I've discovered that political commentary is a bit more problematic when the guy you voted for actually gets into office.
As someone who cast his ballot for Barack Obama last November, I really should give the guy the benefit, or--heh, heh--shadow, of a doubt. After all, the poor man's under siege by birthers, Third Reich health care scholars, and those who assert their First and Second amendment rights to peacefully assemble with peacemakers .
Lets start with the birthers. No matter how many copies of his birth certificate, or Hawiian birth announcements, he shows those folks, they're still not convinced. All counterfeit, they claim. And that his mother was a native born American doesn't seem to convince them, either. Was she counterfeit, too? A fembot, maybe? Or a Stepford wife?
And the guys who show up with guns at Obama events? Simple self-protection. You never know when those Secret Service men might do something rash. Like protect the President.
What must be most annoying are these folks who insist of disrupting the Town Hall health care meetings with their screaming and shouting. Ah, says the right-winger, left-wingers have a long history of disrupting meetings, hearings and speeches with screaming and shouting. Just look at Code Pink. Fair is fair. And the right-winger is correct. Left-wingers do have such a history. They also have a history of getting sprayed with tear gas, dragged by their hair, and dumped in the back of paddy wagons. None of which seems to be happening to the anti-health care protesters. Unfair is unfair. Some have accused the insurance lobby of sending those people to protest. If so, they're sending some of the most emotionally fragile, Prozac-deprived souls this side of Dr. Phil. On the news I saw one overwrought woman wearing glasses cry out:
"I don't recognize my own country!!"
I think she needs to go to LensCrafters and get a new prescription.
OK, so it's not a good time for President Obama, and I really shouldn't add to his troubles with my own criticisms. On the other hand, should I cut the oxygen to my brain all in the name of liberal solidarity? After all, I just want to criticize Obama from the Left. I'd think he'd find the change in direction refreshing.
I'm just afraid this is going to be the Clinton administration all over again. Liberals and progressives who won't admit to being liberal and progressives and, in fact, don't seem to be particularly liberal or progressive much of the time, but liberals and progressives are expected to support them anyway because there are people out there a lot worse at being neither liberal nor progressive. Truth be told, what followed Clinton was a lot worse. But maybe if Clinton had been a little more liberal and a little more progressive, Bush and friends would have had a more difficult time being otherwise. Yes, there was prosperity under Clinton, but he talked so much like a Republican at times that I think some voters thought there would be even more prosperity if they voted for someone who sounded even more like a Republican. Say, an actual Republican. But before any of that came about, liberals and progressives were expected to fight the good fight. And what exactly was that good fight in the 1990s? The right for a president to screw around behind his wife's back on the public dime and then lie about it under oath? He shall overcome. All over a black dress.
I don't expect Obama to cheat on his wife, and don't much care if he does as long as I'm not expected to cover for him. But he's getting more Republican by the day, even as the real Republicans sharpen their knives, or, as health care dominates the news, their scalpels. Like Clinton, he probably believes he, and only he, can keep the barbarians at bay, and, like Clinton, he may just end up at bottom of that bay tied to a rock, gurgling that it's all a right-wing conspiracy. Takes one to know one.
Perhaps I'm being too hard on Obama. He is pushing for health care reform. If we only knew which health care reform (I half-expect him one day to say lower prices is not the essential element of health reform.) He did say--after what, two, three weeks?--that there were no death panels and that he found such talk "objectionable." So's your old man!
Last year about this time, I heard Obama supporters mocked as fanantics who expected their candidate to be the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Let's just hope he doesn't turn the other cheek while being nailed to the cross.