Saturday, December 11, 2010

A History Of Weakness

Two years ago we had just elected Barack Obama as President. The nation was elated because they thought that finally we would have someone who would change the way the government runs and how we do business as a nation. I, like many people at the time, was fully on board with the President coming into office and getting us back on some sort of reasonable course, a course that had been shifted so far to the right that Reagan started to seem like a left-of-center Democrat. As of this week, what little confidence I had in the President to do the right thing came to a halt.

My discontent had been growing with this administration since the health care debate. I was angry enough to declare that I would not be voting for him again, with good reason. The health care bill gave us so little change that it may as well have not even been passed. Health care costs continue to rise, health insurance companies who are forced to cover preexisting conditions in children are just refusing to cover children at all, and the bill as a whole won't start to take a real effect until 2014. In 2014, the bill will have been gutted because it wasn't strong and it wasn't immediate. This entire episode would have been attributed to a new administration trying to find their way. Things would surely get better after this. Right?

Since the health care debate the President has been cowering in a corner, or more precisely he has been on his knees under Mitch McConnell's and John Boehner's desks. He collapses under any kind of pressure from the right and them throws his arms in the air and says “What could I have done? I had to compromise.” I haven't seen compromise, all I have seen is capitulation. There is a lot of big talk coming from this guy. He says he would love to fight the Republicans on every piece of major legislation that he can. When the opportunity presents itself, he runs and hides behind the curtains in the oval office.

Then there are the areas that he has stood up to fight which is a long list of right-wing goals. He failed to close Guantanamo Bay, he continues to policy of warrantless wiretapping, and seems to be apathetic to the issue of Net Neutrality. The only conclusion I can draw from any of these issues is that he doesn't care. If you do not take a stand against a bad idea than you may as well be a supporter of the bad idea. There is no room for compromise when it comes to failed or bad ideas from the Bush Administration.

Now comes to two issues that the President could have redeemed himself on: Repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and repeal of the Bush tax cuts. On the issue of DADT, how can he expect anything to get done while he is doing nothing but sitting on his hands waiting for the turtle of congress to take action? I agree that the bill has to be repealed through congress, but there is the option of enacting a stop-loss in the mean time. Then you start to tighten the screws on congress until they scream for mercy. The public is for the repeal of DADT and so is most of congress, minus John McCain who should be treated like a child and told to go stand in the corner until he calms down. Instead, we get a President who pays great lip service but does nothing in the end. Gays are still being discharged under DADT and congress has still not taken up the issue. You know why? Weak leadership, which also applies to Pelosi and Reed.

On the second issue, why is the President making the case for the Republicans? It doesn't make any sense at all. He went out as he usually does and crumbled at the first sign of pressure from the right. Not only did he crumble, but he gave away all of his bargaining chips before negotiations even started. As with DADT, the repeal of the Bush tax cuts was supported by a majority of the nation. The middle class should get to keep their tax cuts (that's anyone making less than $250,000 a year, which is too high in my opinion) and the wealthiest 2% of the nation has to go back to what their taxes were under Clinton (which is way too low in my opinion). However this President can't seem to wrap his mind around standing on principle. He actually thinks that he lost the House in 2010 because he wasn't enough of a Republican. What really happened was people started to wake up to his bullshit and realize that he has no back bone. The people voted for the Republicans because they had no other choice. Why would they vote for a spineless Democrat?

I can only urge the Democrats to run a primary against the President. After he stood on stage and blamed all of his problems on the liberals (his base, you know the ones who support him most) and said that we were being sanctimonious, the entire party should have started the process of finding someone who wasn't going to be a weakling who cowers in fear every time a Republican walks into the room.

I stick by my decision to never vote for this guy again. He is a lost cause at best and a Republican at worst. The question now is who is going to challenge him? Who can beat him for the nomination or who could run as a viable third-party candidate? I'm looking at you Russ Feingold.

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