Obama Has Destroyed Democracy

Obama has destroyed democracy. Just like President Dubya who campaigned on one set of promises and did the exact opposite when he got into office, Oh!bama campaigned on promises we could believe in (now THAT took audacity!) and has reneged on the most important onesPublic Option for health care? [note 1] That’s gone. Standing up to the big corporate interests? That’s gone. Putting financial regulations in place to protect the consumer? That’s gone.

So after the eight year nightmare of the Cheney-Dubya administration [note 2] in which the future of this country was destroyed through the systematic dismantling of the essential apparatus of government [note 3], aided and abetted by a sycophantic (and psychotic) Republican party that has propelled us so far into debt that we have been reduced to being a banana republic, we voted for someone who, yes, provided audacity and hope. But the REAL audacity is the way he has used his intelligence and his ability to put together coherent sentences (contrast that with the illiteracy of Dubya and his female doppelganger, Sarah Palin) to take advantage of a nation that was in shock at the arrogance and incompetence of an eight-year administration that ignored all warnings of an impending attack [note what would be needed for an Iraq war and that ignored all the warnings about Hurricane Katrina.

Oh!bama has destroyed the Democratic party, turning them from the party IN power and WITH power (they DO control the White House and Congress) to the party of pusillanimity. But even worse, he has helped to destroy the political process in this country. Whereas the Republican party, beginning in 1994 with Newt Gingrich (now THERE’S a liar extraordinaire who is so high and mighty and moral that he delivered divorce papers to his wife while she was in the hospital with cancer) [note 5] showed that they can shut down the Federal government whenever they like by not approving a budget (or by impeaching a President who dared to have sex and not tell the truth about it) and the Cheney-Dubya regime showed that you can hand over the reigns of power to big business, after all of this the nation – the ENTIRE WORLD – thought that Oh!bama would right the wrongs, would stand up for the principles of this country. But what has he done? He has left in place much of the Cheney-Bush apparatus. We still have Gitmo. We still have the most egregious aspects of the so-called Patriotic Act. We still have economic foxes (Larry Summers…Tim Geithner) running the regulatory hen house.

Oh!bama and the entire Democratic party was handed a golden opportunity to put into place a new New Deal. Nearly the ENTIRE COUNTRY was behind him and, yet, he sang the nonsense of compromise. Compromise with whom? An obstinate, obstructionist party? We did NOT vote for “compromise we can believe in.” [note 6] We voted for real change. We voted for the ideals of this country. Once again, we have been hoodwinked. And this opportunity to undo the damage of the past has been lost, squandered.

But you’re still optimistic, right? Great! Then who will you vote for next time? The Democrats were given their chance and they have blown it. Will you vote for the Republicans? The Teabaggers? Or maybe it is time to face facts: the great experiment of democracy is over. Best to get used to this fact. Nothing more to see here. Move along. Take your iPhone, sit in the bathroom and twitter your life away. Change the channel. Watch your football game. Eat your chicken wings. Drink your beer.  But don’t worry. Just be happy.

  1. Any semblance of a public option has disappeared“; “The Republicans simply don’t want to pass comprehensive health-care reform“; If journalism was run like our health care system.
  2. Now that Cheney is in the hospital…I hope he’s not sucking the public teat and taking that communistic health care that he gets from the government.
  3. You think all the E. Coli just dropped out of the sky like manna from heaven? You think that Bernie Madoff got away with his shenanigans because he is brilliant? Think again. You starve the beast of government, you hand over the reigns of control to the “free market,” this is what you get. Unfettered, deregulated capitalism with a boom-bust cycle that destroys more of the middle class every time it goes bust. Ask anyone who thought they had a nice retirement nest egg. All they have left is broken egg shells. Friedman wrote in a recent column (quoting Michael Mandelbaum): “…now it feels as if we are entering a new era, “where the great task of government and of leadership is going to be about taking things away from people,” said the Johns Hopkins University foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum.” Source: The Fat Lady Has Sung.
  4. The Presidential Daily Briefing of August 6, 2001 had the catchy title, “bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.” “…in April 2001, [Richard] Clarke [counter-terrorism expert]  strongly suggested that the U.S. put pressure on both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda by arming the Northern Alliance and other groups in Afghanistan. Simultaneously, that they target bin Laden and his leadership by reinitiating flights of the MQ-1 Predators. To which Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz responded, “Well, I just don’t understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden.” Clarke replied that he was talking about bin Laden and his network because it posed “an immediate and serious threat to the United States.” According to Clarke, Wolfowitz turned to him and said, “You give bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don’t exist.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Clarke; Wait…it gets better.

    “On June 25 [2001], Clarke warned [National Security Advisor] Rice and [Deputy National Security Advisor] Hadley that six separate intelligence reports showed al Qaeda personnel warning of a pending attack. An Arabic television station reported Bin Ladin’s pleasure with al Qaeda leaders who were saying that the next weeks “will witness important surprises” and that U.S. and Israeli interests will be targeted.”

    “On July 2, the FBI Counterterrorism Division sent a message to federal agencies and state and local law enforcement agencies summarizing information regarding threats from Bin Ladin. It warned that there was an increased volume of threat reporting, indicating a potential for attacks against U.S. targets abroad from groups “aligned with or sympathetic to Usama Bin Ladin.” Despite the general warnings, the message further stated, “The FBI has no information indicating a credible threat of terrorist attack in the United States.” However, it went on to emphasize that the possibility of attack in the United States could not be discounted.” [Emphasis Added] Source: The System Was Blinking Red (Chapter 8 of the 9/11 Commission Report).

  5. “Former House speaker and potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has confessed, telling conservative Christian leader James Dobson that he was cheating on his wife at around the same time the House was impeaching President Bill Clinton over his White House affair with Monica Lewinsky.” Source: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/09/gingrich.schneider/index.html
  6. Someone said that bipartisanship for a Democrat is for both Democrats and Republicans to work out a bill that they can both wholeheartedly endorse and sign. Bipartisanship for Republicans is to write the bill themselves and have the Democrats sign it.
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  • betsy davenport, phd

    Oh, Jeff, you say what I think, and try not to think and you remind me of the despair I feel. I used to think, during national tough times (e.g. the Vietnam War), that no matter how bad things get, at least we have the Constitution.

    It took me until the Bush years to understand how naive that was.

  • betsy davenport, phd

    During the most recent campaign, I was aware that Obama was not liberal, surely nothing like so many people imagined – based, no doubt, upon their stereotyped notion of what black people are like; that is, he's black, so he must be for freedom, liberty, civil rights, Constitutional guarantees, etcetera. No one like that could be elected in this country, I am sure.

    The way in which I was hoodwinked pertains to the Constitution. I erroneously concluded that someone who knows the Constitution enough to teach it must necessarily respect it. I figured reverence for it was too much to ask, but respect? Yup.

    How wrong I was.

  • betsy davenport, phd

    My only disagreement with your post is this. The opportunity you describe that the Democrats and Obama have squandered was likely an opportunity in our minds only. I do not think the government is what I learned it was; "of, by and for" is a myth; the Democrats are not the Democrats we remember from our youth. Maybe they never were. I do not know.

    But I do know that for the first time, I am not optimistic about the country; I do not see better times ahead; if this administration is the best we can do, the pendulum will swing much farther right, next time. I am not able to imagine into the future very far; for the first time I look at my offspring through laced fingers and hope if I squint, I can see them so wealthy that they will not be as affected by the sharply curtailed opportunity, liberty and possibility.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

      I'm in definite agreement with you on this point: the Democrats of today are not the Democrats that fought for Civil Rights. That type of Democrat died when Kennedy died. But there was still an opportunity that the Democrats could have taken…where they could have redeemed themselves.

      I'm not optimistic either. I've been passionate about politics since I was a child. I always read the newspaper. I always watched the news and I've never missed an election. But after this election, I'm ready to pack it in. The morons that I went to college with – who were talking about abstinence only – were people I laughed at….and those morons attained political power. Our current state of affairs was a long time in the making and, unfortunately, I believe we have witnessed the end of an era. Many people sense that something is very wrong but, I'm sorry to say, many are not smart enough to realize that we got what we asked for. The country believed the Reagan nonsense that government was the enemy, that organized labor was the enemy. We carried through for 30 plus years the simplistic rhetoric of "let the free market handle it" and "reduce government regulation" and "privatize it" and so forth. So…we got exactly what we asked for but because we don't believe that history applies to us we did not learn from any of the past economic and political mistakes. Further, because of our cockeyed optimism – "it will be better tomorrow…just you wait and see" – we blind ourselves to the logical implications of our acts.

      In light of this we will find scapegoats for our ills and, yes, we will swing further to the right. It doesn't have to be this way but as long as we waste our time with reality show nonsense and allow mental giants like Glen Beck and his ilk to have air time, then, yes, it's over. Last one out…please turn off the lights.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

      Not sure if you saw this piece in the NY Times. We've got a lot to worry about…and we should starting worrying now. It seems the Tea Bag party should really be renamed the Timothy McVeigh party.
      See: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/opinion/28rich….

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

      Not sure if you saw this piece in the NY Times. We've got a lot to worry about…and we should starting worrying now. It seems the Tea Bag party should really be renamed the Timothy McVeigh party.
      See: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/opinion/28rich….

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

    It became most apparent during the Bush years as to how fragile the Constitution and the whole body of law (and balance of power) is but, in actuality, we got a taste of it during the Nixon administration…especially when he said "When the president does it, it is not illegal." We saw it again during Reagan when we had Ollie North justify breaking the law (and everyone praising him for doing so) because he wrapped himself with the flag of patriotism. It was during Bush that we saw the Constitution – and our system of laws – ripped to shreds.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

    His rhetoric was quite liberal so it wasn't simply the nation projecting onto him what we wanted. No doubt there was some of that but thinks that he ridiculed and made fun of – such as McCain's idea of taxing "cadillac" health insurance – well, Obama was suddenly finding that idea to be palatable. He played us like a finely tuned piano.

  • PenryHatrick

    Democracy has destroyed democracy. The founding fathers had ideals, we have the iphone. Big business is our government now. (e.g. the recent bank bailout) The only way we have managed to not become a third world country is because we spend more money on our military than all of our enemies combined. Taxes will always continue to rise because there is always someone asking for more handouts from the government. Real change will happen when the government quits babying everyone and only runs the infrastructure. But that's the ideal, we have the wii.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

      I was nodding my head in agreement while reading your comment until I got to the point where you, perhaps inadvertently, repeated the limited government (sort of neo-libertarian) mantra: "Real change will happen when the government quits babying everyone and only runs the infrastructure." Like it or not, we live in a very complex world and we need a government that is sophisticated and responsive and NOT a government run by a bunch of yahoos.

  • Bob

    While I'm disappointed that Obama has not accomplished more in his 1st year, his administration is light years better than Cheney/ Bush. The U.S. was laughed at around the world in reaction to the arrogant policies Cheney implemented. Obama has restored respect for the U.S. Although it is hard to see when the economy is still in the toilet, most economists agree that the stimulus plan has cushioned the downturn and helped prevent a full blown Depression.

    I believe that Obama wants to do some good things but he has made some tactical errors that have blown up in his face. His philosophy, which he promoted during the campaign, is to work cooperatively with Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Neither party has done this. He is now more directed at getting Democrats to work together and to blast the Republican Party for its policy of No. It is now looking more likely that he will force health care reform by using the Reconciliation policy. The whole process has been ugly but it is more a statement about how dysfunctional Washington has become than about Obama.

  • Bob

    Part II of response

    In addition, politics has changed for the worse and it is not possible for Obama to ram through health care for all the same way that Johnson rammed through Medicare and Civil Rights. The Republicans have dedicated themselves to destroying Obama and not giving hm a chance to do anything. Their P/R has been much more effective than the Democrats. But I think Obama is waking up to realize he has to use the bully pulpit more. And the media is a total horror thaat let's the Republicans get away with their outrageous lies.

    So I am frustrated that Congress is so dysfunctional and that Obama has made some tactical errors. Cheney/ Bush spent 8 years destroying America and the world. (or 30 years if you want to count from Republcian rule under Reagan.) No one can fix it in 1 year. But I am hopeful that some good can still come from his presidency

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeffsaddmind Jeff

      Bob, I'm really counting from 30 years and I've seen (as you have) the Republican juggernaut gather steam. The idiots of the 1980s have become the powers-that-be and they occupy key positions – be it in the Supreme Court and various lower courts – or have influential think tanks or, worse, they have a show on Fox Faux News!

      I'll wait a wee bit longer to see if anything is actually done that will undo some of the damage of the past and, perhaps, show that we can get some legislation passed that only 70% of the country wants. But after following politics for at least 40 years…I'm losing patience and giving up hope real fast. Do I need ANOTHER lifetime to see real change take place in this country? If that's the case…then I reaffirm my conclusion that the great experiment is over. If it takes two lifetimes to get anything important changed in this country (it took 100 years to get civil rights legislation and I'm not THAT patient so I can't wait 100 years), then it's time to turn inward, gaze at our navel and Tivo our favorite shows because those are the only freedoms we have left that the Robert's court has not yet taken away from us.

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