WAMC for July 29 2010
Dr. Steven A. Leibo is a Professor of International History & Politics at the Sage Colleges
“Obama’s False Friends”
Ok. Maybe it is time for democrats to stop feeling superior. Sure, Bill Clinton likes to say that he consoles himself in difficult moments knowing that democrats usually have the facts on their side. In fact, for years, many of us have felt superior just listening to all that conservative republican talk about their fear of real health care reform. Felt superior knowing that despite all the health insurance industry generated propaganda that so many conservatives long swallowed hook line and sinker, we knew that all over the world plenty of democratic and market oriented societies managed to provide health care for their citizens without turning into Stalinist dictatorships.
Nor forgetting that we’ve just loved listening to them prattle on about topics from American history to science. That we loved listening to their quaint belief that somehow it was the little farmers and small business people of village America that produced the United States of the transcontinental railroads, highways, of the moon landings and the communications revolution of the internet.
Clearly an historical myopia dwarfed only by their confusion about the basic facts of science, from the rejection by so many conservatives of long proven explanations about the evolution of living beings over time through processes like natural selection.
Or, on climate change, amused by their weak knowledge of the physics of just how the earth manages to retain enough heat of the sun to produce the familiar temperatures we built human civilization within. Then of course, there is their gullibility to all that well funded energy industry propaganda designed to protect fossil fuel profits by undermining humanity’s efforts to wean ourselves from carbon based fuels.
But, lately, its seems democrats and too many independents have lost the right to feel superior at all. Demonstrating they are just as gullible as our friends on the other side. Shown themselves to be just as vulnerable to republican propaganda campaigns efforts to undermine president Obama’s accomplishments as the republicans themselves have been to the insurance and fossil fuel companies campaigns against a clean energy or universal health care.
False Friends, who have allowed themselves to be so confused by republican propaganda, that they have somehow missed seeing an administration of extraordinary accomplishments. Folks, who have somehow forgotten that President Obama managed to put the brakes on our slide into what might have been yet another great depression. In fact, managed to do so with an economic stimulation package that not only put people back to work; catching up on long neglected infrastructure needs like repairing bridges and roads but continues to employ enormous numbers to build the green energy economy of the future
Gullible democrats who allowed themselves to be insulated from even taking joy in Obama’s new regulations to make it less likely in the future that Wall Street will recklessly gamble with our lives, our old age pension funds just to make even bigger profits for itself.
Allowed the republicans to blind us to the other very real reforms Obama has already accomplished from stopping credit card companies from messing over consumers to forbidding health insurance companies from cherry picking customers so only those who can pay premiums but don’t actually get sick can use the system.
Sure, there has been reason to be disappointed. He has not accomplished all that we would have liked. Why not? Well I did a little research on that. It turns out President Obama was only elected president not dictator and actually needs our help to get to that magic number 60 in our completely dysfunctional governing senatorial system.
Yes, it turns out he actually needs our support and financial resources. Needs us each and every day. Needs us to send enough money to hold off the worst of republican gains by making sure we not only pay through our taxes for the government we have but through campaign contributions for the government we want and the change we expect President Obama to continue to bring.