Friday, November 06, 2009

Not so Great Compromiser

Many people voted for Barack Obama because his predecessor was an incompetent moron, and they bought into the idea Obama would bring much needed change into federal politics. W had been at the helm as the US was attacked on 9/11, had started two wars resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, sanctioned torture, opened concentration camps, allowed the constitution to be shredded, spied on his citizens, attempted to appoint his cleaning lady to the supreme court, and as a finishing touch, managed to all but bankrupt the nation. Choosing living fossil, John McCain and the rustic and ridiculous Sarah Palin as the Republican candidates all but handed Obama the victory in 2008.

Well it is November of 2009, one year since the presidential election, 11 months into Obama’s presidency and most of the promised changes have not materialized, nor does it appear, will they. Even if one concedes that many of the problems with bringing about change have been the result of a congress that is filled with members owned by lobbyists, including douche bags in the Democratic party such as Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross, the last eleven months have been filled with compromise and defeat. The most disturbing and disappointing part of the Obama presidency to date are the things he could have done without any congressional interference. He could have, with a presidential order, put an end to the don’t ask/don’t tell farce. He could have ended the war in Afghanistan, or at least began winding it down instead of hemming and hawing on troop numbers, making him appear indecisive, and on a purely cynical note, giving the Republican spin machine the gift of shifting ownership of the war from the son of a bitch Bush to Obama.

His appointments to very important positions within the government and the military have been equally puzzling and disappointing. Timothy Geithner is a tax cheat and is now in charge of finances for the country? General Stanley A. McChrystal, who orchestrated the Pat Tillman friendly fire cover up by approving a press release that he knew was false can be trusted to run the war in Afghanistan? Janet Napolitano, who did almost nothing to stem illegal immigration as Arizona Governor, is chosen to head Homeland Security?

His decision to not pursue criminal prosecution of those who approved and committed torture in the Bush administration is not just disappointing, it is itself criminal. Rather than face criticism and feigned outrage from the Republicans who allowed atrocities to be carried out in the name of the USA, Obama has chosen to become an accessory after the fact. Obama seems to be a man who does not have one principle he will not compromise. He continued to hand out money to banks and businesses that through no fault of the taxpayers whose money they were given, mismanaged themselves into positions of bankruptcy. When he should have been demanding a public option in health care reform, he remained all but silent, as if any health care bill would mean a victory for him, regardless if it actually provided relief to the millions of US citizens without coverage, or just meant more money for insurance companies. The photo op when some watered down compromise filled piece of shit legislation stuffed with pork for already well fed insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies is signed in the Rose Garden seems much more valuable to Obama than fighting for real change that will improve life for millions. Many of those millions, it should be noted voted for Obama, hoping for change that would improve their lives.

When necessary, compromise is a useful tool in negotiation. “When necessary” is the key phrase here. You don’t start negotiating, especially when you have all the numbers in your favor, by offering up compromise. You only do this when you either are lying about what you really want to achieve, or do not believe it is worth fighting for in the first place. Either way Obama is being either disingenuous or weak, and either way he has lost many supporters, and is on his way to becoming a one term president.

Granted, eleven months are less than a quarter of his term as president, and there is a long way to go, but the first year of a presidency is, arguably, the only opportunity for any change to occur. After this it is mid term elections, followed by the run up to 2012. With congressmen and senators more interested in raising money and preserving votes for the next few years than supporting anything “controversial” that may actually improve things it is doubtful any legislation heralding substantive change will ever see the light of day.

During the 2008 election campaign Barack endured the slurs of fools and Republicans. He was called a ”secret” Muslim, a communist sympathizer; he was accused of hanging out with terrorists. Honestly, the idiots who said these things and worse probably garnered as many votes for Obama as did convince rational people not to vote for him. It is very disheartening, and monumentally disappointing that it appears Barack Obama has managed to not only lose the support of many who defended him and ultimately helped elect him, but provided ample evidence that there are many very real weaknesses that will preclude many the option of voting for him again in 2012

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