From Vanity Fair Letter from Washington: In a piece by Todd Purdum that is entitled "Barack Obama's Year in Review" and written on the anniversary of his triumphant walk to his inaugeration he said:
"Sure, Obama has made his share of mistakes, rookie and otherwise. But don’t count him out—not just yet. For the fault, dear readers, lies not in our stars, nor even in our rock-star president, but in ourselves: in our impatience, our intemperance, our lack of perspective, our susceptibility to the easy untruth and the quick fix. Barack Obama only rarely falls victim to any of these vices, and, with luck, he may yet save us from ourselves."
I was reminded of how sad I was on that same day that this honest and idealistic young man should have been so ill-used by the members of the Congress that has not done anything of note since LBJ left office, that he is attacked not only by his enemies on the right, such villainous blow-hards as Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Glenn Beck, but by his supporters on the left. Unable to get everything they want legislated in his first year, they have attacked him as not having the back-bone to get their pet projects completed quickly and perfectly. They forget their elation on the night of his election when the crowds overflowed in Grant Park in Chicago and the wild and ecstatic crowd that poured into Washington to watch or even hear first-hand his inauguration. They are so fickle that they have weakened the President in the eyes of his Republican foes,allowing such insignificant Congressmen as Joe Wilson to call him a liar at the State of the Union. The dilly-dallying of the Senate Democrats in writing and voting on a reasonable health care reform bill before the August recess allowed the right-wing, led by such idiots as Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann to create the scare about "death panels". This led to the angry mobs at the August town hall meetings and further damaged the public perception of the actual legislation. Now, as the President has put Congress on notice to complete and vote on a bill before Easter, the House Dems such as Bert Stupak have declared that unless the abortion language in the bill is not more restrictive, and has the wording of his amendment, he will take ten other Democrats with him and not vote for the Senate bill. George Bush had better luck getting Democrats to vote him the authorization to conduct an illegitimate war than Obama has in passing legislation that will help the working class most of all. The beginning of this recession is dated to December 2007 and the collapse of the financial markets is in September 2008, so how does the public perceive that both are the fault of Barack Obama? Because his former supporters have gone to lunch and do not defend him. Are the ecstatic crowds still willing to cheer him on, only wanting a leader? Does such a leader exist?
I am deeply troubled by the politics of the 21st century. It is a politics of fear and greed. Evan Bayh decision not to run for another term in the Senate because Congress "isn't working" is a cop-out of the first order; Teddy Kennedy knew it wasn't working which is why he left what was actually his death bed to hobble to the Senate floor to cast a vote. Only first term Congressman Grayson has the courage and intelligence to demand the governing body change. The old dogs of the Senate are not heard from much, writing or sending out emails to rally supporters of the President to his cause. Resting easy in their Senate seats they draw their salaries, count their donations from the lobbyists and look forward to an easier life,when they too can retire and collect their pensions while getting a job as a university president or a CEO of some company for which they have done favors. Harry Reid should be voted out as the most impotent of Senate Leaders for not forcing Max Baucus and Kent Conrad to push the completion of the Finance Committee health reform bill and stop playing bi-partisan games with the Republicans on the Committee. He should have also warned Joe Lieberman that his Committee Chairmanship was at risk if he voted with the Republicans to fillibuster legislation. Is there anything that can be done now. First, we must remember why we voted for Barack Obama; second, we must remember who steered us into the ditch that Obama is single-handedly trying to pull us from, and third we need to demand of our Democratic Senators and Representatives that they take a page from Alan Grayson's book and get some courage; lastly, when they do something of which we approve, send them a donation, however small.
Todd Purdum also said in his brief article something we should remember:
"Perhaps Obama’s biggest mistake was in believing that his relentless, and usually rigorous, insistence on logic, civility, and calm thinking would carry the day, in the face of a political system that is at once calcified, corrupt, and scabrous in tone. From the very start, Congressional Republicans proved impervious to Obama’s charms and Democrats remarkably unafraid of his personal popularity. Both did pretty much what they always do."