600 Days….give or take

This one is not so easy as the last one.

I like the man.

My hope was audacious.

I am somewhat loathe to undertake it.  It is an admission that I was wrong to a degree, one that I’m not entirely comfortable with.

A confrontation with my own naivete’.

A collision with my expectations.

When he first emerged as a candidate, I didn’t imagine a half black man with the name Barack Hussein Obama would have a chance against the likes of Hillary Clinton.  If able to clear that formidable hurdle, I couldn’t imagine him actually winning the majority of hearts and minds in this country.  I said as much both out loud and in my writings.  Yet he did.  And it was a miracle of sorts.

As luck would have it, he ended up against a pair of absolute clowns via McCain and Palin.  Clowns, as in circus, as in bit players to amuse and distract.  Had they gained the upper hand, we’d be fucked nine ways to Sunday and from hell to breakfast as of today.  I don’t doubt that.

Well before he was elected and inaugurated, I understood what he was up against, not just the vast numbers of the great unwashed, the closeted bigots and fearful ignorants, but the cynical and the skeptical like me.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked him, I was impressed, ever since that fiery speech at the ’04 convention and every move he’d made since then.

I must tell you that my first choice was Kucinich, whom I still adore, so I was rather obviously primed for disappointment.  And rather more clearly, an idealist.  Pin that red letter “I” on my chest before I get on the bus.

Well, I was wrong, and happy to be so.  With soaring populist rhetoric delivered in a euphonious cadence America had not heard since JFK or the greatest of civil rights icons like MLK, with common sense policy proclamations, charismatic compassion as well as  a natural political prowess not seen since Big Bad Bill, he prevailed.  And I wept.  I did, my girlfriend and I both.  We were so happy and overcome with optimism.  My mother and I cried on the phone.  After what we’d been through under Dick-in-Bush, I was in awe of the potential, the good fortune for me and my country.

I understood it wouldn’t be easy.  I knew it.  This was to be a new and unusual rodeo.  I was aware the change he embraced and espoused would be hard to come by.  The seed of his hope and change would have difficulty finding a moist and accommodating place to find purchase.  I fully anticipated enormous obstructionism and indeed, black hearted racism and soulless hate.

By the way, Cheney’s latest procedure leaves him without a pulse.  No pulse; I shit you not.

I am dumbstruck by the severity of it however.  Profoundly disturbed by an America uglier than I ever supposed.  A political system so broken, polarized and divided, that virtually nothing in the best interest of the people can be accomplished.  An alchemy of hatred and fear fomented by conservatives and Republicans so vicious, resentful and deliberately stupid, that we now have a movement that would so brazenly and recklessly call itself the Tea Party.  After the initial retardation of dubbing themselves “Teabaggers”,  with all the attendant oblique connotations.  A rise to prominence by cartoon goofcocks like Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Michele Bachmann, John “agent Orange” Boehner, Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle.  A resurgence in popularity of consummate assholes Like Rush “The Human Shitsmear” Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, as well as the entire roster of Fox News personalities.

There is no intellectual honesty in what they do.  They are simply and merely contrary.  If it’s black, they tell their minions it’s white.  If it’s right and decent and just, they tell them it’s wrong and evil and socialist or communist.  The plug will be pulled on grandma.  They will tax you until you can’t afford to eat or people that can’t find a job because there aren’t any, are actually just lazy no good Democrats.  That it’s wrong for BP to be held accountable for destroying livelihoods, lives and wildlife on a scale that you have not even begun to imagine.  Tax cuts for the rich that have already cost a trillion dollars and will cost trillions more are good for the vanishing middle class, but they can’t seem to justify extending unemployment benefits at less than one percent of that cost ……..no reason, no logic, no justification, just blatant obfuscation.

Man, I hate these guys.

And all of it is provably wrong.  Everything they say is a lie.  Talk about audacity.

So yes, it’s heavy.  Quite the mountain to shoulder a boulder up.  More than I saw coming.

Worse than I thought it would be.

Still, it is with some reluctance and perturbation, despite the aforementioned, that I feel compelled to give our President the letter grade of ‘D’.  I do mean that as sixty some percent.  I do mean that as close to failing.  I don’t base it entirely on his accomplishments or the lack thereof.  I do mean it as my overview of his performance.  I am disappointed.  Disillusioned.  Disaffected and dismayed.

Should you require context for that grade, I would offer you my equally subjective grade for George W. “Dumbya” Bush:  He get’s an ‘F’/Incomplete, if for the very least his spending nearly a third of his presidency, nearly a thousand days,  on vacation, clearing brush and waxing his carrot.  Even after the worst attack on American soil in our history.

But yes, Obama gets a ‘D”, and I will tell you why.

To be continued.

Drinks for my friends.

39 Responses to “600 Days….give or take”

  • Janet Carter:

    Part 2 better be good Michael. You know how I feel about people who slam my President.

    Janet

  • Terry C - NJ:

    Heaven preserve me from these “leftier than thou” types.

    Consider the alternative.

  • I hate it, but I must agree. I, too, cried joyous tears when he was elected. I’m still crying, but for different reasons. My first choice was the same as yours. Now… I wait. The information on all sides is coming in quickly. And, I think it’s important to hear truths you might not want to hear. Trying to balance all versions of reality, and knowing that even if it all settles somewhere in the middle, it ain’t good. Thanks for Part I. I look forward to Part II.

    • Michael Douglass:

      Thanks fer playin’ Judy:)

      • sherpeace:

        Judy said almost exactly what I wanted to say.
        Thank you, Michael. I am hoping to share this with all my FB friends.
        Yes, the alternative was bad, but why was Kucinich never even given a
        chance? Dare I think it? Maybe because he really cares about the regular
        guy? Maybe because he really believes that this is OUR COUNTRY, not the
        country of the rich?
        I, too, am dissapointed, but don’t know when we’ll get the chance to vote
        for a man like Kucinich. Obama is probably the best we’ll do in my lifetime.
        Peace,
        Sherrie

        • Michael Douglass:

          I must say that I agree with you and that Obama might just be the best we’ll get in our lifetime.

  • Fayebee:

    I love President Obama, the Man, the Husband, the Father, the Well-Intended Politician Who Stands Above the Rest, but I feel his D or any of our “low Bs or Cs” are due NOT to HIM and what he wants to do, but the ridiculous obstacles he has as the Man in the Oval Office. The OFFICE PRESIDENCY is corrupt; out of control; too controlled; too secret; too open; too this and too that. Has anyone noticed that no matter WHO is in the White House American bitch till there’s no tomorrow??? I’m sick of it all. Instead of fighting Barack Obama, why don’t we wise up and fight how this stupid government is designed. There are plenty of documentaries exposing the flaws….just watch a few and learn. Maybe we need a revolution. We need something! Kudos Michael! Can’t wait for part 2.

  • Michael Douglass:

    Thanks and you do make a good point, but it’s not like he’s completely stuck, there is latitude. Room to maneuver.

  • iconoclast63:

    I just love to watch the liberals wring their hands in consternation at the job their beloved savior is now doing, or not doing, as the case may be. It reminds of how the conservatives secretly bemoaned the Bush doctrine of government expansion and empire building.

    The left/right paradigm is fiction. The only REAL power that exists is Wall St. and the rabid pit bull thrashing around in it’s backyard called the “defense establish” leaving bloody foot prints all over the planet as it collects the bankers dollars.

    Wake up.

    • Michael Douglass:

      Oh, spare me the savior bullshit, were not a bunch of sycophantic religious zealots. Progressives are not that simple or two dimensional. I resent your effort to stereotype. We endeavor to hope and wish and fight for change. We’re not stupid. We understand that America was never a democracy and has long since ceased to be a republic but is instead a government flirting with theocratic plutocracy.

      And yes, it is largely due to the the military industrial complex or what you clumsily label the “defense establish” as well as the horribly skewed financial system. We know. Trust me, we know.

      Let me remind you of something, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Now, you wake up.

  • Douglas:

    Democracy is the worst government in the world, EXCEPT for all others. Potus has accepted he might be a 1 term president, I believe he will get 2. The curtain has already been pulled on the OZ and we saw Bush and the cronies self serve their interests with little regard for consequenses and run amuck with the government. They weren’t the first nor will they be the last. This guy has a conscience. It was a step in the right direction

  • O.K. Kymmson:

    Seriously iconoclast above, has a point with the
    Wall st/ defense establishment, statement. I
    believe Obama would get a CIA assasination’s bullet. Say
    he doesn’t play the game, the way they want him to play.
    Presidents in America are just short of puppets.

    • Michael Douglass:

      Yes and no. I don’t believe he undertook such a dangerous fight with such long odds to be a puppet. I don’t believe it. He can make a difference. I’m not narcotised by some Utopian ideal; he will not deliver us from evil. But he has the the potential to make an important difference. That’s why I voted for him.

  • SPC Joseph E. Price:

    A: Don’t blame me. I’m a soldier and I voted for the person I KNEW could handle a war on two fronts, lead people to prosperity, and start cutting out the crap. Palin was an unfortunate biological accident…but McCain would’ve been a great CinC.
    Your disappointment comes from the fact that you were duped like millions of other Americans.
    Obama IS my current CinC, so I cannot say anything either way. Sometimes you have to put up with the bad things before anything ever gets better. Of course, not a single American has EVER listened to that advice when it comes to elections. They always vote for the peron that paints the pretty picture…that washes off during the next rain.

  • Michael Douglass:

    I’m not sure what makes you think that crazy old bastard could handle a diaper or a colostomy bag but you’re entitled to your opinion. I imagine the military personnel would be way fucked if he were driving. I feel for you guys and you have my absolute respect.

    I don’t believe I was duped, I am however disappointed. He didn’t lie, he is overwhelmed by a shitstorm not of his making.

    Thanks for contributing.

  • Since you insist on using vulgar language in your somewhat limited vocabulary, i can only tell you that you are a total asshole.
    You and your minions just don’t get it. With all your wailing with joy for this POS getting elected, you just don’t understand that it’s assholes like you that have destroyed this country.
    If you wish to live under a totalitarian government where you need the government to wipe your own ass for you, get the fuck out! Go somewhere with your own kind. You won’t find them with the vast majority here.
    In summation-go fuck yourself!

    • Michael Douglass:

      Limited vocabulary huh?
      Perhaps you’d like to back up your empty headed teabbager rhetoric and vitriolic assertions with some factual substance. We deal in truth and facts here, don’t blame me if you can’t keep up.

      • Your truths and facts are about as worthless as tits on a boar hog. Maybe you would like to back up some of your CNN lies with some substance. And they are not teabaggers asshole. It’s Teaparty. The teabagger handle is reserved for faggots like you. Pull the dicks out of your ass and mouth and maybe your brain will start working if you get rid of the competition.

        • Michael Douglass:

          What lies? CNN? They’re teabaggers as far as I’m concerned. More like douchebags actually. What’s with homophobic rant? Why don’t you slow down with the invective and tell us more specifically what has your panties in such a bunch? If you can’t do that, you’re not worth my time and I’ll ignore you.

  • Julia:

    Michael–thank you for your unvarnished courage…I agree with you 100%

    • Michael Douglass:

      I’m not so sure about the courage aspect, but thanks for reading and contributing. I mean it takes more balls to lie than to tell the truth.

  • ecarin:

    I am new here–enjoying your blog immensely! Thanks for taking the time and energy to share your thoughts.

    I am not entirely sure how you have the patience for the Kornblatts of the world. Those comments are so absurd–but I certainly appreciate your responses…

    • Michael Douglass:

      Thank you very much 🙂 The Kornblatts of the world keep it interesting but I’d much rather have an intelligent debate/exchange.

      • Let me know when you develope a brain so that we may have an intelligent exchange. Until then, go away.
        Oh! One more thing. Since you wailed and cried with joy when the monkey got elected, maybe you should start practicing your wailing and crying for when he meets his demise.
        Better have your mommy stock up on pablum.
        Good bye to you and all your ilk. Good riddence.

  • Byron Canfield:

    I can’t say I’m not disappointed in some of the Obama’s actions and inactions, however, and also cannot say I’m entirely surprised. It’s all well and good to make campaign promises, but once in office, there are unforeseen obstructions (not the least of which is simply the nature of our political system), i.e., when you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original intent was to drain the swamp.

    However, I still think that there was a major victory in the mere occurrence of a seemingly impossible candidate — intelligent and articulate (if not eloquent), which seems to be a negative factor in politics theses days, and NOT caucasian. This, alone, is a sign that the “political door” has been nudged wider, if only, as yet, just a crack, for other reasonable people to become president.

    That, alone, is enough to give me hope.

  • I agree, Obama gets a D. Instead of changing the game like he promised, he has played the game better and continued the Bush Agenda but with prettier speeches.

  • miri:

    [Excuse my indolence for copying my remarks from my fb wall and pasting them here. My fingers are absolutely exhausted.]

    Great. I don’t know where to begin. WHY were you so thrilled with the Obama candidacy? What was it you missed? It was all there. He was never remotely like MLK, though I do th…ink his skin tone brought back some type of sense of nostalgia in the 68ers groupings.

    He held a rally in Philly, near independence Hall. I watched it on t.v., It reminded me of the films I’ve seen on Hitler’s Nuermberg rallies — quite chilling.

    When the media started campaigning for him, I started researching his funding.

    Prior to the PA primary, we were approached by an NBC journalist and cameraman, at Pat’s Steaks, in Philly. The journalist asked if he could ask me a few questions for the Saturday morning Today Show.

    I said, sure, if I can ask you a few questions, first.

    I asked him when the media stopped reporting, and started campaigning for particular candidates. I asked what happened to journalist integrity. I asked why no media covered the fact the bulk of Obama’s campaign funding came from Wall Street. If I could go to the FEC’s website, surely they could.

    The guy turned beet red. I was impressed to see him actually feel shame.

    It didn’t last long. As soon as the camera was on, he started asking me about the primary. Having ended up on the editing floor of news rooms many times, I was sharp, concise, succinct, and polemic. I told him I was voting for Clinton, by default. I was concerned with Obama’s banker funding. I was concerned by the media’s deification of Obama.
    I assure you, I was the most intelligent and articulate person he interviewed at Pat Steaks. I was determined to have my voice heard.

    lol. Check out the 45 second video, ‘glimpse of yellow urinalism.’ They not only hacked me into a goof stuffing a cheesesteak into her mouth, but their camera span intentionally gave the impression we were at Geno’s Steaks, across the street (the barely literate owner is an occasional guest on Fux News, btw).

    Enough background.

    Mike, did you not watch the debates? The first one is seared into my brain. McCain and his frozen-shouldered decrepitude, vs. tall, attractive Obama exuding youthful exuberance. Then they started talking.

    They both attacked Russia for saving S. Ossetia against Georgia’s invasion. Hey, if I know the truth, why are both presidential candidates lying? Then, they both pledged allegiance to Israel, as though they were running for prime minister there, not president, here.

    Then they really started duke-ing it out over the wars. Here’s where my memory gets a little blurry. I know that Obama promised to increase troops in Afghanistan, and promised to end the destruction of Iraq, but I don’t remember what McCain’s ‘difference’ was.

    Fast forward election results. I did breathe an exhalation that idiot boy Bush was finally leaving. Nobody could possibly be a more dangerous president.

    The only ‘hope’ I had for ‘change,’ was that there was a tiny chance that Obama would pull a JFK. When he started recycling the Bush cabinet, I even gave him a bit of ‘wggle’ room: Ah, maybe he’s keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer.

    When he nominated Clinton for SOS, I got queasy. She had sold out her constituency during the primaries, and here was significant evidence that she had cut herself a deal (which is probably why I despise her more than I despise him).

    There was a brief moment, in March or April, 09, in which I had a good twinge. It was when he invited the bankster CEOs to the WH for a luncheon, and not only did not feed them, but did not offer them water.

    He warned them that he was all that stood between them and a very angry population. He then sent them on their way.

    Yes, Mike, for a minute, then, I did have hope. But, he dashed it when he bailed them out, at our expense. His threats against them were egocentric in origin.

    Since then? Bushier than Bush, in everything: Droning. Bombing Yemen. Not closing Gitmo. Increasing troops in Afghanistan. Ignoring the plight of occupied Palestine. Ignoring the execution of a US citizen on a humanitarian boat, in international waters, by a foreign country that we give 3 billion to every year. “Race to the Top” destroying the most impoverished public schools in the country. Refuting the return to Glass-Steagall protections. Committing sanctions against Iran. Threatening to nuke Iran. Allowing British Petroleum to destroy the Gulf and use the US Coast Guard as its private military against our people in the devastated region. Not putting a halt to the runaway profits that ‘tax lien’ brokerage houses are making by throwing people from their homes. Shutting down NASA….

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