An End to My Support for Barack Obama (12/7/10)

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An End to My Support for Barack Obama (12/7/10)

Postby Ferguson Foont » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:24 pm

I have now had it once and for all with Barack Obama. I supported him during the campaign, I voted for him, and I rejoiced at his election and the new dawn I foolishly presumed that his victory would bring about.

I did not vote for him because I thought he'd be George W. Bush but without the effectiveness, but here we are. He compromises away EVERY principle, EVERYTHING we thought we had voted for, before even BEGINNING negotiations with Republicans, during which he gives up even more as they deal with him consistently in bad faith. He falls for their every bluff, immediately folding even if we're holding four aces. He is probably the worst poker player who ever lived, and we've got him playing our hands in the highest stakes game in the world. I have begun to suspect that he is not really a Democrat at all but just plays one on TV.

On every issue, time after time after time, he kicks me right in the gut, forfeiting every political, moral, strategic and tactical advantage to try to play nice with the implacable, lying, faithless Republicans. He has shown himself to be ready, indeed eager, to abandon whatever is right, whatever is best for America, in the name of avoiding a fight and appearing "bipartisan," and he constantly and enthusiastically adopts what is wrong and evil, and then have the nerve to try to make me like it.

He has gone back on his every promise -- a non-profit public health insurance option, an end to our tragic and stupid wars, real reform of Wall Street and credit card issuers, stimulus focused on job creation, and now on taxes, where the promise he most often repeated, over and over and over again during the campaign, was that he would end Bush's tax cuts for the rich. And now we see what we have seen so often before from Barack Obama -- betrayal. Another trembling capitulation, as stupid politically as it is wrong for the American people. I am SICK AND TIRED OF IT!

He is a man without honor, a true mewling coward at best, a traitor to his party and the American people at worst. He has betrayed us over and over and over again to try to get empty kudos for himself for "seeming reasonable" as the Republicans steal his and our lunches. He is now citing "exit polls" as his excuse to capitulate on taxes, ignoring the fact that the exit polls cannot reach any of the people who he betrayed and who decided not to go to the polls at all -- I went, but only reluctantly and heavy-heartedly, and I know there are LEGIONS who would have voted for him had he kept his promises -- enough to achieve gains in the House and the Senate rather than the "shellacking" he takes such evident joy in publicly admitting to (even though it was no such thing).

I will support whoever challenges him in the next Democratic primary season, choosing from among the contenders whichever one I believe will best fight for the ideals of the Democratic Party and the good of the American people.

Barack Obama can shove it where the sun don't shine. I will never, ever vote for him again. Ever. I won't vote for a Republican but that is because I have made a solemn, heartfelt vow never to do so, a vow I intend to keep. I am quite seriously uncertain that another vote for him would NOT be a vote for a Republican. I mean, his spineless, groveling, mealy-mouthed crap sounds more like the obvious deceits of Howard Baker, Bill Scott, or Everitt Dirksen than it does like any Democrat I ever knew.

He offered us "hope." I have never felt more hopeless in my life. It was very hard to for Barack Obama to lose my support, but that is one area where he has succeeded.

Sometimes, when I am introducing myself during some sort of political discussion, I describe myself as "the last living New Dealer." People on the right, who if they're old enough, they still consider FDR to be a spawn of the devil if not the devil himself, often characterize the "New Deal" as some sort of "socialism," forgetting (or never knowing) the political landscape that existed in America when FDR was elected and his New Deal programs first implemented.

The Great Depression started, of course, in November, 1929, only a year and a half into Hoover's term as president (remember, Inauguration Day back then was March 4) and under a Republican House and Senate. Our government at the time of the crash reacted exactly backward (doing exactly the same things Republicans and Blue Dogs are urging that we do now), throwing our economy, and that of the entire world, down, down, down into an ever deepening hole. Helping middle class and poor people, then as now, wasn't the Republicans' thing. This is actually telling and a supporting argument for my oft-stated contention that our political parties are not divided over any of what we view as "issues," but that the Republicans represent the interests of those whose wealth is derived from the proceeds of property, the Democrats represent the needs of those whose livelihoods derive from the product of their labor. Republicans, at least their leadership, understands this; the Republican party consistently strives to increase the wealth and power of the wealthiest class completely irrespective of how their wealth was obtained. But most voters, and most Democrats as well including our leadership, stubbornly refuse to understand this basic nature of our political dichotomy even when they're capable of it, instead naively thinking that politics are about more tangential, derivative things, "issues" like the environment, abortion rights, civil rights, etc. Republicans know who they are and what they're about and, since the days their political ancestors in this country were called "Federalists," they never waver in this, singlemindedly pursuing their basic purpose, which is to provide services exclusively to those whose income derives exclusively from the proceeds of property, making the rich richer and more powerful at the expense of workers (even of workers who make good money).

But I digress, albeit in a way that serves as necessary background for what I see happening today. Take, for instance, the makeup of Obama's Deficit Commission. It is generally referred to as "bipartisan," although its bipartisanship seems largely to consist of right-wing Democrats led by Erskine Bowles on one side and far-right-wing Republicans led by Alan Simpson on the other.

But the partisanship extends far beyond the reach of any notion that it has members who consider themselves nominally to be a member of one or the other of our parties. Every single member of this commission is a wealthy person. There is not a single working man or woman on it. There is not one member who worries about making ends meet, or who has to do without one personal need in order to meet another. They all have good health insurance and good retirement plans. Nobody there uses public transportation. Nobody is afraid that they will lose their home if they lose their job. There is nobody to provide any perspective on how We the People actually lead our real lives here in real America.

It is therefore no wonder that they came out with the proposals that they did, every one of them involving cuts to services that might be provided to, or depended upon by, the middle class and the poor. Instead they viciously attacked such things as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without any view toward the essential human needs that these programs meet.

It is interesting to note a statistic provided by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in the Saturday, 10/20 edition of The Times. He states, "Consider this startling information from the Pew Hispanic Center: in the year following the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, foreign-born workers in the U.S. gained 656,000 jobs while native-born workers lost 1.2 million. But even as the hiring of immigrants picked up during that period, those same workers 'experienced a sharp decline in earnings.'"

There is a perfectly logical explanation for this. Corporations and businesses, large and small, have changed the playing field in the relationship between employee and employer. While those who work for a living expect that they will at least retain, and in most cases surpass, the standard of living enjoyed by their parents and grandparents, employers have been taking a larger and larger share of the pie for themselves by depressing wages and benefits and rewarding themselves for achieving these apparent "increases in productivity." While American workers are not particularly enthusiastic about what they see as a lowering of their living standards, these standards represent significant improvement to the living standards of recent immigrants, and so these jobs go to those more easily exploited workers. This gets into a vicious cycle, as wages continue to be pushed lower and lower while bonuses soar and profits rise in return for the cleverness exhibited by management in depressing American workers by making them work more and more hours just to make ends meet.

This, however, has a rather nasty consequence of breeding a dangerous, racist xenophobia, as those Americans who see their standard of living decline blame the immigrant workers for their plight. However, it is the corporate system itself, and those robber barons who ignore societal betterment in the name of pure profit, who actually carry the blame, the SOLE blame, for it. Republicans, who stand for the interests of those robber barons, are quite adept in exploiting this resentment. They feed off the results of their own avarice.

The increasingly rightwing Washington Post still has a pretty good editorial cartoonist, Tommy Toles, who replaced the irreplaceable Herblock after Mr. Block died. In recent months Mr. Toles has been accompanying most of his daily cartoons with a very brief editorial. The one from Monday, November 15, was particularly good and following is the entire piece:

"Way to go!

"The economy of the 21st century will be based on an educated workforce. This will entail a familiarity with science and technology and the ability to recognize that peer-reviewed scientific work is a conspiracy. Employers will be looking for people to compete against foreign workers by having the skills to look online and find a Web site that tells them that entire fields of science are a hoax.

"The United States is still, even in this era of budget cuts, able to turn out millions of adults ready and willing to cite obscure e-mails to prove that all scientists want is to control their lives. Adults able to seek out and find television and radio programming that gives them CLEAR, CONSISTENT misinformation that they can use to elect politicians who will turn that misinformation into policy.

"And parenting is key. If you are one of the fortunate millions who have had these opportunities to arm yourself with a delusional worldview, be sure to PASS THAT ON to your children. This will equip them for a productive life in the global dust bin. This is how the U.S. will position itself for leadership in a world that is changing, in more ways than one."

I like that.
Republicans whine and Republicans bitch: "Our rich are too poor, and our poor are too rich."
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Ferguson Foont
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