican for Obama. My favorite president was Ronald Reagan. I loved him. He put country before self, as no other president has since. The economy was strong. Americans could travel the world with heads held high, feeling safe, and rich from the strong dollar. If we'd had candidates like Ronald Reagan since then, the Republican Party would have remained in full power.

Since then, however, the Republican Party leadership has pulled the Party off course. The extreme right evangelicals and the corporations have taken over. From Bush Senior's New World Order to the current administration's free pass for monopolies and conglomerates that crush small businesses and innovation, the Party is barely recognizable.

Do you remember how upset we Republicans were when Clinton wrote executive orders? Now Bush rules with them everyday. Remember the Republican phrase, “we are not the world's police” when Clinton sent our troops to fight foreign wars? Remember how Bush Sr. had us out of Iraq in 100 days? Remember how pro-life meant reducing pregnancies and abortions, not failed attempts at discouraging premarital sex for moral reasons that have nothing to do with abortion? Do you think pro-life Reagan would support killing over a million Iraqis in order to “free them?” And at what point did it become Republican to believe safety is more important than liberty – after 9/11 or when the public started disagreeing with the Bush administration?

Remember when the War on Drugs was about arresting drug kingpins, not drug users? Do you think Reagan would approve of us having a higher percentage of citizens in prison than China, mostly being people who smoked a little weed? And prisons being private companies owned by judges, prosecutors and sheriffs? That doesn't fit with smaller government and keeping government out of our personal lives, does it?

Remember when trickle down economics worked because the rich would spend their money in America and invest in small businesses? Today they spend their money overseas and invest in oil and foreign investments, so it's trickling away, not down. That's why Bush's tax cuts for the rich have not helped our economy at all, but has created a debt to China it will take generations to repay. There's another one Reagan would love, a trillion dollar debt to The People's Republic of China.

So, my fellow Republicans, I put it to you. Is the current Republican leadership truly Republican, the Party of Lincoln, the Party of Eisenhower, the Party that created the civil rights movement, the Party of Ronald Reagan who attracted people from both parties to his campaign?

No, the Republican Party – at least the national leadership – has betrayed us. They've sold out to mega-corporations, lobbyists, the far right, and the military industrial complex. The economy is in the tank, our military is stretched to the limit on an unnecessary war, and our Constitution has been shredded with government spying, free speech infringement, and more Executive Orders than all previous presidents combined. Heck, Americans now claim to be Canadians when they travel oversees because the world hates our arrogance. But FoxNews actually claimed that European people liking Barack Obama is a “red flag” against him, as if it's a Republican desire for our allies to hate us. How does that fit with the Republican free trade agenda?

And the maverick John McCain? He is not even recognizable from the John McCain of 8 years ago, since he lost the primary in 2000 and realized he needed to pander to the new Ultra-Right Republican leadership so they'd give him a chance to be president. His voting record of 95% yes votes on Bush initiatives last year shows he's not a maverick anymore, and his recent reversals on so many issues shows he'll do and say whatever it takes to win the presidency, where he'd be completely beholden to the corporations who funded his campaign. As an example, McCain reversed his opinion on new drilling for oil, and his donations from oil and gas companies increased ten fold immediately. His current hateful personal attack ads against Obama that question Obama's patriotism and support for the troops show a do-anything-to-win moral vacuum that he claims to be above with his "Straight Talk Express." McCain 2000 would simply hate McCain 2008.

There is an alternative to blindly following the orders of the Party leadership. The alternative is Barack Obama. Just as Reagan's non-partisan, big tent agenda attracted Democrats in both of his elections, Senator Obama is attracting Republicans like me, who feel betrayed and ignored by the current leadership, and who don't believe John McCain represents us.

Do I agree with Obama on everything? No. Do I believe he loves this country before self, and do I trust him, and believe he's a brilliant leader? Yes I do. I am voting for Obama, not against McCain because I truly believe nobody can better get us out of the horrible situation we're now in. It's time for a new direction – not just any new direction, but one that pushes against special interests, Washington corruption, and the pork barrel status quo.

If you're feeling disaffected, like me and thousands and thousands of other Republicans throughout the country, please read “The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama. Go to an Obama event, especially if he'll be speaking. Go to and read up on the issues. If your mind is open, you'll see that he is not a “tax and spend liberal,” that he's not an elitist or leftist, but instead, is a centrist with amazingly nonpartisan ideas. Then, join us in our nonpartisan effort to clean up Washington and bring back the freedoms we've lost in our misguided attempt at making us “safe.”

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Links of Interest

Article about some Republicans for Obama

Republicans for Obama national site

Same group's Facebook site

RFOs tell their stories

An RFO blog

Chuck's Republicans for Obama Cafepress store with county and state customizations

YouTube Videos about issues

Article about Obamacans (or go to and search “Mr. Right?”

Article: "Obamacon Has Questions for the Senator "

A quick blog about being an RFO

A great article from a prominent RFO

A good response to "Obama hasn't done anything as a Senator," a typical Republican argument

Campaign is coordinating a blitz by the ‘Obamacans’

Wish TV Channel 8 Interview with Chuck Lasker

Indianapolis Star article about the Lasker RFO social event on July 24th, 2008

Another article about a Republican for Obama,0,2715710.column

Another gathering of RFOs

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Blog similar to Republicans for Obama

I'm a Republican for Obama, although "conservative for Obama" might be more accurate. I'm conservative in that I want a smaller government who taxes less and stays out of our personal lives.

So, how does that mesh with supporting Barack Obama for President? Haven't we heard he's a typical tax-and-spend liberal, the most liberal member of the Senate? Haven't we heard he wants to tax everyone to death, and create more social programs than Mussolini? Well, that's simply not true.

Yes, Senator Obama is a little more liberal than I would prefer. But he is honest, caring, and loves this country more than his own power. It's about trust. His new campaign method of positive, supporter-funded campaigning is profound, and worked great in the primary. Obama wants to transform the government from a corporate-sponsored fleecing of Americans to a truly transparent servant of the American people. That, more than any other issue, is most important today.

Compare that to John McCain. His campaign staff is filthy with lobbyists, including lobbyists who have and still represent foreign governments, including groups listed as terrorist groups. McCain and Bush have borrowed-and-spent trillions of dollars for their programs that make anything Senator Obama supports look like kid's play. Remember the Medicare Drug Program? It's the largest entitlement program ever created - and it was created by Republicans as a way to push even more government money to their pharmaceutical friends. Iraq? That's going to cost us at least one thousand billion dollars, or one MILLION million dollars. What for? Freedom for Iraqis? Our safety? Nah, it was so American companies can get the oil contracts, which is exactly what has happened. The past 8 years have been the largest fleecing of Americans in American history, and it has to stop.

You can read the rest of my story here: