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Getting Used To Disappointment

Thursday, June 11, 2009
In the last week or so, Obama has:

1. Decided to give the Federal Reserve even more power.

2. Continued to move in a Bushian direction on civil liberties and the national surveillance state.

3. Nominated an anti-choice, anti-contraception senior official for Health and Human Services.

4. Is practicing indefinite detention, just not at Guantanamo.

Yeah, this is what I voted for.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 2:44 PM
  • Our capacity for disappointment is impressive, isn't it? And still we hope.

    By Blogger Belle, at 4:59 PM  
  • I can't believe how often I've been disappointed in Obama since he took office. I mean it just hasn't seemed like there was a reason for him to be giving in like he has been. The only thing I could think of was that he was hoarding his political capital and, if that is the case, I hope it works. Because it looks like he doesn't have the votes necessary to get the public option in health care passed and that is a must have. If any of those things he's done has given him some arm twisting leverage against even just the stupid ass Democrats that are holding out like that moron Mary Landrieu from my home state, then they will have been well worth the price.

    He's said that he wants a health reform bill on his desk by October, and it absolutely needs to include a public option. If over 40 million people were uninsured at the beginning of the presidential campaign, then that number is probably well over 50 million by now at the rate people were losing their homes and jobs. If he gets that passed, I'm hoping - and expecting - him to start using whatever mandate, political capital or any other kind of strength he's got to start making the kinds of changes we elected him to make.

    But this is the delicate political tightwire he's got to walk right now, and he's going to need every last little scrap of goodwill he can muster to get it done. I just hope we pick up enough new seats in both houses in 2010 that we won't have to deal with this bullshit for much longer.

    I have to say that I'm with Kos on this one, we don't need just more Dems anymore, we need better ones. With the whole Republican party turning into such a freaking joke, I'm hoping this will soon be a reality.

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 9:54 PM  
  • From my point of view, doing serious domestic policy reform like health care or regulating the financial industry is going to require changing the political incentives in congress. Right now there are just too many Democrats in marginal regions of the country who are worried that if they piss off powerful interests the funds that have been fueling their campaigns are going to go to their opponents - and then they'll lose. Without some system of public financing of campaigns, it will always be dollars that talk rather than people.

    As for national security issues, I think Obama is just too risk adverse - he doesn't want to have some attack on his watch and get blamed for it because he could have tortured or imprisoned somebody and didn't. It's political cowardice of the worst kind. Whether he's doing these things out of weakness or calculation doesn't matter to me. If we get a "health care reform" without a real public option and nothing happens on climate change, I'm going to go from expressing frustration to becoming an outright opponent.

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 8:32 AM  
  • I completely agree. But campaign reform is going to take awhile, and he wants to push health care through by the end of the year, so I still think it's possible he's subtly building leverage. Why else would he possibly be holding back on something as easy as Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

    You're probably right about national security, too, but I feel like we have to cut him some slack there. I mean, with what he's facing on so many fronts - Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and N Korea, plus the usual Israel/Palestine conflicts - I don't know how it's possible to keep so many explosive balls in the air. All he can do is what he thinks best and, even though I strongly disagree with some of it, I think we have to remember that he's got access to a lot of information that we don't when he makes those decisions. I just can't believe he'd be doing some of this stuff without very good reason.

    And then you throw in the economy, and I have to wonder, has there ever been a president that has had to deal with so much at one time? But, yeah, it's disappointing and frustrating and if he doesn't get any of these things done, then he isn't doing what we elected him to do.

    If not him, though, then who? There certainly won't be any Dems challenging him in four years. He's just gotta come through for us, and I think the best thing we can do is keep pressure on our own reps and senators to support the issues we want. Lots and lots of e-mails through the national websites, and making our votes count in the mid-term elections.

    The public had seldom been as involved as they were during the last election and we have to stay that way. I still believe that the fewer people Obama has to appease in Congress, the faster he can achieve the goals we're after.

    Which, of course, brings us back to campaign reform. But, you know, it's not always he with the most dollars who wins. Plus, some of the smarter candidates might start using the web to get a lot of small donations from regular people the way Obama did. Some kind of way, we need to get the right people up there, and this is our best shot at it, with the opposition in tatters.

    I keep telling myself it's still early days yet, and there's probably a lot going on behind the scenes that we don't have a clue about. It's the only way that I can sustain the hope that there will be some awfully good stuff coming after all the crap we're putting up with now.

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 11:39 AM  
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