Home National Politics A Special Comment from KO and a Few Comments of My Own

A Special Comment from KO and a Few Comments of My Own


It’s seems like forever since that freezing, but sunny, day in January 2009 when so many of us endured historic crowds to witness the swearing in of the president we all worked to elect.  That day I spent the morning in the Purple Tunnel of Doom, wrongly corralled by the DC police like so much pond scum. We had the coveted tickets from our congressman and yet we never saw that event we had longed for. When we finally emerged from the tunnel, events were well under way and the gates had been closed.  The apologies from officialdom, and even the hearing about what went wrong rang hollow.  I left DC through a flood of tears, trying hard to remember what we worked so hard for, trying to see the good of what DID happen that day. We returned home and promised to have the president’s back when he was beleaguered by the other side and we did. We said we would defend him and we did. We were still so proud.

And then it began.  Not one disappointment after another, but one sellout after another coupled with ongoing put-downs and outright contempt for the very people who made his presidency possible.

–No real end to Gitmo

–No restoration of Habeas corpus

–No restoration of the posse commitatus act.

–No suspension of the worst aspects of the –Patriot Act.

–No end in sight for Iraq

–No end in sight in Afghanistan

–War in Pakistan (conveniently lumped in as AFPAK,, as if it were not a new venture.

–The budget implications of the above.

–The appointment of the B-S twins (Bowles-Simpson).

–and on and on

What hurts is not that cold day in 2009.  Rather what hurts is the fact that President Obama has joined the Republicans in cynically exploiting the middle class and the poor, even while pretending he is on our side.  Yes, President Obama, the hostage is hurt.  WE ARE.  Our futures are dimmed, our safety net lies in tatters as you have given the GOP an opening for much more mischief than the so-called deficit commission ever could, given its mandate and lack of authority.  

What hurts is that he has institutionalized even more shenanigans within reconciliation and left a terrible and dooming legacy. No one will ever have the stomach to reverse what he has agreed to and the demolition will go on and on into the future.  Trillions of dollars –and most American’s primary retirement income.

What hurts is the lack of jobs.  And what hurts is that he colludes with the Pentagon to further endless war, which is both wrong and unaffordable.  Our national treasure, our youth, are now conditioned through video games to want to shoot up “enemies” in foreign lands for corporate “welfare.”  (They want resources, after all.)

No it is not about 2001, and that awful day. Otherwise, we would not have invaded one country which never harmed us Sept 11, nor waged war against another to find perhaps 100 remaining Al Qaeda.  100 people do not a national enemy make. What hurts is that President Obama is oblivious to how Afghanistan brought down the USSR, but doesn’t think that can happen to us.  Given his current fiscal path, per his agreement this week with Republicans, it could.

What hurts is the further disintegration of our civil liberties, the quite literal ending of net neutrality, of FCC fairness, of real oversight and real reform of Wall Street. What hurts is that it is still possible for Americans to go bankrupt over health care bills because of the sheer lack of cost containment in “health care reform.”

What hurts is the continuation of policies hurting roughly 10% of Americans who continue to be treated as if the government should legislate their personal lives.  What hurts is the “papers please” bigotry with which legal immigrants and even US citizens are now facing at the hands of hateful xenophobic radicals, all the while President Obama does nothing to really stop it once and for all. There is so much more that hurts.

I will close with this one: What hurts is that President Obama has such contempt for us, for real Americans, who believed in him, even until very recently.  We deserve respect as surely as do those about whom he constantly lectures to us about “bipartisanship.”  It is time he show the Democrats in Congress the respect they deserve as our representatives by including them in the negotiations.  Changing how we do things in Washington includes changing the demonizing of the conveniently dissed “the left.”  

Mr, President, it is long past time to show us, at minimum, the respect you show everyone else, even those who hate you from the unhinged wrong-wing Tea Party/Club-for-Growth wing.  You cannot find it in your heart to stand up against their lies and speak the firm rebuttal to their them, but you can fire off contemptuous remarks, and let your staff do so–toward us– nonetheless.

What is needed in Washington is the recognition that most of the good things that have been accomplished have been ideas from “the left.”  Instead of always thinking of ourselves, we try to work toward what is right.  We urge that our country work inspired by our “better angels,” while the other side wants to run roughshod over whomever it can, at whatever cost it can or will.  Colluding with and reinforcing them is not in keeping with our “better angels.”  There is a better way, and our president should respect that. Instead, he has sicked Joe Biden on us once again.  You gotta just shake your head at the arrogance, unfairness, and hatefulness–for we fellow Americans who deserve better than that.

  • Hugo Estrada

    Makes me wonder if the mistake that we made was not to keep the pressure right from the beginning of the Obama administration. Way too many of us, I include myself among them, just kept giving him the benefit of the doubt whenever he inched toward the right.

    Now we got an extension to these tax cuts and a direct attack on Social Security with that payroll holiday.

  • pontoon

    I was one of those folks who didn’t get in to see the President being sworn in.  My 10-year-old son went with me to Washington because I wanted him to be a part of the living history that was occurring. We stood in lines packed so close together that if I moved my arm, I elbowed the person behind me.  The spirit of the crowd, even with the bitter cold and not getting to our seats, was filled with joy and excitement.  

    As we made our way back to the home we were staying in, I cried. My son tried to comfort me, telling me it was okay that we didn’t get to see the President being sworn in.   Among those tears though, was still the happiness we all shared because we had won and now had a positive outlook for our future.  We had succeeded in electing the man who was going to work to turn our country around.  He was going to represent us, not the corporations and the wealthy.  He was going to fight for people like me.

    Last night I got an email and video message from OFA where President Obama again tried to justify the abandonment of his vision and those of us who elected him.  The email asked for comments to be submitted.  I’m sure he will not like mine.

    The hope is gone.  My belief that this President will represent me is in shreds.  The only feelings I have left are that I am sad, dispirited, dejected.  And I wonder how I got here, to this place of hopelessness, from the euphoria I felt twenty-three months ago.  

  • Mike1987

    to fight with the base. Problem with that (pay attention Webb) is that if you cannot count on your base, the moderates/independents will not carry you over the threshold. If you cannot keep your base, then your expenses rise dramatically trying to convince them your “one of them”.

    Republicans and baggers will not vote for you. Right leaning “independents” will most likely not vote for you. So that leaves the base and 50% of the “moderates / independents”.  So Mr. President, go ahead and piss me off and piss on me, because I’m not sure there’s a difference between you and Mitt (Mittens). And I’m fairly sure he’s not into water sports.

    Last time, I hit the streets with a clip board and donated the max allowed by law (unless your a corporation).  This time, I may just hit my martini’s and keep my money.

    But Gerry – You’re my Congressman! Warner, not so sure. Webb, nope.