The discouragement of those of us who voted for Barack Obama is a direct result of his refusal to abandon his cool, calm, collected pose in order to fight the Republicans and conservative Democrats, of him handing them victory through accommodation to their obstruction of the desires of most Democrats and independents and the majority in the House and Senate who we put in office.
Electing Barack Obama was a somewhat larger than ususal gamble for us. The first black president was bound to be a rallying point for racists, it would organize them and give them focus. That was so obvious that calling it a prediction is silly, no informed person could credibly deny that it was absolutely certain to happen. Barack Obama knew that would be one of the certainties in his candidacy and, if he won despite the racism hurled against him in the campaign, that it would continue to be a defining, even if unstated, fact of his presidency. I think it's well past time for us to remind him that with full knowledge of those facts, of us to give him the job AT HIS REQUEST despite the use of it our enemies would make of it to organize their thugs and bigots, means he owes US more than cooperation with those same thugs and bigots and the oligarchs who have them harnessed to drive their wagon.
The Republican Party made no secret of their strategy of absorbing the, formerly Democratic, white racists concentrated in the South and to appeal to racists elsewhere in order to gain office. They announced it and discussed it in interviews. The Southern Strategy was completely amoral it is also an entirely rational thing for amoral, criminal people to do in order to win elections. Other people look at the devastating effects on the people who are the targets of Republican racism, of the huge problems it creates and harm it does to the country, in general, and they assume it is the result of ignorance and irrationality. But you can only allow yourself that comfort, with its associated opportunities for self-congratulations, if you willfully ignore that power and wealth accumulation are the goals of modern Republicanism. Modern Republicans are so fixated on those two things that there isn't room for any other value or morality. Their goals are not justice, not the common good, not the welfare of the United States, certainly not of the world.
I think it's high time for us to remind President Obama that with those facts, us giving him the job AT HIS REQUEST despite the use of it our enemies would make of it to organize their thugs and bigots, means he owes US more than cooperation with those same thugs and bigots and the oligarchs who have them harnessed to drive their wagon. It's our right to hold him to the responsibility he asked us to give him. A large part of that responsibility is to prevent the Republicans from regaining power in order to repeat and extend what they did during the horrible eight years of the Bush II regime. You can't do that by appeasing them and the media that is their tool. We have more than a right to hold Barack Obama to his responsibilities, we have a moral duty to do that.
There is nothing about the long, awful period of Republican ascendancy that isn't clear. Their strategies of appealing to the basest aspects of human nature, fear, greed, laziness, bigotry, envy, etc. are deniable only by the truly ignorant or those in denial. I refuse to give Barack Obama those outs. He is extremely intelligent, he is informed, he has read the Republican framing of him and his administration that the media devotedly carries without filtering it through reality. Barack Obama has no psychological excuse for his continued accommodation of Republicans or the media which is their propaganda organ. If Barack Obama is anything like his projected persona, he would reject those excuses as beneath him.
The alternatives are that he is a sell out or that he knows that he and his family might be put in even more danger if he opposes the Republicans and really fights against them. Or he's a monumental slacker. At this point, it's clear that there is no political advantage for him in continued gestures of bipartisanship and cooperation. There is no rational reason for Republicans to change their campaign of lies and racism because those have worked, as they have for the past fifty years, to get them what they want.
If Barack Obama continues to be unable or unwilling to be the FIGHTING LEADER of Democrats and progressives he plays on the campaign stump, his only honorable course of action is to announce early that he will not seek reelection. If he is at all responsible, he will be absolutely frank about his reasons for not seeking a second term. If he chooses to keep the office only to continue the sell-outs and acquiescence to obstruction, that is a far more dishonorable course of action for him. It would mark him as among the most failed of presidents.
We can't wait for him. We have to begin to plan for the post-Obama period because if he chooses to go on as he has, it's already begun. And he's not signaling that he is going to change. Watch who he replaces Summers with for an early indication if he chose to learn the real lesson of this election. We should be looking for another candidate, for strategies to win back the House and to hold on to the Senate and to strengthen the power of the authentic Democratic progressives there. I don't see Charles Schumer's elevation by Harry Reid as an auspicious sign there. The Senate is the other bad leg that this administration has depended on. We've got to work on the Senate too.