Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Done With Obama

It's been a pretty surreal couple of days in the world of politics as the current "lame duck" session of Congress lurches toward the finish line at the end of the year. Can I just suggest we come up with some name other than "lame duck" for the ending of the session before the new Congress comes in next month? It's lame in more ways than one.

The big controversy was the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. You know the ones, notable for giving a huge tax break to the wealthy, as if they needed any more after 8 years of Bush-Cheney, and kind of a tax pittance to everyone else. The Republicans staked out their turf early, vowing on the lives of their illegal-immigrant servants that tax breaks for the rich must survive at all costs. Everyone knows that the wealthy create a lot of jobs for the lower classes. Sure they do, and these are real high-paying jobs with lots of benefits, like pool boys, car washers and nannies. They just never get tired of flogging that 30-year-old trickle-down economics theory, even though it's been widely discredited by nearly all economic experts as being total bullshit. When the Repubs find something they think works for them, you can be sure they will stick with it come hell or high water. "Beating a dead horse" doesn't come anywhere near describing their weird, unnatural attachment to completely fictitious ideas.

Somewhere back in his presidential campaign, Obama stated clearly that the tax breaks for the wealthy will have to go when they expire on December 31, 2010, a little over 3 weeks away. And it seemed like pretty much of a done deal, along with his pledge of getting rid of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," the ridiculous, anachronistic and discriminatory policy that forces gay and lesbian servicemen and women to hide their sexual orientation and live in fear of being discovered and discharged, all the while serving their country and risking their lives fighting in two incredibly costly and pointless wars. Apparently it's okay to take a bullet in the head or step on an IED (improvised explosive device) but not okay to tell a fellow soldier that you're gay. All that was until the recent midterm elections which scared the crap out of Obama and convinced him that he better play nice with the newly re-energized Repugnantans because even though the Democrats will still have the Senate and the Presidency, the Republicans must still be placated and coddled like spoiled, psychopathic three-year-olds. In other words, give them whatever the hell they want just to shut them up.

Into this unholy witches' brew gets thrown unemployment insurance, which was set to expire for a lot of people this month. This is something that Obama really wanted, and the Republicans smelled leverage. And they dug in their heels, saying that if Obama wants his unemployment benefits they come with a price tag, which is $138 billion dollars for the wealthiest 1% of taxpayers. You can say a lot of horrible things about Republicans (and I certainly do) but you have to give them props for being incredibly loyal to their rich contributors and financiers. "What rich people want, rich people get" is the G.O.P. mantra, and they will hold any group hostage if that's what it takes. I'm surprised they don't hold crippled children hostage to get something passed.

Apparently the prospect of millions of Americans losing benefits right around Christmastime was too much for the Obama administration to bear, so he folded like wet cardboard. He gladly handed over the tax breaks for the rich, something that will give taxpayers with $1 million of income a windfall of over 104,000 extra bucks next year. When you consider that what they will be getting as a tax break is more than twice what the average worker in the U.S. makes in a whole year doing things like, you know, working and being productive, the glaring immorality of all this is stark. And then, in an astonishingly, jaw-droppingly bizarre news conference yesterday, Obama took members of his own Democratic party to task for not falling over themselves and supporting his Deal from Hell with Satan's minions. It really stopped me in my tracks, because Obama was showing genuine signs of pique and irritation with Democrats, instead of directing his snippy little tantrums toward the Republicans, who shoved this ridiculous "compromise" down his throat like he was their bottom bitch or something.

I thought when you compromise with someone, each side gives some kind of concession to the other. Obama got his unemployment insurance, but the Republican side got so very much more. Because Obama is so spineless and afraid of the Republicans, he gave them everything they wanted and more, at a very cheap (to them) price. The U.S. debt will get boosted by $900 billion dollars, but they don't care as long as their rich puppetmasters can buy another vacation home or a new yacht. And Obama showed incredible cowardice by extending the tax breaks for two years, essentially kicking this whole issue down the road to be rehashed again in the midst of the 2012 Presidential campaign instead of decisively dealing with it NOW.

Seems like I missed the memo about Obama changing parties and becoming a Republican because it sure seems like he's working for them now. It's because of Obama's complete lack of a backbone, his inability to stand up to the Republicans and his unwillingness to fight just as dirty as they do for his core principles, that I am saying now that I am finished supporting Obama. He has shown he's just another politician, making deals and basically screwing his base of supporters by making high-falutin' campaign promises, and then choking like the Arizona Cardinals at a playoff game when the time comes to actually deliver on these promises. He has shown that everything he says and does comes not from the heart, but as a deliberate political calculation. I feel as if I've been scammed, lied to, and betrayed by this person who spoke so highly and eloquently about hope and change, but in the end proved he was nothing more than a coward and a liar. He has shown no loyalty to his Democratic and progressive base, and so I have no loyalty to him.

If there is anything positive that comes out of all this, it's the realization that I completely agree with the Republicans on one thing - that Obama should be a one-term President.

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