Monday, June 07, 2010

Thanks, Obama. No, really. Thanks for very little.

I wasn't a big supporter of Obama from the beginning.  It had nothing to do with his ethnicity, or his alleged origins, and everything to do with his remarkable oratory ability.  What--I didn't like him because he spoke well?  Yes, it was a marked improvement over the previous nitwit, but being well-spoken does not alone a leader make.  It requires courage and vision, and, sadly, a certain aspect of cynicism, something I believed Obama lacked.

My initial choice turned out to be an idiot.  Not necessarily because he cheated on his cancer-ridden wife, but because he somehow assumed his indiscretions would remain hidden through the general election.  I repeat.  Idiot.

But the one thing I was fairly certain we wouldn't get from Obama or Clinton would be the kind of change we needed.  They barely acknowledged the true nature of what was confronting us in this country, the nature of the precipice we found ourselves balanced upon.  And, yes, many of us knew ahead of time that the housing bubble was primed to pop.  They'd been using it to prop up a failing economy for quite some time.  When every other business out there is a newly-minted mortgage company trying to get you to refinance in order to put some money in your pocket that your job is not, there's a problem.  A big one.

As I have said before, if you don't stand for something, you'll stand for anything.  The "forward-looking" Obama model who wanted to put partisanship behind him and forget about all the questionable things the previous administration had done, simply emboldened those who had reason to hate him the most.  It's the classic expression--the reason Democrats, and by extension, liberals, are painted as "appeasers" so successfully is that our leadership, in particular, spends an awful lot of time appeasing their political adversaries.

People respond better to impassioned argument than they do to dry facts.  Sure, it's manipulative, which turns off a few folks, but it's also wildly successful.  Look at the Tea Party movement.and its trademark "conservative populism" (honestly, about as obvious an oxymoron as "jumbo shrimp" or "Civil War."  They've managed to get folks riled up about the bank bailouts (precipitated by the fact that any other option might well have crashed our economy for good) and yet somehow avoided the distinct odor of a "class war."

It was fairly clear from the beginning that Obama's fascination with the myth of "bipartisanship" (which, ironically, only becomes an issue during Democratic administrations) was going to lead us down the primrose path to the monster at the heart of it all.  Yes, I mean appeasement.  Lots of it.

Rather than swinging for the bleachers, the Democrats tried to bunt on healthcare reform.  Rather than trying for the absolute MOST that might be gained, they came on their knees begging for the least they could hope for.  And "least" is what we damn well got.  And even still the unwashed masses screamed "socialism!" as if they even understood the concept.

I don't blame Obama so much for the legislation--he's the President, not a congress-critter.  But I DO blame him for not advocating strongly enough for a tangible separation from the course that got us into this mess in the first place.  Namely the use of middle men to disburse medical funds and make decisions based not on medical necessity, but shareholder profits.  Namely, the health insurance industry.  The whole debacle surrounded the need to keep the parasite alive while not killing the host.  Fact was, the parasite was, indeed, expendable.  The host--not so much.

But this is, in fact, the least of his missteps.  He alienated many of his liberal supporters by continuing the morally questionable operations of his predecessor, be it the wars, the illegal wiretaps, the now obviously failed supply-side "voodoo" economics that have again shown themselves to be based upon nothing more than smoke and whispers.

The ignorant accuse him of being a "radical" and a "socialist" when, in truth, he's an average center-right politician being used by the unscrupulous to rile up those who couldn't tell a socialist from a Nazi.  (And, yes, there is a difference, despite their use of the word in their acronym.

Obama may talk a good game, but he's 90% talk and 10% action.  We needed a Roosevelt--a Teddy, if not a Franklin, and we got another Clinton trying to be everything to everyone and, in the end, being nothing for anyone.

I applaud America for electing the first mixed-race President.  It was a significant step.  But, like I said in the beginning, he'd best be after doing something remarkable to be known for something else.  Otherwise he'll be little more than an interesting historical footnote.  And no, that crap they served us on a silver platter pretending to be healthcare reform doesn't really count.  The only ones who should be happy about it are the parasites.  Those bugs should be dancing in the street.

So was electing him a mistake?  Not really, since Crazy McCain wouldn't have been a better choice, and, seriously, Nader wasn't going to happen.  Nope.  The mistake was his, for thinking that he wouldn't have to take real risks to be the leader we needed.  He didn't take those risks, wasn't the leader we needed, and yet has been vilified for it anyway.

The worst of all possible worlds.  For him, as well as for us.

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