• Gay BlogAds


  • Gay News Watch


  • Chris Tweets



  • « Five reasons the Democrats are losing this independent | Main | Apple's new iPad version 0.0 »

    January 27, 2010

    Is there a President in the house?

    Posted by: Kevin

    Barack-muhammadali

    The New York Times and the Washington Post today seem to have boiled down the meaning of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address tonight.  Or at least they've captured the national mood hanging over the event.  Assembled before him (and for some people, behind him on the dais as well) will be probably the most hated group of people in the United States today.  And given their sweeping campaign finance ruling that stunned everyone this week, that includes several justices of the Supreme Court among some folks.

    The country is in a state of boiling anger that no one person or political party can either take credit for, be blamed for entirely, or truly ride as a wave to unfettered power.  Joel Achenbach in the Post said it best when crunching the poll numbers: "The state of the union is obstreperous. Dyspepsia is the new equilibrium. All the passion in American politics is oppositional. The American people know what they don't like, which is: everything."

    Frankly, it's easy to figure out where all this started.  The U.S. economy is in the toilet.  It's as bad or worse as the most agonizing period of my lifetime, which was the 1990-92 recession, which hit just as I graduated college and saw as many as half of my friends fail to find decent employment for months on end.  The stories of wholesale collapse of businesses, careers, housing situations, marriages and even a few lives have piled up in the past few years, and I haven't escaped the dark news from friends and family even from 5,000 miles and a completely different economy away.

    When Americans feel a sense of hopelessness setting in, they don't go quiet.  They get anxious, for good reason.  And when they open a newspaper or turn on the news every day and see their government (which sends them a regular tax bill, only adding to the anxiety for many) not paying attention to what they say are their priorities, that anxiety turns to anger.  And when the leaders in government have the nerve to push back, to hector them about what their priorities should be instead, that anger turns white hot, and it blows up in the voting booth.

    And to use my native New York bluntness, when things are this bad in everyone's lives, they don't wanna hear whose fucking fault it is -- they wanna know what the hell you're gonna do about it.

    It's not rocket science.  The voters gave a mandate to the current government in 2008 on a wave of hope, the almighty Hope.  It was a hope based in the feeling that their concerns were not being addressed by the previous President, that he had been arrogant, wrong-headed, lost in a fog and incapable of humility in the face of countless disasters and mismanagement.  They were, indeed, sold a package of hope that things would be different, very different.  And immediately.

    Well - say what you will about this government, but the anger boiling out in the country across the whole political spectrum for everyone in power right now is the political equivalent to Rome on fire.  Too many Democratic hacks and pundits are basically fiddling to it -- blaming Fox News, blaming the Republicans, blaming Wall Street and even blaming the American people themselves for not being smart enough to realize what is good for them (which is, of course, what those same hacks and pundits say is good for them.)

    From the narrow perspective of the gay community, the anger is also there.  I don't know of any gay person who has a mild opinion.  They're either fuming mad at the Democrats or they're furiously trying to defend them.  (That's always telling.)  But the bottom line is that the Democrats said they needed the White House and 60 votes and they would enact our agenda.  They lied.  Indeed, they now are trying to claim that it was somehow a ridiculous notion that 60 votes meant anything.  Jeff Zeleny got this version of "I meant to do that!" from Vice President Joe Biden: "When we had 60 votes, there was the expectation left, right and center that we could do everything we wanted to do, which was never realistic. Never.”

    Oh really?  Then how is it that the Republican Congressional majority from 1995 to 2006 got almost everything they ever wanted, whether they had the White House or not, and never had 60 votes?  Indeed, remember George W. Bush and his tie-breaking Vice President in the Senate?  They exercised unrelenting power with a whisker's margin.  This gang of idiots couldn't get anything done with a supermajority.  (And that, my friends, angers a whole lot of Democrats.  So Biden's comment served no purpose other than to raise ire even further.)

    It's particularly galling that so much was promised and so little action has been taken.  Gay Americans have grown so weary of sweet words (lest I remind you, the Clinton presidency began almost 20 years ago), and patience is very thin for good reason.  The staggering lack of courage on display in the Democratic supermajority, and the blaming of others even then (!), was just too outrageous to be spun favorably.  As we say in Brazil, the Democrats "queimou o filme" - or 'exposed the film', which is to say, the damage is done and something very concrete and serious has to happen or the mood will not improve for gay Americans.

    It was also the Democrats' choice of priorities that sent a lot of Americans scattering to the barricades, not for ideological reasons, but out of sheer desperation.  When unemployment was hitting double-digits and the nation's fiscal deficit was plunging towards Hades, the Democrats chose two battlefields to die on: climate change and a massive health care reform bill.  And as of today, barring some incredible turn of political events, both initiatives appear dead in the water despite the gynormous majorities they continue to enjoy in the Congress.

    At the end of the day, the idiots of both parties in that chamber are not the focus of tonight's event.  They are just the peanut gallery, which will elicit plenty of angry scorn hurled at TV sets across the nation.  No, the one this all revolves around is someone about whom many of us are wondering - where did he go?  Where is that galvanizing figure who presides from atop a bully pulpit, with a clear, undisputed mandate to lead? 

    Indeed, where is the President of the United States?  Where is the leader amidst this spiraling disaster of unfocused time-wasting in the government?

    In that sea of loathsome characters filling the House chamber tonight, he should be easy to spot.  It would take so little lift to soar above their heads in the public eye.  The mood is so low, so sour, that should Obama manage to seriously reconnect with that anxious, fearful public out there - not only with promises, but with accountability, humility, determination and details - and even manage to inspire, it could set our hair aloft with its electricity.  But given the crater he'll be speaking from, it's a high hurdle to jump. 

    If he blows it entirely tonight, it will be as if Ronald Reagan, in the nadir of the 1982 recession, gave a speech about malaise rather than spoke confidently of a morning in America, a shining city on a hill, all the things he sold the country when they embraced him in 1980.  Had he veered off that road, Reagan's presidency would have largely ended in one term, deservedly so.  As might Obama's.

    Mr. President - where are you?  Or better yet, where the hell have you been?  Here's hoping we find out tonight.
    |

    TrackBack

    TrackBack URL for this entry:
    http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834527dd469e20120a818ac90970b

    Comments

    1. Chris on Jan 28, 2010 12:30:30 AM:

      I may be among those fiddling while America burns, as you suggest, but I don't share such a dark view of how Americans view things here now. It is certainly true that FOX News has promoted a "sky is falling" panic about the center-left policies of the Obama administration, and many conservatives see in Barack Obama the perceived ascendance of an ideology and, yes, a new racial majority of black and brown Americans. But the economy is expanding again, the housing market is creeping back and the rate of jobless growth has slowed. It's not midnight in America, Kevin, and shame on Republicans for suggesting otherwise.

      You know I agree with you about the almost abject failure of Democrats to pass gay rights legislation in the first year of the Obama administration. But I do not place so much of the responsibility on the president; far more of the fault lies with the Democratic leadership in Congress and their sycophants among Gay Rights Inc.

    1. Tiffany on Jun 29, 2010 7:23:37 PM:

      I cannot wait for election year to roll around. I'm so worried about our country. Agree with your post!

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 21, 2010 10:49:54 PM:

      An honorary mention on the Rachel Maddow show hardly brings consequences to these groups. I've yet to hear of any legal actions taken against them or any significant protests/social repercussions.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    © Citizen Crain - All Rights Reserved | Design by E.Webscapes Design Studio | Powered by: TypePad