Why So Serious????

365 days ago America woke up to head to the polls, for a momentous election was at hand.

Not because, as so many people were led to believe, an African-American was on the ballot and the front-runner, but because the office-holder at the time could not run again, therefore the direction of the country was at stake.

Would America choose:
"A bold new direction," as so many characterized Barack Obama's candidacy?
"Politics as usual," as many, including Mr. Obama, characterized the campaign of John McCain?

We, as a country, chose the former. We chose the candidate that had made no missteps in his quest for the "highest office in the land," showed remarkable poise in handling the jarring blow to the Financial system in September and faced down every wrong-headed, foolish, biblically-foul accusation hurled from the mouth of that wombat out of Alaska.

America chose Barack Obama to lead this great country we live in.

The parties, good cheer and optimism after he was announced as the winner (let's be real, we did wait for the ACTUAL confirmation after two elections that can be called dubious, at best.) was unlike anything I had experienced in my lifetime, 9/11 included. America took a collective look in the mirror and said we have just done something quite radical (and good), so what else was possible with a little sacrifice and commitment to things beyond our immediate self-interest.

It was my best 48 hours of being an American. The evidence of a new tomorrow was everywhere. And I really mean EVERYWHERE!

One year after the election of President Barack Obama (still kind of surreal to write that), I am comfortable in calling his time in office, thus far, a phenomenal letdown.

If someone had told me, that after a year in office:
  1. The banks that we, as taxpayers, bailed out would be stronger, less-regulated, more consolidated, giving larger bonuses and generating record-breaking profitability.

  2. Smaller, community banks would continue to fail (close) at a record clip.

  3. Unemployment would be at record levels.

  4. Homelessness would be twice what it was at the end of 2007.

  5. People would still be getting thrown out their houses at rates unseen in American history.

  6. So many (37 million) Americans would be on Food Stamps ,that Costco starts accepting them.

  7. 50% of the nations children would be receiving some type of federal food benefit.

  8. Government Social Services would continue to be slashed, at the City, State and Federal level.

  9. The Stimulus Package, in the face of all this news, would still largely be unspent (only distributed $250 billion of $787 billion, thus far). Is this being saved for major projects in 2011, just in time for re-election?

  10. Unemployment benefits would be allowed to expire on 18 million ACTIVE job-seekers.

  11. Social Security beneficiaries would not get a cost-of-living increase for the first time, ever.

  12. Zero major changes to climate legislation would occur.

  13. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the military's policy of making Gay's serve in silence ,would still be in place.

  14. There would be a regular stream of LOBBYISTS walking through the White House doors, even though you promised to close off access.

  15. The Defense of Marriage Act would still be as strong as the day it was passed.

  16. It would be MORE expensive to attend college, then the year previous.

  17. There would be less federal grant money available to the kids that are able to attend college.

  18. There would still be reports of massive casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no clear sight in exiting.

  19. You would continue to fund these wars with "off the books" appropriation.

  20. None of the people responsible for starting both of those illegal wars (only CONGRESS can declare war) would be actively prosecuted. And there would be no plans to do so.

  21. The President would grant blanket commutation to the entire Central Intelligence Agency.

  22. Nothing would be done on our country's commitment to Darfur, Sudan or East Timor.

  23. The President would spend so much of his time trying to appease, reconcile and "win over" Republican law-makers.

  24. His first strike against "terrorism" would come in the guise of Africans...pirates?

  25. Pres. Obama would buy into, FULLY, the "Trickle-Down" economic policy of his predecessor, by giving untold trillions to the Banking Industry, billions to Detroit automakers and billions more to Pharma.

  26. Chicago school-children would have to be beaten to death ON CAMERA, THEN POSTED ON YOUTUBE to get attention from his White House. Well actually, I did kind of know that one.

  27. He would allow his efforts at reconciliation with the Republican to embolden the worst amongst them and allow their voices to go unchecked during a long, hot summer of visceral public debate.

  28. The Patriot Act would be strengthened and broadened.

  29. The claims of Executive Privilege would continue to cloud inquiries into access and release of documents

  30. Gitmo would still be open.

If you had told me any of these things would be true one year after President Obama's election, I would have labeled you a fool. The fact that all of these things ARE true, as of this very moment, is disturbing beyond description.

The single biggest issue I have with this President (and the single biggest issue of his candidacy) is Health care.

Candidate Obama never discussed Health Insurance companies having the "right to make a profit." There is no such "right" in ANY economic system, especially Capitalism. The forces of the market shit you out, or you find a way to ride the tide. There is no "right" involved.

Yet President Obama has made such a comment on several occasions...and stands by them as of my writing this post.

Candidate Obama said the words "Universal Health Care" 17 times during his primary battle with Hillary Clinton. President Obama took Single-Payer (the only form of Universal care used around the world) Health Care off the table on his third day in office. Thus relinquishing the strongest bargaining chip we, as a people, had with the Insurers.

Candidate Obama stated a goal of "HEALTH CARE for every American." President Obama now talks of "HEALTH INSURANCE for every American."

Candidate Obama asked us to vote him into office "now, because we have too long lived on the promise of 'another day.'" President Obama's Health Care (Insurance) legislation is set to BEGIN in 2013, which is conveniently after the next Presidential election.

Listen to him before the Iowa Caucuses:

So his most important promise of the campaign, giving all Americans access to health care, has become a Bill that: will cover 2% of the population, force the REST OF US to BUY insurance from the companies that have denied coverage, given substandard service, priced premiums so high as to force bankruptcy on millions of families (medical bills are the #1 reason for bankruptcies in the U.S.), continue to disallow negotiated prices with the Pharmaceutical Industry on prescription drugs and do nothing about the high price of hospitalization in this country.

That is the REALITY of this Bill, regardless of how many times this Joker uses the fake word "robust" to describe it.

All that said, I am over the "promise" of this President. He has had more than enough time, more than enough of a mandate and more than enough support to eliminate all these issues that impact ordinary Americans. That is why we voted for him.

The timid, toe-in-the-water President we have witnessed over the last 365 days has been a resounding disappointment to me and, I suspect, you. So come 2012, he won't get my vote.

Democrats always know the Progressive (of which I count myself) wing of their party will not vote for a Republican (if there is one, once Sarah gets done with it), which is why he spends so much time and effort wooing the "Centrists and Moderate Republicans." And they are right, I couldn't bring myself to do such a thing. But I sure as well won't vote for him, even if that means I don't vote at all.

Too many in the echo chamber like to say that the Founding Fathers fought for, Dr. King marched for and and various others died for, our right to vote. That is the most patently ridiculous thing I've heard.

All of these people fought, marched and died in the quest for Representative Government. Since I feel I don't have a "representative," I think I'll just sit the next one out.

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