Pissed off at Obama and the Democrats!

I'm pissed off at Obama and his crew of Democrats

Pissed.Off@Obama.gov

Pissed_Off@Obama.Gov

Its been over a week since the Massachusetts election results  punctured the Democrats’ 60-vote majority and deflated the already anemic health-care initiative. That night I was deluged with various emotions ranging from anger to anxiety to frustration. It took me a couple of days to clearly grasp what I felt and pen it down.

The title of this post *precisely* conveys what I feel in a nutshell. I will discuss my reasons in the rest of this post.

But first I want to make a clarification: I am NOT a Democrat but I voted for Mr. Obama because I sincerely admire his capacity for intellectual discipline and his ability to inspire. So, when I express my displeasure, it is as a sincere supporter who would like to see him succeed and not as one of the numerous right-wing nut-jobs that seem to have acquired more prominence than they deserve.

Leadership MIA.

All of us saw Candidate Obama eloquently make his case to the American public. We saw him being unafraid to take on “delicate issues” and parse them adroitly so that they do not remain just “slogans”. He did not shy away from addressing the hateful ramblings of Jeremiah Wright. He did not allow his political opponents to get away with shallow (and vacuous) caricatures when they tried to paint him as naïve and un-prepared. He took on those allegations, stripped them bare, and revealed to us that these were just political histrionics and not substantive arguments (remember the red-phone political commercials? Or the “pals-around-with-our-enemies” blather?).  America responded to that candor and forthrightness because they saw LEADERSHIP rather than a craven submission to political formulations and gimmicks. Americans have serious problems and need serious people to build serious solutions and not just another crew of populist acrobats. Candidate Obama presented himself as such a person.

Alas, President Obama did not resemble such a person.

Townhall shout-fests: Politiccal Porn

Where was that leadership when the health-care reform was being discussed? Where was that willingness to take on mindless and hideous blabber of “death-panels”. Where was President Obama when his signature issue was being mauled by populist rhetoric from the right-wing lunatics? He maintained a “dignified distance” – preferring to let congressmen and congresswomen market the cause to their constituencies.

Obama commands far greater admiration and credibility from the American public and he should have been the primary driver. Regrettably, he chose to be the cheerleader rather than the star-player and thus ceded the game to the hooligans who reduced it to political pornography (remember the town-hall scream-fests? Tea-parties?).

He should have been front and center being the chief advocate and visible champion of the cause. He should have leveraged his personal appeal along with the stature of his office to make the idea of health-care reform a political imperative that would be disastrous to oppose. He should have made it onerous if not toxic for the Republicans to advocate against it. Admittedly, nothing would prevent Sarah Palin from talking dumbly about anything – but it should have been a political liability for the Republicans to give her a platform.

Mr. Obama should have led the cause rather than just shepherding the legislative process. That would have been leadership! But it was missing in action.

Demand the right to remain sick

As a result, vitriolic rancor assumed center-stage and the American public was put off by it. We were still hemorrhaging jobs and the economy was still crippled while the entire political spectrum was engaged in political mud-slinging. The average American,  besieged by economic anxieties, is bound to find this fistfight distasteful and lose interest in this project.

The debate over health-care overhaul had become non-existent and the project itself turned rancid!

Transparency – where art thou?

Candidate Obama seemed like a fresh start from the days of backroom deals made in the dark recesses of power. He not only vowed to have robust debate about health-care overhaul but he also promised to do it out in the open so that we – the American public – could see who supports it and why AND who opposes it and why.

He assured us that we would get to see first-hand who opposes it and what concessions are being asked for by whom and for what. Powerful forces would have to bear the burden of “public scrutiny” and thus be leashed if not neutered.

Honest leadership? Open Government??

Where was that fidelity to openness and transparency? To be honest, the only people who are openly stating their position are the Republicans who unabashedly and unreservedly stand in unison to reject ANY serious overhaul of the health-care system.

The Democrats, by contrast, seem to have numerous fissures and fractures within themselves and NOBODY KNOWS how these fissures are being cemented and what deals are being made. Would Sen. Bob Nelson of Nebraska be able to extract special exemptions for his state or Sen. Lieberman demand special exclusions if they had to make their case on C-Span? I doubt it. Sneaky deals are easy to make when your audience is yet another politician. But if the audience is the American public, its hard to demand the unreasonable without being savaged by the press / blogosphere.

Republicans cast health-care reform as a sinister plotIn short, the Republicans managed to cast the whole health-care overhaul as some kind of sinister program to enslave the American public and the Democrats assisted them by conducting themselves as though they were on a clandestine mission to force-feed health-care to us.

Where transparency could have been the primary propellant, the Democrats chose opacity and it strangled them.

Majority – my ass!

The ENTIRE Democratic game-plan has been predicated on being the majority party. And not just any candy-assed, lily-livered  majority – but a *super-majority* ; commanding 60 senate seats. My…my… are’nt we just the cat’s whiskers??

Although they have had numbers on their side, they have operated with the fears and insecurities of a minority. They have acted as though they cannot negotiate from a position of power and win over political opponents and adversaries. They have conducted themselves as though they are besieged by forceful hordes and in doing so, they looked beleaguered and thus relinquished the stature of the majority party in the minds of the American people.

Democrats are besiged from within

When was the last time a party commanded such large majorities in both chambers of the Congress and still look bedraggled? They kept scrambling and scrounging for support from THEIR OWN PARTYMEN.

They seemed so petrified by the prospect of a filibuster that they were willing to make backroom deals and operate in the dark-of-night just to get their OWN PARTYMEN to agree on their signature issue. Far from being the baddest cat-in-the-alley, they looked like pathetic mice scurrying around trying to sneak cheese into their burrows.

Pardon me… but this is not what a majority party looks like or behaves like. A party’s majority must manifest in its conduct. They must exude and radiate confidence because it is a reflection of what a MAJORITY of Americans want. But no sir… not the Democrats!

Democrats besieged by their own insecurities

Even today, the Democrats control 59 seats in the Senate – but it would not seem that way if you look at how they conduct themselves. They look as though they have been surrounded – outgunned, outmaneuvered and outnumbered by the Republicans. If they cannot negotiate successfully with other Democrats, what chance is there that they will negotiate with Republicans. And if they cannot even win over Republicans then what chance is there that they will have any forceful effect on regimes like Iran or China.

What if the Democrats scoffed at the Republican filibuster threat? What if they *invited* the Republicans to filibuster. What if these endless ramblings were on C-Span? What if the press and blogosphere eviscerated the Republicans for the crap they spewed while filibustering? After all, if you let a politician speak for long enough, he/she will eventually make a hopeless ass of himself/herself. What if seeing a dozen or so geysers embarass themselves made other (moderate) Republicans lose their appetite for such obstructionism and negotiate seriously? After all, they are also up for re-elections? Perhaps their obstructionism could be made to count against them and their vacuous political posturing could be a millstone around their necks. This could persuade at least some Republicans to re-think their alliances with the most rabid of their partymen.

Sounds bold and radical? Not really! I believe that would be a bi-partisan result.

Instead, the Democrats chose to operate in isolation and made a spectacle of themselves. The threat of a filibuster made them wet their panties and they scurried around trying to avoid it by getting more and more insular. How much of a majority do the Democrats need? If you cannot get legislation passed despite having commanding control of the Executive and the Legislature, then perhaps politics is really not for you. You should go back to being “community-organizers”.

Speed is ALWAYS of the essence!

The Republicans are astute politicians and are able to harness people’s hardships and channel them toward a political end. They have ALWAYS attempted to stall and delay through one contrived controversy or another. The Obama-birthers, Tea-Party air-heads, Health-care lunatics have been useful surrogates – but the main goal has always been to delay and obstruct. Sen. Jim DeMint actually said:

“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him”.

The political calculus is that if you fart loudly and pungently enough, everyone begins to dislike the elevator ride and wants out.

The Democrats should have understood this and moved swiftly. They wrangled and wrangled and finally got past some legislative hurdles – but in the process they lost public confidence/support. It was as though they went through the intense hardship of labor and delivered only a still-born.

One cannot and should not fault the Republicans. They did what they are expected to do (political obstructionism). The problem lies with Democrats who could not do what was expected of them (deliver).

The fault also DOES NOT lie with the electorate of Massachusetts. They have seen precious little coming from the Democrats who seem so intoxicated with the idea of a  Senate majority, that they forgot the people they purport to serve. The electorate responded by giving them a swift (and well-deserved) kick in the crotch.

So who bears the brunt?

As of now, the health-care overhaul seems to be too toxic to take forward. White-house officials seem to convey a principled affinity toward the cause – but there has been precious little by way of legislative progress on this front. It is therefore not inaccurate to characterize the health-care overhaul as being “on ice”.

As a result of this 30 million Americans will continue to be un-insured. The entire health-care industry will continue their practice of raping us with astronomical fees and premiums and odious exclusions like “pre-existing conditions”.

The Democratic Senators are fearful of losing their jobs. But there’s no reason to worry about them. They will find gainful employment elsewhere in the government or lobbying firms. They will have health-insurance even if they don’t have their current jobs.

Barack Obama may or may not be re-elected. Even if he does not, he will have a rewarding post-presidency career and it will certainly take care of his family’s health-insurance.

Can you or I say the same about us?

This is the reason why I’m pissed off at President Barack Obama and the Democrats. Your political immaturity and amateurishness has cost us health-care overhaul. I DO NOT blame the Republicans for this because I did not expect anything from them. I expected it from the Democrats.

And to that extent, you, Mr. President, have failed me. I still hope you will work toward that goal. I would still like to vote for you. I hope you want to earn it.

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Its been over a week since the Massachusetts election results came in, punctured the Democrats’ 60-vote majority and deflated the already anemic health-care initiative. That night I was deluged with various emotions ranging from anger to anxiety to frustration. It took me a couple of days to clearly grasp what I felt and pen it down.

The title of this post *precisely* conveys what I feel in a nutshell. I will discuss my reasons in the rest of this post.

But first I want to make a clarification: I am NOT a Democrat but I voted for Mr. Obama because I sincerely admire his capacity for intellectual discipline and his ability to inspire. So, when I express my displeasure, it is as a sincere supporter who would like to see him succeed and not as one of the numerous right-wing nut-jobs that seem to have acquired more prominence than they deserve.

Leadership MIA.

All of us saw Candidate Obama eloquently make his case to the American public. We saw him being unafraid to take on “delicate issues” and parse them adroitly so that they do not remain just “slogans”. He did not shy away from addressing the hateful ramblings of “Jeremiah Wright”. He did not allow his political opponents to get away with shallow (and vacuous) caricatures when they tried to paint him as naïve and un-prepared. He took on those allegations, stripped them bare, and revealed to us that these were just political histrionics and not substantive arguments (remember the red-phone political commercials? Or the “pals-around-with-our-enemies” blather?).  America responded to that candor and forthrightness because they saw LEADERSHIP rather than a craven submission to political formulations and gimmicks. Americans have serious problems and need serious people to build serious solutions and not just another crew of populist acrobats. Candidate Obama presented himself as such a person.

Alas, President Obama did not resemble such a person.

Where was that Leadership when the health-care reform was being discussed? Where was that willingness to take on mindless and hideous blabber of “death-panels”. Where was President Obama when his signature issue was being mauled by populist rhetoric from the right-wing lunatics? He maintained a “dignified distance” – preferring to let congressmen and congresswomen market the cause to their constituencies.

Obama commands far greater admiration and credibility from the American public and he should have been the primary driver. Regrettably, he chose to be the cheer-leader rather than the star-player and thus ceded the game to the hooligans who reduced it to political pornography (remember the town-hall scream-fests? Tea-parties?).

He should have been front and center being the chief advocate and visible champion of the cause. He should have leveraged his personal appeal along with the stature of his office to make the idea of health-care reform a political imperative that would disastrous to oppose. He should have made it onerous if not toxic for the Republicans to advocate against it. Of course, nothing would prevent Sarah Palin from talking dumbly about anything – but it should have been a political liability for the Republicans to give her a platform.

Mr. Obama should have led the cause rather than just shepherding the legislative process. That would have been leadership! But it was missing in action.

As a result, vitriolic rancor assumed center-stage and the American public was put off by it. We were still hemorrhaging jobs and the economy was still crippled and the entire political spectrum was engaged in political mud-slinging. The average American,  besieged by economic anxieties, is bound to find this fistfight distasteful and lose interest in this project.

The debate over health-care overhaul had become non-existent and the project itself turned rancid!

Transparency – where art thou?

Candidate Obama seemed like a fresh start from the days of backroom deals made in the dark-recesses of power. He not only vowed to have robust debate about health-care overhaul but he also promised to do it out in the open so that we – the American public – could see who supports it and why AND who opposes it and why.

He assured us that we would get to see first-hand who opposes it and what concessions are being asked for by whom and for what. The idea was that powerful forces would have to bear the burden of “public scrutiny”.

Where is that fidelity to openness and transparency? To be honest, the only people who are openly stating their position are the Republicans who unabashedly and unreservedly stand in unison to reject ANY serious overhaul of the health-care system.

The Democrats, by contrast, seem to have numerous fissures and fractures within themselves and NOBODY KNOWS how these fissures are being cemented and what deals are being made. Would Sen. Bob Nelson of Nebraska be able to extract special exemptions for his state or Sen. Lieberman demand special exclusions if they had to make their case on C-Span? I doubt it. Sneaky deals are easy to make when your audience is yet another politician. But if the audience is the American public, its hard to demand the un-reasonable without being savaged by the press/blogosphere.

In short, the Republicans managed to cast the whole health-care overhaul as some kind of sinister program with which to enslave the American public and the Democrats assisted them by conducting themselves as though they were on a clandestine mission to force-feed health-care to us.

Where transparency could have been the primary propellant, the Democrats chose opacity and it strangled them.

Majority – my ass!

The ENTIRE Democratic game-plan has been predicated on being the majority party. And not just any candy-assed, lily-livered  majority – but a *super-majority* ; commanding 60 senate seats. My…My… are’nt we just the cat’s whiskers??

Although they have had numbers on their side, they have operated with the fears and insecurities of a minority. They have acted as though they cannot negotiate from a position of power and win over political opponents and adversaries. They have conducted themselves as though they are besieged by forceful hordes and in doing so, they looked beleagured and thus relinquished the stature of the majority party in the minds of the American people.

When was the last time a party commanded such large majorities in both chambers of the Congress and still look bedraggled? And yet they kept scrambling and scrounging for support from THEIR OWN PARTYMEN.

They seemed so petrified by the prospect of a filibuster that they were willing to make backroom deals and operate in the dark-of-night just to get their OWN PARTYMEN to agree on their signature issue. Far from being the baddest cat-in-the-alley, they looked like pathetic mice scurrying around trying to sneak cheese into their burrows.

Pardon me… but this is not what a majority party looks like or behaves like. A party’s majority must manifest in its conduct. They must exude and radiate confidence because it is a reflection of what a MAJORITY of Americans want. But no sir… not the Democrats!

Even today, the Democrats control 59 seats in the Senate – but it would not seem that way if you look at how they conduct themselves. They look as though they have been surrounded – outgunned, outmaneuvered and outnumbered by the Republicans.

What if the Democrats scoffed the Republican filibuster threat? What if they *invited* the Republicans to filibuster. What if these endless ramblings were on C-Span? What if the press and blogosphere eviscerated the Republicans for the bullshit they spewed while filibustering? After all, if you let a politician speak for long enough, he/she will eventually make a hopeless ass of himself/herself. What if seeing a dozen or so geysers embarassed themselves made other (moderate) Republicans lose their appetite for such obstructionism and negotiate seriously? After all they are also up for re-elections? And vacuous political posturing could also be a millstone around their necks. This could persuade at least some Republicans to re-think their alliances with the most rabid of their partymen.

Sounds bold and radical? Not really! I believe that would be a bi-partisan result.

Instead, the Democrats chose to operate in isolation and made a spectacle of themselves. How much of a majority do the Democrats need? If you cannot get legislation passed despite having commanding control of the Executive and the Legislature, then perhaps politics is really not for you. You should go back to being “community-organizers”.

Speed is ALWAYS of the essence!

The Republicans are astute politicians and are able to harness people’s hardships and channel them toward a political end. They have ALWAYS attempted to stall and delay through one contrived controversy or another. The Obama-birthers, Tea-Party air-heads, Health-care lunatics have been useful surrogates – but the main goal has always been to delay and obstruct. Sen. Jim DeMint actually said “”If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him”. The political calculus is that if you fart loudly and pungently enough everyone begins to dislike the elevator ride and wants out.

The Democrats should have understood this and moved swiftly. They wrangled and wrangled and finally got past some legislative hurdles – but in the process they lost the public confidence. It was as though they went through the intense hardship of labor but delivered a still-born.

One cannot and should not fault the Republicans. They did what they are expected to do (political obstructionism). The problem lies with Democrats who could not do what was expected of them (deliver).

The fault also DOES NOT lie with the electorate of Massachusetts. They have seen precious little coming from the Democrats who seem so intoxicated with the idea of a  Senate majority, that they forgot the people they purport to serve. The electorate responded by giving them a swift (and well-deserved) kick in the crotch.

So who bears the brunt?

As of now, the health-care overhaul seems to be too toxic to take forward. White-house officials seem to convey a principled fidelity to the cause – but there has been precious little by way of political progress on this front. It is therefore not inaccurate to characterize the health-care overhaul as being “on ice”.

As a result of this 30 million Americans will continue to be un-insured. The entire health-care industry will continue their practice of raping us with astronomical fees and premiums and odious exclusions like “pre-existing conditions”.

The Democratic Senators are fearful of losing their jobs. But there’s no reason to worry about them. They will find gainful employment elsewhere in the government or lobbying firms. They will have health-insurance even if they don’t have their current jobs.

Barack Obama may or may not be re-elected. Even if he does not, he will have a rewarding post-presidency career and it will certainly take care of his family’s health-insurance.

Can you or I say the same about us?

This is the reason why I’m pissed off at President Barack Obama and the Democrats. Your political immaturity and amateurishness has cost us health-care overhaul. I DO NOT blame the Republicans for this because I did not expect anything from them. I expected it from the Democrats.

And to that extent, you, Mr. President, have failed me. I still hope you will work toward that goal. I would still like to vote for you. I hope you want to earn it.

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7 Responses

  1. Obama was successful in brokering a deal with the Unions giving them concessions of over 60billion to win their approval for the health care reform proposed. Shameless bribe from the highest office!!

  2. I agree – I voted for Obama too – however, these back-alley deals have certainly aggravated me, insulted my intelligence and has been extremely frustrating.

    True he inherited a lot of problems last year but the health care reform wasn’t one of them. The healthcare was what it has always been. The economy, the recession, the foreclosures, the bankrupt treasury, the banks’ going under, two wars etc – Yes – This was his chance to really do something using the democratic majority to his advantage, using his oratary to his advantage and using his popularity and mandate to his advantage – unfortunately he, as mentioned, took a back seat. He is the driver and not the passenger – this could well cost him his re-election.

  3. Obama isn’t a true leader, he’s an organizer to let others do the work so he can keep his hands clean. Back door deals, pay-offs and pressure are his style and now we have seen him in action. Truthful he isn’t, way too many times his facts are wrong and just plain lies designed to smear those that oppose him.

    This heath care debacle will not help the problem of rising costs for health care, they aren’t being addressed and it’s another mess that Obama hasn’t been honest about. Trying to ram through the bill that the Senate created will be the final nail in his coffin.

  4. […] Pissed off at Obama and the Democrats! […]

  5. Obama is a liberal pussy, having never served in the military, never been a boy scout, and he has a chip on his shoulder, why doesnt he release all of his locked up records, College transcripts etc, why does he have a Ct ssn? He is a muslim sympathizer in a time when we should be wary of anyone who aspires to islam, he is a power hungry narcissist, his political ideology is in direct contrast to the US Constitution, most of america cannot and will not identify with him. If he could get (honestly) elected again, I’ll eat my hat.

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