I do not deny the Obama administration has many praiseworthy accomplishments. BUT ...
Edited on Thu Sep-08-11 08:47 AM by Fly by night
Obama has the power to remove us from Iraq and Afghanistan (and Libya and Yemen and wherever the hell else we are killing people indiscriminately at this moment with Predator drones). He hasn't.
Obama has the power to close GITMO. He hasn't.
Obama has the power to order his USDOJ to vigorously investigate and prosecute unverifiable voting machine-enabled election fraud. He hasn't. Instead, his USDOJ continues to pressure states like New York to adopt these fraud-friendly, red-stained black boxes -- when anyone with a lick of sense knows better by now.
Obama has the power to demand that we vigorously pursue prosecutions of Wall Street crooks and the (W)ankers who enabled them to loot our nation's largesse from 2000-08. He hasn't.
Obama could rein in the DEA's and ATF's efforts to make sure that Mexican cartels have the latest firepower in their slaughter of innocents in Mexico. He hasn't.
Obama could demand that the DOD stop its insane and immoral "stop loss" policy that has brought active duty military suicides in this country to an unprecedented level. (Living near Ft. Campbell, I am saddened by the news of the latest victims of this suicide epidemic which seems to appear weekly in our local media.) He hasn't.
Obama has the power to implement his campaign promise to allow medical cannabis to be treated (and regulated) like any other medicine. He hasn't. Instead, he and his Republican-infested USDOJ have accelerated the war on "illegal smiles", actively interfering with lawfully established state medical cannabis programs and actively discouraging them in other states.
Obama could stop the insanity of the Keystone pipeline. Will he? I certainly hope so. Are there any of his remaining die-hard supporters here who are willing to bet that he will do the right thing here? If so, PM me and I'll be happy to cover your bets, if you're willing to accept butternut squash as collateral. That's about the only liquid asset I have left after my own decade-long dance with federal drug-worriers for the crime of fomenting science, common sense and compassion (at no charge) in my own community.
I have no doubt that the putrid, tapeworm-infested stool sample that is the modern Republican party is definitely the worst of all possible choices for leading our communities, states, nation and world. We have plenty of evidence for that here in Tennessee, where our formerly somewhat moderate and reasonable Republican party has been overthrown by overt racists, pug-ugly jackals, tone-deaf tinkerers with our Constitution and Hooters girls. (Really). Since between 5-8% more Tennesseans self-identify as Democrats as Republicans, the only place you can find a reasonable explanation for the ascendancy of these flying monkeys is in the bowels of our voting machines. We are not allowed to look there. Evidently, the Obama USDOJ has no interest in looking there either.
Since I believe that these Republican corporate (s)tools represent everything that democracy isn't, I also believe that compromise with these amoral thugs is pluperfectly stupid and self-defeating. If I were as pollyannishly optimistic as Obama that compromise with criminals was possible and desirable, I would need (and want) my head to be examined. Our party's purported leader wants us all to be friends with them. The GOP and its flying monkeys want us all dead. The compromise between those two positions might be that we allow them to beat the shit out of us, whenever and wherever they want, allowing them to piss on our heads while telling us it's raining. With compromises like that, why would anyone want to line up (or lie down) on our side?
The United States of America is a country, an ideal, worth protecting and defending. Someone has to lead us in the fight for our country's, our planet's survival. Right now, we don't need another Neville Chamberlain. We need another Tom Paine. Hell, we need another Nat Turner.
Find me one of those (hopefully within the conscience and constitution of President Obama, the person I was proud to work hard for in 2008) and then get out of my way. I, for one, would be happy to help put Republicans out of our misery. I am far from the only one. If you're unwilling or unable to do that, then stop calling me for contributions. And don't sit waiting by your phone for my call either.
Now back to the Garden. At least I still have one and, at least for a little while longer, I can still breathe the air above it. If we keep compromising the lifeblood, the breath, of this planet away, I am not sure for how much longer I can say that.
Hope? Change? Bring (much, much more of) it on -- we are waiting.
What did using the term SOB really do? I get sick of the heroization of every nonObama person who runs their mouth about something, then the same people, when the President says or does something, is said to be "just talking." That means Hoffa was just talking, and from a position where he could afford to do so. A President cannot call people SOBs in a public speech. Nor would it do any good if he did. It would just be stupid. And the same people trashing him here would be trashing him for it.
20. Politics ain't bean-bag. It's time we remembered that fact.
Regardless of the appropriateness of any particular words used to describe our political foes and what needs to happen to them, we need more fire in the belly and fewer puppets if we are going to save this country.
But you're right. Obama is neither FDR nor Truman. He has also not been shy on occasion to speak forcefully about what we are facing and why the Republicans are the problem. I only wish he would do more of that instead of commenting on the "yellow rain" pouring down on us now.
9. It goes without saying that the republican party is one collective shitstain.
However, I must also point out that when the democratic party was in complete control of the government, and had the best opportunity to right many of the republican wrongs created and implemented during W's two terms, the democrats acted just like republicans.
Once again I will say it matters little which party is running the country, as long as big business wields so much influence among most, if not all members of both political parties.
It will take a major overhaul of our system, before any real positive change can develop.
11. So much misinformation its hard to know where to start.
Edited on Thu Sep-08-11 09:46 AM by grantcart
The President specifically doesn't have the authority to close Gitmo and move those defendants on shore if Congress refuses to allocate funding for it.
The much larger issue is the question of trying to use maximum leverage in a governing structure with limited executive power and a legislative system that is not based on one person one vote to make as many unilateral moves as is theoretically possible.
The short sightedness of this is obvious but for the obstinate I will spell it out. If you move expiditiously to try and marginalize the legislative branch on the few areas where you technically don't have to have legislative input you will soon find that you will have eliminated the possibility of getting other things passed that you do need the legislature involved in. The clearest example of this was Bush2 who ran around Congress the first two years and then got nothing passed (except tax breaks which everyone in congress loves voting for) the last 6 years of his Presidency. The fact is Obama gets things passed.
Its remarkable that the system works at all, but that is what the 'brilliant' founding fathers left us with. Unable to eliminate slavery by rational discussion the entire system was set up with a compromise that gave the South the idea that their 'precious institution' would never face elimination by legislative or executive action, and they were right.
So compromise is an inherent part of our system, it is not an option, it is required.
Those of us who have lived in parlimentary democracies where power is not sliced into weak institutions where a minority of the population has a 20:1 political advantage (the smallest 20 states have a population less than the state of California meaning that a voter in Idaho has 20 times the political power of a Californian) realize that all of the myths that we have been taught about our system being the height of 'democracy' are rather silly indeed.
12. Well, you're welcome to start anywhere within the content of my OP, ...
Edited on Thu Sep-08-11 10:17 AM by Fly by night
... instead of shifting to the ad nauseum discussion of whether or not this country is a democracy and whether our Senate is apportioned appropriately. If you want to discuss those issues, please (please) start your own OP. With 175,000 members, I expect you can find six or seven DUers who want to engage in the hamster-wheel debate regarding whether we are a republic or a democracy. I'm not one of them.
We're not the Norman Rockwell vision of small-town democracy, that is certainly true. We are certainly not Somalia or Stalinist Russia either. (At least not yet.)
So feel free to point out and criticize the content of my OP, rather than presenting an argument that is mostly irrelevant to it.
Is Obama constrained by our current political system? Certainly.
Is he squandering the power and position which we gave him in 2008, because he promised hope and change? Certainly.
If our Democratic party's leader does not stand for something, we will all fall. I'd be happy for him to stand for the things I worked hard for him to accomplish, the things he told us he would at least try to accomplish.
He doesn't have to succeed on everything, but he does need to try.
13. I saw you Long Goodbye, must have missed the Hello Again.
Compromise is inherent in all human interactions. Excellence in all business and leadership is about making that compromise the correct one. This is always the case. In all projects, in all government, in all business that takes more than one person. Compromise is like air, to point out that it is part of life is accurate, but very much declaring the obvious in grand, verbose phrases. Compromise is not new, nor is it exclusive to DC, it is the very life blood of all enterprise, all creative projects, all family life, in all areas, save maybe showering and masturbation. So it is not about compromise, but about the QUALITY of that compromise. That is where the skill comes calling. A compromise is going to happen, no matter what. It is all about the details of that compromise when we are discussing excellence and leadership skills.
33. If he does approve the pipeline, it will be inexcusable to many, many people.
When you can't even capture the environmental and popular culture sides of an issue going into an election, you are conceding defeat. Obama could use the veto of the Keystone project (or its delay for -- say -- five years) to re-energize progressives, environmentalists and young voters (who, after all, will have to breathe our air longer than many of us will) -- all key constituencies in his 2008 victory.
Mr. President, it's the "no-brainers" for which you will be held most to account -- if you move the wrong way.
There's a reason they're called "no-brainers", Mr. President.
22. The President has the power (if only the power of the bully pulpit) to effect change ...
... on each and every policy issue I listed. On some of them (e.g., Keystone, medical cannabis), he has all the power he needs to act responsibly to effect sensible policy changes immediately.
The fact that he hasn't (and apparently, in some cases, won't) is disturbing enough for me to wonder whether my continued engagement in the political process is worth it. That is a sad place to be, but I'm not a big believer in banging my head against a wall.
24. I just love that this OP is accompanied by an ad encouraging people to check out arrest records.
I'm not sure what you'd find on me, since the feds never arrested me on my medical cannabis charge. However, I'm more than happy to provide any details and you wouldn't even have to pay for the information.
Bernie Ellis, MA,MPH Federal Bureau of Prisons number 16502-075.
PS: I don't know which DU ad is weirder today, this one (which has stayed affixed to my OP since it was first posted) or the one offering to sell me a "Rick Perry for President" tee shirt. Perhaps some mods ought to be assigned to check on which ads are appropriate for DU. Or not.
Money, after all, talks. That, after all, is the problem.
31. Sorry for the mid morning paranoia. (Didn't mean to distract my own thread.)
Edited on Thu Sep-08-11 07:17 PM by Fly by night
But these new pop-up one-line ads in the OPs, evidently programmed to respond to the OP topic, are a bit weird. Particularly when the ones assigned to my OP were an ad to go to work for Homeland Security and the one encouraging folks to check peoples' arrest records. I was glad to see the arrest one drop off the OP when I returned this afternoon. But it did creep me out a bit this morning.
By this afternoon, it had served to remind me quite vividly of the world we now live in, what's happening at this moment and what's possible (for good or bad) in the very, very near future. I do believe this is a critical time.
I also believe that the person I supported for President in 2008, Barack Obama, is a person who is galaxies better both intellectually and ethically than his predecessor or the flying monkeys being proffered for 2012. I want to be able to support President Obama with all my heart and soul in 2012. To do that, he has to be at least one drop more than half the leader he promised us he'd be. Obviously, I think he has a ways to go. But his opportunities aren't diminishing to show us the man and the leader we know he is and can be.
For those of you who are confused about the loyalties of the critics here, this critic wants our party's principles and our collective intellectual, moral and social foundations to influence and be embodied in our leader.
Turn this ship around, Mr. President. There is an iceberg straight ahead ... and you are at the helm.
34. I agree with everything you say. However, to play devil's
advocate, I would guess that if you could have a frank discussion with Obama he would respond like this. Job creation is the number one priority in this broken economy that he inherited and to get any kind of jobs bill through he needs to avoid some of the issues you mention. As for the drone attacks he said he would use them in Pakistan when he ran. This is a policy he clearly favors. One of the bigger disappointments to me is his stance on medical marijuana. This is a no brainer that most of the country supports. It seems to me he is afraid of being labeled as a drug loving leftist by the hard core right if he supports this. Very disappointing.
As for the voting machines I believe that no politician on the national level, other than maybe Rush Holt if you consider him to be in this category, will take on the voting machine issue. They will be labeled as conspiracy nuts and besides, even if the machines are rigged, it worked out for the elected officials. It is a sad state of affairs and it will be a slow uphill battle to change this. But it can be done if enough people join and stick with the movement.
In summary the saddest part about Obama's actions are that even if most of his inaction is to try to build a coalition to pass some jobs bills, he is failing miserably. The people he is trying to appease will cut him no slack and all of his posturing is wasted. One of my biggest dissapointments is that Obama, with a Democratically controlled House and Senate could not let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. If we can't even do that with "our" politicians in control, what is the point.
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