Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Anniversary. Where’s the Barack Obama we worked our asses off for?

Everybody’s weighing in with a report card on President Obama’s first semester, and, so far, it seems, it’s with a great deal of skeptism. First, let’s put the obvious to rest right away that things would be mighty different if we had elected the geezer and the nitwit. But we didn’t. We worked our asses off for someone who emerged out of the vast political wasteland, like an apparition striding out of the fog of a Republican radioactive cloud, that threatened to strangle us all. Barack Obama was our Clark Kent, human and supernatural, accessible and audacious. Hope and Change weren’t just words to us, but became real tangible goals that, with his election, would finally put our nation back on track.

Is it too soon to use the word ‘disappointment’? Let’s just talk healthcare here. What’s with Obama’s fealty to insurance companies and big Pharma that he is letting them, aside form Olympia Snowe, dictate the terms of health insurance? He has been so careful to parse his "support of a public option", but didn't we all learn, long ago, that actions speak louder than words? Obama has done nothing but set up road blocks to a public option. Here's a good look at the history of healthcare, White House style. Even wussy Harry Reid is taking a stand on including a public option, with a state opt out clause in the bill. What's wrong with that? Where's Waldo aka Obama?

As I’ve said ad nauseum, I'm for single payer, but, at this point, we must fight for a public option. And, since the majority of citizens are for a public option, would it be possible to sue, on a constitutional basis, to get what we want? Anyone know a good constitutional lawyer willing to check it out?

Why isn't Obama out front talking up a strong public option? His behavior seems to be a flagrant disregard for the peoples' will, as he has chosen to watch healthcare get decimated from the cheap seats. To preserve what? His cozy relationship with corporate collaborators? Again, I’ll call him out, again and again, to govern like he’s a one term president.

And, while I'm at it, did you see Obama's speech that he gave the day, October 20th, when OFA supporters made over 300,000 calls in support of his health plan - which, by the way, had NO MENTION of a public option in the script. To me, he was as angry as I've ever seen him, listing all of his accomplishments, so far, as though his ass should be kissed for doing what he's supposed to do. What political narcissism!

Ok, I hear how over the top some of you think this is, and how unseemly it is to call out our President this way. Hey, baby, if you wanna rule Chicago style, then we can play that game. Here's my fantasy: That grassroots supporters be the 'parent' and dole out some tough love to save our wayward 'Obama'. For OFA (Organizing for America) to get some balls, forget the DNC and start to put real pressure on Obama to get back on course...on all issues.

Where's the disconnect?

Are the skeptics about Obama's inexperience proving correct? Is his desire for consensus, bipartisanship, need to be liked his weakest link? Does the combination of his inexperience and that deep-seated inner need for acceptance make him an ineffective leader? Aside from the man himself as a transformative figure, were his speeches and charisma the apex of his ability? Obama's a quick study, but will he be able to overcome his need for love to take the bull by the horns and govern like he's a one-term president?

So, here's the biggest bluff of all. Obama, smart as a whip, knows that he can do, politically, whatever the hell he wants because he will be the nominee in 2012. And, he knows that everyone who supported him in the last election, will again work their asses off to make sure he's reelected for a second term because there's no chance in hell that we would allow a Republican neanderthal to be elected and take us back to the Dark Ages. Aaaah, do you feel like you're being taken for granted? Obama understands that he can sail through to 2012, and still be a corporate shill without paying the price. I haven't even touched on his economic team and Afghanistan. Am I angry? You betcha.