BY WILLIAM C. HENRY One of the biggest gripes I’ve had lately (like for the past three years) with this administration is its seeming total lack of an offense — the foresightful OR the reactive variety. As a matter of fact, at times it’s been enough to make this card-carrying progressive wonder just who’s side they’re on. Now, I know that a damn good defense can, and more often than not, does, win football games but unfortunately for us Democrats, history continues to prove that even an outstanding defense seldom if EVER wins in the political arena. To put it bluntly, Mr. President, I could do with a little less civility, and a damn site more HOSTILITY! Your dealing with some really down and dirty gutter-dwelling opposition politicians, sir, and in case you hadn’t noticed, they’ve been acting that way ever since they discovered that you were shaded a bit off-white. Anyway, I really don’t want this to sound like unrestrained Obama bashing. It’s not meant to be. I’d prefer to think of it as a semi-forceful index finger to the sternum. God knows, everything you have said and done up to this point has been mega-times more morally and ethically principled than ANYTHING–and I do mean ANYTHING–uttered or accomplished on the right side of the spectrum in over a decade. That being said, here are some cases in point that have irked me immensely:
1. Why have you stood idly by while the blatantly racist opposition and their slimeball right-wing media ilk denigrate you, Mr. President? By not responding forcefully to this type of thinly veiled bigotry (for beginners, can you spell b-i-r-t-h-e-r movement?) you’ve simply invited more of it. When before have you heard anything like, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one term President” come out of the mouth of a U.S. Senate minority leader? When before have you heard of the President of the United States being shouted down by a scream of “You lie!” from the mouth of a member of the opposition while delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress? When before have you heard the for-all-practical-purposes “leader” of the opposition (aka Rush Limbaugh) proudly declare that he hopes the President fails? I’d also ask why you haven’t responded to a U.S. Representative shooting his middle finger at you concerning his lack of interest in hearing or attending your Thursday “jobs” speech, but since Joe Walsh (R-IL) can’t be bothered with supporting his own family, I can see why he probably wouldn’t feel any differently towards you. Anyway, I’d really like to see you instantly and continually give back even stronger than you get, Mr. President, and not stop until your tormentors slink back into the racist sewers from whence they came.
2. Why haven’t you jack-hammered the term “entitlements” right down the throats of an opposition who consider themselves the most entitled Americans of all?! I mean, these are the folks who believe that wealth and position ENTITLE them to top-flight cradle-to-the-grave health care–the rest of us can empty bedpans. These are the folks who believe that wealth and position ENTITLE them to tax breaks and loopholes–the rest of us are just whiners. These are the folks who believe that wealth and position ENTITLE them to preferential treatment from the bank vault to the battlefield–the rest of us can live in cars, and dig foxholes. These are the folks who believe that an “entitlement” is a spoil of politics due those who best belly-up with the bullion. It ought to be enough to make you want to tell it like it is. So, why the hell haven’t you been doing so, Mr. President? Cut the kumbayah, sir. Start hitching up a little in-your-face HOSTILITY for a change.
3. Why has it taken you so long to do ANYTHING about the big bank and investment house criminals who brought this nation to the brink of death? What is your goddamn excuse? It’s taken three friggin’ years to take action on the biggest criminal fraud in this country’s history?! Are you kidding me?! What the hell have you been waiting for?! You’ve pissed off a lot of people with this seeming lack of compassion for the victims, sir. You should’ve acted a whole lot sooner. Every day of inaction allowed these whores more time to enjoy their ill-gotten gains and retain the best white-collar buttplugs money could buy. You know, you never even SAID much about it. Where was the ringing condemnation? You even staffed the financial/economic side of your administration with some of the very criminals who had either participated in, or acquiesced to, the crime. What the hell kind of justice was that? Your actions were nothing less than despicable. I’ll be anxious to see just how hard you pursue this. These bastards stole a TRILLION+ dollars and destroyed the lives and futures of MILLIONS of Americans. It was the most heinous financial crime in history. Let’s see what you’re willing to settle for.
4. Why have you stood by and allowed the financial industry to eviscerate financial reform? The administration’s proposals have been shredded by one of the most expensive lobbying efforts ever mounted. Why have these efforts flown so stealthily under the radar? What the hell is going on?! Sure these bastards have got more money and influence than God, but why hasn’t the public been kept informed of their deceit? Are you going to allow this to stand, Mr. President? Are you again going to slink off into the sunset without a fight? Why aren’t you publicly and CONSTANTLY condemning these thieves and con artists? Where the hell is your backbone?! This is unconscionable! Are you going to let these whores perpetrate the same monstrous crimes all over again? Is it any wonder the American public (at least those who bother to keep themselves informed) is fed up?! What’s it going to take to get your attention, sir? Stop the CAPITULATION CRAP! It’s time for you to man up and show the American people who’s in charge. The Presidency is no job for a wimp.
5. When are you going to bail on this “compromise” bullshit? The opposition is never going to even CONSIDER compromise until this economy hits them in THEIR pocketbooks. Hell, if this economic devastation had been effecting THEM, do you think for one minute their representation would be doing NOTHING?! Get a grip, Mr. President, this isn’t rocket science, this is Politics 101. These folks are doing just fine with the status quo. For God’s sake, the big banks are sitting on a TRILLION dollars! That’s YOUR tax/bailout money, Mr. & Mrs. America. CEO’s are hauling in more more compensation than EVER BEFORE! Christ, folks, you’re losing your homes, and they’re buying bigger boats! Things have never looked better for the moneyed class! So, why would their representatives want to compromise on ANYTHING? Surely you jest! You’ve got to get out of the Oval Office, and get into American back yards, Mr. President. You’ve got to take this sordid story to the people, sir, and not stop until every last citizen understands the gravity of the stakes. The nation needs you, sir. There isn’t a wannabe President on the other side with the intelligence or compassion to shine your shoes.
I recognize that in the long term democracies can’t be governed effectively from the left or the right (you can clearly see what 2000-2008 got us), they must be governed from the center (just like 1992-2000). But given a choice of liberal or not being governed at all–which is what we’ve been experiencing for the past couple years–I’d turn left every time. Tell me something, folks: When was the last time you heard the opposition even TALK about the poor, the underprivileged, the dispossessed, or the disenfranchised, or even the MIDDLE CLASS for that matter? When was the last time you heard them so much as SPEAK the words minority, homelessness, hunger, or uninsured? Mr. President, we need for you to spend a lot less time trying to convince the plutocrats, and a lot more time convincing the American people of the utter futility of even trying. The opposition doesn’t give a shit about most of us. The sooner you accept that, the better off we’ll be. Get on with the snide, sir. In politics, perception is everything.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.
1,760 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
13,011 = The number of Americans wounded in Afghanistan.
0 = The number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history and wrecking the global economy, plunging untold millions into lives of misery and deprivation.