The Decline of Hope
– by David Matthews 2
He was seen as the white knight that America desperately needed. He was appointed by those deemed important as being the chosen one; the one that would lead the people out of despair and into prosperity. His election was seen as a repudiation of the past eight years of fear and dread. His inauguration was seen more as a coronation or even as an ascendancy.
CHANGE was in the air! HOPE was in the making!
And yet a little more than six months into the tenure of President Barack Obama, there is a much different sentiment creeping across the nation.
It’s not a feeling of HOPE… but of remorse. Some may even say… regret.
There is no denying that there are plenty of people who have become disillusioned by the achievements of the Obama Administration in such a short period of time. Even if you discount the polls and the rhetoric from the conservatives and neo-conservatives, there is still a general feeling of malaise amongst the moderates and even from the liberals… the very people who should be dancing in the streets right now.
And yet how can that be, you wonder? How could we go from renewed optimism back to pessimism in less than a year?
It’s easier than you think.
Incompetent Leadership In Congress: Prior to 2006, the Democrats complained that they lacked any power in the Congress or White House. In 2007, after winning back control in both the House and Senate, they said they still couldn’t do anything because they lacked White House support and they didn’t have a filibuster-proof majority. In 2009 they have a President that was elected with wide popular support and they have a filibuster-proof majority, and they STILL refuse to take actions on their own without trying to work out deals with Republicans.
The Congressional leadership was incompetent in 2007, and that did not change in the 2008 Elections. They are just running out of excuses to do their jobs.
It’s STILL The Stupid Economy: George W. Bush had an excuse to louse up the economy. He was a dry-drunk reincarnation of Caesar Nero, who fiddled with mindless glee while America imploded. That’s what he did in 2005 when people complained about the price of gasoline, and again when the Gulf States flooded, and that’s what he did again in 2008 when people started losing their homes and losing their jobs. Then he turned to a Wall Street insider who force-fed America one plan, and then turned around and used the money and the unlimited authority to bail out his friends and left the rest of the nation to twist in the wind.
So what’s YOUR excuse, President Obama? Sure you tossed out a huge stimulus package… the third one in this recession (including the two that were grudgingly handed out by Bush)… and your hand-picked “gotta have” tax-dodging boy wonder supposedly knew what it would take to turn the economy around. So why did Vice-President Joe Biden say you guys UNDERESTIMATED the scope of the problem? Why are there people talking about needing YET ANOTHER stimulus package? Why is unemployment STILL at unacceptable levels?
The people feel let down… AGAIN! They voted for change and they see nothing but more of the same.
BAD Agenda: The Obama Administration has a schedule of things they want done, and they want it done in order. They want the economy fixed, they want to stop hearing about Iraq, and they want healthcare reform. Straight out of Bill Clinton’s old 1993 playbook by the numbers.
Unfortunately things are not as simple as running down a checklist. Obama and his people underestimated the scope of the economic meltdown, as well as the level of resistance that Wall Street has to changing their ways. And now they’re finding out that the insurance providers and the rest of the healthcare companies that have gotten fat and rich off the misery of the masses are even more resistant to change than Wall Street. You’re messing with their bread and butter, Mister President! Did you really think they would take that lying down just because YOU SAID SO?
Come on, President Obama, you’re supposed to be the smart one in the bunch!
The GOP Spoilers: Obviously the conservatives and neo-conservatives are really putting everything they have to being the great spoilers of this party. They clearly DO NOT WANT Obama to succeed in anything he puts his mind to. They will accuse him of destroying the country just by waking up in the morning. They may have proven to have no honor, no ethics, and no morals, but what they do have are a bunch of overpaid public platforms in the media and legions of mindless myrmidons that parrot what they say and call it gospel.
And rather than putting a stake through that party’s heart and getting rid of them once and for all, the Obama people and the inept non-leadership in the Congress are trying to NEGOTIATE with them! And then they actually get surprised when the Republicans turn around and flip them the bird and tell them what they can do with their “bipartisan cooperation”.
And here they have allowed the Republicans to take control over the healthcare mess by spinning one fictitious story after the next and sucking up to their friends in the healthcare industries, thinking that somehow the great unwashed would figure out “the truth” and then are shocked when the masses buy the fiction.
NO JUSTICE: We were promised accountability. Where is it? We hear about a “Pay Czar”, but Wall Street executives are still giving each other bonuses and raises while giving America the middle finger and the shaft. We give billions of taxpayer dollars to banks and they still screw over the very people paying for their bailouts. The people put in charge of watching over the bailouts can’t account for the money being spent or how it is being spent. The same failed corporations that first raced to the bailout trough are coming back for more and more and without ANY kind of consequences for it.
Even worse, we keep on hearing about more and more revelations about gross abuses of power from the former White House occupants, and yet NOBODY IS GOING TO JAIL! Attorney General Eric Holder TALKS about wanting to bring charges, and he keeps WARNING that he MIGHT try to get an indictment, but right now it’s still all talk and no results.
The policies of the old Bush Imperium are being vigorously supported by the Obama Administration. The contracts to the brutal mercenary organization are STILL being extended and paid. The inept people in Congress are supposedly taking their lead from the White House when it comes to holding the old White House people accountable for their actions, and the current White House residents are talking about “not dwelling on the past”.
In other words, there is no responsibility, there is no accountability, THERE IS NO JUSTICE!
Here’s a quick history lesson for the Obama Administration… remember Gerald Ford? He was the only President who was not elected by the Electoral College. He ended up getting the job after Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned and then President Richard Nixon followed suit.
Do you remember what President Ford did that was so heinous he was hated by the masses? It can be summed up in three simple words: HE PARDONED NIXON!
One of the very first things Ford did after announcing that “the nightmare was over” was to issue a pardon to Nixon and all of his people who were not yet indicted or convicted. It may have been a condition for Nixon to step down and avoid being served with Articles of Impeachment, but it also took out Ford’s chances of being elected in 1976. That probably explains why Nixon was so jubilant when he took the last Marine One ride out of Washington in 1974… he was leaving Ford to incur the wrath of the voters.
And then there is…
The Cult of the Status Quo: The continual push to keep things as they are now is probably the biggest negative that the Obama Administration has. From appointing Clintonistas like Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff to the policies being sustained from the Bush Imperium days, the continuing ROT of complacency has been undermining the Obama Administration’s support like gangrene.
The Obama Administration’s acceptance of a “jobless recovery” is about as sane of an idea as going over Niagra Falls in a rowboat. You CANNOT HAVE any kind of meaningful economic recovery without JOBS! PERIOD! Likewise, the continual plan to just feed the banks and the “too big to fail” companies a steady stream of money will not fix the mess that we are currently in. It is just buying time before their own actions FORCE them to fail… and by then it will be infinitely more expensive to recover from. And it doesn’t matter who is in charge of the White House, or their reasons for doing what they do, they cannot claim to support the Rule of Law in any way shape or form if they refuse to hold people accountable for their actions!
Let’s get brutally honest here… ALL of these things are contributing to the decline not only in Obama’s approval with the masses, but also with the general outlook. Complacency has KILLED any sense of optimism that existed back in January and February. Obama’s people have backstabbed the liberals and independents, and validated the criticisms of the cons and neo-cons who have been the willing spoilers of this party.
President Obama could have had tremendous support for healthcare reform if he first made sure the economy was in FULL recovery. Not a “jobless recovery”, but a REAL RECOVERY, with JOBS! The public could possibly excuse the absence of justice if there was REAL change being implemented and not sorry excuses to keep things as they are now. And complacency could be excused if the perpetrators of our misery were all frog-marched to prison, or at the very least removed from any kind of authority or position of power.
But instead, NONE of these things are happening.
We’re not getting change. We’re getting SHORT-CHANGED. We were sold on hope and we ended up with hype. At this rate, Obama won’t have to worry about whether or not he’ll win re-election in 2012… because the longer he starts acting like Gerald Ford, the more likely he will be TREATED like Gerald Ford.
The sharp decline in the polls, even if they are not to be trusted, should be a wake-up call to President Obama and his people that they need to do more than just TALK about change and TALK about hope. This isn’t just a one-time thing that can be easily forgotten once the election is over. Hope needs to be sustained and re-enforced. And the only way they can do that is if they follow through with what they NEED to do, and they need to do it NOW, not wait until 2012 or even 2010.