The New York Times' Sunday edition has an article featuring Oregon's Earl Blumenauer and the difficulties he finds himself in regarding the progressive agenda he worked so hard for. It is similar to the frustration so many of us Obama supporters are feeling at the President's seeming inability to shift gears from his intense desire to compromise and find by partisanship in just about everything he does.
No question that Barack Obama was dealt an unprecedented set of difficult disasters when he entered the White House. The economy in shambles, the health care debate raging out of control while millions of Americans were left without the simplest of care, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan claiming billions of dollars and countless human American lives (aside from the locals, caught in the crossfire) and the list goes on.
But the majority of voters who elected the president did so because of their belief in the promised change. We wanted the war ended, we wanted the health care legislation to be forcefully acted upon, we wanted a more just economy based on the restoration of the American manufacturing base that actually created jobs. Some will even say that an investigation on the scandals and abuses during the Bush administration was also a hope that they maintained...
Almost a year has passed since the election when the country and the world watched the dawn of what we imagined was going to be a new era of bold leadership. At Obama Headquarters in Bend, a hardy bunch of volunteers cheered on as results poured in indicating a stunning victory. Obama, according to many reports is widely read and incredibly knowledgeable of American and world history. He researched what made great presidents and what tripped the almost great. He understands what caused some of his predecessors to have been rated mediocre by historians. He has vivid and up close evidence of failure left in his White House by the man he replaced.
So president Obama, ENOUGH ALREADY! Enough of compromise, enough of hesitation, enough, enough, enough. It is time to push through the best possible Health care legislation that matches your promises (which by the way, must include a Public Option). Access the spirits of Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Lyndon Johnson and lead your Democratic Party congressmen and senators to a positive outcome. Close Gitmo by bringing those prisoners held there to justice in US soil, our criminal justice system, our prison system are more than equipped to hold and try all of them under the light of justice. Negotiate an honorable exit from Afghanistan and Iraq by enlisting a strong system of checks and balances of the region by all countries of good will that have been targets of extremists and terrorists from that region. Manage the free-for-all bonanza that is Wall Street and the US financial markets by imposing controls and clear accountability that would actually land crooks in jail (just one Madoff is not enough).
President Obama, you are going to get criticized whether you are forceful or not. Whether you do what you said you were going to do or not. So why not go for it all? The benefits for the American people will be your pay back. Your critics might be able to demonize you enough in the long run to cause problems for your re-election. But a contested re-election without accomplishing the goals of health care, end of war and financial health will not be worth much, not to this American supporter of yours, and I suspect not to many Americans that deposited huge amounts of hope in your leadership.