Why Obama Will be a One-Termer
We should've known way back in December, if not sooner than that, what we'd elected as President. You may remember that chilly month when a lot of 99ers were waiting to see if their unemployment benefits were going to expire or get renewed. The GOP, still a minority in both houses of Congress, were willing to let those people starve until they got their tax breaks for the wealthy even at a time when they were screaming about jobs, earmarks and fiscal responsibility, screams that have suspiciously gotten much quieter once the Tea Baggers were sworn in.
Beginning less than 24 hours after Election Day when tens of millions of voters collectively lost their fucking minds and voted in a slew of racist Tea Baggers and voted out Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold, Obama began adopting a conciliatory tone to a radicalized party that hadn't even officially gotten control of just the lower chamber. The man the right wing insists is a Communist immediately signaled that the continuance of the Bush tax breaks were officially off the table just as absolutely as Nancy Pelosi had taken impeachment of the same criminals off the same table.
Obama once again took a repeal of the Bush tax cuts off the table and sold the American people up the river when the Scorpios of the GOP once again found hostages, this time the entire nation and our debt ceiling. Only President Dirty Barry was nowhere to be found.
This is what Obama should've done last December to the Republican Party when they took the unemployed hostage for a horrifying joyride and what he should've done to them again last month when the Republican Party saw their manufactured emergency turn into a very, very real one with the raising of the debt ceiling.
Instead, this is what Dirty Barry did with the GOP. And waggling his finger and tut-tutting them and saying, "Well, next time, we'll all have to pitch in," even as Republicans were flocking back home and chortling that they "got 98% of what (they) wanted." Afterward, Mitch McConnell admitted the GOP had held the debt ceiling hostage and would do so again if necessary.
Sure, there will be a next time as the debt ceiling's next hike has been conveniently punted to beyond the next election but if Obama had caved so quickly and so readily to a Republican Party that hadn't even taken control of the lower chamber, what guarantee have we that he'll even remember much less honor his "commitment" to raising taxes on the wealthy?
And in spite of the fact that Obama has so spectacularly failed the poor and middle class as surely as had Bush before him, a quick look on Twitter, which if nothing else is an accurate barometer of the mood of the nation at any given moment, will show that African Americans have swallowed just as much of the Koolaid as the Bushbots had between 2000-2008.
Any criticism of Obama's policies, predictably, will result in automatic charges of racism from Obama's racially polarized base. It doesn't matter if you're criticizing the president's policies and agenda. If you're white and you're criticizing their man, you're a racist and a firebagger and a Tea Bagger. Maybe a Bircher and a KKK Klansman, to boot.
The ironic thing is that, far from many white liberals' inability to look beyond Obama's skin, it's his African American base who's incapable of looking beyond the color of Obama's skin. Some of them even go overboard and have declared him, after two and a half dysfunctional, Wall Street-coddling years, as the "best President ever."
Granted, it's only Twitter, a slowed-down version of the chat rooms of the 90's, which minorities have essentially co-opted and set the idiotic, superficial trends. But a rift is already developing between white liberals and radicalized African Americans who still haven't come down from the high from Election Night '08 and are bound and determined to keep one of their own in office regardless of the cost to the middle class. In many if not all ways, they're just as blind to the facts and just as nasty, slanderous and intolerant as the Bushbots on Free Republic and Red State.
They conveniently forget that most of the 69,000,000+ people who'd voted Obama in were white and it's likely these are the same people who will vote him out regardless of whatever psychopath the GOP nominates in a year. Obama is creating a rift in his base and the only liberals who are still unconditionally supporting him are those who more or less share the color of his skin.
Otherwise, liberals who are paying attention have a bone or ten to pick with him. Obama is to blame for alienating much of the base that had gotten him elected. While attending a $30,000 a plate fundraiser at the gated mansion of a man named Rich Richman, Obama wasted little time in slapping around progressives who'd criticized his increasingly obvious conservative policies. Before that, he'd allowed then WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to snipe at "the professional left." It was a truculence that was suspiciously reminiscent of another administration that was also thin-skinned to criticism.
And Obama, when he isn't bitchslapping liberals while playing patty-cake with the GOP, Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street and other world-eaters who will loath and despise him no matter how many times he capitulates to them, has proven to be no friend to the unions that were also instrumental to getting him in the Oval Office. However, unlike Obama's radical African American base, the biggest unions know exactly what he's done to the middle class and have thoroughly washed their hands of him to concentrate on more parochial races.
Obama has done much more to wreck the already-fractious Democratic/Independent base than Bush ever had his own during the 2006 and 2008 elections. Just today, the President's 50th birthday, a Rasmussen poll showed some startling trends. Only 22% strongly approve of the way Obama is doing his job (down 2% from last month), with 40% strongly disapproving, giving Obama an index rating of -18.
In each of the last four consecutive weeks, 4% fewer people think the country is headed in the right direction. As of today, it was down to 14%. A month ago, a full quarter of us were more optimistic.
Amazingly, a Gallup poll taken at around the same time shows no diminishing of support for Obama among so-called liberals. In fact, as of the end of the month, Obama's approval rating among self-identified liberals was a suspiciously high 83%. One has to remember, however, that liberals who actually vote make up a much smaller number than the much larger, hence more coveted, Independent demographic.
But these numbers are bound to plunge as the economy continues its undeclared depression and as the unemployment numbers rise or remain stagnant. It's risible for anyone to claim that Obama's half-assed stimulus package that has long since worn off did more for working-class families than his constant concessions to a Republican Party whose only mission in life seems to be to retain the Bush-era tax cuts for the ultra wealthy. The stimulus was a jolt of cocaine, one that wore off almost immediately. The Bush tax cuts are a long, slow, agonizing addiction to heroin.
The cracks in the base could be seen as far back as the 2008 election, with open warfare being waged between the 160,000 or so Daily Kos dead-enders who championed Obama and hated Hillary and the Firedoglake crowd pushing Hillary while seeing Obama for what he was.
But the real liberals, of course, are the ones who really wanted Dennis Kucinich, people like me and, unfortunately for this nation and its seemingly doomed destiny, we're an overlooked minority. We're the ones that have a problem with Obama using his base as a punching bag while giving one free pass after another to the racist firebaggers of the Tea Party and the GOP. We're the ones who haven't forgotten that Obama's ramped up Afghanistan to no discernible effect and that he simply redrew the Baghdad city lines so that technically we wouldn't violate the SOFA deadline.
We're the ones who've noticed that Obama has covered for the criminals of the Bush junta time and again and even engaged in some dick-twisting in Spain to that effect. We're the ones who are impertinently reminding Obama and his base that he broke a campaign pledge to release the torture pictures and videos and another to close Gitmo.
It's the liberals who have refused to forget that Obama is the one who'd released the second half of the bailout money, a bailout that he'd voted for, as well as for extending the USA PATRIOT Act and voting for immunity for telecoms who'd spied on us while still a senator.
It's the liberals who have a problem with Obama quietly authorizing extrajudicial assassinations on US citizens and bumping off terrorist leaders and dumping them in the drink like the final minutes of a Soprano's episode. We're the ones who have a serious problem with him defending tax breaks for those least deserving or needing of them.
But he's also alienating a lot of moderates who will have no problem with voting for the Republican who lies the most convincingly about bringing back jobs (Yes, they'll cynically use that campaign mantra for the second election cycle in a row if they think it'll give them an edge). Obama may have inherited an inferno of an economy but instead of pouring water on that inferno, he's dumped a solution of 10% water and 90% gasoline and at some point he's going to have to be held accountable for the acts of arson of his first and, hopefully, only term.