Those of you who have read my blog, Just Saying . . .(formerly The Last Word) know that I have been an unabashed and unapologetic Obama fan since the man declared his candidacy for president way back in 2007. My thinking was that here is a man of ideas, a man who is unafraid of neither controversy nor criticism, as he headed toward the White House. For the most part, a trigger in my respect for the man was borne by the open and frequent (too frequent) expressions of hatred of the man simply because his skin was black. Looking back, it was like our country was stepping back into it’s history of institutional racism as the avowed goal and actions of the Republican party became the defeat of anything Obama stood for at any and all costs. As two examples, I cite universal healthcare and background checks for gun purchasers, both Republican initiatives in the 1990s, and we all know where Republicans stand on those issues today. Early on, one of the mantras of the GOP was that Obama talked a good game, but was unable to deliver. That inability to deliver was in no small part due to Republican intransigence on anything and everything the man stood for. Labels like ‘socialist’ stuck like mud to him because it allowed his haters a socially acceptable manner to dodge the covert racism that formed the basis for anything Obama.
But . . . now, and it nearly breaks my heart to write this, a pattern is emerging that suggests that the constant bullying of the GOP has succeeded. The president, time and time again, has abandoned his stated principles and our hope that somehow he would be different from the ordinary politicians that grace our national landscape. The poster child of my examples is Guantanamo. One of the first things he was going to do, he said during the first election campaign, was to close this blighted stain on our democracy. Instead, the prison from which there is no apparent escape or hope for fair hearings on detention is now a pathetic example of our blind willingness to abandon any semblance of the fundamental bases upon which our nation was founded. The striking example of most of the inmates slowly starving themselves to death in protest transmits a Nazi prison camp-like image, not only to me, but also, I strongly suspect, to the rest of the world. The same goes with presidential authorized droning resulting in the killing of innocent by-standers on foreign soil. (Parenthetically, just think how we would all react if, for example, Russia or Iran utilized drones hovering over the United States for the purpose of killing American citizens). The most recent example of the abandonment of principle is Obama’s stated willingness to sign the GOP measure to relieve air travelers from the ramifications of the sequestration, while totally ignoring the pllght of the underfed children and families in our society whose only crime, apparently, is to be poor and/or jobless.
C’mon man, stiffen your damn spine. Stand for something! Just saying . . .