One of my more conservative friends on Facebook asked whether his “liberal” friends were in any way unhappy with Obama.
No, of course not; we’re all simpletons and sheep, you see. Gah!
Here’s why THIS “liberal” is less than pleased: To start with, Mr. Obama made the choice to continue several of Dubya’s operating procedures and personnel; he maintained failed economic and foreign policies, and kept some of the same administrators (starting with the military and the Fed). The economic team he assembled from the get-go was a disaster — basically all Washington insiders and Wall Street cronies. The Wall Street bailout was a complete wrong turn. The very folks who caused the problem in the first place, putting the entire country (except for the top 0.01%) into an economic tailspin should have paid the price; instead, they were rewarded. “Too big to fail?” How about “too big to be held accountable, investigated by the Justice Department, and penalized?” Also, I still see the rich getting tax cuts and paying a much lower percentage of their yearly income in taxes than do middle class and lower class folks. Is it right or fair or moral that a billionaire pays a 14% tax rate while I (someone who works hard but is barely getting by and whose mortgage is underwater thanks to the dirty derivatives tricks of the Wall Streeters) pay upwards of 35%? Is it right or fair or moral when billionaire heads of corporations continue to receive multi-million-dollar bonuses every year while a vast number of Americans (through no fault of their own) have been downsized out of their jobs, have no healthcare coverage, can put barely enough food on the table, and have lost or are in the process of losing their retirement savings AND their homes?
The stimulus package was a baby step in the right direction but didn’t go nearly far enough. I would have liked to have seen Obama insist on corporate accountability/transparency; instill some sort of sanctions for job offshoring and tax incentives for companies that continue (or begin) to produce/manufacture in the U.S.; and develop a federal works program to rebuild this country’s broken infrastructure and shore up the inadequate energy grid. Not to mention create JOBS for Americans. The idea of the big-business private sector being “job creators” is such an immense pile of bullshit, it makes my eyes water; yeah, they sure do create a lot of jobs — OVERSEAS.
In addition, Mr. Obama completely rolled over on single-payer healthcare, not putting up even a semblance of a fight for either Medicare-for-all or some other universal system of basic preventive health care for all Americans. “Obamacare” is — again — a baby step (e.g., it ensure that people are not denied coverage for pre-existing conditions), but it benefits the insurance companies more than it does the people.
Overall, I think Obama didn’t fight nearly hard enough against the Republican obstructionists in Congress. Yes, they were determined to block him and create failure at every turn, but he could have played a little more down and dirty. Also, he hasn’t completely shut down Guantanamo Bay; we’re still at war in Afghanistan; and I see a lot of pandering to AIPAC. And now we hear continual rumblings of a possible war with Iran. Wow, I can’t wait for the U.S. to become embroiled in yet ANOTHER unnecessary, completely manufactured Middle East conflict. Enough!
Back in 2008, I hoped for the promised CHANGE in Washington. Yes, Obama is WAY better than a Republican (the party of religious wacknuts and corporate apologists), but basically he’s proven himself to be a middle-of-the-road kind of guy rather than a true progressive. A system of governance that serves only the privileged few while not working for the majority is a bad system. Intentionally or not, Mr. Obama has worked to further that system.