Time for the American Left to Throw in the Towel on the Obama Administration
Maybe the time has finally come to throw in the towel on the Obama Administration.
Our vision for change now has cataracts. Neutered and scandal-ridden, President Obama seems about one more Charlie Sheen meltdown away from lame duckness.
In fact, President Obama isn’t a lame duck. He’s a dead duck. Politically speaking.
This isn’t entirely the President’s fault. The obstructionist traitors known as Republicans haven’t governed or lead so much as they’ve blockaded just about every major piece of legislation that has anything to do with challenging American oligarchy. Republicans would rather see America fail and the country suffer than to see President Obama succeed. At anything.
Moreover, President Obama has received little significant support or guidance from his own party allies, now mostly an ineffectual milquetoast group of Democratic leaders governing as “Republican-Lite.” If there ever was a groundswell movement to steer the country towards a more progressive agenda, it’s now vanished — at least until half the working class is stocking shelves for slave wages at Wal-Mart while paying a quarter of their income in health insurance costs, which is eventually going to happen the way things are going. Then just maybe, we’ll quit buying the lies of unfettered free-market capitalism and nonsense about living in “freedom.”
Sorry, freedom isn’t having to work two shitty jobs to make ends meet or getting jacked around by institutions that should be promoting and protecting the interests of common people. Freedom isn’t having to constantly worry about getting downsized by a giant corporation with a record-high stock price and then losing your health coverage, risking going bankrupt the next time you enter a hospital. Freedom isn’t continuing to get raped by banks who used a taxpayer-funded bailout against the middle class. Freedom isn’t continuing to wine and dine the bloated defense and intelligence establishment, an unprecedented waste of resources — not to mention a gross violation of rights and liberties foreshadowed by Orwell.
While the foundations of oligarchy aren’t necessarily the doings of the Oval Office, the continuance of the status quo is directly attributable to President Obama and an insular group of advisers who now look like they’re in hopelessly over the heads. Consider the most dispiriting recent developments — IRS and NSA scandals that have rocked the Obama Administration to the core, which will now most certainly deviate much of Washington’s attention away from real problems in pursuit of a politically-driven witch hunt.
Then again, maybe the scandals don’t really matter. After all, where’s the evidence that President Obama was ever committed to nationalized health care, reforming Wall Street, breaking up the banks, downsizing the fat cat “national security” establishment, or ending a pointless unwinnable war in Afghanistan? Sure, he talked one hell of a good game — as a campaigner. But it’s one thing to win an election. It’s quite another to govern. And now four-and-a-half-years into his presidency, we see nothing to indicate the Commander-in-Chief is going to turn into that horrible socialist monster everyone on the political right warned us about. Indeed, he’s become a failure — not because he was one of us. He’s a failure because he’s governed like one of them.
For those lost in translation: Us, as in liberals. Them, as in conservatives.
Just as the liberal candidate President Clinton ended up governing as a moderate to conservative for two full terms — particularly after his noble health care reform initiative failed early in his presidency — President Obama is well on his way to becoming the political love child of Clinton-Bush. Despite all the chicken-little warnings about the so-called Marxist in the White House, the current administration really hasn’t governed too much differently than during the second term of either of his predecessors. I challenge anyone to show me a major liberal economic or foreign policy agenda item that significantly breaks from what we might have seen either President Clinton or President Bush (II).
Let me put it another way. When Richard Nixon is considered more of a liberal than President Obama, something’s very wrong. When we see the Obama Administration make the same lock-step arguments defending “national security” that you’d expect to read in National Review, it’s pretty apparent they’ve crossed over to the dark side.
If there’s anything empowering from this utter sense of disappointment, it’s witnessing the left in what I think is our finest hour. We’re not afraid to speak out. We’re willing to criticize those who we once thought of as one of our own. While conservatives made absurd excuses for President Bush and his disastrous policies for years, and still continue to do so, we liberals aren’t blinded by partisanship. In fact, President Obama’s lackluster moderation seems even more treacherous to us now in light of the opportunity that’s been squandered. The left has finally begun to see the bait and switch. Lots of towels are now being thrown in.
In my writings, I’ve frequently drawn parallels between this President and Lyndon B. Johnson, two potentially revolutionary political figures who were strikingly similar the moment they first got elected. Following his landslide election victory in 1964, LBJ browbeat Congress into action when he had the political power. He became the greatest reformer and progressive since FDR. The bold game plan for a new America — one that should have updated and then repeated by President Obama — was all there. LBJ’s leftist agenda took place during one of the most turbulent eras in our nation’s history. Yet while LBJ fought ferociously and largely succeeded in implementing his bold new vision of a “Great Society,” President Obama’s blueprints for change were abandoned way back on the campaign trail. READ “PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SQUANDERED FIRST TERM” HERE.
“Change” was once a wonderful campaign slogan.
But now, it’s a foreign concept to a President who lost his way and now seems destined to aimlessly finish out three more do-nothing years.
For me, 2016 can’t get here fast enough.