Thursday, August 18, 2011

President Obama 2012

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor
President Obama inherited a mess of global proportions thanks to the dismal administration of George W. Bush and his embedded corporate cronies.  President Bush declared war on Iraq after the Al Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001 and this opened the flood gates to massive rape and pillage of another country by American corporations and the deaths and permanent injuries of thousands of American soldiers.

Wall Street had a field day creating unsustainable financial articles that moved paper and electronic transactions the way the wind moves sand.  There was barely any consistency of direction and location, the idea was to move volumes, inflate the worth of goods and create instruments that investors would assume were solid financial investments.

Just like drug-addicted parents, the kids pay the heaviest price and shoulder the massive burden of a dysfunctional family.  In this case, the Middle Class in the United States of America payed with blood and treasure and we are still paying for the reckless behavior of those who hold the keys to America's wealth.

We have seen it all, the good, the bad, the ugly and the unbelievable.

The unbelievable includes the hypocrisy of an elected Congress that almost caused the financial default of America because their political ideology trumps the welfare of the country.  Making President Obama a "One time president" has been their goal from the beginning.

The blatant attacks on Unions, teachers, policemen and firefighters all around the country have left many speechless and propelled recall elections and demonstrations by the working people, the poor and unemployed.  The goal here, from my perspective is two-fold: dismantle "the base" that supports the President and enrich the coffers of corporations in one fell-swoop.

As Democrats, we find unbelievable how the media manages to drown everything positive President Obama has accomplished and continues to hammer the message of corporations and the Right Wing on how every ill that afflicts our country must be blamed on President Obama.  

Many on the Left are buying this rubbish and playing a game in which the rules are set by someone else.  The divisive technique is meant to fracture the base as much as possible and put the corporate puppets in entrenched positions in key government sets at both the local and federal level.  

President Obama can only do so much with the cards he was dealt and the opposition he continues to face from Congress.  When Congress was composed of Democrats, many failed to acknowledge (and to this day, this is true), the obstructionism of the GOP and the stupid rule of reaching consensus with 61 votes - Which the Democratic Congress failed to get time and again.

We forget, and we must remember, President Obama's accomplishments:
  • Don't ask, don't tell (bye-bye) and thank you President Obama
  • Signed the Mathew Sheppard Hate Act.
  • Stimulus money to stabilize the economy and prevent a total collapse of the banking industry.  Most people's 401K have rebounded since they became 101K under George W. Bush
  • Saved the auto industry - Jobs saved, created, loan paid back.
  • Appointed the first Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court
  • Updated the military by restructuring how we fight in a cyber-world.
  • Tracking stimulus spending through Recovery.gov
  • The SCHIP program covers 4 million more CHILDREN (thank you President Obama)
  • Effectively responded to Haiti Earthquake and National disasters.
  • Improved the benefits for Veterans, increased quality & efficiency in Military hospitals.
  • Donated the $1.4 million dollars from his Nobel Peace Prize to Non-profits.
  • Provided tax-credit to first-time homeowners.
  • Partnered with banks to reduce the principal of homeowner's whose houses are worth less than what is owed on them - thank Wall Street Banksters for this and Thank President Obama for not having MORE foreclosures than what we already have.
  • Granted regulatory powers to the FDA re: Tobacco products - This reverses George W. Bush policy. (One of the many reversals from the previous administration)
  • Cuban families have more freedom now to travel to Cuba and see their families.
  • Reduced and froze salaries of White House aides.
  • Lowered the cost of prescriptions drugs for seniors on Medicare.
  • Negotiated a deal in which the US will be able to track tax evaders who use Swiss banks.
  • Stabilized the banks WITHOUT federalizing them - Which was the ONLY solution viewed by many "in the know"
  • Bye-Bye F-22 and other obsolete weapons the military is forced to purchase and don't use.  Tax payer's dollars saved in the billions.
  • Embryonic cell research restrictions removed - Bye-bye Bush stupid policy.
  • Funding medical research and development (see above)
  • Passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act - Equal pay for Equal Work (Women and their families rejoice)
  • Has restored a better view of Americans in the world - Your college kids do not have to pretend they are Canadian when traveling abroad.
  • One bullet took care of Somali pirates. (How is this for decisiveness?)
  • One Navy Seal team killed Osama Bin Laden. (Good-bye Bush Excuses)
President Obama in Minnesota - 2011
There are a ton of things this president has done that are swept under the rug as if it did not matter and I surmise that no one is that forgetful, but certainly we can become spoiled by expecting the right things to be done ... yesterday.  For pages filled with legislative achievements, don't trust me and go to the source: The White House. 

In the meantime, let's give credit where credit is due and start balancing the negative nonsense with the facts and see who comes out on top.  I wager it would the Middle-Class, the poor, the under-served and President Obama.

Keep in mind that the reason President Obama does not act unilaterally and behaves like a dictator-in-chief is because, unlike his predecessor, he takes Democracy and our Constitution seriously.  

This is one man that as a constitutional professor and lawyer, KNOWS the constitution and upholds it - unlike all the fake patriots who invoke it when it suits them and conveniently forget what it all means when it clashes with their warped ideology.

Thank you Mr. President for your leadership, patience, and thoughtfulness.  Most of all, thank you for keeping your cool as the rest of us lose ours and struggle to starve the beast devouring our Democracy and stalling our progress.


Next post: Racism

12 comments:

Marie Bagatela said...

The list is long, but the memory of the people is not so...
Democrats fall in Love, Republican fall in line...
We Dem act like we wake up in a bad with a stranger, and we shy to admit how much fun we have the nite before...
We just want to go back to where we were Congressional seats, and give same old same old " we care so much" speeches, while the Republican piling up with a ballots in their hands...
Marie

bardgal said...

Great post!!!

Don't forget about the Affordable Care Act - which will eventually lead to Single Payer (because PBO really does play 17th level transdimentional chess for the really long game):

2014 all the non-profits come online, offering better plans for less money because they don't have $12mil+bonus CEOs/stocks/profit. These will merge across state lines to offer larger risk pools (Rhode Island can't offer the risk pool California can) and eventually they will merge nationally because it's the only thing that is sustainable in the long run. Voilá! Single Payer.

This is why the Health Cartels are still spending billions to get GOP/Tsps elected so they can overturn it. They see their own demise. They know they must adapt or die. However, it's their own damn fault for greeding themselves out of business.

2012 will be the ugliest political fight you've ever seen, because the Health Industry knows this is their only chance to overturn it. Look for more voter suppression, e-voting shenanigans, and legal fights along the line of 2000 and Bush v Gore - UNLESS the Left stops whining and shows up EN MASSE to support President Obama and sweep the Dems into 90% occupancy in Congress.

Olivia Emisar said...

Bagdal,

Thank you and yes, you are right 2012 is going to be fierce.

If I added everything President Obama has done, this blog post would run for a mile.

What amazes me is how little credit he gets and how flaky is the support for one of the best presidents we had the good fortune to elect.

Keep up the good fight! we need to move our country forward and yes, health care for all. Glad we got the foot in door, now to crack it wide-open!

PEACE

Phil said...

Great post Olivia! Did you derive the list from the White House website? I wonder if there's summary anywhere as nice as this one on the Obama2012 site. If not, I'd suggest you send them this list and tell them they need a clear list of accomplishments like this, and to then proactively send out links to the list on Twitter, FB, and mention it in every possible communications venue.

Re: the politics part of your post, in addition to the factors you've listed I think the US is being increasingly damaged by the almost continuous election cycle. Journalists are supposed to be filtering the bullshit being presented by the spinmeisters, but instead they're just passing it on as is, complete with lies and half-truths. The media companies clearly make more money pitching politics the same way we watch major league sports - one season melting into the next. There's no longer much room for seriousness and integrity, and that exacerbates all the groups you mentioned who have vast interests in promoting the GOP agenda.

Dave Fouchey said...

Well Said Olivia, if only Democrats would start Thinking of what President Obama has done instead of whining about what hasn't been, we would all be better served.

Robin said...

Olivia,
In my view (as an independent that tends to by to the left on social issues and the right on fiscal issues) I think your list is exaggerating a bit about what Obama has accomplished and underestimating the credit the media gives him. But there is no reason so quibble about such minor things (I notice you left ObamaCare off the list?).

And that’s just the point – these are MINOR things. As President Clinton knew very well “It’s the economy stupid!”. There is only one issue that could keep Obama from getting reelected – Jobs. Period. Jobs are the ONLY decisive issue in the upcoming election.

Obama needs to show some leadership and make some REAL progress in boosting the economy. He needs a plan – fast. Not just asking Congress to figure it out. Obama needs to present Congress with a ready-to-go bill. And it has to be something BIG. Something he can say “Pass this NOW”. If the GOP refuses, then he can blame Congress. He cannot leave it up to Congress to draft the bill like he did with Health care, that is a copout and the American people know it.

I think he would be most successful, and get the economy moving if he did something the GOP cannot say ‘no’ to. Something like: Immediately eliminate ALL corporate income taxes, put a plan in place to re-write the income tax code to eliminate most deductions and make the income tax system simpler and more fair – in the process compensate for the missing revenue from eliminating corporate taxes. Business & investment would take off, creating tons of jobs.

robin

Olivia Emisar said...

Hi Robin,

yes, I left Health Care out as well as many others. The list is long and was not meant to be everything. As far as minor... I have to disagree with you.

The president was given hell for insisting on the economic stimulus and saving the auto industry, which everyone on the right, and a ton of us on the left, told him to let them fail. Glad he did not, now that it all has been paid back and people did not lose their jobs and more are being hired, not a peep of acknowledgement from anyone.

With a reasonable Congress, he could put forth any jobs bill he wanted and everything would be fine. Congress will say NO to everything. They won't cooperate - the worse he looks, the more he is unable to speed up a recovery, the closer they get to their "One time President" goal.

We forget how much money he wanted to give the states for high-speed rail and how the GOP governors sent it all back and kept their constituents unemployed and poor. The greater the dissatisfaction, the closer to their goal.

We need our government officials to work together for the benefit of the people regardless of their political or corporatist affiliation.

I don't think all President Obama has accomplished is "minor" as you stated. If I were a gay person, I'd be thrilled that I can finally serve openly & can be married in some states (rooting for 50) - As a woman, equal pay for equal work, truly matters and it is not minor to single moms who are busting their hump to bring home the bacon.

As a parent with a child with a "pre-existing" condition, I am thrilled that my kid will continue to have health ins. coverage.

All these "minor" things affects us directly in a positive way.

There is no way I could have put the entire list here, but it is a good start for people to think and do some research instead of blaming President Obama for everything that ails us.

And I too, have been guilty of wanting more, faster and wondering why he did not just put his foot down and do everything we want him to do. I am learning to take the whole picture into consideration, put myself in his shoes and wonder how much of what I would want him to do, is actually possible, or legal.

I always enjoy your comments Robin. Great discussion.

PEACE

Robin said...

Olivia;

It is so difficult to communicate on a complex topic via messages like this. I knew when I said what I said about your list, it might distract you from my main point. To quote James Carville again: "It's the economy, stupid" That is all that matters in the election.

I would like it if someday we could discuss issues over a drink in person, I’m sure most of our disagreements are mostly a matter of communications.

robin

Olivia Emisar said...

Dear Robin,

If I make it to NJ next year, you are on my list of people I want to have a drink with.

I know the simplicity of it all. If we all have jobs and money - no problem.

But maybe it is a good thing that we are in this situation, because it has forced people to become engaged in their government and pay attention to what goes on behind the scenes.

I agree about the jobs, I think everyone does. The key issue is the roadblocks to get there. Something as simple as building a rail system that is both profitable and will employ millions of people in various states and fields... a resounding NO.

There is something about what you said about the complexity in communication. Maybe it is because there are so many darn issues intertwined and we tend to focus on different parts of it.

I don't disagree with you Robin. Your points are valid and I enjoy the mental stimulation. Keep responding because, selfishly, I do enjoy it.

PEACE

BlueTrooth said...

Nice column. It's easy to get caught up in the conservative goal of maddening frustration to the opposition. The achievements by the Democratic Party and the President deserve repeating and often. And not only just the Obama Administration, but that's certainly where the focus should be. There really is a difference between our two major parties and that is worth repeating as well, without being prompted by the typical cynic or the savvy conservative.
Some people may already know that I have a broad range of experience that includes a Ron Paul chapter. My frustration with the Bush Administration reached fever pitch and I had essentially determined Hillary Clinton had the Democratic nomination wrapped up. However, my primary concern was America's willingness to deviate from the Constitution. Long story short, I made the jump to President Obama primarily because of his knowledge and deep respect for the Constitution as a living document. I could trust him. I still trust him. The "liberties" taken with our Constitution in the past were designed to be difficult to unravel, so I'm not surprised with the extension of some Bush policies. I'm satisfied that they are weakened and in transition. And I will vote for the President again to insure those efforts are not undone.

Olivia Emisar said...

BlueTrooth, So glad you joined the discussion - It is not the same without your input.

My biggest frustration is the constant bashing of President Obama. If he does something well, it is not enough or too little, too late. If he does not do something because he does not believe in it, or he can't get it through Congress, he is not liberal enough or he is GOP "lite" =

I just have no idea what this man could do well enough for people to say: "Great Job, Mr. President"

Hell, he killed Osama Bin Ladin and they buried the story within a week.

I seem to recall animosity and demands from the American public to go after Bin Laden for years. All of a sudden, there is no war, no American casualties, a clean job that took thoughtfulness and the engagement of actual intelligence and the entire thing is swept under the rug as quickly as possible.

I too support President Obama. I don't have to agree with all he says or does, but I can't see anyone doing a better job with what was handed to him and the relentless opposition he faces from Congress.

Another source of frustration, as you so well stated, is how little the Democrats toot their own horns. I know from experience that self-promotion makes me uncomfortable, but I am just an individual... this is an entire party with staff exclusively involved in Media relations.

I have to give it up to the GOP and their corporations on that regards, they are great at messaging. Democrats? = not so much.

PEACE

Art_Guy1 said...

Great job Olivia.