Monday, October 4, 2010

No, I Won't Shut Up!...... "Time To Buck Up, Progressives!"

This opinion piece is the start of a new series in which I'll attempt to state a case in support or in opposition to a topic or personality in the news. And neither The Left, The Right, nor The Center will be immune.

Sometimes a political satirist can make the point better than any long winded politician could.

On this week's Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher asked this question regarding the progressive and independent voters who cast their ballots for Barack Obama in 2008, and who vow to stay home and not participate in this November's midterm elections because of dissatisfaction with the President's performance.

I'll paraphrase what Bill asked.

"Who do you support- your disappointing friend or your sworn enemy?"

What is frightening, discouraging, and baffling to me (at the same time) is the logic some of those one time Obama supporters have for not voting in these Congressional races. Often it has to do with single issues that have not been resolved, like unemployment, funding for education, ending the wars in the Middle East, and the slow recovery from the Great Recession. Republicans and their allies in the Tea Party have an enthusiasm and are energized, and if the pundits are correct they will gain control of the House next month, and possibly the Senate as well.

And on the left there still is a sense of apathy and fatalism, and too many who are willing to let 2010 take us back to 1994 and it's aftermath- a Republican takeover of Congress, and nearly six years of investigation of the White House, plus government shutdowns, and a three ring circus involving the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

I didn't even mention the divisive and costly impeachment of a President of the United States over a matter that never should have been brought to trial, and was 100% about politics and had nothing to do about justice.

President Obama and Vice President Biden have chided The Left to "buck up" and stop whining. And many on The Left bristled and whined about being called whiners.

Please put me in the foxhole with Barack and Joe......and progressives, liberals, whatever you choose to call yourself- stop whining, goddammit!

A great analogy of what happened to this country during the Great Recession came today on Morning Joe from former "car czar" Steve Rattner about 13 minutes into this 15 minute segment.

Indeed, this country's economy did experience a "quadruple bypass" in attempt to save it from obliteration. No one likes the fact that we have unemployment at 9.6%, but imagine if there were no stimulus package to save job or there was no rescue of the auto industry- and thus saved it's hundreds of related suppliers and parts manufactures- we could be talking about unemployment in the double digits, just like the early 1930's.

This President and this administration deserves more credit than what they're getting. And this is not a sermon to convert those on the Right in a "Road to Damascus' moment; we know were you stand. I am preaching to the choir- but in every choir there is at least a couple of members who have nodded off, and need a poke in the ribs.

We have to return to being a nation that manufactures things people buy instead of manufacturing more wealth for the richest 2%. We can't allow Wall Street to dictate the fate of Main Street and return to the acceleration of exporting of American jobs overseas to support corporate America's bottomline. But in the worst case scenario for the progressive movement, this is exactly what could happen with a Republican takeover of the House and possibly the Senate.

If you're searching for a ideal candidate and perfect President, go check out the West Wing reruns on BRAVO. President Bartlett saved the nation every week in about 50 minutes for seven years....and he was a Democrat, albeit a fictional one. And maybe that's where we, in general, as a people don't "get it"; this is real life. There are no quick fixes. Recovery takes time, and there has never been a perfect man in the White House, no matter how much we want to deify our Presidents.

For instance.....

Harry S. Truman routinely referred to African Americans with the "N word". Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court with "friendly" appointees by expanding it to 12 justices. Woodrow Wilson said of the the film The Birth of a Nation in which the Ku Klux Klan were portrayed as heroes and African Americans as inferior, "It is like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true".

Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory but failed to tell Congress he was doing so. He also imposed a trade embargo during the Napoleonic War, which caused economic ruin in the young United States- New Englanders threatened to secede.

John Adams signed off on the Alien and Sedition Acts, and and dissidents were arrested and imprisoned. George Washington sent "Light Horse Harry" Lee into Western Pennsylvania to crush The Whiskey Rebellion- tax protesters two centuries before The Tea Party (Mark II)....they were an armed militia ready to take on the forces of the young republic.

And Abraham Lincoln? He suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War. While civil war was fought in the South and in the East, the upper Midwest erupted in the Great Sioux Uprising. Lincoln signed off on the execution of 38 Dakota Indians for war crimes, murder, and rape. On the average each warrior had a trial that lasted five minutes. They were hanged en mass in Mankato, Minnesota.

And Barack Obama? He didn't take out his magic wand and end the recession fast enough. And then he told his onetime supporters to stop whining.

For crying out loud.


Sue said...

Bravo!! Hugh, Obama has not done anything out of the ordinary to try and put our country back on track. The whole hatefest stems from the GOP and it's unquenchable thirst for power. They will demean, distort, and down right lie about ANY man in the White House who is not a republican. They are so desperate for power they will destroy Obama and not bat an eye doing it! I guess they believe the rapture should happen with an evangelical in the White House.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue- agreed, but my beef right now isn't as much with the Right- they're a lost cause- than with progressives who are willing to sit on their collective asses and let the Republicans take over on November 2. Like they want to "punish" the President for disappointing them.

Everybody's Mom or Dad told them one time during their childhood...."Stop crying or you'll really have something to cry about".

And unless somebody smacks 'em in the face the way Cher did to Nicholas Cage in MOONSTRUCK, they're not going to "Snap out of it!" in time.

Kleenex, anyone?

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