Crossroads (1/26/10)

Here is where I shall vent my spleen on whatever political topic might cross my mind on a given day. Comments or responses may be posted to whatever forum might be appropriate to that particular topic.

Crossroads (1/26/10)

Postby Ferguson Foont » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:25 pm

As a staunch Obama supporter and one who cheered almost like a teenage girl at a Beatles' concert when he was inaugurated, I find this "tough decision" regarding a three-year spending freeze to be highly disturbing. Indeed, it may for me be a final straw.

I have supported Obama in nearly everything he has done so far, albeit with a few caveats. I have, with a few exceptions (Geither and Summers stand out as exceptions here), tried my best to put the most positive inflection on his appointments. I have tried to explain away his lapses from what I consider effective, wise and prudent policies in these hard economic times and with the challenges we face in our foreign relations and national security. Where we have chiefly differed is in his extraordinary efforts to compromise with our political adversaries, but I have always held, and often expressed, the opinion, and indeed the hope, that he would quickly learn that this is a mistake, not only in its essence but in its chances to succeed.

But now, where he has been given a clear choice between trying to rehabilitate his approval ratings by returning to the advocacy for change that carried him to victory in 2008 or redoubling his futile efforts to receive opposition support, he has chosen the wrong path -- not just to compromise with the Republican right, but to be numbered among them in all matters of policy save for his publicly claimed party affiliation. This three-year spending freeze, exempting the utter waste in our defense expenditures, does not differ in any respect from what John McCain would have done, or indeed what Bush did. His policies in Afghanistan and Iraq do not differ in any respect from what John McCain would have advocated. His economic policies have been written on Wall Street, just as his predecessor's were. He had curtailed expenditures on alternative energy sources, just like Bush. He has made no effort to stop the outflow of jobs and industries overseas. He has failed to enact health care reform by compromising its benefits away to the point at which it lost popular support.

I know he has only been in the White House for one year, but these are failures and policy matters that are permanent in nature, and that are absolutely, 180 degrees away from why we voted for him and for such overwhelming Democratic Congressional majorities. In fact, the only differences I can discern between our victory in 2008 and the way things would have been had we been defeated by the Republicans are the admittedly major matters that we are not now also at war with Iran, something that was a very real possibility had John McCain become our Commander in Chief, it is likely that the heinous Bush tax cuts would have been made permanent, and if something had happened to the President we will have Joe Biden step in rather than Sarah Palin. Also, it is likely we would have permanently lost GM and Chrysler.

But we voted for change, MUCH more significant changes than we have seen. What we meant -- almost all of us -- by "change" was change from militarism, change from corporatism, change from the behavior of the Bush administration where every program designed to help American citizens was sacrificed on the altar of tax cuts. But this spending freeze differs in no way I can discern from something that John McCain might have advocated, or from what George W. Bush desired to do to our Federal budget. It is seldom that I have felt so betrayed by a candidate I so wholeheartedly supported in the faith that he would do precisely the opposite -- CUT guns and INCREASE butter.

Now We the People are left with nowhere to turn. Where there is a slight difference -- Obama is pursuing these policies reluctantly while Republicans would relish it -- there is no difference in the effect on real people. Our boys and girls are still dying in pointless wars overseas. Our people are still jobless. Our bankers are still increasing their burdensome fees on us and enriching themselves through annual bonuses of a magnitude seldom reached by our multi-state lottery jackpots. Our oil prices are still rising. Our services are still being cut. We still can't afford to pay our doctors or those robber barons at the insurance companies, whose charges and premiums continue to rise even as our incomes continue to fall.

Nothing is being done for us, for the American people. Everything is being done to further increase the wealth and power of the most upper class, wealth that purchases more power that is wielded over us. We are no longer governed by our consent -- we are ruled over by a permanent upper class whose privileges have become unassailable by any means available to us, including our occasional elections or the courts.

When the Patricians in Rome co-opted the Plebeian tribunate and left the vast majority of their citizens powerless against the predations of the ruling class, the people rose up and defeated the "republican" robber barons and dealt with them harshly. Unfortunately the result was civil war, resulting in the dictatorship for life of Julius Caesar and, a little bit later, the monarchical Roman Empire that endured until its fall to barbarism six centuries later. This should be taken as a warning to today's corporate patricians, but I doubt seriously that they shall heed it, particularly since the Supreme Court provided such a mighty boost to their arrogance in their recent Citizens United decision.

The feeling in my heart today is one of inescapable despair. I can no longer support this administration as it turns its backs on its friends and embraces its, and our, implacable foes. Unlike the brave Romans who threw off the yoke of oppression just to find a different brand of oppression awaiting them in their victories, we now have television to mollify our passions, and we are under constant and comprehensive surveillance to prevent our becoming too uppity in opposition to our rulers, and we would face Apache helicopters and Predator drones should we actually summon up the courage to stand up and fight for the liberty our Founders intended us to forever enjoy.

Dennis Kucinich, this may be your hour. Today I would crawl a mile on my bare knees over ground glass to support a ticket of Kucinich/Sanders, because I am sick and tired of there being no difference in the lives of our people between our victories and our defeats.
Republicans whine and Republicans bitch: "Our rich are too poor, and our poor are too rich."
User avatar
Ferguson Foont
Posts: 1786
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:22 pm
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland

Return to Foont's Editorials

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest