Obama 2012

Here’s what I wrote on Election Day, November 4, 2008:

In the end, Barack Obama is just a politician. But he has a keen, empathetic mind, and a worldly point of view. With his diverse cultural background, he represents the ultimate distillation of the American experiment. Despite the silly claims that he represents some kind of radical background, what people have responded to in Obama is his calm optimism and genuine ability to reach across the aisle. There’s no doubt he would be a much cooler force in a crisis and he would also have the counsel of many wise folk, left, right or independent. Joe Biden proved to be a safe smart choice for VP, and despite his propensity for gaffes, he knows his stuff and he complements Obama well; they seem to have a genuine connection. Better still, Biden will not be Dick Cheney Redux. Biden’s line, “Dick Cheney is the most dangerous vice-president in history,” at his debate sealed the deal for me. We need politicians who understand the constitutional limitations of their office.

I’ve never in my lifetime seen such public support for a politician like Barack Obama. I am rarely swayed by the din of the madding crowd, but 100,000 people gathered hopefully to see one man must mean something. I do believe Obama is appealing to “our better angels” and the GOP Shit Machine has been so clogged up that even Joe The Plumber can’t plunge its excess. This is what happens when politicians actually let Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Matt Drudge dictate policy; the endless chants of AyersACORNWrightSocialistMuslimAnti-American failed to penetrate despite the hysterical cries of the AM Radio Righties. That can only bode well for our collective intelligence.

Obama is offering a new direction, and though I’m skeptical of any political promises, the country desperately needs change, and a hard brake to the failed policies of the GOP. And yes, I think it’s important to show the world that America has transcended its slavery roots; a new generation of my nieces and nephews will help erase another swath of racism and bigotry from our consciousness.

As opposed to 2004, I feel cool and calm tonight, cautiously optimistic that by November 5, America will have elected Barack Obama as President of the United States in a historical landslide. Or I’ll see you in Amsterdam.

Tho I’m somewhat disappointed I’m not writing this from a cozy cafe in Utrecht, I stand by what I wrote and what I thought about Obama from the beginning. I subscribe to the Bill Hicks “Puppet Theory” yet I’m not totally cynical. As Thor once told a pack of apathetic hippies, “There be causes to espouse….battles to be won…” And in the end, Obama is only a politician and like all us, fallibly human, but he came at a terrible time when somebody had to clean up the piling mess from Team Bush. The unending ignorance, bigotry and racism on display from the GOP and Tea Party sealed my support for the centrist policies and even temperament of Obama, and I’ve still felt he’s become a receptacle then trashcan for everybody’s Hope and Change. Which leads to the emo-liberals never acknowledging the actual change, unexciting tho it seems, that has been brought about. The stem-cell research ban reversal may lead to veterans being able to walk again and provide amazing new arenas of scientific inquiry. That’s just one thing he did in his first month of office. The absolute refusal of the Republicans to help solve our problems — the ultimate petulancy from the children who wrought much of them — isn’t Obama’s fault. He did reach out as he should have. Instead, the GOP asked for his Birth Certificate while accusing him of dividing people. The Republicans led by Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Paul Ryan prided itself on an attempt to destroy Obama by destroying America, with not a SINGLE VOTE for the stimulus that stopped the hemorrage of the Bush recession (and that free-market warriors like Paul Ryan and Rick Perry eagerly sought). Instead of learning from mistakes, the GOP tripled-down on the dumb, and the living proof was their awesome clown show primaries that finally let America see what had the Republicans had to offer: a reality show. I had no doubt that Romney would be the nominee — the Republicans might have won with Jon Hunstman, who by believing in the science and reality of climate change outed himself as too sane — and I have no doubt they lost a long time ago.

By the GOP’s own limited metrics of success, Obama would be considered wildly successful if only for overseeing the death of Osama Bin Laden; leading a coalition against Gaddafi; and taking out more terrorists than the Bush administration. The fact that corporations have achieved record profits under Marxistsocialist Obama never factors in the right-wing alternate universe. By my own progressive standards, he’s always been fairly centrist. And as for my own hopes, it’s time for him to stop his glib obfuscation and end this stupid deadly War On Drugs; identify climate change as an immediate global threat; and pull out our drones and troops from the Middle East, the holy itch nobody can ever scratch until we’re all scratched out apparently.

Despite my general cynicism towards politics and our government, we have to fight for our causes, no matter how small or losing. Things do Change, just not as fast as our technologically accelerated culture wants. Obama is not an iphone app. And neither is Change. By my own my limited metrics of politicians, Barack Obama has been the best President I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. And this is worst Republican candidate ever put up for election. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have gotten away with the most staggering series of lies and reversals in modern American political history — and the “liberal media” has allowed them because as Paddy Chayefsky warned us, the News is now in the show business. The hackery of pundits like Wolf Blitzer, David Gregory, Mark Halperin, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Anderson Cooper and everybody at FOX who get paid MILLIONS to be absolutely wrong most of the time is depressing. When Obama is ahead six points in Ohio, “it’s a tie.” When Romney is ahead one point, “it’s a SURGE.” When Romney flails and bullies his way through one debate, Obama pays the price for not lying. They get paid to play the horserace for ratings ad campaign ad dollars while they whine about campaigns and ad dollars. Our media, which belong to the airwaves which belongs to US, have failed us miserably this election cycle as it did in 2000 and 2004 and the best hope for Obama’s re-election is the collective mea culpa — or media culpa — as they say, “Nobody could have predicted an Obama landslide…” Not to say it’s ALL in the bag; the GOP are the ultimate losers and their attempts to block voters by closing polls for no damn good reason on the one day we truly activate our democracy says it all about their faith and exceptionalism.

And I’ll be a lot more harsh on Obama his second term, when he has nothing to lose. But a Romney/GOP victory would be our national loss.



6 Responses to “Obama 2012”

  1. Amen, brother!

  2. Dude, you rock. You rocked in ’08 and you rock now.

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