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Obama, Mediator of the Free World

Cross Posted at Bin Quick with Video.

Ruth Marcus, Obama’s ‘ Where’s Waldo’ presidency? Good question. Video

“They(Obama Administration) would argue … our job is to be the mediator … our job is to bring both sides together. And this is their operating principle whether it’s Egypt, whether it’s Libya, whether it’s dealing overseas, or whether it’s with the Senate Democrats and House Republicans.” – Chuck Todd

I just have one question, are you joking? The operating principle of the White House is to mediate between various parties. The leader of the free world, the US Commander-in-chief believes his role in setting policy, defending America’s interest, and restoring the economy is to “mediate”. If that’s Obama’s belief, then it explains health care reform, Iraq, Afghanistan, GITMO, and GWB tax cut extension.

A mediator is defined as a neutral party who assists in negotiations and conflict resolution. Does Obama believe he is a neutral party? President Obama is a “Democrat” or at least he is the leader of the Democratic Party but he believes his job is to mediate between Democrats and Republicans not advance a Democratic vision. We have elected a President that believes in nothing. Or if he has any beliefs, they are secondary to the principle of compromise. Whatever the Republicans want, he will give them at least half regardless whether or not it’s in America’s best interest. So if the Republicans want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and education while cutting taxes for the rich and corporate America. Obama doesn’t care or if he does, it’s not his job to defend Democratic principles, just to mediate between Democrats and Republicans.

The problem with this “operating principle” is that as President of the United States, Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party. His policies sets the agenda for the Party. If Obama believes he is just a mediator, then the Republicans are negotiating with the mediator or themselves. Practically, no Democrat will defend any policy if a Democratic President and the Republicans reached an agreement. If the leader of the Party stands for nothing, then the Party stands for nothing. Barack Obama has proven he stands for nothing better known as compromise at all cost. Now his administration is telling the media that they believe their role is to mediate.

America has survived for 230 years because the forces of Capital and the forces of Labor have fought over America’s future. Parties aren’t mentioned in the Constitution, but in the Federalist Papers, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton debated the effects of “faction”.

James Madison wrote, “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” and “the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society.”

The political competition between these “factions” produced the worlds greatest economic force, the American middle class. After 28 years of ultra Right wing and moderate Conservative administrations, and the train wreck that was the George W. Bush administration, we elected a Democrat to restore balance. But this President doesn’t believe it’s his responsibility to restore balance by pushing a Progressive agenda. He operates under the idea that he is a mediator. In other words, he has surrendered the American middle class to the faction of “those who hold property”.

If the Wisconsin and Ohio Governors wants to eliminate collective bargaining, Obama says almost nothing. If the Generals want 60,000 more troops to chase 50 Al Queda in Afghanistan, Obama splits the difference and gives them 30,000. If Republicans want to permanently extend the GWB tax cuts, Obama gives them 2 more years. If those same Republicans want to cut social programs for the poor that may cause 700,000 lost jobs, Obama mediates. If the Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare, Obama mediates. If the Republicans want to continue $36 Billion oil and gas subsidies, Obama mediates. The American middle class and the Democratic Party is defenseless with Barack Obama. If this is “Change”, can we re-elect George W. Bush? Maybe Bush will mediate between Democrats and Republicans.

If we apply the Mediator-in-Chief philosophy to past Presidents, Lincoln would have let half the South secede. FDR would have let Hitler have half of Europe and murder 3 million Jews without a response. Kennedy would have let the Russians set-up several nuclear launchers in Cuba. Just mediating between “factions” isn’t leadership or change, it’s vacuousness. Obama’s form of leadership produces a Health Care Reform that doesn’t reform health care. It produces a Financial Reform Bill that neither addresses the causes of the last financial crash nor prevents the next crash.

We have a President that leads by the least common denominator. Choose any subject that can get the necessary votes to pass congress regardless how watered down, how useless, or how misleading, and Obama will claim he has passed significant “Reform”. Where’s Waldo? It’s a trick, there isn’t a Waldo in the picture, and there isn’t a Commander-in-Chief in the White House, just a mediator.


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