I was an ardent supporter of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries of last year. Obama campaigned, correctly saying that he, alone, of all the candidates, could build a new coalition of voters in America by talking straight and confronting decades-old national problems. He promised a new kind of politics and he delivered, rising above the crazy politics of personal destruction still so often played by conservatives.
Barack Obama was America's best choice for president last November. That fact still remains.
But Obama has made several costly mistakes as president. Costly for America.
The new president's biggest error, I think, was his stance from the beginning that he would not pursue investigations or prosecutions of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney's administration's numerous crimes and acts of treason. Mr. Obama explained that "looking forward" rather than backwards would be his practice more often than not. Obama explained that the pressing issues of our day would get sidelined in some grand spectacle if the rule of law was followed in regard to the Bush administration.
All the "oxygen" in Washington D.C. would be sucked out if Bush and Cheney were held accountable.....and no oxygen would be left for health care reform, global warming legislation, card check, re-regulation of the banksters, etc. That was, and still is, Obama's argument. It's a losing argument.
If Obama would have appointed a special prosecutor from the get go to deal with the past administration, Americans...Republicans, corporate-media whores, would have realized the new president meant business.....wasn't just going to f*ck around. But he didn't.
Now, even though Obama has not gone after George and Dick, you know, to save all that political oxygen, his opponents have pounced on his refusal as a sign of weakness and are feverishly working to deprive Obama from breathing life into his campaign plans. While Obama was preserving political "oxygen" by refusing to re-instate the rule of law in America, his opponents were sucking all the political oxygen from Obama's new presidency by continually repeating the craziest sh*t imaginable, lying and propagandizing at every turn.
Which brings me to the next mistake by Obama. I realize that talk of bipartisanship is usually just that....talk....but with Obama, bipartisanship has not just been talk. It's been a feature. While it is true that Obama got three GOP votes for his stimulus bill....that's basically been the extent of any Republican cooperation.
There are no more "moderate" Republicans left, with possibly the exception of Olympia Snowe (R-ME). There's literally no Republicans left to be bipartisan with. Obama was correct in sensing that the voters wanted bipartisanship, wanted cooperation in order to get stuff done, he was right that the "old politics" had worn out it's welcome......where he was wrong was in assuming that today's Republican Party was something other than a calcified fossil of radically partisan status quo-ism. Where he was wrong was in assuming he had honest-brokers in today's Republicans. He doesn't.
Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and their cheerleaders, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, et.al. are anything BUT negotiating partners. To these leaders of the modern GOP, bipartisanship is a disease to be avoided at all costs when Democrats are in power. And bipartisanship, when Republicans are in power, is considered date rape.
So, why the foolish notion by Obama that bipartisanship must always be considered, must be first and foremost in any of his political dealings? Beats the hell out of me. On this one, I am completely stymied.
If Obama is looking to hold moderates and independents by acting oh-so-bipartisan......it's working out just the opposite. By not standing up to the crazed and radicalized Republicans, the new president has shown moderates and independents that he is weak. Current polling suggests that independents and moderates have caught on to that weakness and don't like it.
Does all this portend a return to power of the insanity-filled party of Bush? Not likely. It just means that conservatives will get their way for now.....nothing of much value will be accomplished for the American people during Obama's first term.
Oh well, there's always another election around the corner. The answer to our national paralysis is.......more and better Democrats.
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