Nudging Obama

Formerly "Obama Watch" Keeping the promise of change

Obama, One Year In

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Obama, One Year In

There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent.

– Tolstoy

Barack Obama is an enigma, a man capable of inspiring great faith and enthusiasm but whose record in office stands thus far incongruent with his promise. The “only been there one year” argument doesn’t hold because Obama has accomplished a great deal. The question is in what direction. While the acrimonious and often absurd debate about who or what he may be or may yet accomplish continues, more important is the quantifiable measure to which his present actions match his expressed intent for our country’s future.

The residency of his birth, the dead grandmas of the health insurance non-reform act, the many divide and rule strategies our corporate controlled media voice relentlessly are beside the point when it comes to clearing the smoke and mirrors to determine how we each come down on our present course of state. We need to keep it simple and look at the big picture with the forecast that Obama’s first year in office portends.

Economy: Despite the populist rhetoric with which Obama captured enough of the middle and working class votes to gain the presidency, in office he jettisoned his progressive economic advisors and turned to the establishment of money and power that brought on the financial debacle he inherited. Obama speaks about taking “fat cats” to task but the same run our Treasury, Federal Reserve and economic programs at his appointment. The current box score on economic policy finds Wall Street and the Big Five Banks rolling in cash while the rest of the country plummets deeper in debt with many out of work particularly in manufacturing cities like Detroit.

Health Care: During the election Obama invoked the dark reality of a two class health care system, one of haves and have-nots. But once in office he held secret meetings with big pharma and insurance whose huge cash reserves have incredible market influence. The deal made with industry and consummated by the corrupt Congressional parties eviscerated a public option through industry schill Joe Lieberman, directed by Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, establishes continuing control by the corporate machinery insuring nothing but profit for the few upon the misery of the mass.

Foreign Affairs: Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech was a collection of duplex imagery. Speaking to an audience who sees Obama as a progressive hope in deterring an increasingly militaristic world force, Obama characterized his nation’s use of military power as if it were exemplary of a higher moral standard simply because our political apparatus in the person of our president says it is so. He lectured an audience, many of whom had either lived through the horror of WWII or its aftermath, on the logic of just war, a doctrine the Catholic Church perfected for its Holy Roman Empire. He wisely urged human rights and a distancing from a foreign policy without concern for international law but fundamentally his speech affirmed the use of military force as a presidential prerogative.

During his campaign Obama never presented himself as a peace candidate, more a reformer, but his cabinet and military appointments have entrenched the military hierarchy with its massive expenditure of blood and treasure which he committed to correct. In his Nobel speech Obama invoked the “terrorism justifies.. (fill in the blank)” model crafted by Cheney, Bush and their Israeli and British allies, ignoring tens of thousands more innocent civilians have perished at the hands of US military forces and its mercenaries in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan then died in the massacre of September 11th.

The foreign policy equation thus far is clear: the military corporate congressional alliance continues to rise vertically in profit and power while the American people become further impoverished supporting a war machine that brought ruin to the nation of Iraq and is driving Afghanistan and Pakistan toward the same chasm.

These major issues of the Obama presidency obscure whatever else should be gaining our attention, especially the environment, which has devolved into a meaningless debate about wealth transfer via carbon taxation rather than a genuine concern about planetary well being.

Many of Obama’s “accomplishments” contain direct or implicit contradictions, the most egregious being his claim of closing the Guantanamo prison while at the same time denying due process to many of the inmates by shipping them to a super max hell hole in Illinois for permanent incarceration under conditions that often drives prisoners to insanity with no legal means of redress.

In the cultural stewpot Obama is caught in a morass of demonization by a fundamentalist lunatic fringe who call for his death via biblically inscribed teddy bears, a marginalized white lower middle and working class who think the nonsense spoon fed by corporate wealth about health care somehow invokes patriotism, a left, right and center of reasonable people who are like deer trapped in the headlights of continuing ignorance, mixed in a cauldron of pay for play corrupt Federal governance ruled by a powerful and unyielding corporate elite.

We want to believe a king has returned after the long tortuous absence since the regicide of JFK, and why shouldn’t we carry that faith? We have a response to sovereignty woven into our DNA. However, sorting out how and if that inner compulsion is finding a true outer embodiment is the hard work of individual and collective discernment. In this present time, which is always like no other time, that work demands our most clear and critical thinking, no matter who may carry the collective mantel. Not only ours, but given the huge impact of our national footprint, the state of the world depends on our clarity.

Don Hynes is a construction manager in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Don, or visit Don’s website.

This article was posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 9:00am and is filed under Obama.


Written by bearmarketnews

December 18, 2009 at 6:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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