I am still thankful that Barack Obama was elected president of the United States last November. I believe that the country turned and started going in the right direction after being off kilter for so many years.
I still think that one year later, he was and remains the best choice for this country.
Am I 100% happy with the way things have gone this past year? No.
When Obama put together his “change” team, he didn't really change things. He added a few women, a couple of women of color. He added a few openly gay and lesbian people. However, from the beginning he stuck with the same white guys, maybe a little younger, but those who espoused the same kind of stuff and policies that got us into this mess in the first place. I was not happy with the likes of Geithner, Summers, or the Generals put in charge of those misguided fiascoes Iraq and Afghanistan. One year in, I am less happy with his choices.
Having been raised on politics from the cradle, I know that things can't and won't turn around quickly and this has been a problem for Obama. He won by convincing a lot of people to vote for him who don't know politics and furthermore, never took an interest in politics prior to his coming. These new voters didn't hear him tell them, it was going to take some time. As with all things these days, new voters are fanatics with miniscule attention spans and little or no patience for the actual work that needs to be done to make everything seem miraculous. To put it another way, the new voters are working in dual processing capability while Obama and the government are operating in ms dos.
Everybody bought the “Barack the Magic Negro” scenario. In other words, we made this guy president now all he has to do is walk into the Oval office and wave a wand and vanquish all of our problems..the budget magically balances...the deficit goes back to a surplus like when Clinton left... everyone gets their dream job.....Black people are seen as worthy.....Wall Street and big corporations grow a conscience... so called Christian evangelicals link arms and sing Cum by ya with the LGBT community....don't ask, don't tell goes away and gay people are allowed to get married..... and the treasury draining quagmires called the war on terrorism, ends...
Easy...Ala Kazam, one, two, three and poof....America fixed....American dream still in tact, duct tape no longer needed...
Except this is not what happened...Barack, the touchy feelie basketball playing candidate morphed back into Barack the cool, Barack the logical, Barack the pragmatic, Barack the aloof college professor who seems more willing to compromise and work the status quo, than to shake things up and move forward. The community organizer has gone into hiding at a time when the country really, really needs a rabble rousing organizer.
In Barack Obama, we were voting for more FDR. What we got, apparently, is a little unexpected and quite a bit maddening.
The newly baptized are defecting in droves...fearful of the change they say they want and unwilling to wait for it. While Obama works behind the scenes, talking quietly with his colleagues, demanding they find solutions, he leaves the people adrift, in limbo, unable to see the workings of his mind.
Barack the Communicator is not communicating, nor showing any understanding that sometimes silence communicates louder than the spoken word. The new converts need a constant fix or suffer painful withdrawal, which sends them scampering to find a new supplier. This is what's happening to Obamaville.
The wing nuts have found their leaders on the radio and on television. The Glen-Greta-Sean-Bill-Rush-Laura-Sarah hit parade is in full swing having stolen the bully pulpit. They don't have any solutions, but they throw a helluva good party, where the crazies can safely give voice to their fear of change and racist assumptions that minorities are destroying "their " country.
From the beginning of his campaign, Obama has been painted in pink...too soft for the job....He's not by any stretch of the imagination. But he does need to flex his muscles in public, from time to time.
How can he flex?
He can bring our troops home. No surge in Afghanistan. We had it won, until Iraq jumped off ...Time to cut our loses and come home.
He can put people back to work. He can rebuild schools and infrastructure to the same 56-billion dollar tune that this country has spent in Iraq to build schools and infrastructure. Health care reform is important...but if you ain't working and there is no public option, you have no house or car and no way to feed your family..you can't afford it..so...jobs are the key here. So is another stimulus. The first one wasn't big enough to stimulate a consumer driven economy which we are.
This second stimulus, if it comes about, should put the money directly into the pockets of the consumers, namely us...And I'm not talking 600-dollars....I'm talking 30-thou per person. You want people to spend money then give them some..They will pay their bills, save some and spend some creating the very cycle this country needs right now.
He can go ahead and suspend DADT in the military by executive order. He can close Guantanamo, bring the alleged terrorists into this country to fill the empty jails that populate the small towns and put people back to work as guards or in support of the prison system (I am truly baffled by Neocons and good ole boys who fight tooth and nail so that we all can have as many guns as we want, yet when Barack says bring them to this country...they cower in fear of a few terrorists).
The biggest fallacy has been Barack's clinging to trickle down economics....In other words, prime the pump that is Wall Street...and eventually the people will be taken care of...It has never worked...and it never will.
It is still Voodoo Economics, period.
The banks are sitting on the money, refusing to hire, yet rewarding themselves with billions of dollars in job well done bonuses. Big corporations are still figuring out ways to ship their profit and our jobs overseas. They are still looking out for themselves.
We need some good old fashioned community organizer type blackmail to get these guys to either create jobs or bring some jobs and manufacturing back home. I thinking that Obama should ask Jesse or Rev Al on the QT, just how you blackmail corporate America. They been doing it for years, so put their expertise to work for all of us.
As I've said before, President Obama cannot do it alone, change must come from all of us.
However we chose him to lead and that is what I expect him to do....Lead...I think he is smart enough to figure that out...I just hope it's sooner rather than later.