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Democrats Must Find a New Presidential Candidate in 2012

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Two years is more than enough, in fact it is far too much. Democrats must immediately begin a search for a candidate in the 2012 elections to challenge Barack Obama. Even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how very, very poorly this man would perform as president. How this president could succeed in alienating almost all elements of the America electorate in such a short time is difficult to fathom; until we consider his style of leadership -" virtually nonexistent.

Without a doubt the Republicans hate him, in fact, they despise him but that is understandable because he's a Democrat. But how he has managed to lose much of the support of the liberal and progressive wings of the party, plus such a large portion of the independent voters, is simply astounding. The only part of his former constituency that still backs him is the center/right leaning elements of the party.

This is a man who, when he entered the presidency, had a brilliant opportunity to redirect America from the disastrous course that it had taken under the most incompetent president in modern history, G. W. Bush. The country was ripe for dramatic change, the American people were confident that this man would turn out to be one of the greatest presidents in history; he had that potential.

But, since then, what has happened? Well, to be quite blunt about it he completely blew this fantastic opportunity; he failed the American people and this nation. He has proven that he is not up to the job, that he does not have the courage and conviction to provide the kind of selfless, fearless leadership that this nation needs so very badly.

In just two years, he has dashed the hopes of millions upon millions of Americans who supported and voted for him, myself included. Most of us are still in a state of shock and disbelief as we contemplate what might have been and now will never be -" at least during his presidency. So, let's detail the specifics of his many failings. It's a long list.

Heath care reform should never have been priority #1, it should have been jobs. Regardless, he managed health care reform like a rank amateur, totally caving in to the GOP and the blue dog Democrats on almost every issue. He made back room deals with the insurance industry and Big Pharma and refused to fight for the public option, the most critical element of health reform; one that could have easily been added through the Reconciliation process that only requires a simple majority to pass legislation.

On the financial reform legislation, his management of the issue and his involvement was pathetic. Once again, he caved in to the usual opposition and refused to fight for concrete, meaningful legislation that would guarantee that Wall Street and the banking industry could never again bring America to the brink of economic disaster and necessitate future bailouts. The result was a heavily watered down bill that does not address the "too big to fail" issue.

The list of failure and caving in is endless. Closing Guantanamo never materialized; there are no investigations of the crooks and clever manipulators who brought on the economic crisis, no investigations into torture by water boarding, and no investigations into the events that led to the Iraq War. We have a gagged, passive Justice Department whose slogan is, "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"; no real intent to perform the functions of this very important judicial arm of the government. President Obama has no taste for any investigations of the Bush/Cheney administration.

Now let's turn to Obama's WAR, the issue that will eventually become the lasting legacy of his presidency. His actions and decisions with regard to America's foreign policy are astounding and incomprehensible. He has, at every turn, caved in to the military and has escalated the deployment of troops several times. He set a timetable for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to begin in July 2011. Without any shame whatsoever, he is now in the process of caving in once more on resetting the timetable to 2014 or even beyond.

He is allowing the military to conduct constant remote controlled drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan in numbers that far exceed those of Bush. These deadly strikes, while killing many of the "enemy" have killed just as many or more innocent civilians. Is this the way that America now fights its wars? Does Mr. Obama sleep well at night?

The U.S. military,   with the usual concurrence of President Obama, is making it known that troops will remain in Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely, extending the empire that now includes almost every part of the world, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Guam; over 60 nations in total. The costs of sustaining this network of bases are unsustainable but, then again, does anyone in this administration really care?

Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu are making a fool out of this president as they continue to defy him and dare him to stop their building of new settlements. I read a news report that Hillary Clinton was offering Israel 20 advanced F35 fighter jets in exchange for a one-time 90-day settlement freeze. And in a further insult, Mr. Netanyahu was said to have asked that the offer be put in writing. What a slap in the face of this president and America.

America's infrastructure is falling apart, our economy is tanking, there is no job creation program of any kind, many of our states are approaching bankruptcy and are laying off thousands of teachers, police, and firefighters, together with drastic reductions in funding for state agencies, schools and colleges. All these severe problems desperately need the infusion of billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars but the money is allocated for fueling perpetual war.

Here is the final argument why Barack Obama does not deserve a second term; why he does not deserve to even run again. What, if anything, does he really stand for, what would it take for him to really fight for a cause? This is a president who has clearly chosen war over the creation of jobs and the rebuilding of the American economy and our national infrastructure. He is simply not the man to lead America into the future. America deserves better.

Does anyone need any more proof that this president cannot and will not be reelected in 2012? If the Democrat Party does not start now to come up with a viable candidate to challenge him and defeat him in the primaries, then they will be guaranteeing a massive landslide for the GOP. And if anyone thinks that a Republican president backed by a Republican House and Senate will not be an even bigger disaster for America then they need to think again.

Where the Democratic Party might find a man or woman with the courage, the vision, and the leadership, together with a solid base of ethics and moral values, I have no idea. But find one it must. The key point is that if the Democratic Party continues to play defense instead of offense, continues to procrastinate, vacillate and let the elections of 2012 arrive with Barack Obama as its candidate for president, then there is no hope and, certainly, there will be no change forthcoming in America. And the downward spiral will continue.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
 

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It's time for new blood, new ideas, courage, convi... by michael payne on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 9:26:05 AM
I've given this some thought and haven't yet latch... by Erik O'Dowd on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 2:33:51 PM
It's easy for us to say that he should be challeng... by michael payne on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 4:23:09 PM
Your points are good and unfortunately very true. ... by j dial on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 6:35:14 PM
That is a typo and I'm not one of "those people". ... by michael payne on Saturday, Nov 20, 2010 at 9:43:27 PM