December 22, 2008
Enough already. Enough with the whining and belligerent pseudo-progressives claiming that Barack Obama somehow owes them something. Enough with the false notions that he was only elected because of their desires to turn an uber-conservative country into an uber-liberal one. With every cabinet selection Obama is vilified by people who seem to think that they are somehow owed something from the President-Elect. When Emanuel was named Chief-of Staff they said that it was politics as usual. When Hillary was named Secretary of State they asked where is the change they voted for. When Rick Warren was named to give the invocation at the Inaugural Address they cried, “Traitor!”
Then you read article after article, and comment after comment deriding anyone who has the temerity to point out the obvious; that their premise of logic is simply flawed. Let us remember how we got to this point. For starters, Barack Obama was elected with 66,882,230 votes. Those votes were not all progressives or even would be progressives. They were not all liberal voters either. He had a wide base of support from all over America. He had conservatives vote for him. He had liberals vote for him. He had red states go for him as well as blue states. He had gays vote for him as well as evangelicals. No one owns Obama from a voting block perspective and to claim otherwise is simply ridiculous. More importantly, Obama does not owe anything to any one voting block either. He ran a campaign based on uniting all Americans, not just those who share the exact same ideas that you or I might have.
Secondly, Barack Obama did not run a campaign based upon excluding anyone once he was elected. He did not promise the gay community he would never have any discourse with evangelicals. He did not promise progressives that he would not deal with any conservatives. He understands that the politics of divisiveness we have had to endure for the past eight years does not work, regardless of who is doing the dividing. He is facing a country in chaos economically, which is only going to get worse. He will not be able to accomplish anything without some support from the other side and he is smart enough politically to realize that.
Thirdly, let’s dispel the silly threats too. I have seen commenter after commenter threaten that Obama better do this or he better do that, or else. Please. Or else what? In 2012 you will vote for Cynthia McKinney again? The truth is that Obama got sixty-six million votes because he was not Bush or McCain and because he ran on a platform of change. That change he promised was a change over the politics of divisiveness not for more dividing. If you continue to be so disappointed by what he has done, before he even steps foot in office, then stop crying and start making your Nader 2012 signs up now.
I am not speaking about reasonable dissent, disagreement, or even disappointment. I can understand the disappointment from the gay community over the Warren selection. I completely understand the disagreement. But to take that and somehow turn it into Obama “turning his back on the gay community” is simply ridiculous. To further state that this somehow is him reneging on what he ran on, is to simply exaggerate at best. I can understand that some may dissent to the Hillary selection, heck I wasn’t thrilled with it. But to claim the heavens are falling over it and Obama has turned his back on his mantra of change is blatantly unfair. It’s almost as if they expected Obama to name a cabinet full of Joe the Plumbers. The next four years are tenuous at best. There is so much damage to be undone and Obama cannot possibly undo it all. We need to start tempering our expectations and demands. If he can start to reverse all of the Bush era abuses and manage us through the recession that would be a good start. If he can work on repealing HAVA, close Gitmo, and maybe reverse some of the changes to the bankruptcy laws that would be a good start. If he can reverse some of the media deregulation and return some transparency to government – that would be a good start. If he can bring our kids home alive and return some of our credibility to the world; that would be a good start. And if at the end of the first four years he manages to get half of this done; are you really going to tell me that you will care one iota who gave the invocation at his Inaugural Address?
I have never had blinders on about Obama. He is part of the machine as much as Hillary and McCain were. He found himself at the crossroads in American history; the perfect storm really of governmental abuses and an economic disaster. I believe he can do some good however. Do I think he is a progressive? Nope. Was he more progressive than John McCain? You betchya. Would I like to see him pursue prosecutions against anyone who broke the law within the Bush Administration? Sure, but I am not delusional enough to think he will. My hope for change is tempered by the reality of who Obama is. A smart politician who I pray can start to unravel the intricate web of corruption and constitutional subversion that was the last eight years.
So dissent, disagree, and be disappointed if you must. But spare us the histrionics, revisionist history and false bravado. Stop claiming it was you who put Obama in the White House. Stop pretending that he owes you something and if he does not deliver then look out! We do need to hold Obama accountable as much as we have Bush. We need to make sure that he does follow through on the real promises he did make while campaigning. But we need to do this within a framework of reality. Don’t worry; if he disappoints you so much I am sure Palin can count on your vote in 2012.