Maybe the biggest problem with public life both in terms of politicians and in the case of the news media is the truth no longer matters, only spin. The worst of the violators are naturally the news media to whom there is no such thing as facts, only opinions, and pollsters insist on polling opinions and then distorting and twisting the results in order to create a false reality and follow an agenda.
Gallup is one of the worst offenders and that trend continues with their "Most Admired" poll, reported by many news organizations.
The headline blared, "Obama the Most Admired Man in America" a statement that had to cause the jaws to drop of anyone who spent the last year in something other than a comatose state.
Obama's approval ratings were dropping every day, he has become persona non grata by almost every moderate and liberal Democrat in the country who is not African American, he is personally and solely responsible because of his duplicitous and inept presidency for the Democrats suffering the worst political defeat of any party in 80 years, and during the recent short lived revolt among congressional Democrats over Obama's inability to deal with the Republicans on tax cuts one congressional Democrat was heard to shout in a closed door meeting "Fuck the president!".
The disgust and anger at Obama by Democrats, liberals, moderates and indpendents so evident in the last election might make the claim that Obama is the most admired man in 2010 a little hard to believe. So how was it possible? When you get past the headline and look at the actual poll results, you find that it isnt exactly as the poll claims.
Based on the actual poll numbers, 22% picked Obama as the most admired man in America. That number did lead everyone else, but people were not given choices, but were asked to name or write in their most admired man.
People named others such as George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Glenn Beck, the Pope and a few others all of whom received less than Obama's 22%. But Gallup and the news organizations touting the poll refused to deal with the obvious reality of what the poll was actually saying.
Given that Obama is the most visible and recognizable man in America and possibly the world, that he is the man with the most exposure, the most power, the man who has the machinery of the United States government at his disposal, the man whose every word and act is covered and broadcast around the world on a daily basis, a man whose name is mentioned more times every day in every medium more than anyone else.a man whose decisions affect more people and have more consequences than any other man in America, given all that, almost 80% of Americans don't admire Obama and think someone else is the most admired man in America.
Which is why the least admired people in America are probably journalists.
After the worst two years any Democratic president has ever had, with Democrats, liberals, and moderates fed up with him and knowing there is nothing but coal in their political and policy stockings, and after Obama did to the Democratic Party in 2 years what it took George W Bush to do to the Republicans in 8, Hillary Clinton supporters Christmas message to all those responsible for the mess of a presidency that is Obama is undoubtedly " we told you so".
And it's not like it wasn't obvious from the beginning. Obama had displayed his entire political life, but especially during the Democratic primaries, that he was the most underhanded, unscrupulous, dishonest, untrustworthy politician since Richard Nixon. But with none of Nixon's grasp on real politics, how government works, foreign policy and certainly none of Nixon's toughness.
So why all of Obama's supporters are complaining now is hard to understand. There was nothing, absolutely nothing from day one, to recommend Obama on any level or suggest to anyone that Obama had any business being president, from his flagrant political dishonesty on display daily during the primaries and continuing into his presidency, his complete lack of conscience when it came to anything except his own political fortunes and his lack of ability evidenced in the fact that he had accomplished exactly nothing -- zero -- in 13 years as an elected official. Democrats can now add to Obama's resume that he absolutely wasted the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 50 years
But his father was born in Kenya, and because of a lot of misguided people who unfortunately now pass for liberals he was fawned over simply because of the color of his skin. The press turn a blind eye to his rank dishonesty, reneging on pledges, his empty speeches, the throngs of college students at his rallies bribed by free rock concerts and free food, ( which the press did not report) and his history of doing nothing and having no accomplishments.And the DNC, spearheaded by Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and Donna Brazille did everything they could to rig the process to give Obama the nomination, aided and abetted by a dishonest news media.
This isn't speculation or hyperbole. I had personally been contacted by Hillary Clinton delegates at the convention who told me that they were being threatened with having their credentials stripped by the DNC if they didn't change their votes to Obama in clear violation of DNC nominating procedure rules because the DNC wanted to avoid an open convention where there could be an old fashioned political floor fight. Instead they preferred the facade of phony party unity.
And there was a lot more going on. But the aim of the DNC in a year when any Democratic candidate with the possible exception of James Trafficante, would have beaten any Republican, was to insure that Obama got the nomination, pretend the entire party was behind him, and in so doing forced Obama down the throats of the majority of the Democrats who voted against him during the primaries. And even with the dishonest playing field created by Obama, the DNC and the press, still neither Clinton nor Obama finished the primaries with the 2/3 needed to secure the nomination with Obama only 63 delegates ahead of Clinton.
If the Democrats had used the same system in their primaries that's used in electing the president instead of a bizarre apportionment system based on the results of the 2004 presidential election, Clinton would have beaten Obama by more than 1,000 delegates. Michael Barone in US News did an analysis and based on the metrics wrote that Clinton would have beaten McCain by an even wider margin than Obama. So what the basis was for rigging the game for Obama is hard to say beyond race. Or even possibly fear that if Obama was not the nominee the African American vote would desert the Democrats and they would lose which was a theme spread freely by Obama supporters at the convention.
So amazingly, even in a year and in an election where it was virtually impossible for the Democrats to lose, the leadership of the Democratic party found a way to lose. It took two years and Obama botching everything from healthcare to the stimulus to the Bush tax cuts,but the defeat of the Democrats in the last election solely because of Obama's failures was breathtaking in its scope.
Geraldine Ferraro was absolutely right even though she was torched by a knee jerk news media for saying it, that if Obama had been white he would have been a joke as a presidential candidate. Now Obama is president but the only ones laughing are Republicans while liberals, moderates and independents keep trying to figure out what went wrong. And the answer still is, nothing went wrong. Obama has been exactly the same duplicituous politician he was during the primaries and in his prior political career as he has been as president.
That Hillary Clinton was clearly the most qualified candidate was obvious then and more painfully obvious now. But those at MoveOn and the Huffington Post, and NY Times and the Nation and all those who turned a blind eye to Obama's lack of qualification and character flaws because they wanted to support a black candidate for president, ironically had to take everything Martin Luther King lived for and took a bullet for -- the idea that people should be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin -- and threw it in a dumpster in order to do it.
You don't have to wonder how different things would have been had the DNC and the press did nothing more than simply be honest. If the process had played out honestly Clinton most likely would have been the nominee since there would have been no disenfranchising of 1,600.000 voters in Florida and Michigan who voted for Clinton over Obama in landslide numbers (which is the real reason for the Florida and Michigan fiasco), and the entire set of expectations, fueled by the press, would have been different.
So for those who supported Obama during the primaries because they turned a blind eye to who and what he was politically and are now wondering what went wrong, they can spend the holiday season reflecting and ruminating on the fact that there would have been real healthcare reform that included a public option instead of Obama's selling out and pushing a health care bill that Howard Dean said should be junked. There would have been real financial reform, and there would have been tax cuts for the middle class without adding $700 billion to the deficit to give tax cuts to the upper 2% of income earners., And Democrats would still be handily in control of both houses of congress. There would have also been a much better use of the stimulus instead of Obama's now famous admission that, $800 billion later, he miscalculated what "shovel ready projects" really meant. And of course there wouldn't be the constant lying and reneging on a daily basis.
So Clinton's supporters Christmas message this year for the DNC and others is undoubtedly "We told you so". And while politically for the Democrats both in and out of congress it doesn't look like its going to be much of a happy new year, they still have time to get their house back in order and start looking for a 2012 nominee who can actually win and do some good. Unless they want to hear "we told you so" all over again in 2012.
A new poll is one of the most revealing ever done in terms of showing who the majority of the American people really are and in the end what really matters most. It also shows why the country has been in the mess its been in for so long.
According to a Pew Research poll, (Pew is the most reliable of the big polls, Gallup and Rassmussen are proven disasters and unreliable in every possible way and so are the news organization polls) ) a majority of Americans, in numbers virtually equal between liberals, conservatives Democrats and Republicans favor the tax cut deal capitulated to by Obama.
According to the poll 62% of Democrats, 63% of Republicans and 60% of independents favor the tax cut deal breaking down to the same percentages whether liberal or conservative. Yet according to the same poll, when asked if the tax cut deal would be bad for the country by adding to the deficit, the answer was yes, by 46-26%. Which shows that a great plurality believes the tax cuts will not do what those who supported them claim they will do in terms of the economy and job growth, but do believe it will add substantially to the already crushing deficit. So the bottom line is, that what the American people care about in the end, what really matters, is everyone wants to get theirs.
It shows that the Tea Party marching and haranguing about the deficit was as phony as it always looked, the refusal of Joe Lieberman to back a public option because he said ( wrongly) it would add to the deficit while backing the tax cut for the upper 2% even though it adds $700 billion to deficit,and all the posturing by Republicans about debt and deficits, was also as phony as everyone knew it was, ( if John Bohener didn't cry, you know he didn't mean it).
And of course, through it all we have the press, the constitutionally protected watch dogs envisioned by the Founders, doing a lot of watching but showing they are no guard dogs, refusing to point out any of this hypocrisy and essentially being more lap dog than watchdog.
The fact that a majority of Democrats, Republicans, independents, liberals and conservatives all favor the same thing in almost identical numbers,pretty much proves that the American people, each group in their own way, despite whatever posturing conservatives do about patriotism on holidays or election day, or liberals posture about Republicans creating the deficits, and wanting to fight against Republican cronism, or one more of Obama's phony promises going down the drain without Democrats standing up to it, what really matters is only one thing -- getting theirs. Like they did in ancient Rome.
Which is why it often takes leadership in Washington to do the right thing and which is why there is practically none of it to be found and hasn't been for ten years with Obama making everything worse when he had all the tools to have made it a lot better. That is he could have if he had a shred of integrity, honesty or skill which he doesn't.
There is an old saying that people get the government they deserve. For the 8 years of the Bush administration the people that voted him in got exactly that, paid for unfortunately andcou to a great extent by a majority who didn't vote for Bush. When the opportunity finally came to vote them out of office and form a government that represented their values, the Democratic Party courtesy of Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Donna Brazille and a few others, blew it by rigging the nominating process in every way they could with a big assist from a totally corrupted press, to send Obama, the most underhanded and duplicitous candidate since Nixon and as unqualified as George W. Bush, to the White House. So in many ways Pelosi and the Democrats got what they deserved to when they were blown out of the House only two years after Obama's election.
Though now many liberals and Democrats who supported Obama are complaining about him they got what they deserved too since Obama's dishonesty and all his others flaws were clearly on display during the primaries.
And based on the Pew Research poll and the "I want mine" mentality of a majority of Americans, they will continue to get what they deserve.Only based on past performance, most of them are not going to like it.
It wasn't him, Charley! It was you. You remember that night in the Garden, you came
down to my dressing room and said: 'Kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on
Wilson.' You remember that? 'This ain't your night!' My night! I coulda taken Wilson
apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors in the ball park - and whadda I
get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville. You was my brother, Charley. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda
taken care of me - just a little bit - so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-
Charley: I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.
Terry : You don't understand! I couldda had class. I couldda been a
contender. I couldda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.
From "On the Waterfront".
Whether it was a public option on healthcare, financial reform and now tax cuts for the wealthy Obama has always had the confidence that the Democrats in congress would take a dive when he told them to. And they always did. So when he told them to take another dive, this time for tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% in America he was stunned when Democrats played Terry Malloy, stood up to Obama's Johnny Friendly and told him no. Obama called them "sanctimonious purists".
For someone with no guts, no integrity, no values, no principles, a glass jaw, and will sell out anyone and anything at any time, anyone who stands up for anything or believes in anything must seem like "sanctimonious purists".
How caving in is a way of life for Obama was on display again when he said about the tax cuts, "this is the public option fight all over again.I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans... but because there was a provision in there that they didn't get that would have affected maybe a couple million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people... that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise."
The number of lies Obama can get into one sentence is truly breathtaking. First, there was no public option "fight". There was only Obama capitulating, groveling for Republican votes, wasting a year when it all could be done using reconciliation, and then in the end taking a dive with a back room deal with lobbyists to drop the public option. When she was asked why there was no public option in the legislation when the votes were there to pass it, Nancy Pelosi said, "there is no public option because the president didnt fight for it". So much for Obama's idea of fighting, which, as everyone has seen, is taking a dive. Second, what makes Obama a little scary is that not only was every word a lie, the truth is so well known that it makes Obama close to being pathological to think he can lie so brazenly and no one would notice.
The piece of legislation Obama passed was not only garbage it was called as much by just about every Democrat who voted for it.No one called it "signature" anything. Howard Dean said it should have been junked. Democrats who reluctantly voted for it called it "better than nothing". And the "they" that Obama is referring to in terms of not getting what "they" wanted, was the Speaker of the House, the overwhelming number of Democrats in congress and the overwhelming number of people in this country ( at least 60% according to polls) including just about everyone who voted for him.
Obama's other blatant lie is "we got health insurance for 30 million people".
What Obama got was 30 million new customers for the insurance companies mandating that people who dont have health insurance buy it. He didn't "get health insurance" for anyone. And when he says the public option would have affected maybe 2 million people he is lying again. Because even an idiot can figure out that if 30 million uninsured were getting insurance the law now says they have to pay for, it would have been 32 million getting insurance through the public option. And that doesn't count the tens of millions of Americans who would have switched to a government run option simply because it was a better deal. What Obama did by dumping the public option wasn't just weakness, spinelessness and compromise. It was double dealing,dishonesty, caving in, selling his own party's values and doing what was right down the river and wasting the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 50 years.
This is how that scene from On the Waterfront really played out in congress:
It wasn't the Republicans, Barrack It was you! You remember that night in on the senate floor you came down to the cloak room and said: 'Kids, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on the insurance companies and bankers.' You remember that? 'This ain't your night!' Our night! We couldda passed a public option and real financial reform and taken the health insurance companies and bankers apart! So what happens? They get the billions and a ball park with their name on it - and whadda we get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville.
You was the president, Barrack. You shouldda looked out for the country a little bit. You shouldda taken care of people - just a little bit - and done the right thing, so we didn't have to take them dives for the short-end money.
Obama: You saw some good things in those bills.
Democrats : You don't understand! We couldda had class. We couldda been a contender. We had the biggest congressional majority in 50 years! We couldda done great things. We couldda been somebody, instead of a bunch of bums, which is what we are. For listening to you.
The Democrats and Obama could have been somebody. They could have been contenders for the most accomplished congress in history, passing landmark legislation on healthcare reform, financial reform and tax policy. But Obama took a dive on all those things and told congress to take a dive with him and they did.
Obama wants congress to take the dive again on tax cuts. He told them this was the best deal he could get. And he's right. It was the best deal Obama could get because Obama has a glass jaw, no spine, no skills, no courage and no convictions. He tells the Democrats , "the middle class'll see some money." But the upper 2% will see more. And they will get it on the backs of the middle class who will have shoulder the additional $700 billion it will add to the deficit.And unless taxes are raised on the top 2%, it will be the middle class that will have to pay off.
Now Obama is calling the Joe Dugan's in congress " sanctimonious purists" the same people Gibbs, his mouthpiece called "the professional left."
The Democrats did have a professional left. And they should have used it. If they would have thrown that professional left instead of pulling their punches it would have been the Republicans who were knocked into Palookaville not the Democrats. Instead they took the dive for Obama on healthcare reform, financial reform and the economy and then took the worst beating of any political party in 80 years.
But this time, like Terry Malloy, the Democrats are pulling themselves up off the canvas and are telling Obama, no, not anymore. No more dives for the short end money.
Obama is still puffing on his cigar and, along with Gibbs the mouthpiece, telling people his deal will pass, the Democrats will eventually cave in and they'll take the dive like they always do. Obama says they wont risk not doing it. But so far Democrats are standing up to Johnny Friendly.
There is a lot more at stake here then just the tax cuts. By standing firm the Democrats are sending a message to Obama that the game is over, that he cant count on them to cave in and sell their principles down the river anymore like he does. And it sends a message to Republicans, that like Dugan in the movie, they will have to deal with them from now on, the liberal and moderate Democrats,instead of cutting back room deals with Obama and then counting on them to take the dive when he tells them to.
So by standing up to Obama's Johnny Friendly and the Republicans, the liberal and moderate Democrats can pave the way for future negotiations, letting Obama know his game is up and there is going to be no more throwing in the towel or taking the dive.
The real end of this movie will come in two years where it remains to be seen whether a Democratic Terry Malloy will stand up to Obama's Johnny Friendly, take him on in the Democratic primaries, and beat him soundly for the Democratic nomination for president.If that happens,and they are elected ( which Obama has no chance to be) then just like in the movie, everyone will finally be able to go back to work.
After hearing Barrack Obama's whiny tirade against Democrats and liberals who are taking a stand against his capitulation in extending the Bush tax cuts to those in the top 2% income bracket, essentially saying " what are you complaining about, look what I've done for you"? when in fact he did nothing but mess up and squander the biggest congressional majority any president has had in more than 50 years, makes this guy a genuine head case.
It was mind boggling in its arrogance, its disconnection to reality and pathetic in how self serving it was. And to hear him defending it as being politically realistic. What he left out was that its politically realistic for him, someone with no political savvy, no courage and no convictions.
He actually had the nerve (or is it simply denial or disconnected to reality) to bring up his dropping of the public option when the votes were there to pass it as an example of Democrats not knowing what's good for them. He characterized the reaction of Democrats to his spineless backroom deal with healthcare lobbyists to drop the public option as the reactions of a bunch of unrealistic liberal ingrates. Those unrealistic liberal ingrates include the majority of Democrats in the House in including Nancy Pelosi and just about every Democratic member of the senate.
There is no one, not one Democrat who spoke publicly who wasn't disgusted with Obama's healthcare bill and his dropping of the public option and who didn't call the bill they passed "better than nothing".
Nancy Pelosi had called the public option the :"centerpiece of healthcare reform" as did most House Democrats. Howard Dean said of Obama's disjointed mess of a healthcare bill that it should be junked and Democrats should start over. The public option was a proposition that 72% of Americans said they wanted according to a CBS News poll in June of 2009, it was the ONLY real meaningful reform on the table, the one thing that would have done the most good for most people AND according to the CBO would have cut the deficit by $160 billion. And Obama dropped it because he couldn't stand the heat from the town hall crazies or the Republicans even though the votes were there to pass it using reconciliation. So let everyone get it straight. The public option was dropped not because Obama couldn't get it through and not because the votes weren't there to pass it. It was dropped because Obama didn't have the stomach or any other essential part of a persons anatomy to see it through despite Republican opposition. He caved, pure and simple.
He also doesn't seem to connect with the fact that the drubbing the Democrats took in the last election was completely because of him and the Democrats failure to stand up to him or take the agenda out of his hands.
People were and still are fed up with his constant capitulation, his mealy mouthed excuses and political and policy incompetence. And an open and shut case can easily be made that the dropping of the public option which reduced the healthcare bill to a waste of time and will increase premiums, is the single biggest reason the Democrats were wiped out in the last election. It resulted in a lot of political bloodletting, angst and in the end didn't accomplish what people wanted. It was the worst of all possible worlds courtesy of Barrack Obama.
For no other reason than his own spinelessness Obama dropped the public option, something that would have CUT the deficit by $160 billion and be exactly what most people wanted and needed, and for no other reason than his own spinelessness, Obama caved in to Republicans to extend Bush's tax cuts to the upper 2% which will ADD $700 billion to the deficit, a number almost equal to the stimulus that conservatives and Republicans railed about and said we couldn't afford.
And Obama doesn't see the hypocrisy,the dishonesty or his own spinelessness in any of it. Instead he talks about his "accomplishments" and all the things he has done for everyone. What he has done, or more accurately didn't do, is why the Democrats took the worst political beating of any party in 80 years.
What House and senate Democrats need to do is deep six this bill, take it up in the next session and if Republicans refuse to extend tax cuts unless the top 2% are included which adds $700 billion to the deficit, then they can remind people of that every day until the next election. And in the process show that they are willing to stand for something. Which is something beyond Obama's capacity and always has been.
How Obama can let the Republicans have it both ways is only a result of his lack of backbone, conviction and ability. On one hand the Republicans claim it was the stimulus adding $800 billion to the deficit that they claim was instrumental in the Democrats taking their political beating, and on the other hand they want to add $700 billion to the deficit to give a tax break to people who don't need it. And Obama whines and wrings his hands and says there is nothing he can do.
According to Republicans $40 billion for a public option that would have extended health care and made it available to all who needed it, and cut the deficit at the same time, was fiscally irresponsible and something the country couldn't afford but a tax cut for the top 2% which will add $700 billion to the deficit is perfectly okay.
It shows just how truly inept and incompetent Obama really is when it comes to politics,debate,policy, winning an argument, having any convictions at all, or being willing to stand up for what's right. Instead he spends most of his time reading the political tea leaves and making excuses. But now it's gotten to the point that what would be most intersting to read would be the results of his Rorschach test.
The two people most in the news lately has been Julian Assange and Barrack Obama. Assange because of what he's been able to do and Obama because of what he hasnt. Regardless of what you think of Assange (and there is not the slightest shred of evidence that the release of those cables has harmed anyone), Assange has shown what one person with scant resources but who believes in what he is doing, has convictions, and is willing to stand up against adversaries can accomplish while Obama has shown what doesn't get accomplished even with vast resources when someone has no courage, no convictions and believes in nothing.
Whatever you think of Julian Assange he has shown he is everything Barrack Obama isnt,. And he has shown he has everything that Obama doesn't, Assange has shown what one person can do to change things while Obama his entire political life has never given anything but a lot of empty talk.
Assange believes in what he is doing. Obama believes in nothing. Assange has the courage of his convictions. Obama has no courage and no convictions. Assange is willing to risk everything including his freedom to do what he thinks is right. Obama is willing to put everyone else at risk in order do what he thinks is right for him. Which is why there is no public option, no meaningful financial reform, and chronically high unemployment. All because Obama didn't have the backbone to stand up to Republicans and do what was right whether it was the public option, or the size of the stimulus. Instead he made needless and destructive capitulation his hallmark.
Assange has been willing to stand up to world governments and take on the most influential government in the world, the United States to expose what he thinks is wrong with the way governments do business. Obama didn't have the courage to stand up to Olympia Snow, Joe Lieberman, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, the town hall crazies or Wall Street bankers. And how destructive to the U.S. has the release of the cables been? Well the most recent commeent by the Secretary of State is that the cables "show U.S. diplomacy at work".
We've been hearing from the government how Assange's release of hundreds of thousands of cables from American embassies around the world could put lives at risk. That was a lie. We heard the same nonsense after the Afghanistan leaks and to date there has been absolutely no incident of anyone losing their life because of the release of the documents. What it did do was reveal rampant and systematic corruption in the Karzai government. Which makes the parallel to Viet Nam and what was a corrupt regime in the South only more stark and raises more questions about the U.S. mission there. That was the real danger of Assange's document leaks.
What is also obvious and embarrassing in comparing Assange and Obama, is that Assange has been so much more effective at what he does with such limited resources than Obama has ever been as president with more resources and power than anyone in the world. Obama's resources were so great that at one time he had the biggest congressional majority of any president in 50 years, and then squandered and lost it because of the conduct of his presidency and his betrayal of the people who elected him.
The influence of Assange has so far shaken the world diplomatically. The only thing Obama has shaken is his supporters and the Democratic Party. Assange has shaken the way governments do business in secret, and has opened up the process and made it public to the people in whose name these acts are carried out. Obama has succeeded in shaking the Democrats chances of holding the White House in 2012 if he runs.
Assange has had more influence, done more to upset the status quo and has done more to change the way business is done with his slight resources than any of the false promises Obama made to change how Washington works. And so far there is not the slightest evidence that the release and publishing of the cables has put anyone's life at risk and calling it espionage as some Republicans have reveals ignorance of what espionage is.
Recently a State Department spokesman said they were going to rethink what they ask their diplomats around the world to do after some cables revealed that many diplomats were asked to spy. While that should come as no surprise to anyone,the exposure is making the US rethink that and other policy. No one has claimed that's a bad thing. And to date there has no cable or document marked "Top Secret" that has been published. Not one. So the idea that this is somehow espionage is simply preposterous. It hasn't provided enemies of the United States with anything they could possibly use against us.
What it does show is how the determination of one person, who believes in what he is doing even with scant resources and is willing to stand up to anyone or anything against the biggest odds, can shake the world, while a U.S. president, with all the resources of the most powerful country in the world, and who had more political resources than any president in 50 years but had no convictions and no courage has shaken nothing but his own supporters and own party while throwing 300 million Americans under the bus over everything from healthcare to financial reform to the economy and unemployment. And while it's not espionage, a lot of people would say that's a crime.
Obama continued his duplicitious capitulation to Republicans and his selling out, not only of his own party's ideals but good policy and the people who elected him, by announcing what I predicted here two weeks ago -- that he would pull a bait and switch and agree to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, something he vowed repeatedly he wouldn't do during his 2007-2008 campaign, and vowed repeatedly for the last two years. Obama now adds his promise on taxes to the long list of promises on which he has reneged. Adding to the farce of who and Obama is, he said it "was the right thing to do". What he didnt say was for who.
Mitch McConnell and the Republicans announced that they intend to block every single piece of legislation coming in the senate from now on until the issue of the Bush tax cuts are resolved. And, though left unsaid, they mean resolved the way they want it resolved. Which means extending the tax cuts for everyone. And this while the Democrats still control the House and senate.
Contrast that with Obama's weak kneed spineless, conviction-less bowing to the Republicans on the public option and financial reform when the Democrats had the biggest congressional majority in 50 years.
Instead of saying "you had your chance, the American people rejected you, your policies ran the country into the ground and now we are going to do things our way" Obama, instead of laying down the law, simply laid down period, and folded to Republicans, wasted a year groveling for one Republican vote that the didn't get,, made empty, almost imbecilic speeches about bi-partisanship when no one was asking for bi-partisanship especially the voters since it wasn't a value worth pursuing, and then eventually threw the public option under the bus is a sleazy backroom deal with healthcare lobbyists because he couldn't stand the heat from the Republicans and the town hall crazies.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid did their part too, showing why the Democrats have the weakest most compromised leadership either political party has shown in anyone's memory. And this goes back at least 15 years.
Instead of demanding Obama use the huge congressional majorities they had and pushing the public option through using reconciliation like the Republicans pushed through their catastrophic Bush tax cuts that created the huge deficit, they bowed to Obama and let a leaderless rudderless president who reeked of compromise in the worst sense of the word, set the agenda and lead them over the cliff to the worst political defeat of either party in 80 years. And this after only two years in power. And judging by what Pelosi and Reid have said, they still don't understand the true nature of their defeat.
The Republicans are now showing the Democrats again how to wield power. And the Democrats, as well as "progressive" commentators are doing nothing but whining about it, with Harry Reid saying things publicly about holding the American people hostage, blah blah blah and whiny complaints on "progressive" blogs about Republicans and what bad boys they are, instead of looking at themselves and admitting the enormous mistake they made in supporting Obama in the first place. Instead they insist on doing what losers do -- always blame the other guy.
The Republicans vowed two years ago to do everything in their power to block the Democratic agenda even after a devastating defeat . But the rudderless Obama with capitulation from congressional Democrats did the Republicans a favor and gutted their own agenda. That is why they paid such a huge price.
The country is in a mess because the Republicans know how to play politics but haven't a clue as to how to govern. The Democrats tend to know what's best for the majority of Americans and have right on their side most of the time ( with Obama being the rare exception since he always throws everyone and every thing under his bus) but they haven't a clue as to how to play politics. Their leadership is weak and spineless from Pelosi and Reid all the way down to Obama. The Republicans are tough and take no prisoners politically. They also know how to run the country into the ground.
As soon as the Republicans wiped the Democrats out in the last election, they started talking about holding investigations into the Obama Administration. Obama and the Democrats could have and should have done the same when they had the power. The evidence that Bush lied the country into war in Iraq was overwhelming and irrefutable yet Obama, the ever spineless said " I do not think it useful to litigate how we got into this war". They could have investigated 911 and come to the conclusions the 911 Committee were forbidden by agreement with the Bush Administration to conclude: that George W Bush, Rice and Cheney were guilty of the worst case of gross, even criminal negligence with regards to national security in ignoring persistent and specific warnings of an impending attack including proof that Al-Qaeda planned on hijacking US airliners as part of their attack and that they had buildings in New York City under surveillance. What the 911 Commission proved but couldnt say was that the 911 attacks were successful because the Bush Administration dismissed terrorism as a real threat in the eight months leading up to the attacks.
But no investigations from the Democrats or Obama.Which far from playing politics would have been in the best interests of the country.
So a memo to Democrats. Stop complaining now that you're out of power that the Republicans are playing hardball, and doing the things you should have but didn't, rubbing your nose in the fact that you were wiped out of the House after only two years in power, and that they were able to successfully stifle every major piece of legislation on your agenda even though you were in the majority. You had your chance and you blew it.
Instead of complaining maybe its time for Nancy and Harry and Barrack to skip down the yellow brick road to the Great and Powerful Carville and see if they can beg him to give them all an anatomical refit. Or better yet, just get new leadership, starting with the 2012 Democratic presidential primary.
One thing is certain for now. With Republicans putting Obama in a hammerlock he is almost certain to say " I give". And what he will give is the same thing Bush gave. Tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans which will add another $700 billion to the deficit while he ditched the public option which would have cut the deficit by $160 billion and provided accessible healthcare to tens of millions of Americans who dont have it. And one more important thing to remember. Both the House and senate can pass legislation renewing the tax cuts for the middle class and letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire and there is nothing the Republicans can do about it. Tax legislation can be passed using reconciliation, the same way the Republicans enacted the tax cuts in the first place. That would prevent a Republican filibuster. So dont be fooled by anything less coming from the still Democratically controlled congress. If they dont pass the tax legislation through reconciliation and instead compromise with Republicans, going against their own consciences, you'll know who to blame and who is at the heart of it.
And why this White House is not so much a ship of state but a Ship of Fools.