The stage was set, the expectations high; he entered office with a clear mandate from the people of America who also gave him control of both houses of the U.S. Congress. Millions of Americans were in a state of euphoria, eagerly awaiting the birth of a new era in this nation; anticipating the start of a massive cleansing process that would erase the previous eight years of deceit and lies.
America eagerly waited for that cleansing process to begin and then nothing happened, there has been no cleansing process, and the dark days that this nation had experienced during the years when Bush/Cheney ruled were not swept away by a creative, visionary agenda that would begin the transformation of America.
Watching President Obama's way of going about the job of leading this nation brings to mind several well-known phrases; "talk is cheap", "actions speak louder than words", "speak softly and carry a big stick". If oratorical skills were the only requirement for the job, then William Jennings Bryan, one of the greatest orators in American history, who ran and was defeated in 1896, 1900 and 1908, would have easily been elected president.
Mr. Obama clearly can "talk the talk", that we witness almost on a daily basis, but, unfortunately, he cannot seem to "walk the walk"; i.e., providing strong leadership, taking charge, and finding ways to get the job done. Those are not his strong points as he has so clearly proven. The millions who elected him were looking for some combination of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR; but what we got instead was a mixture of Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Herbert Hoover.
The Republicans insult him, poke fun at him, dispute his citizenship, call him a Socialist and have not the slightest intention of voting for any meaningful legislation that he and his fellow Democrats initiate. And after each time they deliver a blow to his never-ending attempts to establish bipartisanship, he comes back with, "Thank you sirs, may I have another?" Mr. Obama apparently is a glutton for punishment and the GOP takes delight in delivering it.
Health care reform is on the ropes, going down for the count. Mr. Obama took single-payer off the table early in the process and then walked away from a strong public option. He and his Senate cohorts have a tool at their disposal that has been used numerous times to pass critical legislation, namely, the reconciliation process. Even though there are limitations on what can be enacted through reconciliation, there is not a doubt that a major part of health care reform, including the public option, can be enacted. And yet they continue to vacillate.
Right now it is generally accepted that this reform, if put through the usual legislative process, has no chance of passage because the GOP, together with the traitorous Blue Dog Democrats, will invoke the deadly filibuster. Obama knows that he will never defeat this coalition of democracy-killers but he continues to beat the drums of bipartisanship. He is not only wasting valuable time and letting the GOP make an utter fool of him, but he may completely blow the greatest opportunity for health reform in many decades; that would be a disaster.
What about effective regulatory reform of the banking industry, the lack of which allowed the egregious abuses and manipulations that caused America's economic crisis? Even though our economic system has been badly damaged, there is still time to pass legislation that will put in the proper curbs so that this tragedy will never be repeated. But what is Obama doing? He continues to merely watch as the banksters restart the entire process of cheating the American people. Do we see him sitting down with his economic team and congressional leaders to outline a clear and effective plan for regulatory reform? The answer is absolutely not and it is making a lot of people wonder if his ties to the banking industry are far deeper than we had thought.
His escalation of the war in Afghanistan and the current dangerous extension into Pakistan is the most significant failure of his presidency. It has taken our nation into a huge quagmire from which we will find it most difficult or even possible to extract ourselves with any sense of honor or dignity. His decisions, which will significantly increase the suffering and death of our troops and innocent civilians, will assure his historical legacy as a War President.
Mr. Obama and his military advisers, together with the constant chorus of war hawks in America and in Israel, our client state, continue rattling their sabers at Iran. Apparently our current wars are not enough and Iran is the next tempting target. What in the world ever happened to this president's statements about using diplomacy and face to face talks to cool down the tensions? Are the U.S. generals and the Israeli leadership once again dictating the path to war?
If he thinks that the American people are totally asleep and can't see how miserably that he and his fellow Democrats are performing then he is the one who needs to wake up. He should realize that his actions and performance have dealt a potential irreversible blow to his presidency and the entire Democratic Party.
"They have no vision and where there is no vision, the people perish." That's a quote from a speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933 that he had taken from the Book of Proverbs. And as we watch with disbelief and great trepidation the actions of our president and the Democratic Party, that quote seems to fit perfectly.
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