Monday, February 8, 2010

A Surfeit of Trust


I'm not going to apologize to anyone, including Black Jimmy Carter at Balloon Juice, for taking the Obama administration to task because I know it isn't just me and not even something restricted to the blogosphere. The late Howard Zinn in The Nation wrote just before his death that Obama was a mediocre President who started off the HCR from a compromised position. He and that little, liberal-baiting, two-legged lemon shark Rahm Emanuel, He Who Some Think is Next-to-Powerless, engineered a secret back room deal with Billy Tauzin's pals in Big Pharma to cap payments to the government at $80 billion.

The Senate version of the health care bill is so blatantly pro-corporate and inimical to the interests of the middle class it's not even worth debating. Obama has backed off from major provisions in any meaningful HCR legislation including the once-ballyhooed public option.

But everything critical I've ever written about the Obama administration has been sourced in hard, cold facts, in matters of public record, not merely speculation fueled by impatience:

He is busting a nut trying to protect the Bush/Cheney administration from even transparency let alone criminal complaints regarding our torture in Iraq (policies he's merely perpetuated rather than ended) and elsewhere. He has ramped up defense spending, done very little to wind down the war in Iraq, has ramped up the one in Afghanistan and has not only done nothing to curb outsourcing, that's been ramped up, too.

He handed out hundreds of billions of our money in another round of bailouts without imposing any meaningful restrictions whatsoever and even illegally fiddle-fucked with GM's pension plan that will deprive tens of thousands their retirement benefits. His CEO-coddling Treasury Secretary was caught acting duplicitously with Goldman Sachs while head of the NY Fed yet is still employed at Treasury, a retirement community packed to the gills with corporate insiders and lobbyists that get confidential policy briefings.

He has sold down the river those liberals who allegedly give him approval ratings in the 90's (source for that, please, Mr. Black Jimmy Carter?) by insisting on bipartisanship with the rabid pack of upholstered, slavering jackals of the GOP who would sooner see him strung from the WH Xmas tree than see him light it.

He is opposed to gay marriage, has done nothing but tread water and punt further and further down the road repealing DADT and his own DOJ wrote a despicable brief likening gay marriage to bestiality and incest in lambasting the DOMA, a brief that Obama publicly supported the very next day in direct contradiction of his campaign platform. He can eradicate DADT and NAFTA with the stroke of a pen, as he can vulture funds in US courts, yet has not.

He is not a friend of the LGBT community, he is not a friend to middle America and he is not a friend to the liberals who, through a massive netroots campaign, largely got him elected.

Barack Obama is, I'm sorry to say, a pale imitation of Bill Clinton, a genial, charismatic moderate Republican with a gift for economics.

He has lost my vote no matter what he does in the next three years and I will proudly stick to my guns. And Obama's long-winded apologists have to disabuse themselves of the destructive "But, but... at least his name's not George W. Bush!" mindset that's paralyzed their cognitive abilities and political acumen. We gave George W. Bush nearly nine months to make something happen yet he sat on his ass fishing 40% of the time. During some of that time 9/11 happened and then we rallied around him and gave him unlimited time to make good, to do the right thing. He had a 90% job approval rating not just from one party or the other but from all of us.

Look at how our support and patience was rewarded.

What happened in the first 100 days was miraculous and heart-warming, yes, but Lilly Ledbetter and Co. was window dressing, so many sops slopped over to his liberal/progressive base. The rest is diluted Bush and he's covering the fat, pasty ass of the previous administration just as effectively as had Ford the Nixon administration's.

Aside from a few Hillary-loving blogs, Obama pretty much united the otherwise fractious liberal blogosphere two years ago. Now you see a fragmenting, a deep polarization separating the Obama-loving DKos and the Obama-critical ABlog, just to cite one example. It's a now nonexistent unity on which Obama will not necessarily be able to count in the next few years to come.

Meanwhile, all the wingnut blogs on the seedy side of the tracks are in perfect four part harmony singing Palin paeans and praises with full-throated, bug-eyed lust, something to which we ought to pay more heed.

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