When the primary battles of the 2008 election were drawing to a close, the bloody remnants of two strong campaigns shook hands and agreed to close ranks around our candidate for President, Barack Obama.
Even if we had supported another candidate in the primary season, we as Democrats were thrilled to see an historic candidate, the first African-American ascend to the zenith of American Politics, nomination for President of the United States and titular leader of the "free" world. His meteoric rise from unknown Illinois politician to the US Senate and then his leap into Presidential politics was the stuff of a Horatio Alger novel, something that left us all both stunned and hopeful.
In his campaign he seemed to be a forthright and honest broker in the American political process, while not using the Clintonian "Feel your pain" cadences in his speeches, he sought to lift the spirits of the listeners and make us feel that we could be participants in his rise to national puissance. His political psalms were of the restoration of America using the power of the Presidency and the victories gained in the legislative chambers to begin to effect an agenda that would take us away from the political and economic death-spiral our Republic had been locked in to since 2000.
Instead he as chosed to abdicate his office on almost every major issue to those who have been able to stick something shiny in front of his eyes at critical moments. His administration is being run by his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, a man who sharpened the vertices of Clintonian Triangulation to a fine point, and runs the agenda of the administration, and hence the country ruthlessly and for the profit of those who have been his longest-term friends, the Masters of the Universe in Lower Manhattan.
Obama’s apologists point to his passage of his Health Care bill as a "crowning achievement" and use the phrase "the perfect is the enemy of the good". An examination of Obama’s role in the passage of that legislation shows that he hardly expended any effort of political capital to achieve passage. In fact, he allowed a member of his own party, Max Baucus to slash and write a bill that not only profited but was written by the Health Care and Insurance Industries by Liz Fowler, a highly placed former Baucus staffer and VP at WellPoint, a mega-insurer who will profit immensely from the language of the bill, thanks to Baucus, Fowler and of course Obama’s cowardice (or to be kind, lack of definitive leadership in the matter)became so well defined that the phrase "Public Option" was a means for Rahm to scorn the very voters who believed in Obama’s support for universal health care as if we were some kind of wanton children with our noses pressed up against the glass, while our betters decided our fate unilaterally.
We are reminded every day that Obama, a Constitutional Lawyer, is willing to abrogate his duties under the Geneva Convention (and thereby the Constitution), to which we are a signatory to allow the continued existence of GITMO and not prosecute instances of torture, not "enhanced interrogation", torture that was prosecuted by the Allied Courts in Post WWII Europe and the Far East because of some mythical insistence on "looking forward not back" in his Administration. Would that any felon who has committed no crimes lately be granted so generous a respite from prosecution by law enforcement, their lives would be immeasurably more tranquil for not having to look over their shoulder and know that indeed justice delayed becomes no justice at all, and Rule of Law becomes moot with the passage of time for them.
Today Dan Choi was discharged from his honorable position in the service of our Country, by all accounts an outstanding and honorable soldier whose only fault was the sexual orientation he arrived in this world with. In campaign mode, Obama expressed over and over his disgust with the waste of good, honorable soldiers like Choi and promised that their cause of ending DADT would be his cause when he crossed the threshold of the Oval Office. Again, Obama has not only fallen short of his promise, but for all intents and purposes has retreated to the same "cone of silence" invented by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry in the TV sitcom "Get Smart". He hears nothing and we are left wondering what the real joke is, if not on us, the voters who gave him his opportunity to be the agent of Change in America.
I’m disgusted. I don’t know what will happen in 2012, but between the disaffected Democrats and Independents who pegged their hopes seeing a manifestation of energy comparable to the rhetorical brilliance of every Obama speech, it has been a sore and wounding trial to endure the successive disappointments when there could be achievement and progressive movement to rebuild and restore our country after the destruction of eight long years of republican destruction, both foreign and domestic.