By Bernard Jenkins
Jimmy Carter was vilified by his enemies as the president who" lost Iran". JFK was decried by the right and the Mafia as the mug who "lost Cuba". The hysterical McCarthyites of the early 1950s fulminated endlessly that Harry S Truman "lost China" (not to mention "losing" Eastern Europe). Is Barack Obama on a glide path to the legacy as the president who "lost America"?
The man who was elected as much on his snake oil speechifying as on the bumper sticker of "the change we can believe in", has since then pretty much never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to lead the country to the "change we can believe in".
The question must be asked: Is Obama totally clueless? Living on the planet "Duh"? Lacking the necessities for the job? Tone deaf to history? Or doing it on purpose?
After the 5 Stooges on the Supreme Court crookedly gave the 2000 election to the losers Bush and Cheney, they proceeded to misgovern as if they had won the election 100-0.
Obama won his election by a genuine huge majority and has governed as if the other side won.
He whiffed on the once-in-a-political-lifetime opportunity to clean out the Robber’s Roost that is Wall Street, by rewarding those super-crooks with fistfuls of our tax dollars for crashing the world’s economy, instead of breaking up the behemoth banks and forcing all those pirates to walk the plank.
He waffled on another once-in-a-political-lifetime opportunity to remove the greedy and heartless health insurance companies and their 30% skim from the middle of the health care equation.
He and his administration of gutless and chinless wonders have been completely wishy-washy on the misguided military-industrial complex big-footing in Afghanistan, supporting a foolhardy endeavor to suppress the AfghanTaliban in favor of a thoroughly corrupt and poisonous government that only controls about 4 city blocks of the capital, Kabul. This folly will only end when there is no more money in it.
He has offered up so many weasel words on tax cuts for the Midas class and budget balancing (read: cutting) on the backs and empty wallets of the middle class that he sounds like the GOP’s ventriloquist dummy.
He has allowed himself to be whacked upside the head so many times by the GOP lunatics in an effort to suck up to them and win their favor for his fantasy of bipartisanship that his rope-a-dope strategy has only succeeded in tagging him with the role of the dope. He has turned "the Chicago Rule" on its head by continuing to bring a nail clipper to the gunfight.
He inadvertently or on purpose gave the moribund GOP zombies and Tea Party psychos the kiss of life that enabled them to crawl back up from the primordial slime to take over the House of Representatives and numerous statehouses in the mid-term elections after he dissed his base for two years until enough of them were so fed up and disillusioned by their once-upon-a-time knight in shining armor, they didn't come out to vote.
He seems almost oblivious now to the fact that the whacked out GOP is very close to its 30-year fever dream of a full monty corporate fascist dictatorship where the billionaire greedheads steal ALL the money, the government exists solely to finance a kind of perverted Roman empire militarism that stomps around the globe destroying countries in order to save them (can you say: Afghanistan Vietnamistan), and has our own citizens working for a dollar a day and no benefits, if they have work at all.
This "Shock Doctrine" scheme can be clearly seen by the actions of the GOP/Tea Bag governors in Wisconsin, Ohio ,Indiana, Michigan, Florida and New Jersey (not mention their co-conspirators in Congress). They are steaming full speed ahead to pretzelize the laws for the benefit of the oligarchs like the Koch brothers and their merry band of billionaire plotters, intriguers and seditionists, who bought these political toads cheap and now own them completely. Their thuggish bullying and Goebbels-class lies (parroted mindlessly by their yapping stupid obese selfish underclass army of useful idiots) are aimed directly at America's democracy. Today they want to crush public employee unions. Tomorrow they will privatize and loot what remains of American industry and throw whatever workers are left into the wood chipper. They will sell out teachers and sell off schools and deliver public education to the amnesia of history. And speaking of amnesia, when they are finished replacing our democracy with a total criminal enterprise, we won't remember there ever was such a thing as Social Security or Medicare. Say goodbye to the middle class. Say hello to the middle ages.
Yet, wonder of wonders, thousands of hard-working American citizens are fighting back, on their feet, rallying and protesting in these mid-western capitals and elsewhere around the country against this cruel corporatist conspiracy to crush and beggar their way of life, their American Dream. It's not exactly Tunis or Tahrir Square, but it is the real thing. And must be encouraged.
But where's Waldo?
It took a million determined Egyptians to get Obama's half-hearted support to oust the pharaoh Mubarak. He never supported the ill-fated "Green Revolution" in Iran two years ago. He has mealy-mouthed some generalities about violence bad democracy good in rare utterances about Col. Crazy's attempts to kill the entire population of Libya rather than surrender power to the people. But there's no fight back in him when it comes to the country whose Constitution he has sworn to preserve, protect and defend. He is practically invisible, virtually silent, and AWOL in this most important battle to save our democracy from tumbling helter-skelter into the dark ages of corporate dictatorship.
In his State of the Union speech Obama trotted out the slogan "Win The Future." To which, Sarah Palin, the Tea Bag Party’s pin-up queen, snarked: WTF? But the fight for American Democracy is the real fight for America’s future. And it is high time for Obama to put up his dukes. Float like a butterfly and sting like a…butterfly will not win the future.