Michael Hirsh of Newsweek is asking the pertinent question of the week: Has Obama Hit Bottom?
Hirsh takes a positive stance on the sudden emergence of the president that the voters thought they were voting for in November 2008. He quotes Norman Ornstein of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute in suggesting that "…in the vacuum of Republican ideas, the Dems have a great opportunity…" Yet even Hirsh can't hide from the truth, concluding that "Come November, the president and his party may find themselves succeeding most by failing the least."
The fact that neocon David Brooks comes to Obama's defense has to be taken as a sign that the Republicans basically like what he's been doing — or not doing, to be more correct: "Obama is as he always has been, a center-left pragmatic reformer. [He believes] Government should address problems without interfering with the dynamism of the market."
Ah, yes! The Market! The High Temple of the Cult of Mammon. The center of the religious-like belief that monetary wealth is a much greater standard of virtue than any offered by the great religions of the world. And – based on the actions and their beneficiaries – is there really any doubt about where Obama's loyalties lie? If not, then why are there questions as to why Obama's support is lapsing?
Some see the forest in spite of the trees. Mimi Hall of USA Today writes of liberal angst in regards to "the administration's positions on protecting state secrets and war crimes" and "the depth of voters' anger towards corporate politicians". Ms. Hall quotes Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who deems the angst on Obama's left a "sure benefit" for the GOP. Luntz crows:
"It's the perfect storm" for Obama. All the conservative groups are coalescing out of anger and all the liberal groups are disappearing out of anger. If he moves to satisfy one, he destroys himself with the other. … He's in a really tough spot."
Eternal optimist and Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile says, "If this was September, I would hit the panic button."
September will be far too late, Ms. Brazile. Hear the words of longtime Democratic activist and blogger Chris Bowland, who has already changed his party registration to the Green Party: "It's very clear the [Democratic] party hates us and has no respect for its base…we've had it. I'm done."
Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, while attempting to take a pragmatic stance in regard to what little Obama has accomplished, still is very critical: “We have wasted month after month negotiating with people who do not support serious reform.”
Some of the comments from the Sanders article are also very pertinent to the question:
- meowomon: "I'm pretty fed up with [Obama's] lack of leadership and his coddling of corporate Amerika [sic]. I thought he was different, but he's just another politician."
- jimbo92107: "Obama talks about leadership, but doesn't know how to lead…he's just an eloquent wimp that doesn't really have much of a vision of where he wants this country to go."
- carol h.: "He has remained a 'gentleman,' and left the heavy battles to others. He has not done his job. And the others have wandered around rudderless for a year."
- matticusfinch: "If Obama and the Democants would have put as much force and action into this as they did in renewing the PATRIOT Act[,] and as Bush and the [Neocons] did with the War, we would all be healthy as can be right now."
Ah, yes! Health care – something that my regular readers know is especially important to me lately!
On this, Glenn Greenwald has fired a scathing J'accuse aimed at Obama and the Democrats: "Senate Democrats (and the White House) were willing to pretend they supported a public option only as long as it was impossible to pass it." He offers as support an article from Huffington Post, which takes Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller to the woodshed for coming up with lame excuses why the public option isn't going to merit his support — when he was formerly in support of it — and providing the evidence to prove Greenwald's contention that the Democrats are out to throw the game. Jay Rock really was for it before he was against it. His own words prove it. Read them for yourself.
Jay Rock is only a representative of the entire Democratic Spinelessness Society. Jim Hightower looks at how the entire Democratic Party has done little to nothing on an issue of much greater importance to the people of this nation, much more so than even health care: JOBS.
Hightower notes that when the banks cried out for rescue from their malfeasance, the government responded "with trillions of public dollars that they put directly in the hands of … Wall Street". Meanwhile, back on Main Street, Hightower notes with disdain that "What the Democrats have done is to pass a do-nothing Republican bill…Rather than directly creating jobs that pay workers…the $15 billion is going into tax breaks for businesses." But who cares about the little people, right Leona?
Robert Reich reports that what tax breaks are in place, they aren't benefiting small business. Small business can't attract dollars from their customer base if they are more interested in reducing their debt than they are buying things. American consumers once accounted for 70 percent of the total activity in the American economy, and are tapped out. The small businesses which catered to them are closing in droves if they need credit they can't get to remain open. As small businesses are the real engine of job creation, and as their customers aren't spending, there isn't going to be any job growth, no reduction in unemployment, no increase in consumer spending, and no improvement in the economy. Without jobs, what good is a health insurance subsidy plan?
While the Republicans are premature in their concern for the deficit spending they refuse to allow, there will come a time when these debts will need to be paid. A healthy economy could shrug them off without effort, but the lame economy the Republicans seem to want to create will be crippled for decades. Obama won't rise up to the challenge and do what is right for the nation.
Many economists — not all of them liberals — insist that only the government can act as the employer of last resort. Obama can't or won't see the need for this, choosing instead to allow The Market — which put us into this mess in the first place — to dictate his activity. Obama's fears of Wall Street are why his stimulus is ending long before any real tangible results can turn the economy around.
As Reich queries, "So what happens when the stimulus is over and the Fed begins to tighten again?" His conclusion indicates that it may be too late for Obama to provide the answer. Without that answer, the Republicans will regain control of the Congress and reverse what changes Obama has been given by the Congress' mighty-flighty effort. The people will be left only with the options of starving or providing the muscle to create more oiligarchies around the world — and as Stanford professor Larry Diamond noted in an essay published earlier this year, "Not a single one of the 23 countries that derive most of their export earnings from oil and gas is a democracy today."
Preserving and extending democracy, indeed! Yet another lie from the candidate most deserving the title American Lame Duck President since George W Bush. And still he and his staff can't see why we do forsake him?
Oh — and the call of the Lame Duck President? Bar-ACK! Bar-ACK! Bar-ACK!