I watched President Obama’s press conference yesterday, and I’ll own up to being appalled. Never did I thought I’d see the day when Barack Obama would be compared to Neville Chamberlain (not my comparison, but an apt one nonetheless). Peace in our time, indeed. When did having a majority in Congress means being convinced that you no longer have the ability to pass meaningful legislation? When did this President, who campaigned on Progressive values, decide that it was acceptable to betray his Progressive base and, even worse, chastise them for not blindly and obediently getting on board? When did this President decide that standing up to Republicans was a lose/lose proposition? When did this President decided that it was more sensible to chastise Progressives for wanting him to do the right thing…and failing miserably? Why is this President so unwilling to turn his rhetorical guns on Republicans?
Most of all, why is this President willing to accede to Republican demands that they be allowed to have their cake and eat it too? Republicans have almost uniformly stated that they will vote against raising the debt ceiling, and yet they demanded tax cuts for the wealthy that will add triple-digit BILLIONS to that debt. I may not be an economist, but WTF???
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for the passage of extended unemployment benefits. Being unemployed, this is something that benefits me directly…so, no, I’m not exactly an disinterested observer in this fight. Still, even I have to wonder at what cost this agreement was reached. This feels like one of those hostage exchanges in which Palestinians get 400 accused terrorists back in exchange for two Israeli soldiers. Republicans got everything they wanted…and then some…and Democrats (and this President) demonstrated themselves to be completely devoid of anything even faintly resembling moral courage.
Spin it how you wish; it’s difficult to miss the glaring reality that the President sold out his Progressive base…and then told us to STFU, because we just don’t understand. Barack Obama had an opportunity to draw a line in the sand, and he failed. Miserably. As a Progressive, I feel betrayed, even moreso because the man I put my faith in just told his base to quit whining and not let the perfect be the enemy of the half-assed.
I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be calling Barack Obama a coward and a sell-out…but that’s where we are. The facts speak for themselves. I’d like nothing more than to be proven wrong, but as the months pass, my conviction grows. Barack Obama (and by extension, Congressional Democrats) are afraid of a fight. They’re afraid to stand up to Republicans, the MINORITY party, and do the right thing by the American people.
Welcome to the new oligarchy. WE DESERVE BETTER.