BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Whatever happened to the man I voted for? Where did he go? Did he morph right before my ears? Or, has he simply been a sheep skinned Canus lupis all along? Damn, talk about your “quick change” artists. This guy has made Brachetti look like a full-body tattoo. From “equal” justice, to “open” government, to domestic spying, to whistleblowers, this “alchemistical” President of mine has got me to wondering if my rationale that “he’s probably better than the alternative” is anywhere near good enough. Here’s what I’m talking about:
EQUAL JUSTICE: If my President is as committed to “equal” justice as he said he was, I have to ask myself why so many of America’s most flagrant criminals are still strolling haughtily up and down Wall Street. The massive criminal fraud committed by some of America’s largest and most influential brokerage, investment, banking and insurance institutions came clearly to light early in the first Obama administration. Not since the Great Depression of 1929 had the economy of this country been brought so close to total collapse. The avarice, duplicity and outright thievery involved proved to be incalculably greater than all of the biggest Ponzi and pyramid schemes in history, combined! The difference? Most of those scam artists were sent to prison. Barack’s Justice Department has yet to prosecute a single one of the upper level financial whores responsible for this most atrocious criminal conspiracy ever perpetrated. Not doing so was, and still is, an utterly gutless, not to mention unconscionably immoral, decision on his part.
OPEN GOVERNMENT: Back in 2009 my President said, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” Well, so much for transparency. Under the guise of the “administration,” my President has proposed that the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) be amended where access to law enforcement or national security CYA (yes, folks, that’s precisely what 90% of them are) documents is concerned. Under the Obama amendments, government officials can lie and say the documents the FOIA request asks for do not exist, even if they do. Well now, Mr. President, that’s the kind of behavior that’s certain to move you up on the SMUS estimation scale. All the way up to the tip of my middle finger. Especially since you’re the guy who promised “open and transparent government.” Apparently the real Barack Obama has a woefully short memory or a permanent disfigurement often referred to as two-facedness.
DOMESTIC SPYING: This one certainly shouldn’t require a great deal of enlightening, at least where intelligent and informed citizens are concerned. The capacity to gather and analyze the totality of a nation’s personal communications is so beyond the pale as to defy comprehension let alone justification, not to mention the Fourth Amendment. Those who support the domestic spying operation in the name of security say we should trust government to do the right thing. Sure we should. Just like we should trust it not to engage in senseless, unwarranted, hubris fomented wars resulting in the butchery of the combined sixty-five thousand brave American men and women in Vietnam, Iraq & Afghanistan. That’s not even counting the hundreds of thousands that were maimed, crippled, and PTSD’d or the million-plus indigenous peoples unfortunate enough to live in said war zones that perished in the wake of our misadventures. Just like we should trust other major American institutions like the banking, brokerage and insurance industries not to lay waste to the economy of the nation. Sure we should. Just like we should believe you, Mr. President, or any other representative of government, elected or otherwise, when they tell us they can be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to domestic spying. Sure we should. Right after irrefutable proof of pigs taking flight.
WHISTLEBLOWERS: In a 2009 statement concerning protection for whistleblowers, Obama said, “Often the best source about waste, fraud and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism . . . should be encouraged rather than stifled.” Since that time all he has tried to do is put two of the most supremely patriotic of the genre in prison for the rest of their lives for exposing military and civilian government ineptitude, incompetence, malfeasance, fraud, waste, negligence, “cover your ass” secrecy classification abuse, and spying on literally every single communication of every one of its citizens. Incidentally, that last little datum relates to the Obama presidency’s spying capabilities prior to the world’s largest such facility becoming operational in Utah this September! So much for my President’s lauding of the “courage and patriotism” of whistleblowers.
So far as these reversals are concerned, I’d say that my President’s legacy is right on track with Shakespeare’s “evil that men do living after them, and the good being interred with their bones.” This isn’t everyday politics, sir. This is some really bad stuff. Stuff that won’t soon be forgotten. Stomach turning stuff. Stuff that will cost you the faith, good will and trust of the American people. And rightly so. Yeah, I’ll probably be scorched by some for offering up the following as analogous to today’s state of affairs, but so be it. I’m pretty sure that Lincoln would agree that it is, however, and I’m hopeful that you, too, can appreciate the relevance: “As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
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.