"And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner."
- Candidate Barack Obama who apparently couldn't find those comfortable shoes and come to Wisconsin as promised in this 2007 quote. [Note from the author: This quote was added on February 24 almost one month after the original post was written.]
-Defining Barack –
Liberal, progressive, centrist, socialist?
If I had a million dollars I would bet (with a minimal fear of loss) that 99% of Americans have it wrong when it comes to who Barack Obama really is. This phenomenon exists largely as a result of mainstream media either characterizing him as a socialist or a saint. Take your pick. Foreign born commie or savior guided by divine providence. Sadly, this isn’t hyperbole, just turn on FOX and MSNBC. Listen to what the Tea Partiers/far right have to say about Mr. Obama and judge for yourself.
What’s worse is that even the more “intellectual” pundits who tout Obama as a liberal, a progressive or even a centrist, all have it wrong. So who is Barack Obama? ...and more importantly, does anybody care about the truth? I recently heard MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell say he “had never been disappointed in the President”. Apparently Mr. O’Donnell isn’t very discriminating. I am. Unlike most Americans my life depends upon who this man is and I don’t like what I’m seeing (more on that later).
I judge a person by their actions or as many times in the case of Mr. Obama, his lack of action. I’ve judged him on his failure to follow through on any of the “change” he promised. Having observed his presidency very closely and with great anticipation, I can honestly tell you that I could not be more disappointed…not only with President Obama, but with most of his supporters as well.
Why his supporters? Because every time Mr. Obama failed to follow through on his promises, every time he instantly caved to the opposition (immigration, bank bail-outs, single payer, public option, Guantanamo, DOJ etc.) the “left” failed to acknowledge or even recognize it. I feel betrayed by Obama and abandoned by people who call themselves “progressives” because doing otherwise would show a lack of support for the President. For the record, that’s called a popularity contest.
Supporting Obama because you hate Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin is just as crazy and just as obtuse as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (respectively). Maybe we shouldn’t spend all our time talking about people who are barely tethered to reality and spend more time paying attention to what your President is doing/not doing. Quit letting your fondness for Barack Obama cloud your judgment. Wake up and smell the betrayal.
If you’re a liberal and you’re “ok” with the way this administration has conducted itself, then you’ve failed and chances are you now call yourself a “progressive”. To me the moniker “progressive” is a synonym for lowered expectations. You know who you are. Be honest with yourself. Are you as hopeful today as you were when Mr. Obama was first elected? Are you “ok” with all the people Mr. Obama has turned his back on?
I laugh when people characterize Obama as being “left”. The “left” no longer exists. What passes for “left” today would have been considered “conservative” in the 60’s. Have you seen any earth shattering advancements with regard to civil rights lately? No, you haven’t, quite the opposite in fact; and you’re certainly not going to see them during the Obama administration. Patriot act, warrant-less monitoring of phone calls, emails etc. and all with the “Peoples” approval (according to the Oval Office). Mr. Obama refused to even consider investigating the previous administration despite giving reason to believe otherwise during his campaign. President Obama has done nothing meaningful to change the Bush Doctrine. How the hell do you look me in the eye and defend that Mr./Ms. Progressive? And why would you? Personalities preceding principles perhaps?
Unflinching loyalty to an unworthy leader never results in anything good, even if said leader is dynamic and inspiring. Don’t continue to be a sucker; I can’t afford it. President Obama’s 180 degree turn-around on immigration and his failure to clean up the DOJ may be my undoing, along with hundreds of thousands of others. (See my blog post “How I Became an Enemy of the State" http://proburrows.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-i-came-to-be-enemy-of-state_19.html )
Mr. Obama is a great orator as well as a dynamic, likable personality, but he’s no “man of the people” and lacks the most essential quality for being a successful leader, namely, uncompromising tenacity. In plain English, he doesn’t stand his ground…ever…ever.
He has “compromised” to the point that history (if it’s honest) will surely view his policies as inconsequential and the man himself as a corporate elitist, his race being remembered as the only noteworthy detail of his presidency. Yeah, it’s sad, but what’s sadder and infinitely more dangerous, is the left’s failure to recognize the truth, it’s unwillingness to speak about it, or even tolerate those who do.