I was going to just fire off an "F U" for your condescending label of "whining left and right" ... I know you respect the office of the presidency the way I used to, maybe that is why you are so optimistic about Obama. You think it's long-game. I don't share that hope. I see a country in decline. But let's set aside for the moment any predictions on tax cuts, or the results on health care, or even an issue of extreme importance for you personally: DADT (which should be a civil rights issue for all of us). There is something fundamentally wrong with our government in terms of the way it operates. Obama comes along back in 2008 and promises change. 120 million people vote, incldg. about 55 million for McCain and Palin [whole other post there]. Yet here we are 2 years later, and most of you and your fellow blogger pundits are debating results, not process; when, to some, any change has been incremental, not transformational. The system is rigged to prevent progress, but you don't change the culture when Rahm is COS, and Timmy and Larry are giving econ advice.
OK, you are bright, well-spoken, well-written. I respect your work. You have counterparts and colleagues who are also bright, well-spoken, well-written. What has them so upset and you so upbeat about Obama? Why such contrasts? We're not talking lunatic fringe either. Krugman, Maddow, Thom Hartmann. And [today], Sen. Sanders; he did not spend all day talking so you can feel good about Obama and insult his friends and his foes alike with 1-line throwaways. I am no psychiatrist, though I should play one on TV, but I suspect that there is just so much raw emotion because there are more than just symbols at stake. There are deeply personal issues that affect our daily lives. I have concerns -- they have concerns -- that are valid and our voices need to be heard. I also recognize that not everyone's pet causes will be resolved favorably or equally. He can't please everyone.
But Obama's problem right now is that he's already looking past all of us; he won't hear me or know my opinion (doubt he would care what any 1 single voter has to say); fine. Dismissing all of us, all concerns -- as though he can't be bothered with differences of opinion -- exacerbates and enflames all the more. No one likes feeling ignored, but then to have their feelings invalidated too? Not good. He can rationalize and still be all cerebral, but how about we get a "F-in A" or "bloody well right" once in awhile first? The most emotion he's shown has been chasting "idealists" who only want him to keep the promises he made, how does that help?
Here's something from AP on Yahoo!: "Democrats and Republicans have spent two years gridlocked over the question of extending the expiring tax cuts, and Obama has characterized his compromise with Republicans as a temporary, two-year concession on a policy he opposes." If he opposes, then do something about it! He's the President. He could have had whatever he wanted. Bush got tax cuts passed through reconciliation and they were NOT PAID FOR! So again, here comes Obama now saying whatever he thinks is pragmatic... that's missing the point. People want leadership; they need empathy. That's a tough combo to sell, I admit. He hasnt addressed the real and palpable anger and frustration of a lot of us. Progressives' reaction to Obama's compromising is visceral at this point: he campaigned on these promises to close Gitmo, end war,
Perception is reality. He can't say one thing in public and take action that does the opposite in private. And then when challenged, he's going to brush aside or insult his own base? [Sorry, wrong answer]
PS, just so my cynicism doesn't bring you too far down before the holidays, I don't think Palin will run. She doesn't want to work for anything, she just wants the money and the fame. Oh, she'll milk it for as long as possible, but she has been a bully all her life. She won't start a fight she can't win. And if by some hell-swallowing nightmare on Earth she runs, wins the nomination and wins the general, then it won't matter. Because I won't survive the end times and Canada is too cold.
And I thanked him for indulging my whining. Speaking of which, at one point do we move from whining to legitimiate concern? What's the threshold when people's hurt feelings cross over into real differences needing real solutions?
And speaking of the great Senator Sanders from Vermont, here's this gem from Matt Taibbi. Don't forget too, we can run to his eternal Rudeness, The Rude Pundit; go check out his entry from 12/13. And finally, for even the smallest sliver of perspective, courtesy of Steven Weber on Bob Cesca's blog:
"...Indeed, the passing of human lives great and small throws the truth of how we lead our lives into bright relief; the profound personal impact of death should suggest that we live in observance of the lessons such profundity imparts.As if that needed added context, a friend of the family had to spend this Christmas in the hospital as her sister was dying, unexpectedly, at the age of 42! For the human condition, for peace on earth, we do the best we can with what we're given:
But that is not the case. Rather than our mortality humbling us, it can make us arrogant, profane. It provokes a rancor and distrust in people who see life as an competition in which to seek victory rather than as an opportunity to embrace the collective, unifying reality of our brief existences.
More than that, such a result suggests the possibility that certain, if not all, our political ideologies are essentially superficial control-fantasies, frantic attempts to bat away the terrifying reality that our lives are mere, brief flickers of consciousness, mattering little. ..."
HanuXmaKwanzaFestivus, whatever your faith, and see you next year!