Because we are.
This commentary by Stephen Crockett at Buzz Flash says it better than I can, even if you don’t read the rest of this, do yourself the favor of reading it.
Barack Obama’s administration is failing because he turns out to be a received elite consensus zombie. He has shown no unconventional courage in any of the major issues that face his administration, the two wars, the horrible economy, health care, the environment, energy, ... you name it, he’s either caved or betrayed the position of his base supporters. He’s screwed his base so often you have to conclude he enjoys doing it. If he had more to show for it than he’s gotten, it might be forgivable that he has betrayed us on occasion, but what he’s gotten is awful*.
The health care bill that he signed is such pathetically weak and delayed relief to the uninsured and the victims of outright theft by the insurance industry that it will not be popular. If, as I’m increasingly worried, the Republicans take the government again, they will destroy even that and suffer very little for it. Those same Republicans who Barack Obama wooed and flattered and courted when he could have enforced party discipline and produced a real bill. The sell outs in the Democratic caucus in the Senate saw Obama’s weakness with the Republicans and they played it on behalf of their backers in the insurance and health care industry. And the results were not only an emboldened Republican machine but a wounded and dispirited Democratic base. The strategy that led to Baucus gutting health care in the Senate was devised by the Obama administration, when it became apparent that Kennedy wasn’t going to be there, they were incredibly stupid to not change it. That is if the predictable result wasn’t the one they wanted.
I’ve given my theory that Obama’s transformation from a community organizer to an organization man happened at Harvard Law. I’m sure that once he became a star there he didn’t want to risk that status by violating the core principles of the elite that raised him up. That’s how they do it, with a sandbag made of velvet. I think it’s that elite that he sees as his real audience, the paying customers who he needs to please. I’m now almost certain that he sees the rest of us as having no choice.
Well, we don’t have a choice for the next two years as far as he goes. We have fixed terms and he has two more years. I’m afraid that this year the Democrats in the House and Senate will suffer, some who deserve to be dumped due to their duplicity, many who don’t nearly as much. And that will do nothing to strengthen Obama. With his record, it will provide him with an excuse for further sell outs. That’s the way he played the veto proof majority in the Senate.
Do we have a choice in 2012? The Republicans will certainly put up someone worse and the choice will be between Obama and whoever that is. Obama and his inner circle are counting on the Democratic base and progressive independents having no choice but to vote for him again. They are depending on the marginally better being the more rational choice. They shouldn’t count on it. They should remember what happened to Jimmy Carter in 1980, if they haven’t already. He didn’t sell out the base of his support nearly as cynically and completely as Barack Obama, he hadn’t shown himself to be as weak a president and the base failed to return him to office in the face of Ronald Reagan winning the election.
A Democratic president doesn’t only serve as the Executive of the government, he is also the head of the Democratic Party. Barack Obama led the Democrats into the greatest majority that any party has held in a long time and he has botched and squandered it into the ground. Largely with no excuse. I do blame his Chief of Staff for a lot of that, Rahm Emanuel has been the lead sell out of this administration and nothing will improve as long as he’s a part of the administration. He has seldom passed up an opportunity to gratuitously flip the bird at the progressives in the Democratic Party. But Obama shows no signs of facing up to that. The rest of his staff seem to be pretty near useless for governing or for politics. That is one thing you couldn’t say about the Bush II thugs, they were good at politics.
But that conventional analysis is, of course wrong. The Voters are the ultimate authority in any legitimate government. It didn’t start with Obama. It was was the horror of the Democratic base and many independents at the Bush II regime, at the prospect of eight more years of a McCain-Palin horror, at the determination to get a better government in, that led to Obama winning. It was us, not him. We are the ones who put him over the line. He didn’t pull us over it. He is the one who owes us and that account isn’t settled up. He owes us.
In 2008 I put all of my credibility into Barack Obama’s victory in the general election, into the victory of the Democrats in the House and Senate. A lot of us did, a lot of us worked as hard on that election as we have on any. The House under Nancy Pelosi has kept faith the best. I can hardly imagine how dispirited and angry she must feel with all of those bills she got passed in the house awaiting action in the Senate, without much visible effort to push them through by Barack Obama. My own representative, Chellie Pingree, has also kept faith as well as a freshman representative could. I will support her with everything I’ve got.
He’s got less than a year to do something I could support him with and I’m not seeing any signs of that happening. Even if I vote for him in 2012, I’m not going to humiliate myself for someone who seems to enjoy shafting us.
* I won’t even begin on the BP oil gusher and the incredibly impotent response by the macho Obama Administration to BP. That would take thousands of words.