Ah yes, the presidential campaign starts now, and we are about to endure hours of pundit prognostications, ruminations and colossally boring chit chat about whether Sarah Palin is going to run, can she actually speak in sentences, hours and hours of microscopic dissection of the Tea Party, watch Christine O'Donnell rise from the cauldron of ignorance to reality show freak, and on and on. But, this isn't going to be as bad as watching the Democratic party flounder like a fish on a Republican hook or as bad as watching President Obama being played by the Republicans like a cat batting around a mouse giving it momentary hope that it's life will be saved only to have it gobbled and spit out like a tasty snack.
That's what it's come to since Obama has squandered his window of opportunity to actually govern with the spine of a leader who could see that 'compromise' with the opposition wasn't going anywhere. Obama, who projected his persona to be the avatar as political savior, the man who was going to take the Washington bulls by the balls and change things up like he was supposed to. He went to Washington and did things old school. He never manned up. And now that precious window of opportunity to get things done is down the toilet.
Oh, I can hear the defenders repeat that old saw of theirs that Obama was never what we progressives thought he was. They say we projected onto him what we wanted to see. Well, my friends, that's not exactly true. You see, Obama was hoisted to victory on the backs of progressives who supported him early on, and Mr. Obama never said to progressives, "Look, I appreciate your support but I just want you to know that's not who I am. I'm a squishy moderate who will capitulate to Republican bullying...just so you know." He never said, “Thank you” either. Instead, he took progressives for granted and wouldn’t even talk to them until his recent summit with progressive bloggers. Seriously. The defenders will say it's all in his books, and we should have known better. That we were hoping for miracles. Well, yes we were. But no we weren't. We were going with a guy who let us think he was a leader. Yeah, I know the other old saw about how campaigning is different from governing. So what.
And how about those much sought after independents who also believed that Obama would bring some brio to the White House. While independents may have voted to repudiate the Republicans, they also believed in the change Obama promised so relentlessly, that it would be different from the last eight years of unintelligent design by the ignorant enforcers. And now where are they? Driven back to the other side by an unfulfilled vision of what might have been. Yes, independents are notoriously fickle, but you have to give people some love to keep them interested. They didn't get any and neither did progressives. When your base doesn't think you love them, they're gone, onto the next cute boy or girl with pie-in-the-sky possibilities.
Now, more gridlock and Republican bullying, and any chance that any kind of progressive change will happen is as remote as John Boehner becoming a Democrat. And by progressive, I simply mean 'moving forward'.
My hope is that Obama will use his veto power to at least keep the conservative agenda in check. However, according to the following definition, we could be fucked on that score, too, with the Republican majority in Congress: A presidential veto is the rejection of a bill passed by the majority votes of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. While Congress can vote to override a presidential veto, causing the bill to become law without the president's approvals, this is rarely done. (Ha, ha, suuuure. We'll see.) More often than not, the threat of presidential veto is sufficient motivation for Congress to modify the bill prior to its passage. (Republicans laughing)
Yes, in conclusion, I put this mid-term debacle squarely on Obama's shoulders. He said so himself. And I certainly don't think we wouldn't have lost seats, but if there had been any enthusiasm for how Obama was doing, then his base would have shown him some love and done anything to go out and vote. But disappointment prevailed and that was not to be.
Where's our Bulworth?