Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm exhausted too

Yes, I too am exhausted of defending President Obama and the Democratic administration.  Like Velma Hart (who famously chastised the president at a town hall meeting in September) I am running out of patience waiting for campaign promises to be fulfilled, for financial maneuvers to benefit my family budget, and for some of the political party angst to dissipate.  I don't place all the blame for my exhaustion on the president though.  There is more than enough blame to go around.

The past two years have been a testament to how our governmental structure often gets in its own way.  If toeing party lines replaces serving the best interest of constituents as the priority of elected representatives there is nothing corrective inherent in the system.  The biggest flaw in our system of government and politics is that it relies on the good sense and conscience of humans - which we know for sure every one does not have in ample dose.  When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can state without impunity that his party's main objective over the next two years is to make sure President Obama is not re-elected you have to wonder if the people of Kentucky don't have pressing bread and butter issues Mr. McConnell should be putting above party politics.

The president is being lambasted in the media and by Democrats for his compromise on the 'Bush tax cuts'.  I don't know if he did the right thing, but I know it could not have been an easy one.  President Obama faced trying to maintain the tax cuts for embattled middle income Americans like me, while making the highest income earners pay their due.  He had to do this with the vacillating support of his own party and against uncompromising opposition.  He doesn't bend and the tax breaks expire for middle-income workers, many of those who can least afford it will feel the economic pinch - which will result in his losing much of his political base.  He bends to Republicans who want to keep the pockets of the wealthy lined, then he is accused of being weak and ineffective, thus frustrating his party and losing face.  I'm glad I wasn't the one that had to make that decision.

The constituents that created the groundswell that catapulted President Obama into office seemed to collectively step back after his swearing-in and start waiting for a miracle.  Of course with no miracles forthcoming disappointment was inevitable. The Republican communications machinery has manipulated that widespread disappointment with effectiveness and alacrity worthy of academic study.  The ability and willingness of the American populace to be manipulated has been the most tiring thing for me. At every opportunity to show ourselves true social leaders of the Free World - health care, immigration, education - we allow ourselves to be whipped into a frenetic tornado of non-issues, non-facts, and nonsense.

Sense and reason are not breaking through, and the market place is devoid of equal counter to ulterior dissent and acrimonious drivel. President Obama, the Democrats and their communications staffs seem to be willing to let the American people decipher for themselves fact from fiction, and to give them the benefit of the doubt - just because.  They have lacked a consistent and effective message; all the more tragic because candidate Obama won election largely on message.  The connection with the people that was his ace going into office has been amputated.  If he has  a plan, if his plans are being thwarted by his own party or the opposition, if he doesn't have the stomach for the fight or he does, we don't know.

We have an ill-informed electorate, politicians who put party above people, a castrated president and a system that doesn't self-correct. We should all be tired.