01 January 2010

Proving Me Right (Part Two)

Barack Obama

It's no accident that President Obama invited Bible bigots Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery to pray over his inaugural ceremony. Contrary to what you've heard, those invitations had nothing to do with political savvy! It should be obvious by now that President Obama shares those preachers' doctrinal disdain for Gay people! The cliché is valid: Birds of a feather do flock together. The feathers on Obama, Warren and Lowery look the same to me, and that's not all: When I look at them, I see a trio of vultures for whom LGBT Civil Rights are nothing but a form of carrion! Citizenship protections: It's what's for dinner, y'all!

In the past, I've written that support for Gay Rights should be, must be, a litmus test for leadership. I said if a politician is bad on equality issues, other aspects of his policy agenda will be bad, too. Obama has proven me right; just look at his actions in regard to the economy! Progressive journalist Naomi Klein, writing for The Huffington Post on 21 December 2009, laid out the evidence. She listed a trio of missed opportunities to reverse the downward economic slide that began under the Bush administration:

Blown Opportunity Number 1: The Stimulus Package
When Obama came to office, he had a free hand and a blank check to design a spending package to stimulate the economy. He could have used that power to fashion what many were calling a "Green New Deal": to build the best public transit systems and smart (power) grids in the world. Instead, he experimented disastrously with reaching across the aisle to Republicans, low-balling the size of the stimulus, and blowing much of it on tax cuts. Sure, he spent some money on weatherization, but public transit was inexplicably short-changed while highways that perpetuate car culture won big.

Blown Opportunity Number 2: The Auto Bailouts
Speaking of the car culture, when Obama took office he also found himself in charge of two of the Big Three automakers, and all of the emissions for which they are responsible. A visionary leader . . . would obviously have used that power to dramatically re-engineer the failing industry so that its factories could build the infrastructure of the Green economy the world desperately needs. Instead, Obama saw his role as uninspiring Down-sizer-in-Chief, leaving the fundamentals of the industry unchanged.

Blown Opportunity Number 3: The Bank Bailouts
Obama, it's worth remembering, also came to office with the big banks on their knees; it took real effort not to nationalize them. Once again, if Obama had dared to use the power that was handed to him by history, he could have mandated the banks to provide the loans for factories to be retro-fitted and new Green infrastructure to be built. Instead, he declared that the government shouldn't tell the failed banks how to run their businesses. Green businesses report that it's harder than ever to get a loan.

In a nutshell, then, George W. Bush's economic policies remain largely intact under the Obama administration. Guess what? So do George W. Bush's military policies, including troop surges and government contracts with war profiteers. So does funding of "faith-based" agencies that discriminate based on religious doctrine. So do "renditions", CIA abductions and transfers of war prisoners to countries that practice torture. So does Executive Branch eagerness to snuggle up with corporate lobbyists (officially a bipartisan habit now). So do those controversial "signing statements" Bush was so fond of, which exempt a President from adherence to new laws. Visit W. E. Messamore's Humble Libertarian website and Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" archives to get the lowdown.

The future of national policies on health care and the environment is no big mystery: Obama won't change those much, either, unless he changes them to benefit corporate America! Disparaging talk about "fat cats" aside, he's a puppet for Wall Street! We've seen him parrot Bush's Chicken Little rhetoric in order to justify the bailouts. We've seen his do-nothing stance on global warming bring the World Climate Change Summit to a screeching halt! Now we see him capitulate to the "fat cats" on publicly-funded health care. If that mandatory private insurance buy-in he's touting (Senate Bill HR 3590) constitutes true reform, then grits ain't groceries, sh*t don't stink, and Dorothy Dandridge was really a man! America elected the "change" candidate? Is that what you expect me to believe? I'm not buying it, sugar!  What else are you selling today?

In private, I've taken to calling President Obama "Bush in Blackface"! The allusion to minstrel shows is quite deliberate. I believe he's putting on an act for the American people! When the performance is over, I predict we're all going to want our money back. I want mine back now!

Whatever happened to the knight in shining Liberal armor? The crusading Democrat who was going to stop the war, bring us universal health coverage, reverse global warming, and eradicate all forms of bigotry? Where is he? Was he just a mirage? Or could it be that while the Obama-worshiping multitudes were basking in their hero's limelight and applauding his glib speeches, they only saw and heard what they wanted to hear and see? Could it be they ignored the signs that he represented anything but change? That his rhetoric was overblown? That the only "fierce advocacy" he'd ever undertake was on behalf of the status quo?

Election Night 2008 turned out to be a fairy tale acted out in real life: The Emperor's New Clothes! A butt-naked monarch parading in public while foolish onlookers raved about his royal finery! Some of those onlookers are still acting like fools. I'm sick to death of Liberal TV pundits apologizing for President Obama, arguing that he's a work-in-progress. "He'll grow into the job," they promise. Dammit! They make me want to drive a fist through my television screen!  Do these jokers really hold our nation's highest office in such low regard?

I'm not an attorney, but I do have a bit of experience working in law offices. If I applied for a partner's position at a law firm and told the interviewer "l'll grow into the job", do you think I'd be hired? Hell, no! Nor should I be. Given the dearth of governing experience he had under his belt, Barack Obama shouldn't have been hired, either, not at this stage of his political career. Nominating him as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate was an irresponsible thing to do! Electing him was complete folly! A worthy Chief Executive must bring to the job all necessary qualifications for leadership: Wisdom, courage, strength, stamina, vigilance, resolve, resourcefulness, moral authority and sufficient experience. Gambling that a candidate will acquire these essential skills after he's elected President is nothing less than insane!

You know what else is insane? Voting for a presidential candidate because of his ethnic heritage. Yes, that's what all too many Americans did last November, and it's time somebody said so! The Nobel Committee awarded its Peace Prize to Obama for the same stupid reason. For exhibiting such stupidity, it got the hard slap across the face it deserved: An acceptance speech justifying war! What a travesty! Nobel laureate Martin Luther King, Jr. must have spun 'round in his grave! Didn't Dr. King tell us to look at the content of a man's character, not the color of his skin? Four decades have passed since his tragic death, and humanity still refuses to take those words to heart.

To quote Bette Davis' famous line from the 1950 movie All About Eve: "Fasten your seat belts . . . it's going to be a bumpy night!" I'm afraid we're all in for a rough rollercoaster ride; Uncle Sam's red, white and blue posterior will be black and blue come 2012! That's not the worst of it, either: Oval office coddling of Wall Street, coupled with persistent high unemployment will pave a fast road out of Washington for Democrats. I foresee reactionary Republicans taking control of US government once again! President Obama is certainly setting the stage for it to happen: Any more security gaffes on his watch like that "underpants bomber" incident, and Sarah Palin can start shopping for her inaugural ball gown!

Remember his campaign slogan, "Yes, we can?" I heard a Right Wing tea bagger repeating it just the other day. It sure has acquired an ominous sound!

2 comments:

  1. Another excellent post, and one that must be widely distributed! Obama has shown himself to be the two-bit political hack that he is, and that he might well be the only President in our history who didn't merely fail to live up to his campaign promises, but actually worked against those very promises. Far from being a phony, he has betrayed Gay people and all people who were gullible enough to believe his campaign rhetoric that was diametrically opposed to his true values and true intent as President.

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  2. And yet, many American voters still enjoy the revolting, artificial flavor of Kool-Aid democracy. Go figure!

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