Thursday, February 05, 2009

Grump grump

Why am I beginning to perceive Barack Obama as a weak president? While he enjoys high favorable numbers, he's seems unable to consolidate & focus that broad support (especially his core support) on passing his Stimulus Package, the most important raison d'être for his election - now that generic "change" is not sufficient. Inside the West Wing, he's practically twisting himself into knots trying to please groups that are just waiting for their chance to vote for Sarah Palin again.

I don't blame Obama so much for Daschle's dishonesty in filling out vetting questionnaires. Rod Blagojevich doesn't begin to understand the damage he caused to Obama through his efforts to become a footnote in history books during one of the most significant moments in American history.

For one thing, President Obama, in his cautious, honest, but gloomy assessments of the economy, is failing to strike the necessary hopeful note - a vision of what this immense pile of debt will accomplish in America's hometowns. Too much Lincoln, not enough Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We look back at the start of Lincoln's term & hear a president in public denial, with his calls to the "better angels of our nature," & an unsustainable belief in the strength of southern unionist sentiment that should have been more obvious at the time, as secessionists formed a government & armed themselves with confiscated federal weapons. F.D.R., a man of fearless partisan temperament, also unsure of what was to be done, was quite certain of who stood against him, & was prepared to flatten that opposition as necessary.

So far, the tone of this administration is "Team of Equals," after Doris Kearns Goodwin's recent popular history of Lincoln's cabinet; yet they trot out"The Boss" to sing "The Rising." There's a reason they call him "The Boss." (Clarence Clemons's tour contract gets him his own dressing room apart from E Streeters, & a can of caviar, but he doesn't call the tunes.) Obama's overtures & capitulation to Repugs & neoconservatives, which began before the election, have gained him nothing in real support except from a small group of evangelicals who believe ending employment discrimination against gays is serious common ground rather than a belated endorsement of rights that political & religious centrists were advocating (& occasionally securing) decades ago; & for whom "abortion reduction" remains unconnected to the more pertinent matters of reproductive rights, education, & availability in a nation where a dogmatic minimum wage drugstore cashier might refuse to ring up a package of condoms.

Do for the people that loves you, which includes the neediest & most powerless. There's a vast swath of working class Americans being dissuaded of a foolish & irrational belief that they were higher up the economic ladder than they had any good reason to think, & now they're seeing how close they always were to the bottom, how insecure, how distant are the upper reaches of that ladder, how few occupy those rungs, how much federal largess continues to reward the wealthy few at the expense of everyone else. Stir up some class conflict, it's long overdue. Go ahead & pound on the corporate elites. & the Repugnicans.

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From what I am reading about his latest comments on TV, radio and to the media, Obama is starting to get pissed off.

I sure hope he does. That will do wonders for the American people.

Fuck the Republicans and their fake concerns.
Yep. The Great Economic Illusion in America (as in Great Britain, too), is that many millions of people who believe they're in the middle class are not really in it. They are bamboozled to believe their culture plus a few material possessions (electronic gadgets, the large debt of a car, the much larger debt of a very modest house) makes them middle class. To say they are living a lie is considered fomenting class conflict, But class warfare is constant, & one-sided, by the rich & powerful upon everyone else.
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