President Barack Obama has legions of fiercely partisan supporters who will defend his every move, but can they save his Presidency?
Having been hounded out of what was once called Obama for America because I cannot defend this slightly right-of-center President, I know I am disliked by legions of Democrats.
I realize that going to high school with and protesting the Vietnam war with Jack Lew and David Axelrod gives me no standing in today's debates.
And, yet, I ponder on to support Maureen Dowd's reading of Barack Obama's inability to cajole the legislature in doing his bidding.
It's not because I am against David and Jack nor Barack for that matter: After all, I voted for him twice...
It's because on every important issue of the day, from banking regulation to preserving the social safety net, to objectively assessing a transcontinental pipeline, this President and this Administration doesn't appear to be up to the task.
So, what will we say in retrospect about Barack Obama? That he was the President who passed the Lily Ledbetter Act and redefined our nation as a place where everyone could get good healthcare at an affordable price? Or will we decide that his legacy rests mainly on the geopolitical decisions of running a war using drones, successfully eliminating Osama bin Laden, yet skirting the main foreign policy issues of the day?
My own take is that Obama has defined himself this month by offering an olive branch to those who have spurned him: Those on the right who wish to destroy Social Security and Medicare have now got his promise to (at the very least) diminish those programs.
And, although Armando is correct that these programs remain the third rail of American politics, at my old age (which is incidentally David and Jack's old age of about 59), I am tired of fighting, and ready to retire from my exhausting, furious opposition to the stupidity the right wing is continuously promulgating.
Which is how I understand Barack, Jack and David: They each have enough for themselves and their families, so why fight anymore?
So, I now begin to take the very cynical view that Kevin Zeese has proposed to me: That is that there so little difference between the parties that they no longer provide any solace to true progressives. And with such tiny differences, why contribute money to the Democrats?
Now, here are the chief blunders I feel have given rise to my enmity and ambivalence: Harry Reid's agreement to accept Mitch McConnell's "compromise" on the filibuster earlier this year was the first great blunder of the 2nd Obama administration. Yet, you will say, this wasn't Obama's call. On the contrary, I will protest, it was indeed the President's decision to accept and defend Reid's blunder. Obama came from the Senate, which he knew was dysfunctional. And, yet, he has made a conscious decision to permit the dysfunction to perpetuate by endorsing Reid's agenda, and permitting him to continue with it. Politics has trumped fairness and all sense of propriety. Indeed, in the Obama administration, Politics trumps Democracy.
The fight over the gun legislation made clear that money's influence is profound and unfair. And, yet, we do not hear a peep from the President about the unfairness of Citizens United, that the Supremes have err'd, nor that (to quote Thom Hartmann),
"Corporations are not persons and money is not speech".President Barack Obama's silence on these matters has been deafening.
Then, there is the proposal that Markos has made clear, makes no sense, of capitulating on Social Security through a re-formulated basis for COLAs derived from chained CPI, and expecting a 'grand bargain' to result. This was, is, and remains nonsense. Of course David and Jack know better. Of course.
But, they've got theirs.