I just posted this on Thom Hartmann’s website, and thought I’d reproduce it here:
I am a longtime listener, a “podcaster” who listens to you every day, to the extent of saving any podcasts I missed for the weekend. I have the greatest respect for you as a commentator, author, broadcaster, and observer of the political scene and human condition; in fact, if you go to any major dictionary & look up “Renaissance Man”, the example picture is Thom Hartmann! I’ve followed you since the Air America days, and am a huge fan.
(I can hear you say about now: “BUT!…”)
“But”: I am really confused and perplexed by your unquestioning Obama worship. Today (Thursday April 1) I was listening to Hour 1 about halfway through, and heard you say something to the effect of “Hey, I lived through an administration where the president was an insane murderous sociopath who gave the richest of the rich five trillion dollars, it is such a relief to hear a president–flawed though he may be–say Reaganomics is un-American.” So what’s important is what he says, not what he does? And you just accept that, for once, he will do what he says (“not on my watch”), despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that he practically never follows up on his promises?
And then you follow it up with hippie-punching, telling “cynics” to “get a life” and “acknowledge reality”. (Yeah, if you’re not “cynical” about Obama you aren’t a hippie, what with Obama’s penchant for wars, fossil-fuel and nuke worshipping, GMOs, and such.)
But I’m with you on acknowledging reality. So let’s do it: Let’s set aside the golden oratory for a minute. Obama, despite the fact that he’s a Democrat, has done very little that’s different from Bush–particularly when it comes to the power of the corporatist banksters and war criminals who are sucking this decaying country dry. In big ways he is worse: He has actively expanded the concept of the Unitary Executive; he has not restored Habeas Corpus; he has not resisted the fossil fools and nuclear maniacs; he has expanded the military state; and he has done something that Bush the Dimmer never did–he’s started a major war without even pretending that he “gives a rat’s patootie” about Congress’s exclusive Constitutional prerogative to do so.
And I don’t buy for a minute the excuse that pore li’l ole Obama just is so SO powerless against the big bad Washington system. So powerless, apparently, that he eagerly serves and advances the cause of the international corporatists, while slamming progressives at every opportunity. The Presidency powerless? Tell that to FDR. Or LBJ. Or GWB, for that matter–he ran roughshod over Congress with nothing but chutzpah. And Obama can’t even fulfill his promise to at least push for a public option.
Let’s acknowledge the reality that Obama is a creature of the banksters. He was put into power by the banksters; he has surrounded himself with banksters; and he does their bidding at every opportunity. He has never done a single thing to interfere with their power, and in fact has expanded it at every opportunity–and we get bupkis or worse. Let’s acknowledge the realities that war spending is at an all-time high; that BP and the criminal banksters got away with it, on Obama’s watch; and that civilian government spending, and taxes on the ultrarich, were CUT–at precisely the time when the economy needed the opposite. Every day brings a new insult, and new proof that Obama is Not On Our Side. You know this stuff. How can you thus not follow the information to its logical conclusion?
Nor do I buy the idea that we should swallow hard and put Obama back in because of the Supreme Court. Obama has done nothing yet that restrains the corporatists, or threatens their power. Why do you think, when it comes down to it, that he’d take the Supreme Court away from them? No, what will happen is that we’ll get another Anthony Kennedy instead of Antonin Scalia–but either suits the corporatists just fine.
I noticed a change in your show when you moved to Washington. You know, if I were superstitious, I’d believe that Washington is under a geas or evil spell that causes anyone who crosses over its foul boundaries to enter a netherworld where it’s the Good Guys v. the Baddies (pick your side); that the obvious must never be spoken on pain of being declared “unserious”; and where you must never say ill of anyone on “your team” lest that give aid and comfort to the Republicans (or whoever). I worry that somehow you are falling under that curse.
So there it is. Love you & the show, and will always listen, but hey: Let’s acknowledge reality, shall we? Isn’t it time for you to start calling for a primary challenger to Obama? Or is it too late by now anyway?