Shocked and Persuaded

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Separating Fact From Fiction

We’re Not Your Problem Mr. President!

I have known for quite a while now that the vote I cast for you in November of 2008 – my first ever vote for a member of The Big Two – was one that I would not regret, because I am still a huge admirer of your intellect, but would come to view with a great degree of disappointment and anger. Not at you specifically Mr. President but at the entirety of your spineless and feckless party from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to Ben Nelson and Vermont’s own Patrick Leahy. The reason for these emotions was thrown right back in my face by Robert Gibbs last week when he said what I am sure has been on your administration’s mind for quite a while regarding the professional left and the fact that it should be drug tested if it thinks you and Bush have anything in common. It is true that there are some on the left that would not be happy even with Dennis Kucinich or a complete dismantling of the Military Industrial Complex, but a large group of us are just fed up with the double-talk and pandering to people that would never ever vote for you or cooperate with you no matter what you do or say.

To be frank Mr. President you like most before you are surrounded by institutional sycophants like Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Gibbs, Lawrence Summers, etc. All of whom tell you what he wants to hear, while the opposition stomps around DC proclaiming their determination to thwart the socialist objectives of his team. To paraphrase former Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen I have worked with socialists. I know socialists. I count some socialists as friends of mine. President Obama is no socialist.

We all know what the Republicans say about you in their offices when the cameras and microphones are off. They use the N-word in reference to the president because that is the way they think and that is the direction they are steering their party. Do we really think that the “You Lie” outburst by South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, Arizona’s SB1070, the vitriolic language hurled towards congressmen Clyburn, Lewis, and Cleaver following the passage of health care reform, and the fact that the only person the Republican establishment has no qualms about turning on is Michael Steele are isolated instances of anger totally decoupled from racial undertones?

Now they have managed to convince General’s Petraeus and McChrystal to do what they should have done a long time ago. You hastily fired Shirley Sherrod because you were afraid to be painted in a bad light by the likes of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and endorsed complete withdrawal of all funding for ACORN even though a probe by the GAO “found no evidence the association or related organizations mishandled the $40 million in federal money they received in recent years.”

From a judicial perspective Mr. President you and Senator Leahy have jumped back in terror every time Senators Sessions, Kyl, and Cornyn say boo! The list includes the hijacked nominations of Dawn Johnson to head the Office of Legal Counsel, Goodwin Liu to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (i.e. alongside the truly evil co-author of Bush’s torture memos Jay Bybee), Edward Chen to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and the nomination of truly centrist Supreme Court Justices Kagan and Sotomayor. Even with their undeniably moderate bona fides the aforementioned Republican Three Musketeers not only restated over and over Judge Sotomayor’s “wise latina” comment as if it was a bomb threat, but they had the nerve to accuse both of being radical legal minds who in the words of Senator Sessions could not “resist the siren call of judicial activism”. Maybe the former Alabama Attorney General should look north to Virginia where Liberty University’s current chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. objective is “to transform legislatures, courts, commerce and civil government at all levels.” If that ain’t legal activism I don’t know what is. The truth is that we haven’t seen a more activist duo than Chief Justice Roberts and Judge Alito in a long time. Ms. Johnson’s path was thwarted not just by Republicans but by the likes of Senator Nelson and presumably many of the institutional Democrats in the White House wary of Ms. Johnson’s disdain for the legal justifications invoked by former OLC inhabitants John Yoo and Steven Bradbury for torture and her willingness to curb the Unitary Executive Theory President’s Bush and Reagan used to figuratively – and quite possibly literally – get away with legislative and geopolitical murder.

Mr. President you have for far too long sacrificed your long-term standing with folks that want equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation, a truly patriotic universal health care option, a planet that is not so volatile as to be unpredictable and unlivable, and an economy for the people by the people for the short-term security of your presidency and your party’s control. We are left to ask what would you and your party be willing to lose for? Instead you give us a press secretary who answers the questions he wants to be asked much like Ari Fleischer, Scott McLellan, and Dana Perino did before him and instead of addressing the substance of the left’s concerns he levels hyperbolic ad hominem attacks.

The left carried you to victory in November of 2008 because we saw a young, brilliant, and principled politician who valued our opinions and energy. Mr. Obama the other side would never vote for you and will never work with you no matter what you do. That is a fact sir! We on the left still want to, but if you continue to let your minions denigrate our concerns and dismiss us as nothing but a bunch of naïve and drug smoking hippies we will no longer be able to support your presidency. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War “When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears, they are faint from want of food.” Mr. President all we ask is a decent meal. Pushing through Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Agency would make for a great appetizer. Firing Summers and hiring Krugman would make for a great main course.

Category: Barack Obama, Education, Faith, Geopolitics, National News

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