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What Obama Forgot

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

December 14, 2010

By Perry Redd

If we’re honest in our analysis of the whole thing, we gather that there’s a possibility that anyone who runs for president of this country will never be able to execute the agenda he/she runs on.  For example, the latest tax cut deal is like the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”  President Obama has said for weeks that, under no condition, would he give tax breaks to the rich by extending the Bush-era tax cuts.  Then on Friday, Obama enlisted former President Bill Clinton to help sell a compromise tax package negotiated with Republicans to reluctant Democrats. 

What came to mind was, just what Obama was looking for? The Clinton days of yore?  Clinton screwed us too.  Obama forgot what we didn’t.  That Clinton got bent over by Republicans too (and they aren’t even the majority now!).  After meeting with Clinton at the White House, Obama brought him to the briefing room to tout the proposal to reporters, even backing off after a brief introduction to let Clinton do the talking and take questions. 

Why the hell should we trust Clinton?  President Obama forgot that Clinton’s administration signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993 that has cost over 879,000 American jobs.  Also that TANF was passed with Clinton’s blessing which had a negative impact on the poor.  Clinton, just like Obama, was also tentative on protecting the rights of gays; “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” happened while Clinton was in office.  In 1999, Clinton signed a bank deregulation bill that repealed a Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall.  In doing so, it lead to a destruction of the American economy, through unchecked financial instruments.  Doing the “safe’ thing when it comes to policy is why the country’s stuck on stupid.  I have to hand it LBJ, he may’ve been a racist, but he did the outlandish executive actions that shook the world.  Civil rights, voting rights and the like…this type of leadership took extreme courage and made extreme enemies—usually from the most hateful in society, racists, capitalists and war hawks.  So, when Obama is judged by history, he’ll get a grade of c—“C” is for coward.

As for today, it simply shows how weak a leader he has become.  To stand up to haters is the hard thing to do.  To walk through the fire is among the hardest objectives to accomplish.  In contrast, to abandon your friends when times are most difficult is a pretty easy thing to do.  It appears that Republicans revel when their enemies retreat.  It’s not about working with the other side of the aisle, it’s about destroying them.  The polls show a sinking popularity for President Obama…and this is why.  It obviously matters to him and what doesn’t matter is the people who elected him.

As far as this bill is concerned, there are many more working class voters than there are rich ones.  Tax cuts for rich people is a ludicrous proposition in a sunken economy. There are exponentially more poorer Americans who need income than rich ones who do.  By Obama becoming Clinton, this just might indeed, make Clinton “the first black president,” because Obama is doing exactly what Clinton did.  Maybe he’s calculating that this may bring him the same results: a budget surplus and adoration of a nostalgic populace. What he’s not calculating is the electorate who’ll remember the broken campaign pledges that he made to them.  It appears Obama has forgotten what got him elected—and why.


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