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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/14/15

The Bully Pulpit vs. American Idol

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I have long criticized Obama for not using the bully pulpit. When he had the vast majority of the country at his feet after his election in 2008, instead of laying out a positive vision for the country and leading the charge for rebuilding the nation, he embarked on a charm offensive directed at Wall Street, big banks, and neoconservative empire builders, and became the Appeaser-In-Chief towards those responsible for the Afghanistan and Iraq disasters, a wink-and-nod apologist for the criminal bankers who crashed the economy in 2008, and a card-carrying member of the inside circle who continue to inflict our country with the fraudulent War on Terror.

It was all in the name of love -- the cuddly love Obama craved from the oligarchs, whose approval was more important to him than the enormous groundswell of support he had from the people. Remember them? The ones who have to work to make ends meet, the ones who see their kids off to school in the morning -- the same ones who flocked to the polls and elected our first black president, duped into thinking he was one of them, a man of the people with their best interests at heart.

In a fascinating analysis of Obama's presidency that appeared in Truthdig, author David Bromwich discusses what a shallow and self-serving enterprise it has proved to be.

What an understatement.

There is no coherency to this president's policies. In a clear attempt to promote image as a substitute for substance and apparently with an insatiable desire to be loved by everyone, President Obama often fashions positions totally at odds with one another.

Protect the environment vs. drill baby drill.

World peace vs. bomb bomb bomb.

Individual freedom vs. the NDAA.

Jobs for Americans vs. TPP and TTIP.

To add insult to confusion, in critical areas of leadership, we see policies diametrically opposite to the high-sounding and noble words of Obama's breathtaking rhetoric and crafted public image, offering inconsistencies, even outright hypocrisy and treachery.

You've got a Nobel Peace Prize winner who has become a drone assassin.

You've got an putative constitutional scholar who using his phenomenal intellectual gifts to trample on the Constitution, squashing dissent, and openly harassing journalists and undermining freedom of the press.

You've got a president who spoke eloquently during his first campaign about inclusive democracy and transparency in government -- promising to change the way Washington DC does business -- who has built upon the worst aspects of Bush's nascent police state and now oversees a vast growing domestic-surveillance complex spying on its own citizens. Mr. Openness is classifying record volumes of government documents, restricting citizen access to the workings of our government, conducting questionable military adventures often in secret, fostering aggression against the express will of the American citizenry who have made it very clear they are sick of war and the self-defeating politics of confrontation. Then to top it off he is prosecuting well-meaning whistleblowers at an unprecedented rate.

You got the self-declared "environmental president" who refuses to even attend the Kyoto summits, who is promoting risky East Coast and Arctic drilling, nuclear power, fracking for natural gas, so called "clean coal", and now boasts about America being the number-one oil-and-gas producer in the world -- so much for concern about climate change.

You've got a man who offered the world the outstretched hand of peace in the first months of his presidency, who has since bombed his way into creating more enemies and hatred for America than ever before in our history.

But we get what we pay for. Obama is just another brand, like Cheerios and StarKist Tuna.

We wanted a great president. We got a rock star.

We desperately needed leadership. We got self-aggrandizement.

I will say this. Obama talks a good game. He is incredibly articulate. Charming. Funny. Always gives an Oscar-level performance at all of his public outings.

And he is beautiful ... his wife is beautiful ... his family is beautiful!

But when presidential elections are run as beauty pageants, talent-contest spectacles, when making history is just more reality TV, we can't expect real leadership. We can only expect a president who struts and works the audience, plays the judges, postures and poses for his fan base, puts on dazzling, crowd-pleasing shows, and soaks up the all the love he can get. We certainly can't expect thoughtful, principled stands on the vital issues, responding to the greater needs of the country and serving the general welfare of the public.

There's no business like show business.

And politics has become American Idol.

We no longer look for results. We look for good ratings.

What an epic disappointment. We certainly had high hopes, didn't we?

There is one thing I will concede. Who can deny it? ...

He sure looks great in a suit and tie!

Of course, all of this is so 2015.

We're looking beyond all that old news.

So . . .

Now that Hillary's coronation has been epoxied into the history books by MSM fiat, after she takes the oath of office, what can we expect?

Look at her first official ad and you tell me. Is she campaigning for POTUS or the head cheerleader for her high school pep club?

(Article changed on April 14, 2015 at 20:50)

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John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, and has written eight novels and three political non-fiction books. His political articles have appeared at OpEdNews, Russia Insider, The Greanville Post, and other alternative media outlets. Since (more...)

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