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Why? Because it's not my job to like the president--this one or any other. Of whatever race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation. Unless I happen to be in love with him or married to him, in which case, well, I would have a job to do in that respect.

So why is it, I wonder, that whenever I log on to this here website thingy, I'm forever bombarded by diaries and comments demanding that I love him with the burning passion of a preteen girl for Justin Bieber, or acknowledge that he's the bestest president EVAH!, or that because he's done his fucking job, he's somehow entitled to effulgent praise (guaranteed to rocket immediately to the top of the wreck list) that would make P. T. Barnum blush?

Barack Obama is a politician, first and foremost. He is not my BFF. He was never in the running to be my BFF. He is not my boyfriend. He was never in the running to be my boyfriend, and there seems to be considerable evidence in favor of the hypothesis that he was never looking for a boyfriend to begin with.

As president, Barack Obama works for me. If I don't like the job he's doing, he's going to hear from me about it--and in no uncertain terms. My tax dollars pay his salary, and it's my civil and constitutional right to give this president a piece of my mind whenever the hell I feel like it, for whatever the hell I feel like reading him the riot act about that particular day. I've done it for each and every one of his predecessors going back to Tricky Dicky. I will keep on doing it for each and every one of his successors (or, possibly, until the world ends on October 21--save the date!) until they roll me into my grave.

Not liking this president does not, despite the overheated rhetoric of many on this site, make me a racist. Neither does it mean I hate the man personally, another common canard offered by people whose loyalty is self-evidently to a person over principles. It certainly does not make me a closet Republican, a paid shill, or any of the other less-than-tasteful and completely dishonest accusations that are routinely leveled, by an easily identified group of Kossacks, at anyone they don't like and whose loyalty and devotion to President Obama is not as fulsome or as rapturous as their own.

There's another diary on the wreck list as of this writing, that concludes as follows:

So here's where I stand on Barack Obama: he's not the transformative President a lot of us hoped he would be. He's ameliorative. He's a good, deliberate man governing in a difficult time.

And I intend to work, and vote, to give him four more years. Because I think this country will be the better for it.

Well, here's my take on that sentiment. President Obama is "ameliorative" for some values of that word--but not enough for my liking. He's a good man, faced with a densely stupid opposition; a bitchy, twitchy media that would far rather waste time on inanities like his birth certificate or the royal wedding than the train wreck that is the Tea Party and its agenda; and attempting to govern--far too often for my liking from the wrong side of the political spectrum--in a difficult time.

I voted for Obama in 2004 when he ran for Senate from my home state. I voted for him again in 2008, even after he broke his promise to me and 11 million of my fellow Illinoisans that he wouldn't run for higher office until he'd completed his full term in the Senate--and despite the fact that all through his campaign, he constantly stepped in it whenever he tried to balance his promises to the LGBT community with his deep need to reach out to rightwingers whose votes he never stood a chance in hell of getting anyway, giving us debacles like Donnie McClurkin.

I don't think Barack Obama is the best person we've got for the job he holds--and that goes double when you factor in the situation in which he's got that job. I don't honestly know who's available and who might do a better job than he's been doing the last two and a half years--but I categorically refuse to accept without demur or even a token protest that we shouldn't be looking around to find such a person, simply because "you don't change horses in mid-stream" or because mounting a solid primary challenge to a sitting president never works, or any of the other umpty-bajillion excuses that are routinely tossed around whenever anyone so much as mentions the possibility around this place.

Yes, this is a site that is dedicated to the election of Democrats. More and better Democrats--the part that the folks who routinely toss around the "This is a Democratic site" canard just as routinely forget to mention. In fact, I'm pretty sure the guy whose name is up there on the marquee once wrote a book about not being satisfied with the pabulum that was all the Beltway crowd had on offer.

I don't know whom I'm voting for in 2012--and I don't think that should be a litmus test for participating on this site, ceteris paribus. I intend to do what I always do at election time: look over the available candidates, learn as much as I can about them and the positions they espouse, consider the options deliberately and prayerfully, and make the choice that I consider to be the best one available. It may wind up being President Obama--though if it does, I'll be holding my nose when I do it, just as I did in 2008 when filling in that oval on Election Day. If, however, I see a better option come along, I will vote for that person. That is both my constitutional right and my duty as a citizen. Anyone who says otherwise is cordially invited to kiss my left behind.

Originally posted to musing85 on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 02:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Amateur Left and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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