Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I'm Floored with the Debt Ceiling

I don't pretend I understand everything about this topic but I know one thing: I am extremely disappointed with President Obama. With the Democratic Party I am just further infuriated. I never thought this would be possible, but they are the gift that keeps on giving.
Even though Obama never promised to be a diehard liberal, he spun enough liberal platitudes in his campaign to lead people to believe that we would be at least a moderate liberal. Being who he is, one would have thunk he'd have the interests of the majority of Americans at heart. He does not.
The day the debt ceiling debacle is averted, Wall Street still plummets. Why? Investors don't have confidence in the economy. Why? Not because now everybody's celebrating that the ultra rich and the corporations will not pay higher taxes, but because, from what I've read, it is a really bad idea to make huge spending cuts in a depressed, recessionary economy without raising revenue. Of course cuts are necessary. Cuts to our obscene military spending, for instance, would make sense. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't get the feeling that the idiotic wars we are mired in are boosting our economy, like in WWII.
What happened to the stimulus package? What happened to raising infrastructure? Now services to the people are cut and not one cent is raised on corporate taxes. Where are all the brilliant economic minds that are supposed to be advising this president? Oh, sorry, they are cashing their checks on Wall Street. 
Some ardent admirers of Obama think he won the political strategy battle with this pathetic debt ceiling circus. They may be right. He may win another election. But will he be able to reverse the descending course he has set for this country? The banks (who are still not lending, still reaping huge profits) were treated to the most lavish free meal in history, while at the same time the victims of the criminal excesses of American capitalism, that is, the American people, were punished. This instead of fighting for a more just society. Is this going to be Obama's legacy?
Does the economic and political health of the country have to be sacrificed for an election strategy? This is what convinces me, to my deepest regret at having been so gullible, that Obama is a politico like the rest of them snakes. He is not a leader.
Making the Republicans look bad should not be considered such a momentous achievement. They are extraordinarily adept at doing this on their own. Presiding over the country as the gap between the rich and the poor widens abysmally, and not only not doing anything to stop it but encouraging it to happen, this is not what makes a good president. I am also deeply unhappy with his hypocrisy about immigration law, Guantanamo detainees, and gay marriage. Commit to something, man. Have the balls.
That he comes on the heels of the Worst President Ever should be no consolation. With Obama, people were expecting something in terms of domestic policy along the level of an FDR or an LBJ (hey, maybe we're idiots). All his achievements, as important as they may be, fall short. The health care bill is a case in point. What the fuck is it? Because universal health care it is not. His achievements are deeply compromised by his insistence on talking down to the Republicans, instead of fighting them. He's like a schoolteacher who chides a bully but lets him get away with murder. His sanctimonious self-righteousness prevents him from rolling up his sleeves and doing what we put him there to do, what he promised he would do. He was always going to be unpopular with the other side. What good is it for him to be unpopular with his own supporters?
I am deeply unhappy with a president who, 4 years into his tenure, is still acting like a candidate.
On the killing of Bin Laden, I give him some brownie points. However, the other day I was remembering the capture of Adolf Eichmann. The Israelis nabbed him all the way in Argentina, where he hid for years, and gave him a trial and ample opportunity to defend himself. Then they hanged his ass (the only time they ever used the death penalty). This is what democratic countries with solid institutions do. I understand that the cost (legal, political, human, economic) of putting Bin Laden on trial could be prohibitive. But we are becoming less civilized than we think we are.
I know there are movements out there that are trying to change the political dynamics in this country because our Congress is a stupid whore who sucks corporate dick, on both sides. We need a strong third way. We need more political pluralism, a reformed campaign system and less institutionalized corruption. Otherwise, we're going to the dogs.


  1. "His achievements are deeply compromised by his insistence on talking down to the Republicans, instead of fighting them, like a schoolteacher chiding a bully but letting him get away with murder". This. I couldn't agree more. I too feel cheated. I was so excited when he won, I thought he really "was the change I could believe in". But his insistence with bipartisanship has been crap.

    And of course it's going to hell... to me, that's what republicans wanted... so then they can blame it on Obama when election time comes. What a mess.

  2. Even though Obama essentially inherited a catastrophe from Shrub, after serving almost three years in office, I too am deeply disappointed in him. I bought his slogan about change we can believe in, but looking back, I realize it was just a hollow promise. Two things I care about deeply, this country and my own wellbeing, are far worse now than on the day he took the oath of office. My confidence in him is in freefall. Although I'll vote against whatever Mormon android opposes him in 2012, I won't cast my ballot with the blind faith I had in Obama in 2008.