Wednesday, November 04, 2009


You know, I have to be constantly reminded that patience is a virtue and that all good things come to those who wait.

In 2003, I remember telling the leaders of the local Democratic Party that the only way they could win in 2004, was to run someone who was the complete antithesis of Dubyah. Of course, that didn't happen and America is much the worse for it. But, what do I know, right?

Now, as one of the "lefties," as I have so often been labeled, I went to the polls one year ago today and filled in the box by the odd name of Barack Obama. Absolutely ravenous for the change he promised I stood and watched, tears streaming, proud, and hopeful as he accepted the office of President of the United States. I listened intently to his words:

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who wont agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."

Barack Obama,
November 4, 2008

Caught up in the moment, as were millions of others, I knew - at least I thought I understood - that change wouldn't be easy or instantaneous. I knew that there would be resistance and that there would inevitably be the set-backs of which this man spoke. Yet hope was all encompassing. But, that was then. That was one of those fleeting moments of which there are all too few in life that we all cherish with such special fondness.

As the months passed reality blurred the promise of change and impatience replaced hope - at least for me. That feeling of unease and edginess started to return. That awful dread that it was too late and that too much damage had already been done to this great country and to the American dream. Slowly, I started to doubt Obama's abilities, his agenda, and his efficacy.

Today, as I was feeling quite anxious about all things political, I came across an article on the Huffington Post written by Bob Cesca that pretty well brought it all home to me:

Hope, Change and The Long Road: One Year Later

November 4, 2009. It's been exactly one year since Barack Obama was elected, and it's becoming increasingly clear that the president hasn't fixed the whole world yet. Then again, he never promised such a thing. But despite some "setbacks and false starts," we're in considerably better shape than we were when the president delivered the above words on election night in Chicago.

One of his central goals, going all the way back to his 2004 convention speech, of building common ground between Americans of different ideologies and backgrounds is going to be more difficult than was previously anticipated. However, what's beginning to take shape is common ground between the far-right and the far-left insofar as they're both angrily lining up in opposition to this White House.

Of course the wingnut right -- the Beck-Limbaugh-Palin Industrial Complex -- has a significant head start. Plus, they're immovable. Nothing this president does, short of resignation, will ever be greeted positively and everything will be pegged as a Nazi-Communist-Nixon-Carter-Terrorist usurping of American exceptionalism. However, on the left, there's a growing discontentment that's rapidly metastasizing into a similarly virulent and unchangeable anger. It not only threatens to fracture the president's progressive base, but it could also force the president to retreat to the middle.

Everything for this president hinges on the promise of change. And, in many ways, he's delivered on that pledge, if you consider "change" to be a presidency both legislatively and stylistically different from Bush.

I'm not going to do the whole list, but the tent pole items include setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, opening up federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, equal pay for women, ending torture, passing a major economic stimulus bill, which has helped to boost economic growth and yank the Dow back from the cliffs of insanity, and it looks like we're going to have a fairly solid health care reform bill with a public insurance option sometime this year (unless Harry Reid fumbles it). Last week alone, the president signed historic new hate crimes legislation protecting the LGBT community, killed the useless F-22 program, ended funding for ineffectual abstinence-only education, and was able to ballyhoo the first quarter of economic growth since 2007. Plus, per the president's orders, the Senate finally voted to allow the Guantanamo inmates to be moved onto U.S. soil for imprisonment and trial.

Not too shabby on the change front compared with where we were on November 4, 2008. It's also important to underscore that these aren't merely good for the Obama administration, these successes are good for America. They should be celebrated as such without embarrassment or apology.

Even the most rabid wingnut in the throes of another schizoid embolism has to admit that these successes represent, at the very least, change.

But it's a perceived lack of change that's angering many activists on the left. For my part, I'm not in love with the old school DLC influence of Rahm Emanuel. There are growing indications that the moderation coming from the White House on the public option is mainly from Emanuel's office. The pledge for bipartisanship is also growing really old, really fast, though I understand the political calculus in at least saying that it's important. In reality, the only operational legislative bipartisanship we ought to be seeing is between the liberals and the conservadems -- together representing a de facto two-party apparatus while the Republicans tend to their conniptions.

Meanwhile, administration officials have made some minor yet frustrating moves in terms of state secrets, indefinite detention and civil rights issues like the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT). Changes on those fronts can't come soon enough, but at least we're being told they're on the way.

So we have some troubling sameness, but looking at the raw list of accomplishments, the "change" side of the ledger appears to be more robust at this point, especially given that it's only been a year.

But expectations have been unnaturally high, mainly because it's so damn easy to project both our highest hopes and greatest fears onto this president.

In terms of the wingnut right, they've shoehorned literally every boogie man into Obama's loafers. He's both Carter and Nixon. He's both a Marxist and a fascist Nazi. He's both Hitler and Chamberlain. The wingnut right has gone so far as to paint a Hitler mustache on a man who the real-life Hitler would probably have killed with his bare hands -- a mixed-race liberal with a Muslim name.

In terms of the left, we've set marble-man expectations, and then we're shocked when these expectations aren't met. Put another way, we want this president to be FDR meets Kennedy meets MLK meets LBJ meets Bobby Kennedy meets Rachel Maddow meets Superman.

We expect him to "get tough" and, I don't know, flip his shit. Snap some Republican necks on live television. We want the very pragmatic and even-tempered Barack Obama to transform into a roid-raging berzerker. But I don't think that's entirely necessary.

While I'd love to see the president go all elbows-and-fists on Glenn Beck's punch-me face, it's just not going to happen. The attacks and antagonism from the White House against the far-right are more nuanced and subtle. It's a gradual tweaking rather than a daily burst of rage. Over a four or eight year term, this could be much more effective than brute force. After all, it was this fighting style that defeated both the Clinton machine and a well-respected war hero.

My worry, though, regarding the left is that we're nearing a zero barrier of sorts. Unless the president is able to cajole some of the more pissed off activists on the left, they'll entrench and will become equally as immovable as the wingnut right. In other words, if the president is unable to win back a level of liberal support rivaling last November, nothing he achieves will be good enough to generate the same grassroots support he enjoyed during the 2008 campaign. The silence surrounding last week's list of successes was deafening. And that could congeal into a serious electoral silence in 2010 and 2012, not unlike what we saw in 2000 with the left retreating to support Ralph Nader.

So what next?

On Tuesday, Arianna wrote about the president's timidity. While I don't necessarily agree considering how, for example, no other president -- including one whose giant mustache is carved into Mt. Rushmore -- has ever gotten this far in terms of reforming health care, she's absolutely right in terms of style.

Perhaps the White House would be better served by simply bragging more. Take these achievements and really amplify them. The administration has a respectable syllabus of accomplishments, so why not get loud? Let fly. This isn't difficult to do, especially given the president's oratory skills. Ultimately, this could serve to further antagonize the right, driving them deeper into political irrelevance; it could also mobilize the left, possibly disarming some of the "not good enough" criticisms; and it could remind independents why they voted in record numbers for Barack Obama one year ago today.

As promised in Grant Park, the road is much longer and steeper than can be traveled in a single year. But I'm both encouraged and excited by the fact that we're moving in the right direction -- "calloused hand by calloused hand."


  1. That's right, get loud. LOL the louder the lefties get the deeper their hole becomes.

    Yesterday was a day of Victory! It absolutely blows my mind that 2 lefty states abandoned Obama's failed attempts to persuade us to vote for Democrats. And for New Jersey to vote Republican was thought of by many as absolutely impossible.

    Now maybe businesses may consider moving back to NJ and possibly they can get themselves turned back around and drop all of the corruption as they are probably the most deeply corrupt in the country due to the democrats in power.

    Victory to the Republicans as they crushed the Democrats. It is a hard blow for the Obama administration and they better realize that exit polls show that 40%-45% of the people said that their vote for a Republican was directly due to Obama himself.

  2. Wow, this wasn't even from FOX! It was from CNN. The democrats are even pissed!

    Some pretty serious am-nasty being force fed to the American people.

  3. Yawn, dems control congress. What does the GOP control? Oh wait nothing not even able to Filibuster.
    So sad, you mad. LOL.

  4. Hey Nigger Loving Dumb4life, spit that Nigger Dick out and someone might be able to understand your Bullshit.

  5. Obongo will dread to see each election come to pass. Obongo knows his grip on our country is slowly slipping away. Even the Niggers are starting to see him for the Marxist crook that he is.

  6. The Ghost of DirecTV Collection DepartmentNovember 04, 2009 10:35 PM

    Hey Holsten, Child Molester. You post the same stupid shit, over and over again. Have you heard the expression "Stuck on stupid?" Can you hurry up and rot away? Please tell me your foot is getting worse.

  7. No, Nigger Loving Nigger Dick Sucker; I cannot lie. Your Great Hero's foot is almost healed. I'm not stuck on anything. Obongo is going to be another Jimmy Carter. I figure Carter is already sucking Obongo's Dick anyway.

  8. Hey Holswine, you still sticking your dick in Michael every night?

  9. No Nigger Dick Sucker #2. Your Great Hero has never done these things that you know so much about. I, your Great Hero has never been involved in your Faggotry and I am still not into Pedo things like you. So Fuck the Fuck off and go suck another Nigger Dick.

  10. You miss the big picture as usual Hoochie. The conservatives are stirring up their base and getting them to the polls, okay good for them. However as they are doing it they are drifting farther and farther to the right. The can't and won't win without moderates. Self defeating strategy, yet self notes that GOP drives down the same self defeating road. They win in the short term but lose war. MAYBESO

  11. """Shit Pants said...You miss the big picture as usual Hoochie. The conservatives are stirring up their base and getting them to the polls, okay good for them."""

    Republicans always go to the polls. Obama didn't win because they didn't show up at the polls. He won because Republicans would rather vote for a liberal than a Republican who wants to be one.

    """However as they are doing it they are drifting farther and farther to the right."""


    """The can't and won't win without moderates."""

    Wrong. In all actuality they can't and won't win with a moderate running. And the GOP just found that out. Regan was and ran as a conservative. The democrats at the time said the EXACT same thing that you are saying right now. He is too radical to ever win. He is too conservative, etc. And guess what? He won with a landslide.

    Then Bush ran as a conservative in his first term. We all know he turned out to be a liberal but originally we were hoodwinked into thinking he was fiscally and socially conservative. And he won due to this. But it wasn't until his second term where his true liberal colors presented themselves.

    And he is presently considered one of the worst in recent history due to this. The democrats would have hated him anyways, just because he was not calling himself a democrat. And to top it off he swung left and he alienated ALL conservatives and libertarians. The only people who still liked him were the Republican Base. THAT'S IT for the most part.

    And that is why many conservatives today refuse to call themselves Republicans.

    Shitpants. Open your ears up and hear it from a true conservative. I know just like we all do, why our party split. I am one of those who broke off and at one point in time I would have been proud to call myself a republican.

    You must listen to those who know because they are involved with it. The main stream media are liars and put their spin on something for future political positioning.

    It is completely idiotic for a Democrat to listen to a Democrat teach them about the Republican party. And you are doing nothing more than parroting the democrat main stream media.

    It is clear that your living in your own sheltered world where you hear nothing but liberal slanted news. You should give a shot at watching Fox and AM radio (dems control everything else) at least an hour a day to give yourself at least a small percentage of the other sides stand on things.

  12. I'm going to have to run with Shit Pants here. While it was true that Ronnie Raygun was a conservative he was able to sway a large number of moderate voters. You have to remember that Ronnie started out as a liberal. He latter became a neo-conservative.

    The weakness of the GOP was clearly shown in NY-23 where a moderate republican was passed over by a "Mavericky" Sarah Palin. It became a train wreck and the GOP lost the race. If they try to run Sarah Palin in 2012 I perdict the very same thing to happen. She can not and will not appeal to those moderate voters. Still I doubt that Palin can even get the Republican nomination. She has too much baggage.

  13. Hooch? Bee Fi Fo Fum I smells me the strench of a Vonbluvens.

  14. You are just now smelling VonBluvens, fool? You really are slow.

  15. I don't expect that they will run Sarah in 2012. She had her shot. There are many strong conservatives out there and that is what it will take to beat Obama because as I already said, the "independents" will vote for a real democrat before voting for a Republican who wants to be one.

    You are confusing who these midlanders are. Moderate republicans are a very small group. When polled, 40% of this country are CONSERVATIVE! About 30% are democrat and the others are the sheep. They don't really know what they believe. If you asked them the difference between a Republican and a Democrat, they couldn't accurately answer you.

    They vote for who they like. That's it. They vote for the person they would most like to sit down and drink a beer with. The person who is most socially gifted. That's it. That is all it is about.

    And Obama is a master of communication. He has deep, deep baggage. More than any president in history has ever been elected with. But nevertheless, he shows himself as a nice "honest" guy. And this is all the sheeple see. And put this nice comfortable speaking guy up next to a uptight old man who seems he could be nasty at times and what do you think an uneducated person would pick. Then top it off with this uncomfortable old man being a liberal impersonating as a republican and you lose more votes.

    The GOP knows this my friend. And I hate to be the one to tell you but you don't pick who will be president anyway. The president is picked by the Bilderburg Group which has arms that work with it such as the Council on Foreign Relations.

    The entire government is a giant web of lies and every single program in action has a scam behind it. The members of the Bilderburg Group are the key players in the largest companies in the world. And these same members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations along with the heads of the mass media conglomerations in America and the key politicians.

    And for more info on the CFR look here. Every single bit of information in the video is verifiable.

  16. Hooch knows not head from hole in ground. Contines to show same.


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