I had originally intended to write a big piece on Syria today and the resolution that seems to be coming to pass, but my course changed due to multiple discussions with friends and colleagues. I am just about as liberal as one gets, but lately that had led me to having more enemies than friends these days concerning the President. I am, and have been for some time now, extremely critical of Obama. Those criticisms have had me labeled a racist twice in the past two weeks. Other than racist I have been a recipient of all of the following lovable titles: Idiot, moron, hippy, dip-shit young kid with no idea about the world (I’m 31, huh?), hopeless dreamer, etc. etc. etc.
The sad truth is that there is a faction of people against Obama because of race and race alone, and that does suck. But the Obama super-support team has gotten so fervent that anyone who opposes him now also receives the same labels.
Why do I criticize Obama? Because I campaigned and voted for him twice. That makes him twice my problem. I fully appreciate the grumblings of those that did not, because hell, you can say “I told you so” all day if it makes you happy. We always do when our candidate loses, on either side.
Yet to me, what makes one a true patriot and a true citizen is to not blindly fly the flag of their side when it wins an office – as if the Presidency is a football team, but rather to watch them closely and honestly. You voted for them, they are your responsibility. Obama is not your boyfriend, he’s your employee. You selected and hired him as best for the job at the time, and as any good manager, when he begins to do that job poorly you must say something.
I do not hate Obama. I am disappointed with him. I am disappointed that he has either pushed the corporate agenda or allowed it to be pushed by others more than any other President. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is just one example. There’s a reason its top secret and not being openly discussed. Which just brings up the next biggest blunder he has led us into, PRISM, and domestic spying’s reach far surpassing the already terrifying Bush levels.
Our data is being collected, all of it. And when caught in this, Obama selected James Clapper to represent his promise for oversight. Yeah, James “the Director of National Intelligence whose false testimony in a Senate hearing about the programs was exposed by Snowden’s documents,” Clapper. Now the White House has back-tracked this to saying he will only consult and set up the team, not lead them, but it was a near miss. You don’t have the fox guard the hen house, or even design the god damn hen house.
Secrets, will be the single word to describe the Obama years. Suddenly everything is secret and needs to be for our protection. Even a trade agreement has to be secret…to keep us…safe? No, because that trade agreement would make the public’s heads explode.
You cannot make mirror like comparisons between Bush and Obama/Iraq and Syria. But what you can say is that the past has taught us not to trust the promises of short term engagement or the alert to chemical/mass weapons. When it comes to military intervention, one thing is true, many civilians will die. In an effort to punish Syria for the things it is accused of, we will bomb the shit out of them and without a doubt kill many other civilians in the process.
But our pictures of dead kids won’t show up on the U.S. news.
The Syria hysteria is also keen to ignore the brutality of the rebels such as one example of mass executions (caught on tape, no less). All in an effort to feed the constant U.S. need for there to be a good guy and a bad guy and ignoring that the truth is almost always in between.
I also criticized the President for waiting until the gay rights/marriage thing was publicly popular (over 51%) to support it rather than taking a stand, and for his early waffling on tax cuts for the rich. As well as for his failure to close Guantanamo Bay despite his original resolution and the horrors that continue there. And yes, I understand the Congressional stranglehold around Gitmo, but the issue has been largely ignored since, even through the hunger strikes.
But putting all of that aside, I criticize Obama for leading us into yet another Presidency built on war and the dissolving of personal privacy. In each case, these two issues play into the issue on the top, corporate power.
The drones will only create another generation of warriors vowing revenge, each and every time we “whoops” bomb a school or wedding. The collection of all of our data does not make us safer, and can never be trusted to only be used when necessary. It’s such a tiny move away from restricting someone’s flight status for writing an article just like this one. Meanwhile corporations continue to feed on more and more power while the quality of life and food in the United States disintegrates. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is a man always at war. The protector of free speech is the greatest hunter of the whistle-blower.
Yes Obama, you helped out with student loans (for a while), and you got behind the gay right’s movement (eventually), and you even started a health care plan. But your war with the world and push to sell us off whole to the NSA and McDonalds is unforgivable.
I realize that even now most of this falls of deaf ears, with a need to celebrate Obama’s “victory” in Syria since they might turn over their weapons. One article even paints Obama as some sort of brilliant tactician with a crystal ball that saw all of this and played it perfectly. And in the same breath, still demonizing Putin for making it all happen.
Yes, when three guys get into a dispute, and one raises his fist while the third talks them both out of it we should definitely credit the guy with his fist in the air for keeping the peace – WHAT?! Putin is no peach, but credit does not go to Obama if the strike is avoided. Acting out of self-interest or whatever else, this is Putin’s to save now. Obama should be quietly thankful that potentially the largest and most embarrassing disaster of his Presidency was sidestepped by a Russian dude. But thank you, Mr. President for taking it, assuming you do.
I think you are/were a good guy, Mr. President, but somewhere in all of this you got lost. Maybe it really is just an overwhelming mess, but you can count on the fact that since I helped get you the desk; I will always be on your ass.
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