Two days ago President Obama officially announced his plan to run for reelection. This came as no surprise to anyone, I’m sure, since he’s been running for president for almost three years after he was first elected. I mean, he must be still running. After all, he certainly doesn’t behave like the leader of the Free World. More like a corporate CEO whose job is on tenterhooks and must please his board (read, congress), at all costs, all the while throwing the employees (read, us) under the bus. Which would hardly be noticed, were he heading a multi-national. Unfortunately, the American people hired him to do a different job; he’s supposed to represent us.
As an attorney and former professor of Constitutional Law he should know this. He was elected with virtually no experience, mostly on the romanticised “we want Camelot back” view of baby boomers and the, “he’s young and not an emotionally unstable female republican” view of their progeny. None of this has turned out to be the case. For the record, the oft-quoted “Camelot” of the Kennedy years was, for the most part, a sham. Kennedy was a religious conservative who chased anything in a garter belt. The Civil Rights Act and subsequent supportive legislation was all finessed through by JFK’s successor, Lyndon Johnson after that fateful day in Dallas. Kennedy also sent the first troops intoVietnam. Johnson just inherited the subsequent mess. And lost his political career over it.
To any student of history, Barack Obama, to pardon the pun, is no Jack Kennedy. Unlike Kennedy’s Noveau Riche family, Obama was born to a single parent of modest means. His grandparents sent him to a prestigious prep school where he learned to make friends and be accepted by individuals far beyond him on the socioeconomic ladder. He has been courting those individuals ever since. This “courtship” has led him to the highest political office in the land. It is also why I call him a “stealth republican.”
Barack Obama has ignored or directly violated every one of his campaign promises, all the while signing some of the most pro-business law in history.
He promised to repeal the Patriot Act, a largely unconstitutional group of laws allegedly designed to prevent terrorism but actually set up by the previous administration to suspend individual constitutional rights. He extended it. As an added bonus, he promised to close Guantanimo Bay prison, where people have been held and tortured for years in complete disregard of our constitutional principles. After four years, Gitmo is still open. Instead of the open and somewhat fair trials promised in Federal Court, he’s sending them to secret Military Tribunals, with little or no access to independent counsel. That alone is worthy of the Bush Administration. But I digress.
Barack Obama also asserted that he would remove us from that morass in the Middle East. Last I checked, we were still in Iraq. We now have an enlarged presence in Afghanistan, and we are bombing Libya. This is bleeding us dry both on the battlefield and in our national budget. He turned his back on an American and Israeli ally of thirty years in Egypt–actually threw him under the bus. Now only the Egyptian military stands between the people and another fundamentalist Islamic state. Brilliant move, if you support the Mullahs.
That’s nothing compared to what he’s done to his constituents. He passed the largest corporate health care giveaway in history. Soon, all Americans will be required to carry health insurance. Instead of having a basic national health policy, with additional tiers that private insurers could carry, we have to purchase it from a private company. Because everyone six hundred dollars or more a month to spend on health insurance. Especially the roughly eighteen percent unemployed, because we know that their benefits–those who still receive them– will stretch to cover the mortgage, food, and COBRA. For me, the most interesting part of this bill is the fact that Obama chose to use the IRS as the agency responsible for its enforcement. You remember the IRS, that tax agency with ready access to your place of employment and all of your financial assets. And no legal requirement to honor your constitutional rights.
One of his first acts as President was a multi-trillion-dollar bailout of this nation’s banking system. By borrowing money–mostly from the Chinese–to do this, he essentially turned our great-grandchildren into debt slaves. To the Chinese…Who make all our stuff…Hmmm…Did I mention that it would have been cheaper to bail out every person with an account in jeopardy? After all this money, did the financial institutions involved actually changed their spendthrift ways? Nope, they kept their posh corporate retreats and multi-million dollar bonuses. Paid for by the United States taxpayer. And their great-grandchildren.
Which brings us to the impending government shutdown. The Republican controlled congress wants to balance the budget by unfunding npr, Planned Parenthood, and health care for the poor and elderly(ironic, isn’t it?) while abolishing both capital gains and corporate taxes. In short, move the government cheese to those who need it–rich multi-national corporations with net incomes of over ten million dollars who employ few here because they have, for the most part, move their production and customer service operations overseas. Already, the press (conveniently owned by the same corporations) are discussing how a government shutdown would be bad for business. Let’s see if our President does the job the average citizen hired him to do or if he caters to those who really elected him. I’m betting on the latter. Because he’s still trying to win the approval of the rich (Republican) kids. Because he has become one of the rich (Republican) kids.
Must be nice to have a friend like Obama in Washington. Pity I’ll never know.
Thanks for reading.