[I posted this diary On Daily Kos this morning. It’s on the Rec List and well received by some on all “sides” of this divide, although a few people also personally attacked me and rejected any attempt at reaproachment and peace. There are some who personally hate me and seek no coalition on Daily Kos. Rather, they seek total victory in which many people leave, especially the “evil” TomP. I think that is harmful to all of us, just as a total victory on Daily Kos would be harmful. The left and center need each other now.
It is not fun to lose friends, to be called a racist or to be hated. Nonetheless, I have to what I think is right and speak the truths I see. Others may see different truths and I should strive to respect that they do see things differently. As a human being, no doubt I will fall short in that, but I’ll try anyway.
I thought I should I post this diary here, where many people are more critical of President Obama. The two updates are very important, for they are comments from strong supporters of President Obama who do seek peace and coalition. Peace happens with people who have been “enemies” find common ground and cease hostilities. I have to let go of past anger just as they do. Anyway, for your comments.]
On 60 Minutes last night, the President addressed many issues, including the economy. One thing I found to be very important and encouraging was his strong statement regarding banks:
Obama: I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat cat bankers on Wall Street.
There has been a lot of support and criticism of Barack Obama here, often much of it personal and not issue-based on all sides.
I believe the President when he says this. I believe he really wants some change. My hope is that he will take stronger measures to obtain change in our economy.
More, after the fold
I think this is important:
Obama: I think in some cases that was a motivation. Which I think tells me that the people on Wall Street still don’t get it. They don’t get it. They’re still puzzled. “Why is it that people are mad at the banks?” Well, let’s see. You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in decades, and you guys caused the problem. And we’ve got ten percent unemployment. Why do you think people might be a little frustrated.
Kroft: Do you think that they’ve made some of these bonuses based in part on the generosity and policies of the United States government to help put the financial system back on its feet?
Obama: I think there is no doubt about it. And what’s most frustrating me right now is you’ve got these same banks who benefitted from taxpayer assistance who are fighting tooth and nail with their lobbyists up on Capitol Hill fighting against financial regulatory reform.
Kroft: Why is it taking so long?
Obama: Well, everything appears to take long in Congress. We can talk about health care (LAUGHS) if you want. This is democracy in action.
Too often here on all sides, we deal with a carricature of Barack Obama. He is either the all good hero who does great things always or the betrayer of the people who sells out to Big Business or the War Machine.
Neither depiction is true; both are strawmen.
Sometimes we have the fantasy figure Super Barack Obama battling the fantasy figure critics in a few kossak’s minds (and comments). Other times, we have the reverse: the pure progressive critics battle the “Betrayer Obama.” Both are extreme poles of false contructs. Of course, people fall at various ranges in between, but the entire battle has become a devisive distraction to change and what this place is about.
I’m bored with the fantasies of Barack Obama, fantasies created by critics and supporters.
The real President Obama is dealing with a bad economy, sometimes getting it right and sometimes not. That’s real life and the one he inhabits. And, really, I prefer a fallible President who struggles with the complexity of our problems to the super-Obama (for good or bad) of many people’s fantasies here.
Intellectual honesty, honesty with one’s self, is so important. We should strive to see things as they are and not through an ideologic lens.
The President’s statement is important because it suggests the policy in the future may take a more populist cast. We need financial reform. I’m glad to see the President fighting for it.
[Update from Kitty in the comments. The video on You Tube]
In his first extensive interview since his speech announcing his troop build-up in Afghanistan, President Obama talks about his plans for Afghanistan, the economy and more. Steve Kroft reports.
Update I: pwr2thepeople has an excellent comment I will repeat here in its entirety:
I don’t always agree with you TomP, especially (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:TomP, Floande
when you criticize Obama.
But I must agree with you in this excellent diary. I generally find your criticism of Obama devoid of the dramatics that others here at DKos revel in.
I am unabashedly towards the SuperObama the Magnificent end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, I believe criticism of Obama is important if that criticism is fact based and policy driven, and not criticism that falsely starts or concludes Obama is a corporate sell-out.
To me Obama is a good person. Indeed a very good person. Sometimes we do not want a good person to be our political leader. I for one sometimes want Obama — rhetorically and politically — to fuck the Republicans and stuff Joe Lie down their throats. I would like him to tax the bonuses of the Wall Street fat cats. I would have preferred that he not send additional troops to Afghanistan and withdraw those that are presently there.
But I do not attribute his failure to implement immediately every good progressive/left policy prescription and proscription as a failure in character or a sell-out.
He is a very good person “dealing with a bad [everything],” always trying to get it right for the common man.
The Republican Party = The American Taliban.
by pwr2thepeople on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:20:10 AM PST
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Update II: At my request, Maimonides has written a comemnt for this diary to be added as this update. If Maimonides and I can find common ground, so too can may others here:
A Comment on Ideals and Goals for TomP (1+ / 0-)
Lately we have been spending far too much energy navel gazing. We ask interesting but ultimately unsolvable questions like “how much criticism is a good thing?” as though we have some metric for criticism, as though there were some answers that came out of drunken/stoned college sophomore late-night bull sessions.
The focus needs to turn away from criticism towards remembering our shared ideals and discussing how that leads to our shared goals. Our goals are still the same: support the working class, grow the economy sustainably, extend rights to everyone without exception.
Less time spent on worrying whether we’re all on the same side (we are) and more on worrying about how to get to these goals is more than just a good idea, it’s what we can do to save our country.
I yearn for the simpler yesterday of green balloons, ass-crack vodka and Tedd Petruna.
by Maimonides on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:52:16 AM PST
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I agree with Maimonides.