Is it Aftershock?

January 9, 2010 at 5:22 am | Posted in Bush, government, hypocrisy, Obama, political rants, rants, Republicans, social comment, stupidity | 10 Comments
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I started writing this in response to a comment on my previous post, John McCain Leading Fight Against Obama.  I changed my mind and decided to write a post instead.

I’m baffled by the negativity toward and downright hatred of Obama coming from so many sources, some from people I never would have expected.  Slightly more than half of us were literally dancing in the streets when we elected Obama.  Some of our elation arose from the realization that we were finally free from the oppression and idiocy of the Bush regime, some stemmed from the knowledge that we were witnessing history being made, electing the first non-white President.  In addition, those of us that voted for him felt he was the best choice of the two remaining candidates to do the best for our country.

Obama inherited a huge mess, and while he is making mistakes and missteps, he has accomplished a lot in his short time in office.  But let’s get real, nobody is prepared for the job of Commander-in-Chief, unless they have been president of another country and that will never happen.  People are criticizing Obama because he’s not doing enough to fix our broken country.  They remind me of those obese folks, who having been living on fast food, Twinkies, and soda for the last ten years; decide it’s time to get in shape, buy a gym membership, hire a personal trainer and three weeks later complain they’re not movie star thin.  I’ve heard many a trainer explain to a client that it took years to get into their present condition, asking if they truly believed they could undo the damage, in a healthy way, in only a few weeks.  It took Bush eight years to screw things up, and you guys want Obama to wave a magic wand and fix it in eight days, eight weeks, eight months…what’s your acceptable timetable here?

I think a large part of the negativity against Obama has its roots in racism.  It reminds me of the attitudes people have about life in general.  I can: eat what I want, heart disease only happens to other people, smoking won’t make me sick, seat-belts, who needs ’em?  But when they get heart disease, lung cancer, are paralyzed in a car accident they are in a state of shock, asking themselves, “How could this happen to ME?”  And now those that did not support Obama are experiencing that same shock.  They never believed it would happen to them, no way was America going to elect a black president; or those descriptions that make me cringe, calling him the N word or that colored boy.  But it happened and now they are all asking themselves how could this have happened to us, and how do we fix it?

How about you get behind him and rather than criticize every breath he takes and every move he makes, try to do your part to help dig us out of this huge hole before we find ourselves on the list of third-world nations where the best jobs we can get are online or telephone tech support for China’s huge corporate outsourcing programs.  It’s ironic, when I was a kid we used to dig holes in the ground and we thought if we dug deep enough we could dig all the way to China.  It seems we may have done just that.

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  1. this guy is the best thing that EVER happened to america. yes, he makes mistakes, because he is just a human and as honjii points out is “new” on the job. but i also think the way he does preside over this country is just too sophisticated for most americans to understand as he thinks long term, pragmatic, and tries to considers all sides, not just his favorites like the horrible guy who did this the last eight years.
    the nobel price committee understood – the way a lot of americans react because obama does not “fix” what they allowed bush to do is appalling to me.
    just imagine for one second the other guy would have won – the mess we would be in now is sheer inconceivable….
    instead of throwing stones in obamas way people should rally behind him but most propably they’ll only see what he tried once it’s too late and they’ve given power to the right wing again.

  2. (Let’s see if this whole comment gets through. It’s a bit long. I’m copying it before I post, so if it gets cut off I’ll add the rest as an extra comment.)

    Maybe I’m just going to the wrong sites, but you seem to be arguing against a strawman, there. What I’m seeing are two groups of criticism, neither of which are addressed by your defense:

    1) People who are Republicans who hate Obama anyway, and would continue to hate him regardless of policy, regardless of skin color, regardless of anything; would continue to hate him even if Jesus came again and announced that Obama was God’s chosen politician, because the Republican party has passed beyond some sort of bizarre event horizon of hatred in the last 20 years.

    2) People who actually paid attention to what Obama was specifically saying he would do, who are angry because Obama is in every case which has come up done something else, often the exact opposite of what he said he would do. I am one of these.

    It started with telecom immunity: before getting the Democratic nomination, Obama said he would filibuster any attempt to grant telephone companies retroactive immunity from prosecution for their role in letting the government spy on citizens. Then, almost immediately post-nomination, he changed sides and supported it. (And, incidentally, he also got a point of law wrong on that: he claimed in justification that the new FISA bill was needed to continue oversight, when in fact the new FISA bill extends a measure which lessened oversight, in addition to the retroactive immunity provision. Had the new bill failed, wiretaps would now be less secretive and under better judicial control.) This, however, was a mere taste of what was to come.

    Health care? Obama said he was for a public option (he’s lying about it now), and publicly stated, pre-nomination, that a mandate for health insurance without a public option would not work. Then, once the health care debate started, he failed to push for anything publicly, and we find out that behind closed doors, he pushed for a mandate without a public option all along.

    Civil Rights: Obama loudly decries DOMA, even as his administration quietly continues to defend it, he fails to do anything about DADT despite saying he would, and (most alarmingly) announces that terror suspects will only receive a trial if the state has enough evidence to convict them — in other words, if you are unjustly taken prisoner by the U.S. Government, you will be detained indefinitely. (And yes, that has been confirmed in later statements by the White House’s lawyers: only the innocent need fear being imprisoned forever without trial.)

    The Economy: Obama defended TARP — even though it is not producing much in the way of results and turns out to be a way of rewarding the well-connected, after all. Meanwhile, all those green jobs Obama promised don’t appear to be actually materializing. He talks tough at Wall Street for their huge unearned bonuses in 2008, but then does nothing about the situation (as the Europeans have) so that they happen again in 2009.

    War: Obama said he would pull out of Iraq by 2009. Then he changed that to 2010. Now we’re going to let our idiot generals — the ones who urged this fight on us and have failed to show even a modicum of intelligence in pursuing it — tell us whether we’re succeeding, so we can decide whether or not to stay longer. Great. Oh, and we’re sending more troops to Afghanistan, even though we’re in a budget crisis and it costs $1000000 (yes, one million dollars) for each soldier in each year. If we have 1000 troops in Afghanistan (and we have many more than that!) we’re blowing a billion dollars each year, right off the bat. Think about that for a moment. Meanwhile, we’re still doing our extremely dubious airstrikes on suspected terrorists, which end up — surprise! — creating more terrorists. Wasn’t Obama going to pursue a more intelligent foreign policy?

    I could go on — his track record is ominously bad in all areas. And through it all, with every disappointment, there are people like you, saying “better to accept this than to demand anything better! Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good!“, and Washington insiders tell us we were naive to assume he would keep his word on anything.

    Well, okay, maybe we were. But then, maybe Obama is naive to assume we’re going to keep voting for him, and maybe the Democrats are naive to assume we won’t take our votes to a third party.

    We’re trying to look for a way to influence what were supposed to be our own candidates, and what we see is that they are willing to cater to the Republicans and cretins like Lieberman and Nelson, rather than lobbying hard and publicly for the right choices. In fact, that cretin Rahm Emmanuel is telling Obama to ignore his base entirely. Presumably, then, the Democrats will listen to us if and when we behave like the Republicans and Lieberman and Nelson. As far as can be told from the record, that means sometimes acting against our own best interests. If getting them to actually act like Democrats takes voting out the Democrats in the next election, then that’s what it takes. It’s not us making these rules, remember.

  3. Obama has a horrible record on transparency and protection of civil rights. He campaigned for open government, then has obstructed every attempt to get that (and his DoJ is fighting for state secrecy privileges the same as Bush did). He’s for warrantless wiretaps and surveillance – just go to Dispatches on the Culture Wars for a good rundown of that. He’s fighting for the same signing statements that he campaigned against. It’s not that he didn’t fix what Bush did – it’s that he’s continuing to work the same as Bush. He campaigned for equal rights, then has consistently refused to fight for them, and in some cases fought against them (DADT, DOMA). His health care “reform” will put millions in the coffers of insurance companies with no protections for working-class Americans. When confronted by obstructionists like Lieberman and other Republicans, what has he done? Did he fight? No, he rolled over, thanked them, and asked for more.

    As a progressive, Obama is a disappointment om a lot of ways. Yeah, he’s better than McSpineless and Ignorance-on-Heels, but that’s not enough. We’ve gotten behind him, and he’s stabbed us in the back and thrown us under the bus. If Obama wants help from Progresives, he’s going to need to meet our needs and expectations, not the other way around.

    • Can you provide the link for Dispatches on the Culture Wars, a google search brings up lots of similarly named sites and blogs but no exact match. I am not completely happy with Obama, and during the primaries he was not my first choice, but I don’t agree with your view either. That’s why I would like a link to the above site, I’d like to see what the source of your information is and how reliable it might be. There is a lot of mis-information floating around about what Obama has or has not done.

      By the way I love the McSpineless and Ignorance-on-Heels.

      • Y’know, I tried to post a big long comment which had all those points and gave URLs for source material on most of them (albeit not from Dispatches from the Culture Wars — I’ve heard of it, but don’t read it). It either got moderated into oblivion or eaten by wordpress without any notice.

        On the topic of civil rights, I would instead suggest going to title=”oh, come on, are you unable to read the text itself?”>Salon’s Glenn Greenwald archives and reading, oh, the first five or six pages’ worth of pieces out of the archive. Particularly telling is Detainees to get the “state-always-wins” system of “justice”, in which it is pointed out that the Obama administration has now explicitly made it policy that if you are taken prisoner by mistake (i.e. you are totally innocent and there is not even circumstantial evidence against you) you will be detained indefinitely. There is a later post in which some pro-Obama pundit notes that he (the pundit) had initially dismissed that as paranoia, then went and read the text directly and listened to a Q/A session with a representative from the White House, and realized that yes, this IS the new policy.

  4. Much of the disillusion about Obama stems from Congress. The Democratic-led Congress, under Bush, was responsible for much of what Bush is now blamed for – the failure to audit and overhaul Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as biggies among them. Bush pushed for review and overhaul in 2004. Congress refused – a Democratic-party led Congress refused to consider curtailing the dubious practices and vanishing cash. It does not surprise me, or some others, that this Democratic-led Congress continues some of the same problems that Bush was blamed for. Including the ongoing failure to reign in the disaster known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Part of the disillusion over Obama stems from expecting to see a pro-minority agenda (ignoring the balance of voting citizens, I guess) as part of racial retribution or super-sized affirmative action. Instead, Obama has been really busy repaying clandestine, back-room deals made with organized labor – such as violating bankruptcy law to give labor unions more than the legal portion due them, in the failure of Chrysler and GM. There is consternation that much of the to-do about ObamaCare is a smokescreen, that the insurance discussion is meant to obscure the meat of the bill – unionizing all health care providers and emergency responders. A bill to unionize all police and fire fighter is in Congress today.

    Most of the opposition to Obama rests on people afraid of what he is doing, not his background. Most of the racism has been the anti-white provisions of the Obama White House, including last year’s Hate Crimes bill, that defines a “protected” sub-class of citizens (a violation of the Constitution) as anyone non-white/Caucasian that isn’t homosexual. That is, anyone with a racial hatred can go around killing white folk, and could not be charged with hate crimes because the victims are white, and thus not part of the protected class. Just homicide, or some such.

    Economically, Obama’s favoritism to labor union issues is pretty clear. This offends the people and states that have been busy enacting “right to work” laws. Obama has spoken out against the free market, seems intent on destroying the nation’s ability to do business in the free world, as well as fritter away the international standing and security bought with generations of American soldiers. The science that “proves” global warming is suspect; the conclusions might or might not be. But the debacle in Copenhagen and in the UN shows that most of the agitation for Cap and Trade is an institutionalized, international racial bias and hatred, and economic and political opportunism, operating under the guise of environmentalism. Warmers have a lot of legitimacy to recover, before their diatribes against deniers will hold water.

    When John F. Kennedy was elected, he faced a similar degree of prejudice, in the day, as Obama faced. Kennedy’s hurdle was his faith and membership in the Catholic Church. JFK made a strong point of his campaign, and followed through in office, that his faith was strong and personal, but would not dictate his Presidency. Kennedy pledged, and was, President for all the people of the United States.

    Obama never made such a pledge. He appears to be President for his own reasons, many of which haven’t yet been shared. Not all of Obama’s goals are permitted under the Constitution. President Obama has not been acting to lead the nation as the the citizens of America will. Instead he leads in different directions, enabling corruption and violating the Constitution.

    At least, that is why I am firmly opposed to most of what Obama has done. I don’t know the man well enough to know whether I care to oppose him as a person.

    • I’m really amazed that so many people seem to know what Obama’s private motives and thoughts are. Where are you coming by this “insider information”, Faux news perhaps?

  5. We each seem to stick to sources we believe, I guess. One that I have found to follow actual legislation, that agrees with my own reading of the subject bills and issues, is NetRightNation.
    http://netrightnation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1252286:right-to-work-tax-on-the-horizon&catid=1:nrn-blog&Itemid=7
    (“It looks like the Unions, Obama and Pelosi have struck a deal. And their deal will punish those that are not part of the Union Class. Right to Work states will soon be feeling the heavy hand of government for not being aligned with the Labor Unions if a new provision in the Health Care bill is allowed to pass.”)

    http://netrightnation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1252287:clawing-back-for-funds&catid=1:nrn-blog&Itemid=7
    (“It’s a new year and the economy can’t improve soon enough for cash-strapped cities, counties, and states across the country. With receipts from income taxes falling due to high unemployment, property tax dollars declining thanks to shrinking home values, and sales tax revenue flat despite increasing rates in many areas, state and local governments are searching hard for money to pay their bills.”)

    DayByDayCartoon.com is a bit heavy handed, but agrees with the analysis of most of the mainstream folk that oppose Obama’s actions that favor labor unions, that weaken the economy, and flaunt the limits of the Constitution.
    http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2010/01/10/

    The strange financial dealings over the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler, apparently letting the labor unions walk away with more than would be expected in a fair court, was widely published in all media.

    The immense growth in government, nearly the only offsetting trend in unemployment, is available. The fact that the reported unemployment figures were revised last year to make the reported number look smaller, though now it cannot be used to compare with employment figures in other years, that too has been mentioned in most mainstream media.

    ACORN’s actions during the election – “guarding” certain polling places to prevent those unlikely to vote for Obama, that was mentioned on MSNBC, briefly. ACORN’s political agitation, stirring up voters to vote for Obama for the past Presidential election, that made the news. ACORN is a not-for-profit, and ostensibly non-political – any other organization would be investigated for violation of election and IRS rules. Then there was the hand-waving in Congress, where the House and Senate voted to defund ACORN, when their support of the faux hooker setup was published – but the two actions were on different bills, and both defunding amendments were dropped, meaning that ACORN’s funding never faltered.

    The fact that the compromise report on the HealthCare plan is not being worked out in the usual bipartisan committee in Congress is fact, and available any place you care to look. The compromise report, the final version that the House and Senate will vote on, really need not look much like either version that passed – leading some of us to wonder why it must be done in secret, with only top Democrats and Labor Union lobbyists involved.

    Just going by reports from MSNBC, and information on my state Senator’s sites – Senator Coburn and Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma – and on Library of Congress reports and text of bills – I find enough to oppose what Obama is doing. The polls showing those that strongly approved of Obama fell below the number of voters strongly opposed to Obama last July, that tells me that my own opposition to what Obama is doing, is not an isolated event. There are others that read the same news, that see the same statements by Obama, and come to the same conclusions – that President Obama has already been at least as damaging to the economy and national security as President Carter was in four years. I am old enough that I lived through the Carter Presidency, and I recall the runaway inflation, the 444 days of the Iran hostage crisis because President Carter was inept at foreign policy.

    I imagine that you are aware that at the core of the mortgage industry meltdown that brought on this current recession, was legislation written for President Carter, requiring lenders to write “sub-prime” loans, to people without the means to pay the cost of the mortgage. You are likely also aware that President Clinton signed legislation that enforced and accelerated writing those loans. And that when President Bush pushed Congress to overhaul and reign in the financial drain and risk of all the bad loans that resulted, back in 2004, the Democratic-led Congress refused to reign in a program buying so very many poor, inner city votes for the Democratic party.

    Me, I am no one in particular. I have no insider information. And I realize there are people writing about anything one cares to read. I am satisfied that my understanding is based on widely reported happenings and events, and coincides with the analysis of others, too.

    You asked a question, about how people could become disillusioned with Obama. For me, I have been wary since he started running for office. Redistribution of wealth – that is not a way to support a free market and capitalism. If the wealthy are unable to accrue assets, then no one will be creating jobs to hire people. If you add regulations and taxes to companies and businesses, you reduce their ability to produce – and employ people. If you put people out of work, they will consume their savings, removing vast portions of the wealth that fuels the stock market, reducing the amount of capital available to tax, and increasing demand for social services. Restricting trade, taxing and regulating businesses also creates a black market – meaning production and assets are produced and consumed without generating tax revenue, and without safeguards of standard quality controls.

    If Obama weren’t continually acting contrary to his statements and promises, except where he promises to act against the limits of the Constitution and the economic and security interests of America, I guess I could support what he is doing. I would still have trouble respecting the man, when he surrounds himself with people motivated by specific racial interests and socialist and communist values. I had thought I had been living in a Democratic Republic, with a capitalist economy under the rule of law. Until last year.

    • Net Right Nation, your unique portal to the conservative blogashpere and a blogger that posts cartoons? These sites are a good place to get fair and balanced news with a very right spin on anything that might resemble the truth, or sometimes just out and out fantasy. Believe what you want, you certainly are not alone. McCain is now running ads saying Obama’s has an extreme left wing agenda to bankrupt the country. The birthers believe Obama is not an American citizen. There are others who believe he hates whites. And my absolute favorite, Obama isn’t keeping us safe, like W did since there were no terrorist attacks during his administration. So I guess 9/11 was what…a fire drill? If you have a couple of firing brain cells, you just need to think about how absurd these things are.

  6. Just as a follow-up, I’d like to ask Honjii about the Massachusetts election in the context of this post. Specifically, Coakley was a terrible candidate. If you read the statements coming from voters who went for Brown, you will find that the support which put him over the top came not from Republicans who were anti-Obama (which they are kind of guaranteed to be) but from Democrats who were completely disgusted with Coakley, most specifically (but not exclusively) because she refused to prosecute Keith Winfield (of “curling iron rape” fame). From my perspective, this is just further evidence that blind support of the party is a bad idea; left to their own devices, the DLC will happily run further and further to the right, promoting corruption and incompetence. We need to show them that the strategy will not work, not reward them for it. Your thoughts?


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