Only people who offer a different option are lobbyists.

When I’ve looked at our candidates for president, I find little to be happy about. The only candidate I can moderately stand is Sen. Obama, and I’ve already discussed more than enough issues (no means yes, school “reform”, economic illiteracy, and catering to special interests) with his candidacy to demonstrate that I will not vote for him. That said, I suspect he’s the least bad choice out there. That should not be construed as anything as complimentary as back-handed praise. A vote for Sen. Obama is a vote for little more than more of the same, but with a smiley stamped on the decree.

As we approach the real beginning of the election process in Iowa, it’s important to focus on the lack of change offered in promises of change. Sen. Obama spoke in Iowa yesterday. (Text via Andrew Sullivan) A few highlights:

At this defining moment, we cannot wait any longer for universal health care. We cannot wait to fix our schools. We cannot wait for good jobs, and living wages, and pensions we can count on. We cannot wait to halt global warming, and we cannot wait to end this war in Iraq.

Most of all, I believed in the power of the American people to be the real agents of change in this country – because we are not as divided as our politics suggests; because we are a decent, generous people willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations; and I was certain that if we could just mobilize our voices to challenge the special interests that dominate Washington and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there was no problem we couldn’t solve – no destiny we couldn’t fulfill.

We know the solution, right? It’s the one we allegedly haven’t tried yet. It involves hope, even though Bill Clinton ran on that in 1992. Hope expressed through government. For example:

I’ve heard from seniors who were betrayed by CEOs who dumped their pensions while pocketing bonuses, and from those who still can’t afford their prescriptions because Congress refused to negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price.

Please provide examples of the former rather than the same “corporations are evil” rhetoric. Please explain to me how the drug companies would not be a special interest in “negotiations” with Congress. And where in the Constitution does it say that the government is responsible for either of these?

Just two weeks ago, I heard a young woman in Cedar Rapids who told me she only gets three hours of sleep because she works the night shift after a full day of college and still can’t afford health care for a sister with cerebral palsy. She spoke not with self-pity but with determination, and wonders why the government isn’t doing more to help her afford the education that will allow her to live out her dreams.

No one is owed a college education, period, but especially when individual life steps in the way. I sympathize with this woman’s plight and admire her willingness to push through to achieve everything she values. But it is not my responsibility to pay for that. If she can’t afford college and caring for her sister through work, the solution is to drop out of college right now if paying for that interferes with paying for what she must pay for or deems more worthy of receiving her personal financing. Yet, Sen. Obama pushes more government intervention in education, as if the existence of grants and federally-subsidized loans don’t exist, or that they’re not already increasing the cost of education. How is a group of individuals like this woman not a special interest if it leads to more government intervention for a preferred-by-some outcome?

You know that we can’t afford to allow the insurance lobbyists to kill health care reform one more time, …

Who might prevail, then, if not a universal health care lobbyist? Sen. Obama is not against lobbyists if they advocate his government solution. If you want change, run on removing the perverse incentive that ties insurance to employment without creating a perverse incentive that ties insurance to citizenship. One size does not fit all, of course, and being practical, shifting the cost from the individual in some form is never a good idea.

…and the oil lobbyists to keep us addicted to fossil fuels because no one stood up and took their power away when they had the chance.

This is immature and the type of soundbite nonsense that proves Sen. Obama is a politician first. Anyway, who is the lobbyist “keeping us addicted” to <insert government program/subsidy> and why are we not standing up to them, too?

But that’s not what hope is. Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task before us or the roadblocks that stand in our path. Yes, the lobbyists will fight us. Yes, the Republican attack dogs will go after us in the general election. Yes, the problems of poverty and climate change and failing schools will resist easy repair. I know – I’ve been on the streets, I’ve been in the courts. I’ve watched legislation die because the powerful held sway and good intentions weren’t fortified by political will, and I’ve watched a nation get mislead into war because no one had the judgment or the courage to ask the hard questions before we sent our troops to fight.

Why no mention of Democrats standing in the way? Beyond that, how exactly does Sen. Obama expect to achieve that change in Congress while sitting in the White House? The only tool at his disposal to achieve what he is promising is the veto. Yet, he ignores that and pretends as though he can make all of this magically appear. Can he not grasp that government involvement always leads to special interests, favored and non-favored? He’s engaged in enough of it in this speech to convince me that he grasps the concept quite well. He’s not selling change, only his chosen winners and losers. And we know who “wins”. The same person who always win in this collectivist idiocy.

If you believe, then we can stop making promises to America’s workers and start delivering – jobs that pay, health care that’s affordable, pensions you can count on, and a tax cut for working Americans instead of the companies who send their jobs overseas.

I am part of America, too. I do not want promises. I do not want the government to “deliver” me a job, health care, pensions, targeted tax cuts, or any other illegitimate present. That is the current way of doing things. Wrapping them in bromides is not change.

I’m still not voting for Sen. Obama.