Update: I have re-written this essay almost in its entirety in light of events since I published here yesterday. It’s full-on mockery now.
There has been a lot written lately a bout the acceptability of criticizing President Obama. What way is best, what kind of criticism is effective, whether it should be done at all. These are important questions, and I am proud of how this community has tackled this with such maturity.
What I’ve found is, some think criticism is fine, as long as it doesn’t attack the president personally. I wasn’t sure how to do that without using his name or without referring to his behavior. So I was starting to get a bit puzzled and headachy. And some people were angry with me.
Some think, as I did until today, that the best way to hold a politician accountable, is to, like, call, write letters, and post diaries asserting what the actual beef is, in the hopes that the politician will respond to mass pressure. What I found out is, if that politician is THIS president, this is a no-no. Of course, criticism of the LAST president for the same behavior is A-OK. That got me even more headachy, I HATE headaches. And it’s for one reason. I find it very hard to treat them! Of course, I know there are a few ways you can Treat Headaches but unless you go to a specialist your options are pretty limited.
Then I came to an epiphany.
The Tinkerbell Strategy (h/t Ballon Juice)
After the 2008 election I was so excited about our new president. He is handsome, intelligent, and obviously has a loving relationship with his family. Plus, he’s a constitutional scholar, a real plus for people like me who were so concerned about the Cheney/Bush administration unchecked abuses of power and crimes.
I was also very proud when he announced torture was no longer acceptable.
Then sometime later, like the next day, I started thinking. This was obviously my first mistake, and it led to a lot of bad things, like questioning our leader. And more headaches. Hadn’t torture already ended when Rumsfeld left office? Does Obama expect me not to remember the last 8 years and what happened? How can I reconcile a guy I have a lot of personal affection for, with the actions he has taken in only a few short months to cover up evidence of crimes by a previous office holder? What does that say about us as a country? And doesn’t this mean that torture and rendition, and spying on Americans without warrants were now committed in this President’s and my name? What I found is, this is wrong thinking. Actually, any thinking is wrong if I want the headaches to stay away.
You know, paying attention to stuff like this is really depressing. So in order not to be depressed, I don’t read stuff like that any more.
Of course, I was buoyed by some really great, inspiring actions our new President has taken in the name of world peace, like removing the “star wars” program from eastern Europe, thereby clearing the way for Russia to support us on any attempt to sanction Iran for violations of UU treaties. A brilliant and important change. But this only served to confuse me more. this just wasn’t working for me.
It was time for a fresh new set of facts to replace my admittedly jumbled set of questions. I needed a new outlook on all of this, and I finally found it. Britney Spears had laid it all on the line with regard to George W Bush, and it works for her. Why couldn’t it work for me with regard to President Obama?
That’s right, he’s not my president in the normal sense, he’s more like a superhero, or my boyfriend. And now that I have seen the light, life is so much brighter, with mice on toadstools and butterflies floating in the air everywhere I look. Even the clouds look like a Charmin commercial these days. And my headache is …..gone!
Oh, right. Almost forgot my point (smacking gum for affect and wearing blonde wig). How can we get the Change We All Believe In?
Well, one way is to pretend that we’ve already gotten it. Another way is to claim that the President is too busy to get on unimportant things like ending warrantless wiretapping, imprisoning people indefinitely, protecting Dick Cheney from ridicule on The Daily Show, or not covering up torture, or even ending it. He’s got a lot on his plate. He’s only been in office
1 3 6 9 months, give the guy a beak! He can’t solve your every problem instantly, can he? What a bunch of selfish whiners you people are!
With my new outlook, how can I even stand to read trash like Rahm doesn’t want a public option? the answer is, I can’t now. And I don’t want to. And if you must, please don’t point it out for me, it’ll only bring my headache back.
Here is what we all need to do right now, no matter what the issue is you’ve decided is more important than my headache.
Think of President Obama as Tinkerbell, the Broadway version. Then think of what we want him to do, concentrate on it, then CLAP, louder and louder still, until he hears us in his mind, and magically, like Tinkerbell, he wakes up and does what we want him to do! Ir’s really so simple, I wish I had thought of it sooner.
And really, this is the only way to do it without upsetting someone.
But that isn’t enough. We all must stop criticizing this President “from the left”. This is very important if we want to keep the momentum. If I must criticize the president, it should be “from the right”.
From now on, since the President now owns them, the occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq will be called the “Glorious Wars to Win Freedom for the Middle East”. So if a drone misses its target or goes into another sovereign nation, and wipes out a village, I will say, “You have to break a few eggs if you want to make an omelet. This is no time to cut and run.” I’m sure the president will be able to decode that properly. He’s a very smart guy.
From now on, when the president seems to be extending Bush era power abuse rather than restoring the constitutional republic he is a expert on, I’ll say, “Mr. Obama has our best interest at heart. He has found the right balance between freedom and safety. It’s not for you decide for him what that balance is.” Mr. Obama Has Got. This.
No need to support EFF, the ACLU, or especially the Liberal Communist rag, FDL. It’s counter productive, and only gives our enemies more ammunition. Plus, President Obama has a secret plan to fix all this already, in his second term, right before he leaves office, by Presidential Decree. So let’s get to work re-electing him now or else we’ll lose our freedoms!
From now on, when Rahm Emanuel seems to be sabotaging progressive initiatives in legislation, I’ll say, “The WH Chief of Staff and the President’s agendas are clearly separate. Stop implying the President wants what Rahm wants.” The President will then put Rahm on a shorter leash.
From now on, the “rights” of GLBT people are secondary to the push for health care reforms. Until the next item on the agenda other than GLBT rights. After all, rights don’t exist on their own, we hand them out like candy, when its convenient. So timing is unimportant. Obama is with you people, get over it and stop being so ungrateful. Clap LOUDER!
And actually reforming health care is secondary to getting a “win” for
Health Care Reform Obama. No need to think too hard on this, it will only give me another headache. No need to ask if I can afford whatever reform comes my way, It’ll be for my own good. Why have I been so selfish all this time?
I feel so much better. I’ve got all the change I need now. Thank you!