Assessing Obama

Since every writer has to write to his audience, lol, let me start by saying that it is a given that any American president’s first task is to preserve the American military and (failing) financial Empire. Obama will do so, there is no doubt of that.

And of course, that is in at least most ways despicable, considering what the American Empire has done both in foreign affairs and domestically for the past eight years. But we all know you can’t get elected president in America if you don’t have an “understanding” with the financial sector. And you can’t be the American president unless you are in a certain amount of thrall to both the MIC and the CIA. Electing a new president, any president, means electing someone who has to some extent been co-opted by these three branches of The Ruling Class.

So….a given.

We also know that any president has to ‘assess the mood of the country.’ Which in essence means that they will spin whatever they do to be acceptable to the media and the most powerful of the punditocracy, the so called opinion makers. They DO have the power to take down a president, and Obama knows that.

Obama also has to…at least in his mind, cater to the Republicans that he has to work with, he cannot call an all out war on them, as much as we…and presumably he….lusts in his heart to do so. Overall, whether it has been by design, by opportunity, or by the sheer lemminglike suicidal urges of the Republicans and their base, so far the biggest impact that Obama has had in my opinion is the extent that the Republicans have been destroyed/marginalized on his watch. Observing their descent into the batshit crazy Circle of Hell under a Black president has certainly been satisfying…and amusing.

In other words, the American president is far, FAR less powerful than people seem to think. There are pressures from all sides that must be dealt with just for a president…especially a Democratic president….just to survive.

Now given the restrictions on an American president that have become apparent since the election especially, one might easily denigrate the campaign theme of “change” that Obama ran on. It is apparent that there is very little he or anyone can actually change from the oval office. And any change will seem gradual, coming out of the last eight years of blitzkreig.

The lack of real immediate change has certainly seemed like a betrayal to some extent at least, for those who bought the okeydoke of Hope and Change expecting….real change.

But it must be said, he is neither Bush nor McCain. The relatively cosmetic changes he has made, and the thrust of the rhetoric of what changes he would like to make….if he had power to make them…is a change, if not the Change we were all Hoping for.

Assuming that he can get some jobs rolling out to the People of America, who unbeknownst to the Powers That Be apparently, are in a somewhat shocking Depression and sincerely hurting, will he get reelected? If so, what will America look like after eight years of Obama? If not, lol, what will it look like after four years of Obama?

And given the limitations spelled out above, how do YOU think he is doing? Go ahead, don’t be shy, let it out! What is your assessment of Obama at this point?


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  1. Photobucket

    • Edger on November 16, 2009 at 20:43

    for the whole country (not just the bankers and the MIC) it would help his populist image?

    After all, he does sort of seem like he’s starting to become a good guy to have a beer with, no? 😉

  2. that premise of “not having the power people seem to think” and the most skilled politician liar perhaps in human history.  So I’ll go with a D on the first part and an A on the second.  

  3. But it must be said, he is neither Bush nor McCain. The relatively cosmetic changes he has made, and the thrust of the rhetoric of what changes he would like to make….if he had power to make them…is a change, if not the Change we were all Hoping for.

    Stuff like this makes me feel like I don’t even belong on this site. Are you kidding me? The difference between McCain and Obama is change, not Change?

    Here’s where we are under President McCain and Vice President Palin

    Healthcare Reform: None

    Climate Change: We’re drilling our way out of it

    Treasury Secretary: Phil Gramm

    Secretary of State: Lindsay Graham

    Secretary of Energy: Some Oil Guy

    Stimulus package: All tax cuts, no green energy funding

    Iran: Bomb Bomb Bomb. Oh they have hidden nuclear sites? Not anymore.

    Detroit’s Big Three One.

    Equal Pay For Equal Work as long as you’re not a woman.

    Missiles in Poland: Full Speed Ahead

    G8 G7

    Iraq: Exit date 2013

    Afghanistan: 40,000 more troops months ago

    Foreclosures, Job losses: God only knows.

  4. I guess my POV is a little bit unique b/c I crawled out from under my rock for him. lol. And I wanted to believe … maybe not so much his ability to Make Big Change, but more for his ability to lead The People in a movement to demand it, thereby giving him the “capital” that is needed to do it, and push congress etc as well.

    Well, he has the capital, and the votes, and the majority, etc… and still, nada. Zip. Peanuts.

    And don’t give me those phony excuses (lol) about the TPB who are pulling his strings, obstructing, orchestrating, and all that jazz. He was supposed to cut those strings, or something, ya know, “we wont take one dime of lobbyists money” bla bla bla.

    So… he was the Saturn of Politics after all. Remember that? All new kind of car company, no gimmicks, no games, we are fair and above board, old fashioned horsetradin’. And look where that got them.

    So, no. He doesn’t get a pass from me.

    It’s not just the long list of things he did or didnt do (so far), it’s more… his failure to lead, to take the bull by the horns, so to speak. Or if it was 11th dimensional chess, well, then… Your Move, Mr. Obama. Get off the fuckin couch fence.

    I know, I know, easy for me to say!!

    And OF COURSE he’s better than {fill in the blank}… thats just not good enough for me.

    • dkmich on November 16, 2009 at 21:29

    We would have been a hell of a lot better off with the Clintons, and I don’t like them either.   If he had meant 1/10th of what he said, he wouldn’t have surrounded himself with the same idiots that have been running things into the ground for the last 30 years.   I’m not cutting this guy any slack, and I’m voting against him.  

  5. “Preserve capitalism” is the wrong paradigm.  “Prepare for post-capitalism” is the right paradigm.

    Of course, the selection process is what gives us Obama.  At any rate, as regards the fate of our civilization and the nightmare which lies ahead, there’s always the studied opinion of Sing C. Chew:

    Market optimism, regionalization, and globalization policies and practices will be pursued until ecological and natural limits are reached.  The “business as usual” approach will be fostered similar to what we witness in the palace-centered kingship economies that percisted at the end of the Late Bronze Age crisis (the second Dark Age (1200-700 BCE, in other words).  No doubt, as the catastrophes continue to mount as effects of global warming compound and recur, more stringent measures will be implemented to maintain economic, social, and political control.

    Things are crazy; expect them to get crazier.  Obama won’t be doing a whole lot about it.

    • Turkana on November 16, 2009 at 23:31

    he’s been very good on some things, and very lame on some things. afghanistan and copenhagen will be key…

    • banger on November 16, 2009 at 23:34

    Buhdy, you’re an ace to be sure. But I disagree with you for reasons Edger lists upstream.

  6. in the electorate. His first major legislative effort to connect with the people who elected him was perfect; health care reform. But in my opinion, a good idea turned sour fast. I observed quickly that Obama was not willing to take risks, when bold action was called for (in all political arenas). I don’t give a rats ass if he is only a one term president, I wanted to see him build a liberal leaning coalition, whether he survived politically or not [and I think he would have not only survived, but prospered well politically].

    When the Conservatives told him that his presidency depended on his success, and failure would be his Waterloo, he should have retorted that failure would be their Waterloo. It’s clear that his first year in office will be measured to a huge extent by the bill that is passed. Playing it safe to avoid the Clinton problems in 93′ is nonsense; the political climate is totally different. Healthcare reform isn’t over, but his “shepherding” of it is just awful.

    As far as Afghanistan is concerned, I think it’s above his pay grade. He used Hillary to give him some cover, but I don’t think he has much power. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll soon see. He must be agonizing over this. I don’t think the CIA has influence as nearly as strong as the MIC. The MIC calls the shots, and has been for 60 years. The problem now is that it looks like policy decisions are made at the Pentagon also. Again I hope I’m wrong.

    In the sphere of the economy, Obama seems to have been following directions of the Paulson/Geithner tag team at treasury and the Greenspan/Bernake duo at the Fed. Summers also keeps him informed “in house”. Again, I doubt he has much say here, but I think he’d be okay as long as he didn’t threaten the MIC’s part of the budget. He certainly didn’t do enough to smack down the criminals that caused the financial meltdown, as he is reticent to fight for any major reforms that may interfere with their (Goldman’s etc)

    future profits.

    I give Obama a very disappointing C-    And the reason it’s not a solid C, is because he has shown very little effort to connect to the very people that elected him; the people who hoped for real change and who have been short changed.

    He certainly can bring his grade up anytime he wants. His homework should be to remember to Connect To The People,

    as he did when he was running for President. He should trash this bi-partisan nonsense.

    • TMC on November 17, 2009 at 00:44

    I will withhold a grade for HCR until I see a final bill. If amendments like Stupak’s, Eshoo’s and there is no guarantees that will force the insurance cartels to cover women’s health care, the I will give him an “F” in that “subject”.

    “A” for removing the restrictions on stem cell research.

    “D” for not doing the same for DADT and his silence on the Maine same sex marriage vote. He could being doing more for LGBT. Other than the hate crimes act, he has pushed little else,

    “B” for diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East, especially with respect to Iran.

    “C-” on Iraq for not bringing the troops home faster.

    “D” on restoration of the rule of law and the DOJ.

    “D” on the economy for the much discussed obvious reasons.

    I’ll wait on a grade for Afghanistan but if it doesn’t include a withdrawal plan and a shift to humanitarian rather than military assistance, it, too, will be an “F”.

  7. I mean it’s just like my pet fucking goat only this time much more eviler.  There are more versions of this swine vaccine bioweapon than there are versions of Microshit Windblows.  They are never going to be able to pin the blame on any one vaccine much less which batch of what debilitated who.

    Am I the only one who understands a world government based upon that stellar civil rights champion Red China just might cause upheaval in America.  Thank God there is an ammo shortage.  Just means everybody is not totally zombified, yet.

    I thought it was just educational dumbing down but it simply has to be more than that.  Perhaps synergistics between electronic and chemical.

    What is the next high priority Federal government project, the health turd inspections division.

  8. over the last 10 months by Obama’s actions/inactions in a variety of issues.  

    That being said, after 8 years of loathing Bush/Cheney and seeing the terrible damage they did to this country–its Constitution, its Supreme Court, its military, its economy, and its citizens–not to mention the damage they did to other nations and their citizens; I promised myself that if McCain/Palin were defeated, I’d consider what the alternative would have been whenever I became outraged that this current Administration’s actions failed to live up to its promises.

    I still get angry, disappointed and disheartened, because so much more could and should be done, IMHO.  But, then, he has only been in office 10 months and when Bush had been in office 9 months before 9/11, Bush & his apologists were very quick to point out how Bush had “only” been in office 9 months & that all bad things that happened were due to the Clinton Admin.  At least we’re not at war with Iran, probably much to McCain/Palin’s disappointment…

    • Heather on November 17, 2009 at 01:43

    as Tocquedeville says, is what I saw from the moment he decided to run even though he originally and rightly said he wasn’t going to because he wasn’t ready. Since that moment, and still today, I am beyond cynical. And I hate that.

    So I give the guy an F for letting himself be sucked into this freakshow of becoming president so soon, because I think he MAY have been as awesome as his brand makes him out to be had he been left to work out his life path long enough to have the strength to stand up to the big boys.

    I’m even feeling distrust about THAT. lol

    • robodd on November 17, 2009 at 05:04

    I’d have to believe in something I’ve never seen to believe Obama has brought change I can believe in.

  9. No reason-because I can’t pretend that my opinion carries any weight or that people will or should care.

    Irrelevant story: when I was a senior in high school, my college-prep lit teacher reamed us all for blatant senior-itis. Those of us that had F’s should have had C’s; those with C’s should have had A’s, etc. We were slackers and we knew it.

    We also worked our asses off when it was time to do it, and stomped the fucking test and turned F’s to C’s and C’s to A’s.

  10. Every president (and politician for that matter) must choose between representing the interests of the people and those of the corporate world.  There are very few causes, if any, where a politician can simultaneously satisfy the wishes of both.  If there were any such issues, count on Obama to get behind it, and once passed, proclaim it a major victory.  

    Perhaps the Lily Ledbetter Act might be the closest approximation of this ideal that we’ve seen so far during his administration.  But overall, Obama appears to have gone to great lengths to curry favor with the corporate world, only occasionally brushing a few crumbs off the table for the commoners to lick off the floor.

    During the 2008 election cycle, this writer was extremely disappointed that the Corporate Media prematurely annointed Obama and Clinton as the frontrunners, seemingly directing more positive coverage to whoever was behind at the time, since perpetuating the race probably provided the best ratings.  All other candidates received far less coverage, and were essentially invisible as far as the Corporate Media was concerend.

    Both Cinton and Obama struck this writer as hawkish corpodems.  Granted, Obama’s style is different in many respects than Clinton’s, however, if she had she won the presidency, what would be the difference in terms of substance?

    Later in 2008, in attempting to convince others to vote for Obama, the best rationale seemed to be that he wasn’t McCain/Palin.  Unless this writer missed something, Obama’s resume (as was the case with Clinton as well) seemed to be almost totally devoid of any circumstances during which he took up a cause, and despite long odds, demonstrated courage, persistence, perseverence and leadership in garnering support to actually achieve a meaningful, beneficial change.  If such achievements were absent earlier in his life, why should we anticipate that we will see anything different during his time in the Oval Office?  

    One of the most reliable predictors of what a person will do in the future is their past behavior.  Many of us who voted for Obama did so, cautiously hoping that he might somehow be transformed once he was in office, despite a track record that suggested otherwise.

    The results of the statewide gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey earlier this month should be regarded as the canary in the coal for the Democrats.  Many who voted for Obama in 2008 did not bother to show up to vote this time, with predictable results.  

    Many of Obama’s supporters have shown considerable patience, waiting for him to at least display some semblance of a concerted effort to deliver on some of his campaign promises.  These same individuals are likely to have surrendered most, if no all hope if there is nothing of substance to show for their efforts by November, 2010.  These are people who donated money that they couldn’t afford, took time away from family members and other obligations to doorbell and otherwise perform the unglamorous work in the trenches required to wage a successful campaign, and in many cases, for the first time in their lives, cautiously replaced despair with hope.

    Where will these people be in the fall of 2010, and ultimately in the fall of 2012?  Will they even bother to vote?  And if they do not show up in 2010, can one imagine Obama working with a Republican-dominated Congress?

    Obama seems to be kissing the same feet that have repeatedly kicked him in the face, belonging to those who have committed to ensuring that his is a failed presidency.    He will never, ever receive the adulation he appears to so desparately seek from his enemies, and by continuing to grovel at their feet, he will merely lose any respect they may have had for him previously while at the same time, losing many of those who poured their hearts and souls into supporting what they believed he represented.  The Republicans must surely be licking their chops in rapt anticipation.

    I’m afraid that time is running out on Obama.  The winter holiday season is rapidly approaching, and once 2010 arrives, very little, if anything will be accomplished in Washington, D.C., as is usually the case during an election year.  What has been achieved so far will likely comprise most of the case for electing (or re-electing) Democrats to Congress in 2010.  A very thin resume, to be sure.

    Obama will have an extremely difficult time motivating those who cautiously dared to hope the next time he goes to the well.  Hope alone cannot survive for long, without being replenished by visible, tangible results that provide its life blood.  A continuation of the status quo, as seen so far during his presidency, will not motivate many of those who turned out for him last year.

    If this is truly the best we can hope for in this country, although this is by no means the first time I’ve expressed this sentiment, I very much fear for our collective futures.

  11. Despite my rather animated rebuttal above (ahem), there are indeed two important actions for which Barack Obama deserves the greatest credit.

    The first is resumption, after eight years, of START negotiations with the Russians on strategic nuclear weapons reductions, and the closing of the missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech republic.  

    The second is initiating a transfer of Gitmo prisoners to Article 3 courts.  From a legal perspective, it is hard to underestimate the ameliorative impact that this precedent has on our Constitutional framework.

    These are examples of the types of positive Change that I hope Obama will do more of.  But I don’t plan to sit around waiting for them to happen.

    If there is one consistent trait of the Obama Presidency so far, it’s that it treats its political enemies far better than it treats it friends.  If that’s is indeed the case, Progressives will need to be a lot less friendly if we want to see even a smidgen of the Progressive Change they were promised.

  12. Obama is just the latest in a long line of CORPORATE CAPTAINS “steadying the tiller” of the USS EMPIRE!

    Want proof? – Wall Street Robbery, Drug & Insurance Industries continue PROFIT-CARE, The continuation of the ONE TRILLION DOLLAR per year boondoggle of ENDLESS WAR, Washington DC continues to operate as the worlds largest brothel dedicated to “servicing” their CORPORATE JOHNS, etc., etc. – you get the idea!

    YES “THEY” CAN! – While Captain Obama just keeps “steadying the tiller” for “HIS” CORPORATE OVERLORDS.

    The USS EMPIRE sails on……..    

    • publicv on November 17, 2009 at 17:31

    big to fill.  

  13. Assessing Obama is a big fuckin waste of time. He’s not gonna do anything other then what he does inspire and bamboozle for the intolerable agenda of his puppet masters. No power? Absurd he has plenty of power, more power then president in my lifetime, not to mention the accumulated power grabbed by every president since Nixon. Checks and balances have ended up being a political show for the masses. A dance they do, the pretense of law and representational government for the masses.

    I used to think the Bushies were a right wing coup, via the Republican party now I think it’s all a show. In my assessment he is a PR man an inspirational speaker selling the unsaleable. Extortion, gambling, bribery, killing, you name it the man pumps it and sell it as change, unity and necessary. Lordy I sound like Hilary during the campaign.

    It seems to me that as long as the people in this country look upon the presidency as some kind of king, and believes that hope is an answer to ending the fascist state we’ve become were screwed. Obama’s power is not divine it’s as with all governments consent of the governed that gives power to any rulers.            

    • Arctor on November 17, 2009 at 20:14

    Rahm Emmanuel and his spin doctor buddy David Axelrod. He’s the living embodiment of the Truman Show…and thank goodness for them they have Glenn Beck, et al to oppose him so that we progressives can rally to his defense!

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