So many liberals were so excited to elect Barack Obama. Even if we don't get it all fixed, at least we'll be starting to clean up the mess and we'll be going in the right direction.
More than a year out, it's looking like Bush in blackface, Cheney only charismatic instead of Darth Vaderish, like the Al Jolson version of Rummy the demanding warmonger. No, Barack Obama is not making a personal fortune off the war machine, as did Cheney and Rumsfeld, two of the lowest public officials to ever disgrace the national scene. And no, he's not manufacturing lies to gin up more wars--so far. But in all important indices, Obama is failing.
Environmentally, he's cleaning up fewer Superfund sites (21 per year) than did George W-Is-For-Waste Bush (38 per year).
Afghanistan has gone from a mucked-up minor debacle into the hellhole that is consuming Americans and Afghans alike.
The military budget is on the rise instead of dropping--indeed, much higher than the Bush record levels, now up to $1.03 trillion.
The bankers were paid off first and Goldman Sachs got the last remaining riches with the astonishing $12.2 trillion aggregate stimulus and bailout.
Job creation has come last and the working class is hit harder than ever. There is nothing left.
Nuclear power--dead and gone--has just gotten CPR from Obama.
His health care plan isn't passed and it wouldn't cover all Americans.
How many other ways could he possibly anger his base?
What base? Who is left? African Americans? They are 12.4 percent of the population.
Obama's only hope for re-election is Sarah Palin or some other know nothing whose idiocy may be so profound that voting for Obama is purely defensive against something so putrid it cannot be thinkable.
Is this the country so worth defending it takes more money than any military ever has in history? It seems the less there is to defend, the more the Pentagon demands--and gets--to defend it, whatever it may be. Indeed, that is the correlative that ought to be telling us something.
Sy Hersh seemed to think last week that if Obama decides not to run for another term, we will see some actual political courage. Hope he makes his move soon. There is no more peace dividend. Jobs cannot be created with nothing but debt and thin air. He can look under every picnic table but he's not likely to find the clean up money needed to begin to address the stacked-up Superfund sites. We will not leave either Iraq or Afghanistan on terms favorable to the US. I doubt the decision about one or two terms is still Obama's to make. I think his policies and political spinelessness have made his choices for him.
One of the principles in the field in which I teach is that you prepare to compromise on everything--except principle. Give away material things. Give away prestige. But don't violate your tenets or you'll start to lose big. This is what has happened to Obama. He may still have a fun time as president, but I doubt it.
It's going to be a long way back and he is not the person for the job--I'd love to see Barbara Lee or Dennis Kucinich. With Obama's bailout for nuclear industries he's finished off that chapter. If he would understand that he's one term he might try to do a few things right.