Friday, January 08, 2010

Hell is for Children

We, I mean those who label themselves as Liberals, Independents and Progressives are obviously a bunch of children! When we don't get everything we want, we cry and say that we are taking our toys home. Since when do we live in a land where our wishes our granted by our government with the speed and totality that we hope for? How long did it take to turn our economy around after the depression hit? I would argue that we didn't completely get out of the depression until WWII started. That means 1929-1941 spent digging out from financial ruin. Did the country dismiss FDR because he hadn't put everyone back to work by the end of his first year in office? How long did it take to get a civil rights bill? Did that mean that LBJ didn't deserve to be voted into office because he hadn't managed to pass a bill in the year that he had as President? Truman talked of universal health care during his time in office and LBJ got medicare passed on his watch. Is that universal health care? No, but at least those over 65 have health care coverage guaranteed by the government. Does the current health care reform guarantee coverage to everyone? No, but it's a step in that direction. Since when is incremental change no longer good enough? Ted Kennedy, until the day he died, regretted that he didn't take the deal that would have guaranteed that all employees would have health insurance. He held out for every thing and got nothing. He decided that he'd rather take his toys home instead of making a compromise. That is the state of left today. If we aren't going to get everything we want, then we will take our toys home and pout. That'll show 'em.

I don't really have a point here. I understand that people are frustrated. I understand that people are disappointed. But are those on the left any more mature than those on the right? Those on the left are quick to label the tea baggers as nuts, bigots, idiots, radicals, etc., but you have to at least admire their passion. On the left, we got excited about the possibilities of an Obama presidency. Everything was supposed to change. Well, inauguration day came and went and we still had the same problems we had the day before and suddenly everyone on the left started to wonder if they had wasted their time. What do you mean we still have unemployment? Why don't I have health care coverage? Why are we still at war? Why can't gays get married? Why is Gitmo still open? Why don't we have a green economy? Why are there still bad people in the world? And because those problems still exist, we have those on the left who are ready to abandon this administration. They are willing to take their toys home and just let the chips fall where they may.

When did those on the left lose their ability to understand reality? Have they not watched the Republicans oppose everything that this administration had tried to do? Have they not watched the "Blue Dogs" thwart the Senate from putting together a strong health care reform bill? Have they not watched this most partisan of political seasons? Has the President done everything that I wanted? Of course not. I have written angrily many times on this blog about things that I have not agreed with. Do I bitch and moan about the pace of progress? Of course. But am I ready to take my toys home? Absolutely not. The alternatives are to vote for the Republicans or not vote at all. Are those choices that those on the left are willing to make? I wonder when I here of people who are questioning their vote for this President. Are they now wishing that they had voted for John McCain? Perhaps those who are most disillusioned were initially Hillary Clinton supporters who voted for Obama because of party loyalty. Perhaps deep in their hearts they think that Hillary would be doing a better job. Frankly I don't know and it's pointless to think about it, because it didn't happen.

This is reality, not "what if" land". Barack Obama is the President and he is going to remain that way until he loses the next election or until his second term is up. If you regret voting for him because he hasn't addressed the issues that he thought he would or addressed it to your satisfaction, then you can do something about it. You can vote Republican, You can stay home, you can bitch and moan, but what you cannot do is take your vote back. If you feel that the Republicans would be doing a better job, then you are a Republican and that's fine. However don't pretend that you are a disillusioned lefty who is now realizing that President Obama is leading us down the road to socialism. I long for those days when the Senator Obama would give a soaring speech and we would all feel like everything was going to be okay. President Obama is a different animal. He doesn't just speak to his supporters, he speaks to the entire country. I would love to wake up tomorrow to an ultra progressive President, but that's not going to happen and that would not help get policy passed. In this political climate, small steps are about all we can hope for. That is the reality that we live with. If that doesn't work for you then there's always fantasy island.

I don't think that those on the left should ever stop pushing, hoping and dreaming for something better. The greatest social policies of the last hundred years have come because of those who dreamed of something better. The women's suffragette movement didn't give up when they faced their first defeat. Martin Luther King didn't give up after the first time he was arrested (or after the 5th or the 10th). Are we on the left so immature that we cannot continue to fight even though the fight doesn't immediately lead to results? Is there anyone on the left who believes that their agenda would have fared better under a Republican administration? Is there? Anyone? I am willing to hear the argument. So for those who say they are not committed to voting for Obama for a second term, I am waiting to hear your argument as to why you think the progressive or liberal agenda would fare better under a Republican President. Perhaps you'd rather just take your toys home and pout.

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11 comments:

Oso said...

Hi Mycue,
I read your post and in some ways it describes my reaction to Obama.

At first I wasn't gonna reply, I know what you wrote was deep from the heart and I didn't want to go against such deep feelings, but I reconsidered cause this is why we're here, to exchange ideas and not take the easy way.

I didn't vote for Obama, it was a matter of principle.I will never vote for a war supporter,no way.

I admit it's unrealistic and people point out to me it's not unrealistic, it's stupid to not support the Lesser Evil but I just can't do it anymore.I can't. I'm not disillusioned though, he's what I expected.

To be honest,I never understood the hope. I can understand people being happy to see a Black man as president, someone who expresses himself well. But I think people inferred a progressive agenda based on their own hope rather than anything Obama ever said.

His policy is pretty much what I'd expected, corporate friendly to reward the down payment from his campaign contributors.

Sorry, I know your heart is good and I know objectively it's better to go with the Lesser Evil but in my case stubborn stupid pride, break but don't bend like a teacher I had used to say, is the way I am and way I can't help being.

Sue said...

Mycue this sounds like something I could have written (not as well mind you!). My feeling and thoughts to a T. I think we were just so damn excited to have great dems running for president and we were gonna finally be rid of the shrub, that we had such high expectations for change, total change from the shrub regime. We want every trace of shrubs horrendous acts gone and replaced with Obamas agenda. I think a small percentage of dems are impatient but the rest of us know far too well the alternative if we turn our backs now. Those who still have faith need to speak louder than those who don't! Good job my friend!

Jack Jodell said...

Congratulations on an outstanding post, MyCue23. For supposedly not really having a point to make, I think you succeeded brilliantly in making a very good one. I don't know if it's the 30 minute TV sitcom mentality wherein every problem is solved in a half hour and there's always a happy ending (and we are constantly entertained throughout) or what, but we Americans have come to demand immediate positive results in almost everything we do. But as you point out, big achievements come only as a result of long, intense, monumentous struggle. This country needs a serious dose of patience and perseverance if we are to succeed in undoing the mess that has built up over the past 30 years and especially the past 9. Instead of losing interest, sliding into unproductive apathy, or mere inactive bellyaching, we have to buckle down and PUSH for what we need. It certainly won't happen by mere wishing or magic. Well done, MyCue23!

SJ said...

@Oso, Sue, Jack

I'm certainly one of those Liberals who is guilty of making assumptions about his latent postures (Obama didn't run as a pacifist) and I was just counting on the fact that he'd think more like me, than he does like a cautious or pragmatic left-of-center centrist who is trying to move the country forward.

But let’s all be real here, and look at the record.
I join with Mycue23 wholeheartedly in saying to progressives: let’s not be kids about this.

I’ve been tracking the Obama Administration’s initiatives, and checking them against campaign promises I could find via Lexis Nexis, and after one year I can say this:

Under the Obama administration, interrogation memos were made public, without consulting the former Bush administration officials or former President George W. Bush. This is why Dick Cheney won’t shut up on morning talk shows right now. He’s trying to cover his ass. There are more declassified memos coming. They should complete this sooner than later.

President Obama FROZE the salaries for all Senior White House staff members.
And then-
The President signed an executive order that requires ALL government appointees sign affidavits stating that they were not hired because of political affiliations or contributions, making it easier to prove an appointee lied about bribery, cronyism or nepotism if ever crimes are committed related to their appointment process.

President Obama set a deadline for the closing of Guantanamo Bay. Time will tell if he can seize the issue without it continuing to be used against effectively by the GOP and Dick Cheney (who just won’t shut the fuck up) but he’s set a deadline –as opposed to the last administration, which created this unconstitutional nightmare.

The Obama Administration has fast tracked new fuel standards to 2011 automobiles and worked with Governor Schwarzenegger to allow California to set its own standards for auto emissions that are stricter than Federal regulations.

This is a big one:
The President signed a detailed executive order to ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners. While this doesn’t cover other forms of rendition practiced off shore by US allies, it’s a step towards ending the practice altogether.

President Obama lifted a ban on federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information. This is a big deal. The GOP will eventually make a HUGE deal about this, I don’t know why they haven’t already. This is like a Glenn-Beck-wet-dream-of a wedge issue with which to distract Americans.

The President has requested the thing that the Bush administration never had the intellect or moral rectitude to ask for: plans for a military draw down from Iraq.

President Obama signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists and excluding anyone from working in an agency for which they had lobbied in previous years. (Ahem… he then granted a waiver to a former defense lobbyist which is totally fucked, but again think of the last 8 years in contrast, this is a VERY big deal.)

He passed:
The Economic Recovery bill
The AMD Stabilization and Support bill
The Bailout of the auto industry

Continued below…

SJ said...

Continued from above…
Obama has created an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support and invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes in regard to efficiencies costs related to growth of output. VERY important for jobs growth although we won’t see it’s affect for a while.

The Obama Administration spurred the creation of a $10 billion foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners.

This gets NO FUCKING coverage in the media and it is a HUGE deal.

Beyond establishing a credit card bill of rights, the Credit Card Reform Act, that was partly and authored and Shepherded by Senator Dodd, is already working BEFORE going into effect. -One of my own scumbag lenders, Bank of America had to reverse themselves on an underhanded bait-and-switch they recently attempted on me. When I called them to thank whatever regional manager made the decision, they said it was just because of the coming legislation and not anything they had decided internally…

I can actually go on with 114 other accomplishments (Jack Jodell is so much better at this kind of thing than I am) that I’ve stated elsewhere (on the Environment specifically) but this response will end up longer than Mycue23’s actual post so I’m stopping here, but feel free to use this ammunition when one of our fellows starts bitching and moaning about Obama being a disappointment. It’s fucking childish.

We must all remember with the exception of the Automotive Industry’s bailout, NONE of this would have happened during a Republican administration. NONE of it.

We could hold out for everything under the sun, and get nothing, or we can make progress. I really don’t see what everyone’s disappointment is after one single solitary year.

The wars are still going on, the economy is still in the shitter, we are mortally indebted to a potentially hostile totalitarian Communist country and there are still terrorists trying to kill Americans.
But for Democrats and the rest of us to say they are not seeing anything being done after one year just means that they are not retaining any of the news they hear or just aren’t paying attention.

Progressives, Liberals and Democrats have to grow up.

This is progress.

We need to all keep getting our asses to the voting booth if we want more of the same.

-SJ

Sue said...

These are without a doubt some very impressive accomplishments in Obamas first year. Awhile back BJ at demwit.blogspot had a list of 91, I'll compare hers to yours and see if she has added some of these. I have a few resident conservatives who visit frequently to bash Obama so I would like to copy a few of these to use when I get my next visit, if I may.

great job SJ!

SJ said...

@Sue,
Feel free to disseminate and distribute, but mind you, Conservatives don't by and large dispute that these happened, they just don't agree that they are good things (Specifically the release of the memos.)
They are more useful as reminders to Democrats, Progressives and Liberals to stop whining and keep voting.
Thanks for stopping by Sue!
-SJ

Mycue23 said...

Oso,
People felt the same kind of hope after Clinton won. He also was a disappointment to many. It is practically impossible for any President to live up to the aspirations of those that voted for him. We vote for a President but expect a king.
I'm glad you decided to post something. I have always appreciated your comments and I hope you always know that you are welcome here.

Sue, I don't think that the majority of those on the left have lost faith, but because of the way the Republicans have managed to dominate the media coverage with negativity, I do see a lot of liberals and progressives walking around with their heads bowed. As SJ pointed out, the record of achievement in the first year of the Obama administration has been astounding. That story is not being told. All we hear is the constant drumbeat of the tea baggers and their leaders. It's like the President is under siege. As you know, it is the nature of liberals and progressives to push the envelope. Therefore, any steps taken by this President do not appear to go far enough in their eyes. That's a good thing. We need agitators to continually ask for more or else the status quo becomes acceptable. I would hope, however that those who feel somehow "let down" will take another look at what has been accomplished and realize that this is just the beginning. The President will not be able to tackle every issue in his first four years, but he is building the foundation. Hopefully we get to see this through.

Jack,
As Sandy stated, you are always better at making these points than we are. I'm not sure I do angry that well. As you say, we have to fight the apathy that exists out there. Bellyaching is a by product of hoping for something better. I don't mind that (as I engage in that kind of thing from time to time myself). What I worry about is people not turning up for the midterm elections because they somehow feel that the President hasn't been everything they hoped for. I can see a storm coming and it doesn't look pretty.

Oso said...

Thank you Mycue.

Beach Bum said...

Absolutely and fantastic and intelligent post. Actually picked my spirits up from hearing the left cut each others throat and letting the right regroup.

Mycue23 said...

Thanks for the kind words, Beach. It's always good to hear from you. I'm glad my rant provided you with a spiritual boost. Sometimes I just get so pissed when I hear the apathy of some folks. Are our memories really that short?