Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A politician is a politician is a politician…

Wisdom alert here!

Jesse Lava: The Real Obama Betrayal

This above is a well written article that I came across this morning on the Huffington Post written by Jess Lava (Director, criminal justice campaign at Brave New Foundation). He does a fine job of explaining why President Obama is not the same man, politically speaking, as Obama the candidate from '08 and '09.

I have believed this for quite some time, so I find it validating to see more and more articles with similar stances hitting the digital and print driven press outlets. While I was quite open during the last presidential election about my support for Hilary Clinton. I was quite taken by surprise by the strong, and at times unpleasant, reactions by my fellow progressives who were supporting Obama when the conversation would arise. There were even some who passively/aggressively suggested that my lack of support of Obama was based in racism. Ridiculous.

My lack of initial support for Obama wasn't based in racism ; it was based in my perception of his lack of meaningful political experience when it came to taking the wheel , so to speak, in leading this country out of some very thick fog. On an analogous level, I wouldn't feel comfortable letting a 11 year old drive a car through a blinding snowstorm in which I was a passenger no matter how adamantly they insisted they could operate the vehicle. However, if a seasoned professional driver who knew the lay of the road ahead had insisted on taking the wheel, I would have sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Not only did the electorate insist that Hillary get out of the car, they proceeded to hand the keys to Obama. Once he became the party's choice, I of course supported his run and did indeed vote for him. I even adopted a bit of Pollyanna vision and opted to hope, and at times believe, that perhaps his words about "change that I could believe in" were valid. Of course, his current record shows that promise to be nothing more than a slick campaign slogan.

I had a similar conversations recently with hardcore Obama supporters about my, and others, dissatisfaction with the President. For the most part, all I received were snarky responses about how "I'd better not vote Republican in 2012" and acerbically toned questions asking would I rather have a president Perry or Bachman. These are all useless comments clearly arisen out of the speaker's own frustrations with the situation and a level umbrage that naturally comes forth when one feels as if they have been hoodwinked.

Obviously, I won't vote for a Republican candidate no matter how frustrating Obama's actions, or lack thereof, may be as I realize that having a Democrat, even if just by name, in the White House is far better than any alternative. Though, frankly, with Obama's current lackluster track record, the sad and disappointing difference currently seems small.



Unknown said...

Hi, Michael,
I pushed for Obama for a really simple reason. Bush/Clinton/Bush... no, not that again. I was tired of the "centrist" agenda of the Democratic Leadership Council, and wanted to see, well, just different. I took a chance that Obama was more liberal than he has turned out to be, hoping he was a stealth liberal. I can't believe how little fight he seems to have, given his rhetoric, and given the enormous amount of political capital he had initially. That said, I would vote the same way again. I can't see Hillary as anything but a part of the political machine.
I still hope he can take his recent, well deserved abuse at the hands of his fellow democrats, and learn from it. I'm still ready to fall in love with him again.

Lydia said...

Great post and art.
It was interesting around my house at the last election, with my husband for Hillary and me supporting Obama (after being originally for Biden in the primaries). I have been "for" him throughout his first term. Just wish I felt he was "for" me, in terms of giving me much more to back him with as I campaign for him this next go-around!
I have featured one of your works in my latest post at my blog. :)