YES, WE CAN (fail)!

January 20th, 2010 by Gid

In the last year, I have written countless missives to Dumbocratic and Repugnican representatives alike — including our “fierce advocate in chief” — arguing in favor of Health Care and Banking reform, and an end to billion-dollar war contracts to homicidal swindlers like Blackwater.  Those who bothered to reply had little more to say other than to send a bland form letter with the ambiguous sentiment that they realize that many Americans had strong opinions on the subject.  Meanwhile, the Democrats, un-led by Obama, failed to accomplish anything meaningful for a year, despite majority control.

The Republicans under Bush had no such problem, but there were no Red-Dog Repugnicans with the chutzpah to cross their own party, and ignore Bush/Cheney cries of War and Terror.  Then everyone decided they wanted a change, and Obama sent the right message: “Yes we can!”  What no one heard, however, was the unspoken parenthetical: “…but we’re not going to.”  Obama made promises of a shining new beginning.  Then, little by little, he began to chip away at them.  Certain transparency promises to counter Bush-era abuses had to be broken in the interests of security.  Enforcing Banking Reform had to wait to be certain that Wall Street could survive the change (they’re surviving quite well, thank you).  Ramming Health Care Reform through the house and senate had to be abandoned in the interest of bipartisanship - despite repeated and obvious evidence that no Repugnican cooperation was forthcoming.

A little while ago, there was much press given to the recently vocal and ubiquitous Cheney for accusing Obama of dithering and failure to take prompt action against terrorism.  Well, Obama did dither, but one must correctly identify the terrorists:  The corporate heads of the too-big-to-fail banks, private insurance giants, big pharmaceuticals and others with billion-dollar budgets for lobbying (read: legalized bribery), and the Republican minority campaigning for war and fear-mongering and against humanitarian issues like the right to health care, the right to equal treatment under the law for GLBT Americans.

Americans had ringside seats to the sickening displays of childishness on the House and Senate floor.  We had ringside seats to the media circuses of the tea-baggers.  We had ringside seats for announcement after announcement amounting to one message: Yet another excuse why Goal XYZ would not be met.  And last night the people of Massachusetts sent a loud and clear message to the Washington Democrats that the maintenance of the status quo, despite the rallying cries for change 14 months ago, is less than satisfactory.

I’ve listened to all the post-mortem reports casting blame on Coakley or the Democratic party leaders (isn’t that an oxymoron?) for the loss of the Democratic super-majority, but the most hypocritical among those is that of the Obama Administration.  The Democrat-in-chief should have taken a firm hand to the helm and failed to do so.  Well, Mr. Obama, shortly after your inauguration you told us that Roosevelt’s sign was still on  your desk to remind you that “The Buck Stops Here.”  Now we have given you a clear reminder that it’s still there a year later.

Does this spell doom and gloom for the slightly-right-of-center “Democratic” party when the next senate elections are decided?  If the Democrats take Brown’s victory as an object lesson in what they’ve failed to do and turn resolutely to accomplishing what the people asked of them before the end of the year, they just might manage to maintain some semblance of control.  If not, there will be future opportunity to repeat today’s resounding cries of “I told you so!”

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