There's nothing like pain to make one aware of one's needs.
I'm writing this in the middle of the night, unable to sleep due to a double migraine. By the time I will get the pain down to a manageable level, there will be no more time for sleep. Work beckons, and I can't afford a day off. There is therefore nothing to it but to do it, with dark sunglasses, ear plugs, gritted teeth and clenched fists.
One can gain some interesting insights while combating cranial calamity. One such that has occurred to me tonight is in regard to Obama. He's been on my mind a great deal lately, despite my lack of recent output. His actions – or lack thereof – call loudly for comment across many areas of national distress, yet I've been unable to get my own act together to answer. It is taking intense pain to get me focused, and pain is the focus of my insight.
Back at about the end of the primary campaign, Obama boasted about "bringing a gun to a knife fight". Yet since he took over the occupancy of the Oval Office, one wonders if his gun has run out of rubber bands and paper clips. His shots are generally wide of the mark, and when he does score a hit, it doesn't seem to smart much. Yet his political opposition has risen from the living dead and now roams the nation, Bowie knives in hand, slashing at the Truth with impunity while he's increasingly hiding behind the barricades waving the white flag instead of boldly striding forth to do battle.
It's as if he's afraid of feeling pain. I wish I could send him my migraine. Then he would know what pain is!
What can such a person, tripping over his own feet of clay, say to those who are losing faith in him assuaging their pain? When will those whose future income has been assigned to support huge banks, which are not returning the favor by foreclosing on their homes, going to be comforted? Where will all this money (in the form of $24 trillion worth of empty promises) ever come to repay what funds are spent? Why was it that the banks were saved quickly while the unemployed continue to await relief? At least Bill Clinton has the sense to commiserate even if he didn't feel pain himself! All Obama is delivering is more promises that help is on the way alongside platters of empty platitudes about voluntary service to a nation that could use some.
These ailments are but a few of the reasons why Obama's approval rating has dipped below 50%. The latest Harris Poll has Obama's overall approval at 45% — 40% if one looks only at the economy. Obama has taken what should have been a powerful position of political dominance into the midterms and instead used that potential to resurrect his opposition. This is foolish in the extreme, as even a major Republican emeritus has been taking pot shots at the rabble that currently make up the Republican Party.
Has it become so evident that Obama has lost his mojo that elderly members of the other party are riding their ancient elephants to his rescue? Just how much of an incompetent does one have to be to convert the Audacity of Hope into the Paucity from Nope? And why would the likes of Bob Dole want to rescue the Democrats from their own Man of La Mancha? There are many theories, but the one that stands out in my achy mind is that without the US appearing to be a democracy still, with the voice of the people being heard, there is no way that that the populations of Iraq and Afghanistan would continue to put up with being occupied for the purposes of imposing a flawed and foreign political system on them at the point of a laser-sighted, infrared-targeted chain gun. One can't inexpensively impose international economic colonialization if the peasants are restless!
Obama's time is running out. Some sources suggest that the 2010 midterm campaign is already underway — and the Democrats are "vulnerable" to losing their dominant majority (not that they've bothered to use it even once so far!). But this is one of those facts that shows one doesn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Foreclosures are at a record level despite all of the TARP funds paid, and other supportive monetary promises made, to the banks holding these notes. According to some projections, we've only just begun to lose our homes. Unemployment isn't going to be reversed when tens of thousands of private sector jobs and hundreds of thousand of government jobs, mainly teachers, were saved by the stimulus when millions of jobs have been lost. (Full disclosure: stimulus funds have kept Mrs. Realist from being laid off from her job.)
One has to wonder where the self-proclaimed financial watchdogs are sleeping. CBS claims that each job saved cost $533,000 in stimulus funds — and the Republicans who opposed public works spending dare to claim that they are fiscally conservative watchdogs??? In addition to yelling their unpopular foolish heads off over the health care fiasco, this was the larger issue they ignored — unemployment relief. Maybe they remained silent because they didn't want to alienate voters as they stood athwart the portals of public employment yelling "Stop! It would be cheaper to hire them ourselves!"
But no, the Republican focus isn't on the millions of American citizens engaged in Operation Enduring Poverty any more than the Democratic focus is. Both sides are so busy beating each other's brains out over who gets to rescue the American Damned that no one is noticing that the flock is dying from inattention. This is bad for business as usual, but then who really is monitoring that anyway? The Republicans want the American worker desperate and hungry, for they become more docile and ripe for privately profitable abuses. The way things have been going, one has to wonder if Obama's Democrats do as well.
I've lost the link to the article, but I saw recently that something like 12 million manufacturing jobs have been lost to globalization. It was manufacturing that pulled the nation out of the Great Depression by creating jobs making products for domestic consumption. But those days are long gone, and while the corporate fat cats have to loosen their belts yet another notch to make room for lunch, the American workers are expected to pull theirs in two — and their kids' three. The execs get to carry on partying while the workers have to knuckle under and accept the inevitable involuntary economic servitude that comes from corporate and governmental economic abuse.
I know that the choices available to the American people in the last election left a lot to be desired, but no one expected to be misled and mal-led. No one wanted to believe that, with the massive and numerous problems facing the nation thanks to thirty years of Reaganomics running America to failure, we didn't have any candidate who really walked his/her talk. All over the world, people celebrated the end of Bush rule. All over the world, people are now holding their aching heads and asking where it all went, why it went wrong — and maybe hoping against hope that it can be reclaimed, reversed to its intended heading.
If it doesn't, the pain will only grow – and my head hurts enough as it is.
Thanks a lot, Obama. For nothing.