Monday, August 17, 2009

Will Obama's Lack Of Fortitude Seal His Lame Duck 1-Term Presidency?

I've just read your Op-Ed in the New York Times. Barack, Barack, Barack. I had so much hope for serious change. The demographic of the NYT tends to not include those without internet access, lower incomes and less education - the ones who really need the health care plan passed. So who were you trying to reach? Honestly you were the best to emerge from the Democratic candidate pool last year, but November 4th seems like a million years ago. I've personally waited for you to fully utilize the power you tapped into but unlike many others I don't think you need to be given more time. You act like an insecure person unsure that they belong but you WON the election. That piece makes you look like a beggar at your own ball. It's time to act Presidential. It's time to crack some skulls and whip people into shape. You've taken this whole Knights of the Enemy Roundtable thing too far.

One year ago at the Netroots Nation conference in Austin, Texas the mood of the crowd was one of excitement and elation over the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency. (I concur I was there and the mood was full of promise.)

A year later, with that possibility achieved, a sense of cynicism has begun to creep in. On Saturday morning, one of the president's closest advisers, Valerie Jarrett addressed the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh. And while attendees were largely supportive throughout the question and answer session, the reception was warm at best. The defining moment, in fact, came when Jarrett was hissed and heckled.
You've always been slow to react, slow to respond in kind to attacks and have so far gotten lucky breaks that didn't derail your entire initiative. It has not gone unnoticed that you opened your mouth to defend Skippy Gates of all people but have been silent on every single attack against your wife. I don't like that! Yeah...we get it you're a lover not a fighter. You want everyone to just get along. You think you can appease enemies with trinkets and shiny objects or worse - giving away the store!

So now that this health care plan is teetering on the verge of annihilation by politicians who are DEMOCRATS (in name only) and will be so gutted as to be useless what are your back up plans for this country? This is just a taste of what the rest of your term will be like. Scraping by the skin of your teeth is not displaying leadership. Forget your back up plans - what will the most vulnerable of voters do after being fed to a pack of wolves? By the way I'm still waiting for the US to leave Iraq and Afghanistan. That was a campaign promise, remember?

Those loan modifications haven't been allocated either. Oh and a few more banks have failed. I've also found it quite odd that companies who had to be bailed out with TARP funds are posting billion dollar profits less than one year later. What company bounces back that fast?! I smell a conspiracy to help somebody get elected. Yup I'm putting on the tin-foil hat for this one. Just call me Fox(y) Mulder. Lest anyone forget while many of us are unemployed and without medical coverage billions are still being spent abroad and the military budget has not decreased. That was supposed to be cut. Which was one of the reasons why I voted for you. I'm also wondering how the un/under employed are supposed to PAY for this health care plan when they have no money?

Democracy Now! Interview with Ralph Nader (who is flawed but has gone around politicians to get corporations to make concessions that have saved lives.)
The big mistake that the Obama administration made was they did not have continual public congressional hearings documenting the greed, the fraud, the $250 billion in billing fraud and abuse alone that the GAO years ago has documented. They didn’t document the $350 billion of waste, the overhead of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare and other health insurance companies with their massive executive salaries and bureaucracies. They did not document the deaths, the injuries, the sickness that hundreds of thousands of Americans go through every year because they can’t afford healthcare. And by not doing that, by playing this behind-the-scenes game with these executives from the big health-industrial complex, they were vulnerable to the split in their own party in the House, with the Blue Dog Democrats emboldened by an apparently wavering and indecisive President Obama, and they made sure that they were placed on the defensive. Well, the significance is that Obama is being undermined by his own party in Congress, because the Blue Dogs are getting far more money from these corporations and campaign contributions than the so-called liberals in the Democratic Party.

But, you see, I say “undermined”—I’m not quite sure that Obama is objecting to this. He has set the whole atmosphere of catering to these giant corporations. He has made every mistake that the Clintons made in 1993, ’94 with their health insurance plan, except that he’s leaving Michelle Obama out of it. He’s made every mistake.
So far you've been a huge disappointment. The excitement generated from your seemingly quick ascendancy was too hard to resist. You're slow-footed and haven't taken control of your party. You've made a public declaration of extending an olive branch and been slapped with it. I've watched the corporate media spew every lie and right wing/racist philosophy since day three. When John Roberts "accidentally" messed up your Swearing-In didn't you know it was on?! Yet you refuse to prepare and you don't fight. Bush was a cowboy and Cheney was Darth Vader. They took no prisoners! Yet you want "bi-partisianship". You can't negotiate with terrorists! They want your head on a platter literally and figuratively. All of those "enemies" are undermining all that you do.

Per another
New York Times Op-Ed - this one by Paul Krugman:
President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex. So much, then, for Mr. Obama’s dream of moving beyond divisive politics. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever.

In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh. So far, at least, the Obama administration’s response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It’s as if officials still can’t wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren’t named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away.
Or perhaps I've read this wrong. You didn't surround yourself with people who can turn on you because you were foolish or believed your own hype but because you've already surrendered. You're just a figurehead for other people's plans and are far more crafty about it than any of us imagined. You never had any intention of doing anything remotely close to your platform (like many politicians) but you tapped into a zeitgeist where people actually believed you. You brilliantly laid a trap so the Clintons would let their inner racism out and after a hard-fought primary "won" the nomination. You make half-hearted gestures and will tell us, "Oh well I tried". If so the plan is working brilliantly. So many people are focused on race and fighting each other much like how Bush used Osama bin Laden to rile people up and distract them that nobody sees the big picture.

Of course so many black voters (and a few "progressives") are still looking to you to "rescue" them from having to be focused, disciplined and fight politically but you've got their votes locked as long as you keep dangling the perception of making an effort. You're a (great black hope) Trojan Horse to many. I shudder to think who's hiding inside the statue ready to break out in the middle of the night. Most are not seriously questioning you on anything and to bring it up is met with mass denial. The white fright is bringing out the knee-jerk reaction of history of African-American struggle in this country and many are going in circles.

I'd like to know what these plans are and who the people behind the curtain (Oz) really are? The Blue Dogs? The ones Rahm Emanuel - your very own Chief of Staff and chief AIPAC supporter brought into power? It's also worth noting Rep. Mike Ross, the leader of the Blue Dogs owes his seat to Bill Clinton. What's really going on here? Perhaps you are simply foolish enough to think you could work something out with compromised policies being better than Republican ones. Like that secret WH deal with Big Pharma. Except there are 60 Democrats and the party controls the House and the Senate. So Republicans are not needed and if you ruled with an iron fist and laid down the parameters to the Democrats you'd actually get something done.

At least go down fighting for the little people and against the insurers and the drug companies! I seriously have to wonder though with all of the white men you've surrounded yourself with from similar backgrounds how you're actually able to determine what's best for those of us who don't fit that demographic. You've flipped-flopped on LGBT issues as well. As some of us have noted you are half-white and half-African and know nothing directly of the survival history of African-Americans in this country. You also are NOT liberal or all that progressive. As evidenced by your wavering support of funding ALL reproductive services including abortions. Limited choices are not real choices. All the symbolism in the world isn't going to put food on my table. I have to do my part, but so do you Mr. President. I think you've passed out checks that we can't cash.

For those that still want to try to save the Public Option (after Single Payer was gutted) contact the White House TODAY! If things turn around it will because WE pushed back not because the President fought for this.
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Vanessa F. said...

Good Morning,

Long time lurker here. I just sent off my email to Pres. Obama in support of the public option. I plan to encourage everyone I know to do the same.

Also, love your blog commentary overall!

Take care,

Vanessa F.

Khadija said...


Wow. All I can really say is "Wow." I just read Barry's Op Ed piece and it was . . . breathtaking. . .in terms of being mealy-mouthed and weak.

He's droning on with statements like "But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate."

MEANWHILE, back in the REAL world, his lunatic opponents are on/in the media 24/7 lying and screaming about "death panels for Granny."

{sigh} Barry is even less than what I previously thought of him; which wasn't much...{sigh}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Unknown said...

This was an excellent post Faith.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Ms. V: Welcome and thanks for delurking. Hopefully this health care plan will not be derailed.

Anonymous said...

Please get out of my head. I have been muttering to folks for weeks that Obama is not doing anything he said he would do. Yet folks keep saying give him time? much time does he need to start doing something?

Sadly I am starting to feel like he is not good for anything other than great speeches. Look, I had no love for Bush and Cheney but them boys did not play....Obama needs to take a page from their playbook and stop acting all tentativey and start being the man in charge.

Anyway this an excellent post!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Khadija: Death panels indeed. If this plan passes at all it will because enough people decided to push back against the insanity crew. It won't be because Obama did anything. I'm still dumbstruck by his unreliability and by those who still insist on making excuses for him.

kiya697: Thanks! I'd really rather be writing about how Obama is kicking butt and taking names...but oh well.

blackgirlinmaine: I think any of us who use common sense can see the writing on the wall. As I've previously stated I voted for him, volunteered and was very invested in seeing him elected. Once he was in office I expected results! Specific results that reflected his gratitude to the group of people who voted for him in such high percentages. Now I'm just wondering when Hillary's going to announce her 2012 run.

Karen said...

To answer the leading question posed: I think the answer is yes.

In my opinion, to be a leader is to accept:

- that you will not always be liked
- that you are in the end always accountable for the actions of your team
- that it is not always about compromise
- that you have to make the tough decisions
- that your team needs to know who is boss and that they are accountable to you

just to name a few...

Based on his "demonstrated" lack of performance, I see no positive outcome.

I did vote for him as I did not like the alternative but he was not my first choice on the democratic ticket.

I am neither republican or democrate, I declare myself as independent and actually wish there were more parties to choose from.

At the moment, it looks very bleak and frankly a man that will not defend/stand up for his woman, lacks in character. If he cannot stand up for his wife, then it pretty much says it all for any policies...

Waiting for 2012....


"Black don't crack" is what is often said about the beauty and longevity of black skin. I do believe that BLACK DOES CRACK, but all the cracking takes place on the inside.

The realization that you are seen as a slave even if you are master.

The realization that you'll never be white enough for the Whitehouse but you'll always be black enough for Jailhouse.

The realization that even our women of great character, womanhood and motherood is demonized as a ghetto hoodrat.

The realization that no one really cares about black in America despite all the talk.

For all intents and purposes, we're still the 20 AND ODD African slaves in Jamestown trying to prove we're more valuable that the family dog.