Starting today, the U.S. House of Representatives begins debate on the already Senate passed tax bill. Other than Bernie Sanders, an Independent, the Senate Democrats simply collapsed under the pressure from the White House. The House has a group of Democrats who have signed a non-binding agreement to not vote in favor of the bill as agreed to between the President and the republicans. In the mean time, progressive House leaders such as Anthony Weiner have been very outspoken in opposition, even angry about the Obama cave-in to the minority party republicans. As a progressive, I really hope the House ties the bill up and forces the Senate and White House to accept their proposed changes. So lets take a look at the reasons for the anger from the left.

President Obama ran and won on his vision for change, to make things better and more fair for Americans in general and the middle class and the poor in particular. He ran on a promise to end institutionalized human rights violations with the military’s DADT policy. He ran as a war hating liberal. Here’s what has and has not happened in his Presidency so far. The President was able to get a version of a health care reform bill passed. The very first thing he conceded in negotiation with the republicans was the public option! Remember, he ran on the public option as the main point of health care reform. The President was going to close GITMO by the end of his first year. That’s still open and operating as a prison. The trials for the detainees have been very slow to happen. Remember he ran on getting these people through the justice system in a fair and expedient fashion. Not happening. He made a big splash about trying the worst of the prisoners in civil court. The republicans barked at him, and he backed down. So far, no trials. Along those lines, what has he done about ending DADT? Last summer he the President had the perfect opportunity to agree with the courts and proclaim the policy over. Instead, he said although he does oppose DADT as a policy, he needs to give overturning the policy more thought. More thought! The policy has been the law of the land since 1993. Obama has opposed it supposedly for most of those years. How much more time does he need? In the meantime, thousands of military have been outed and discharged from the service. This has such a negative effect on their lives as well as their family’s lives. This is such a huge injustice, and as a “liberal” President to allow it’s continuance is shameful. The war in Afghanistan is another mistake the President has made. Running as a progressive war dove, he is following the same dark trail that destroyed Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. Instead of getting out, it’s an endless money pit, with the collateral damage of people getting maimed and killed. So as Johnson did in Vietnam, listening to General Westmoreland and escalating the U.S. occupation to several hundred thousand troops, Obama is listening to General Petraeus and doing a troop surge of additional troops to bring the total on the ground to one hundred thousand. Oh, in case you were wondering, there are less than 100 known al Qaeda in Afghanistan. A little overkill? The Democratic party and the President screwed up earlier in the year by refusing to address the tax cut extension issue. They could have forced the republicans to offer bills extending the cuts for the top 2%, and then turned the tables on them and vilify them as the party of millionaires. But no, they were afraid, and it cost them dearly in November. Obama is so weak as a leader and negotiator, this fall he offered to freeze the pay of all non-military federal workers for two years. This will save the government a whopping five billion dollars. He conceded this without the republicans even asking for anything! This federal worker pay freeze is right out of the republicans playbook. In the overall scheme of things, this is symbolic at best. But, what that nitwit President didn’t think about is the people who’s pay got frozen. Throw the republicans an unasked for bone on the backs of the federal workers. The straw that breaks the camel’s back is the total sell-out to the republicans on the hastily done tax cut extension issue. He turned his back on the top priority of his campaign, reducing the size of the federal budget deficit. So, what does he do? He gives the republicans a two-year extension of tax cuts for the top 2%, caves on the inheritance tax, he got beat down by 20% on the rate and 5 million dollars on the amount. In return, he got a 12 month 2% cut in payroll tax and a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits for those expiring now. There is nothing in there for the “99’s”, the unemployed people whose benefits expired already. Remember his idea of deficit reduction? With agreeing to this joke of a proposal, he has added another 900 billion dollars to the deficit. Now he has joined the republicans who really don’t give a shit about the country beyond the next two years.

I’m actually shocked by President Obama’s reaction to progressive thought on these subjects. He angrily challenged the liberals in Congress to give in to their ideology and do “what’s right” for America’s middle class. Who is he to lecture the liberals about ideology and doing the right thing. Where is he on DADT? That’s civil rights violations perpetrated by the government. How about freezing government workers pay? Does he not think this affects their lives? How about the next generation of Americans? The ones that the President is partnered with the republicans to straddle them with an economy suffocating deficit. I think it’s time for the President to start thinking about dancing with instead of against the ones that got him there. It’s not too late to right the ship. The republicans, in spite of John Boner’s non-stop sobbing, are mean rotten to the core people. That are against anything that is designed or proposed to help the human condition of Americans. America will side with the President if he starts fighting for fairness and equity in our society again. He needs to be the source of strength to guide the progressive agenda back where it should be, taking care of the poor and the middle class and stop pandering top Wall Street and Corporate America. He needs help. He needs Tom Daschle or even Byron Dorgan in the west wing. He needs professionals that can guide him. Howard Dean must be put in a leadership role, either as head of the DNC or in the White House. When Gates steps down at DOD, Hilary Clinton should move to that position. She has been a fantastic Secretary of State and can bring that positive success to a bloated pentagon. How about placing Colin Powell back at State? Anyway, the President needs to get more involved in Washington so that he will know how to back up his positions. The republicans push him around because he doesn’t understand how Washington works. If he “gets it”, he’ll be fine and should easily win re-election in 2012, especially when one considers just how bare the shelves are for viable republican candidates. That’s the way I see it today, thanks for the read and I look forward to your comments.
Cam Obert



  1. youandmedoweagree Says:

    After reading your blog, I assume there are many Dem’s that are embarrassed that they voted for this con-artist. Maybe in the future you will check the credentials of your candidate, before putting him in such a powerful position. Submiited via facebook from Dan Bennigton.

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