Monday, December 21, 2009

Rally Around Barack, Boys

Our president is beleaguered. He's been vilified by the vile opposition for the past year and now his own followers are abandoning ship.

His natural instinct seems to be toward conciliation and quieting the rhetoric. Perhaps he has been threading the needle too much. His attempts to placate conservatives have gained hardly a peep of support from them. In the meantime his staunch supporters have reason to be dismayed.

However we need some perspective. Lincoln was responsible for the largest mass execution of Indians in history when he allowed the hanging of 37 Sioux.

Our greatest president also passed the Railway Act in 1862 which gave away ten miles of land for every mile of railway built. A corporate windfall creating the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age.

As for abolition of slavery, that took him two years. Before emancipation he opposed only the extension of slavery.

The point is this. Obama needs our voice to push him to do the right thing. He needs to feel a ground swell at his back to counter the noise from the nitwits and corporate interests. What he doesn't need are the rants of condemnation.

There are those in our midst whose habitat is some distant perch from where they shoot down everything which isn't as they would wish. I know this radical posturing. I was one of them. It's too easy and self-serving. It gives vent and secures a safe argument but does little to advance the agenda.

To be sure, decisions have been made by this White House which seem indistinguishable from the previous administration and demand an explanation. e.g. defending John Yoo of the torture memos, opposition to the landmine treaty and delayed reversal of the Don't ask, don't tell policy to name a few. I believe we're going to see a correction on these very soon.

It has been said many times that there is a shadow government in place which operates regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. To the extent this is true the president has a mostly custodial job minding the shop.

We ask that in his second year Obama be bolder in his initiatives for job creation and show the door to his economic team whose protection of the banks has not yet re-started the engine. Clearly the faces are too familiar and chummy.

It took Lincoln far too long to dump his incompetent generals. I would hope Obama connects the dots and we see some correctional changes in 2010. His is the only name on the marquee; we must seize his term of office as an opportunity not as a dartboard.

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