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Why is Obama getting so much crap?  That's what I ask every day.  The guy has to deal with what is likely history's most obstructive Senatorial minority.  He has to deal with a Democratic Party that's still pulling itself up from the attitudes and expectations of multidecade decline into the minority.

Worse yet, he's not getting credit for so many of the things he has managed to do.  As bad as his situation in Congress is, he's gotten a bill for Healthcare reform through both houses of that stewpot of legislative molasses.  The last few yards would be a formality, if it weren't for an astoundingly stupid bit of political bad luck.  He helped save us from a second great depression, Stimulated the economy with the Stimlus package.

And yet people on this site treat him like scum, like a traitor to his party.  Why?  Well, I have theory, whether people like it or not:  We took so much shit over the last decade that we've lost the ability to be patient.

There are actual neurological tests that show that if you force self-control on people long enough, they'll start losing it in other areas.  Some folks gave people a very hard test that required people to act with discipline, then sat them in front of a plate of cookies, telling them not to take one.

The folks who had the hardest time before, had the hardest time controlling themselves.

That finding, really, would be intuitive to many of us in tough situations.  The temptation to indulge is greatest when it seems that restraint is futile.

Times are really tough now, and we're looking for an outlet, sometimes even a scapegoat.  For years, the Democrats were the minority, and for decades, there wasn't really a liberal in charge in the White House.  We couldn't expect anybody in Washington to do what we wanted to be done.



We want it now.

Thank you very much.

Yes, we're tired of waiting.  We want Obama to pas a two trillion, not 800 billion dollar stimulus.  We want him to immediate repeal DADT.  We want him to legalize Gay Marriage.  We want him to push Financial Reform through, we want him to yank us out of those Damn wars, close Gitmo, slash the Defense Department Budget in half, Make the Senate Minority of the Republicans stop their evil blockade and start acting like Democrats once did.  We want him to pass the...

Well, good God, we want him to do everything we've wanted to do for a generation!  And if he doesn't deliver it to us, wrapped up in a bow?

Well, then he's a traitor or worse, a centrist.  If he doesn't do it immediately, if he doesn't succeed in backing down a Obstructive Senate Minority the likes of which even LBJ never had to deal with, if he doesn't rule Washington as King Obama II, then he's not living up to expectations.

Never mind what he's been able to do, folks are saying "We're just holding him accountable!"

Truth is?  No.  We're not holding him accountable, really.  If we were holding him accountable, we would take account of both the bad AND the good.  We would be more forgiving of the guy who has to turn this ship of state, heading for a field of icebergs, towards safety.

We're not holding Obama accountable for his actions.  We're holding him accountable for the actions of the man we are more or less never going to be able to hold accountable to our satisfaction: George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.  And we'll do it because we believe that while Bush would not listen to us, Obama must.  All the frustration Bush was too stupid or too callous to care about, Obama is listening to, must listen to.

Do I suggest we do nothing to hold him accountable?  No, what I suggest we do is that we understand the monumental task set before all of us, including that poor guy we somehow snookered into cleaning up after that failure who preceded him, the guy who must now at least have some buyer's remorse for the position he fought for in 2008.  If we're going to hold him accountable, let's be fair and constructive, not tear him down arbitrarily, or maliciously.

Obama's not been shy about asking for our help, telling us that it's necessary that we have to be part of the change ourselves.  But somehow, we've treated that as just inspirational rhetoric.

Well, let me submit a crazy theory here: he was serious.  He sees the landscape, sees the way things going, and he understand that things will not simply happen because of him, and what he does.  One man can be ignored, discredited, pulled down form the pedestal, etc.

Try doing that with huge chunks of the American public.  You can't diffuse or oppose their power so easily.  Even if you succeed, you may just be setting yourselves up for pitchforks and torches in due time, rather than getting what you want.

We want an awful lot, and we want it now.  I know how y'all are thinking, because I feel that urgency, feel that frustration myself.

If we're not careful, though, we may only succeed in turning that dissatisfaction and frustration into a tool of the very people who are forcing that frustration.

The Republicans are great at twisting populist sentiments around, getting people to do things that aren't in their interests so they can further their own.  If we stumble in there, into this next election like this, we may only end up handing Republicans more victories, and ourselves, further frustration.

For years, during the last decade, it was our anger, our fear, and our frustration that drove us to defeat the Republicans.  Now we have to watch out lest our anger, our fear, and our frustration defeat ourselves.  We have to summon up the strength to restrain ourselves, and while we push strongly for reform, push persistently, and patiently.  Why?  Because that may be the only way we get this change around its quickest.

I think we have it within us.  We should have it within us.  It's what's going to spell the difference between a brief indian summer of liberalism, and a long springtime and summer of the party.

Originally posted to First Amendment Remedies on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:08 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    Recommended by:
    mwm341, kck, kayfromsouth, greengemini, Floande


    Okay, now I feel better.  Let your frustration motivate you to resolve the problems frustrating you, rather than act out arbitrarily.

    The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

    by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:08:46 AM PST

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My sentiments exactly.

  •  Respectfully, I disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, alamacTHC

    I disagree with your premise but want to address your focus on Republican obstructionism. Yes, the GOP can be frustrating. However, Democrats have the majority in both houses and that party is responsible, the party that is led by

    that poor guy we somehow snookered into cleaning up after that failure who preceded him

    The Democrats are accountable this term. And only Democratic voters can hold the Democratic Party accountable against the forces of K-Street, a lobbyist-saturated culture and environment, their own personal fears of their next elections, and poor local and statewide organizations.

    We call it the "Loyal Opposition" where we celebrate successes, call out failures and demand course corrections.  

    And when it's all over we contribute to the Presidential Library. ;-)

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:23:39 AM PST

  •  Obama Did NOT Save The US, He Saved The Banksters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And Main Street is in a depression which will not improve until JOBS do.

    The champagne corks on Wall Street while poverty is up are spelling electoral disaster for Dems.

    And chanting 'Lah-Lah-Lah' is not going to save the Dems in November.

    The customer is the ultimate arbiter of quality and this customer wants the turncoat Dems? recalled before the election goes over the cliff.


    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      We know the banksters were saved but I suspect it will be a very long time before we can know is "the US" was saved from anything not worth pushing through.

      Bush created TARP and Obama was handed an impossible platter of options with the caveat that time was not available. Who knows what "abyss manufacturing" was going to to welcome the new president...  

      HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

      by kck on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:29:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The banksters is, unfortunately, us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why did Willie Horton rob banks?   We all know the punchline.

      The problem is, that is too true.  Those SOBs care nothing for the consequences that flow from their Godlike attitude that they are uniquely qualified to take huge risks with other people's money.

      If the banks had not been bailed out, we would be in a much worse state.  The thing that is needed is to force banks to accept limitations on how much risk and consequence the rest of the country can be saddled with for their bad judgement.  

      It is obvious from what is happening in Congress, that banks hold a lot of sway over the system and that is the problem.

      Who is really in charge in this country?  We the People or the banks?  Obama seems to be struggling with this as well as can be expected.  None of his predecessors since Kennedy would have dared to take up the cause.  Maybe JFK suffered the result and maybe that is why.  

      Don't underestimate the ruthlessness with which these people could wield their considerable power and influence (using our money to do it.)

      The proper place to put righteous indignation is in the penthouse suite offices of the biggest banks.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:34:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What was your alternative plan... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for preventing the collapse of banking in this country?

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:39:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Meredith Whitney Plan Would Have Worked (0+ / 0-)

        Which was basically to give all of the TARP money to local commercial and community banks and let the banksters go broke.

        If you buy the lie that saving the banksters saved Main Street the banksters win by default.


        •  Kind of a variant on the "terrorists win"... (0+ / 0-)

          ...argument, isn't it?

          They aren't going to win, in the end, and here's why: they burned all their capital for the long term.  They've become a favorite target for everybody.  Those who get too friendly with them will get burned with them by the populist sentiments.

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 09:16:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Kos finally has its own padded room. Wheeeeeeeee. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Good diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Daugherty, greengemini

    This situation we are in is reminiscent about those stories about people in situations where they had to stand somewhere for a long time and hold up a wall to keep it from falling, or some similar scenario.

    They stood that way for so long that when the wall was removed and they no longer had to hold it up through sheer bodily strength, they were out of balance for a long time because they had become conditioned to the opposition.

    I think the Bush years were really hard on the national psyche to such a degree we still haven't fathomed the full weight of it.  

    We are still pushing the wall, and our psyches have not caught up with the fact that it isn't quite the same situation.

    We are stuck in protest mode, looking for a way to express that energy, which is tremendous, which was built up over at least the past decade.  

    It may take awhile.  However, meanwhile, people are telling phone callers trying to organize turnout for primary candidacies that they are so disappointed that they cannot move.

    One of the things going on there is a rather successful effort on the part of the conservative movement, through the media, to demobilize us.

    We have to be alert to how that works.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:28:29 AM PST

    •  Exactly: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One of the things going on there is a rather successful effort on the part of the conservative movement, through the media, to demobilize us.

      Despair in the face of their obstruction is a seductive, easier option than insisting on what we want, even when our politicians can't give it to us on a silver platter.  But if we quit and let the Republicans win...  Well, then we've fulfilled the strategic objective of their obstructionist tactics.

      These obstructions are meant to make us discouraged, meant to make us despair of things happening like we wish they would.  The pressure of impatience we feel to make all this happen at once doesn't help us in this situation, it becomes the anvil for the Republican's hammer of obstruction.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:42:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  sometimes I feel like the person at the end (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of this video

    time :40

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