I’m still debating what to title this post. So far I’ve considered “Oh, hell to the no!” “WWHD?” and “Bend over, America!” See, reading the details of the midnight budget agreement between the Obama Administration and the Republican House Leader has me at times speechless, and at times ranting.
The media has framed this as an epic event, as though we were watching the Olympics of politics. Details of the budget? We don’t need no stinking’ details! Who won? That’s all the media wants to talk about. Look at the words used in headlines across the country: “gamesmanship,” “power play,” “who won, who lost.” I’d be fine with that last one if the article in fact spoke of which Americans won and lost, rather than which politicians won and lost. This is not a game. This is the reality of people’s lives, people who are struggling to get by despite working hard and living honestly. How can that be? I mean, it was long ago established in this country that to prosper as a nation we must support those among us who are the most vulnerable: the children, the impoverished, the elderly. From the earliest days in our nation’s history, when these groups were supported by the states, to the landmark legislation of the 1930’s when the federal government became involved, it has always been an acknowledged fact by the majority that this support is a function of government. Yet those very programs are under attack by right-wing ideologues and President Obama is bargaining them away for political gain.
This “game” that occurred over the weekend took some important policies with very serious ramifications and made them a bargaining chip between three wealthy men. The fact that all three weren’t white is an odd advancement of our society. Apparently, however, power is color-blind. And power, as we know, corrupts. Would things be different if Hillary Clinton were President? Or if Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House? Or both were in those positions? Who knows; certainly the thirst for power is not limited to men — women can fall prey to it as well.
But I’m a lifelong Democrat who’s mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore. I didn’t campaign for Obama in the primaries because I thought he was too inexperienced and too much of a blank slate. I campaigned for Hillary Clinton because although I didn’t agree with all of her polices, I felt I knew where she stood based on her public record. I was told by others that because she didn’t have more experience in office than did Mr Obama, her public record didn’t count. I maintain today that we knew where she stood. Obama’s public record consisted only of his brief time in the Senate and his many campaign speeches. Hardly text to depend on. And now we see where he stands.
President Obama has sold out the middle class and the Democrats who elected him. Yeah, I said it. You can argue that I strengthen the Republicans who might run in 2012 when I speak this way, and I say, in the words of Cee Lo, “F*** You!” He took my money, he took my vote, and he sold me down the river in order win in a pissing contest with other rich, entitled men.
Let’s get one thing straight: None of these politicians are serious about reducing the deficit. If they were, they would certainly look to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich last December when they were set to expire. Instead, Obama and his Wall Street pals decided to extend them, instead putting the burden of righting this wayward ship that is our economy onto the shoulders of the weakest of Americans. As Jeffrey Sachs wrote:
In the end, we have gotten from President Obama what we feared from Senator McCain: an expanded war in Afghanistan, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, sharp cuts in spending for communities and programs for the poor, a continuation of Guantanamo and military tribunals, unchecked bankers’ pay and bonuses, and enough loopholes to reduce corporate taxes to less than 2 percent of GDP this year, despite a boom in corporate profits.
So, yeah, I said it. And he said it. And you need to say it too. President Obama has become a tool and the threat of a Republican winning the presidential election in 2012 because I utter these words holds no power over me. In my opinion, we’ve already got one. When the actual details of this budget agreement come out this week, all Americans who voted for President Obama need to write to him, call their Senators and Representative, and respond to every fundraising request with the same message: Oh, hell to the no!