Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm Pissed At Obama

All right, y'all. Can we talk about Obama for a minute?

1. He has the Nobel Peace Prize. And how many wars are we in right now? Three? We're more unpopular in the Arab world than we were under Bush, according to Glenn Greenwald. And this Libya shindig is unconstitutional, and things are not going great in Afghanistan or Pakistan. The TSA searches also got ratcheted up under Obama. I'm not feeling like his foreign policy or his domestic security stuff is any better than it was under Bush II.

2. There's an awful lot of talk about raising the debt ceiling, but none at all about taxing the corporations that haven't paid taxes in quite some time. The wealthiest 400 people in America could afford to pay off everyone's mortgage in the entire nation. Maaaaaybe they could pay more taxes so that we don't have to put Social Fucking Security on the line, you know? In the meantime, 95% of Americans are getting poorer every year. [If you, like Kyrie, enjoy a good chart or graph, please check out that link.] And while we're up, "the market" is not an independent entity. It's a tool used by the rich to stay rich. It would be great if Obama would actually do something about that instead of caving to the people with the money every time.

3. Also, we wouldn't have to be worried about Medicare if we weren't spending all our moneys on the war. This is going to be a problem with the base.

4. Still waiting on those DADT and DOMA repeals, duder. People are still getting discharged and deported and all kinds of things under blatantly discriminatory policies. Let's fix that ASAP.

So, you know, thanks for the Lily Ledbetter Act. That was rad. More of that, please.


  1. This will be a fun, yet respectful, thread. I will engage your points when I am not reduced to using my iPhone. We will so not agree. But that is half of the fun, isn't it? :)

  2. Don't get me started...seriously! I didn't expect much from Obama and voted for Nader, safe in the knowledge that the GOP didn't have a shot in NY. To his credit, he was fairly clear that he was a neo-liberal creep during his campaign, talking about surging in Afghanistan and bashing teachers' unions during the campaign. So I knew what we were getting.

    However, he hasn't even lived up to my low expectations. He missed the chance early on to score some cheap victories - closing Gitmo, for example - with a stroke the Presidential pen. And to add insult to injury, after stumping with comments that "you can't get change with the same people," he used THE SAME PEOPLE that sunk the economy in his economic team.

    Sure, BostonDreamer will no doubt remind us progressives about the Ledbetter Act and Obama's semi-turnabout on gay rights. But this is cold comfort for the poor soul who was renditioned to Somolia this week or the families of those killed by drone attacks in Pakistan this week.

    In the end, I understand voting strategically; however, people in liberal/progressive states should also consider voting for those who represent their ideas best - that's democracy at work. If you're a centrist, neo-liberal, go for it - 4 More Years! But if you're a progressive, there is no reason to continue to vote for Democrats such as Obama. Even if it's a loser electorally in the short term, we need a progressive party with a true anti-war, anti-racist, gender equality, economic equity and humanitarian platform.

  3. We're discussing poverty, deportation, discrimination, health care, and war. I hope you didn't mean to trivialize these issues, BostonDreamer, but calling a discussion of them "fun" kind of gets my hackles up :\

  4. Fun as in I enjoy political debate and discussion in a lively and respectful atmosphere generally free of certain right wingnut colleauges that visit my Facebook page and piss off Jess or derail threads, not fun as in topics.

  5. 1. Am I disappointed in Obama? A bit, yes. He was never the 'anti-war' candidate, just the 'anti-Iraq War' candidate. His Libyan adventure is disappointing to the say the least, and his justification for it is a little lacking. The 'Iraq drawdown' is a fraud as well, and that is disconcerting, though I am not privy to the advice he is getting from his generals, Gates, and Clinton. However, he is doing exactly what he said he would do in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the campaign, and he is, honestly, dealing with the screwups of the previous administration. Pakistan is a significant concern, and the actions of the US military concerning drone use is not doing us any good. I certainly agree there. Greenwald raises some good points, but I disagree somewhat with him concerning 'continued fealty to Israel.' Obama is relatively unpopular in Israel for his comments and push to reduce or freeze settlements, so I am not sure what he could do that would reverse the Arab perception of him as pro-Israel, as a significant percentage of Israeli Jews see him as pro-Arab. :/

    2. I am not sure, honestly, what Obama could be expected to do about taxes on the wealthy. He has, for the past few months, been pushing hard for higher rates on the top brackets, pointing out again and again that taxes have never been lower as a percentage of GDP. What could he do, given the makeup of Congress, even during his first two years? Yes, he had a liberal House that would have leaped at higher rates, but in the Senate? It would never have gotten out of committee, and if it did, the Republicans and 'Democrats' like Lieberman and Ben Nelson would have prevented a vote. I honestly do not see what Obama could do here that he has not already pushed for.

    3. Hell yes, so very true. And yet, those same folks discussed in that piece said they were probably still going to vote for him. If, as our good friend BlueDevil suggested, we had a real 'progressive' party....

  6. 4. DOMA is a nightmare, and in my opinion unconstitutional, since it seems to violate the requirement that states recognize contracts concluded in other states. But again there is the problem of Congress; how does he get DOMA repeal past the Senate? It takes 60 votes to get anything somewhat controversial done, and he has never had 60 votes for such a thing, even when he had 60 Democrats in the Senate. What path is there to repeal? I just do not know.
    DADT repeal is in the process of implementation. Just as they did with the integration of African Americans into the service 70 years ago, the services are currently training servicemen in what to expect and what the military requires of them for implementation, and it seems to be going fairly well. My b-in-law, an active duty Marine, got the seminars on his return from AfPak, and he told me that the Marines, at least, are fairly positive on the change, since many of them know gay Marines already. And as for discharges continuing, I do know that at least 3 of the airmen discharged under DADT since its repeal ASKED to be discharged under the clauses of DADT. And, BlueDevil, simply signing an executive order repealing it would be, I think, a mistake. The current front runners for the Republican nomination would simply reinstate it with that same stroke of a pen. A legislative act makes it harder.

    BlueDevil brought up Guantanamo, and that is a disappointment. But, again, Obama TRIED to close it. And CONGRESS denied him funds for it. I would point out, too, that the one true Progressive Socialist in Congress, Bernie Sanders, joined his colleagues in voting against funds to close it.

    The real problem, I continue to believe, is the massively dysfunctional Senate, which is operating in a manner that our Founders would not recognize. I still think that if we could somehow fix the Senate, things would be far better. Obama is a left-center Democrat, more left than Bill or Hillary Clinton but certainly more right than most progressives would like. He is also, I think, the best of the bad choices. It will take the building of a true leftist party to perhaps change things, as BlueDevil suggests. Vermont seems a good place to start, and go from there. IMHO, of course.

  7. I don't want to derail the discussion, but I believe that until we pick up alternative voting methods (I like the approval method), we'll always be stuck voting for people who don't best represent our interests just because there are other people who are even worse.

  8. You guyyyyyyys I just got back from derby practice and just ate food and I'm tired as hell and I haven't showered yet #andtodaywasashortpractice #yesIknowIdothistomyself. So, like, I'm not going to write a whole blog post now responding to all this stuff, k? Maybe tomorrow.

    Here's the thing about the gay stuff. It's civil rights. BostonDreamer, I'm assuming you've read MLK Jr's Letter from a Birmingham Jail? There's never a great time for stuff. I would be so psyched to hear Obama say, "You know what, I hit up the gAyTM pretty hard in the last election (#thatswhatshesaid) and also! They pay taxes! And are human beings! So now I'm not going to try to offend Eric Cantor by pretending like these aren't actual people with feelings and struggs 'n stuff." You know? I did make a comment when I had to shell out like THIRTEEN DOLLARS on the toll road on my way back up from Ft. Lauderdale the other day that I shouldn't have to pay that shiz because I don't have equal protection under the law. And I kinda actually believe that, you feel me? Even though I don't have the marriage/military goals for myself.

    And: I don't think the Libya situation is "disappointing" to the people who've died already. It's a horrendous nightmare. I think it's kinda funny when people assume anarchists are violent but the people who do the most killing are Republicans and Democrats.

    I agree about the dysfunctional Senate, for sure. We've gotta fix that shiz. It's not like I'm not pissed at them.

    I'm not sure Obama's so left. I mean, I feel like the whole "sacrifice your rights for 'national security'" stuff has been amped up under him. And I call bullshit on that one.

  9. With all due respect, I am a bit confused about your point concerning gay rights. What exactly do you expect him to do? He cannot simply issue an executive order overriding an act of Congress in regards to DOMA. And I don't believe he us concerned about pissing off Eric Cantor; it's that nothing can be done without Congress here. he can push as hard as he wishes or as we wish, and the current house and senate would simply say FU. If you are simply arguing that GE speak more forcefully on the matter, then yes I agree. But I see few actual legal options.

  10. If Obama could haul his butt behind a podium on the regular and say, "John Boehner & Co., listen up: Gay people are human beings and any attempt to treat them otherwise is shameful and unworthy of this nation" or something to that effect, that would give me MAD respect for the dude. But instead he treats us like people about whom he is "praying" and waiting for his opinion to evolve so fuuuuuuck that.

  11. Okay, I definitely agree with that. He did, however, just come out in full support of overturning DOMA. So he IS listening somewhat.

  12. I am going to go ahead and take some credit for that.

    Now imagine me drawing myself up and saying that in a snooty voice over my reading glasses. And also, duh. I don't really think Obama reads the blog. Probably just Malia and Sasha. Hey grrrrrls!