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« Man Chucks Tomatoes at Palin | Main | Someone's Gotta Pay »

December 09, 2009

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Liberty Valence

Compromise? I don't think so, deal making, yes, COMPROMISED yes.
I can only speak for myself when I say that I voted for Obama because I thought that it was self evident that the rhetoric of change was more urgent than statements that he made concerning, for example, Afghanistan. That was double talk that I and many others let slip by as a political necessity.
Form follows function, the function that swept him into office was popular support. The form that he has engaged in is to adopt establishment power structures as if they elected him.
It is the wisenheimers that point out that “he told you so,” on Afghanistan and gay marriage. It not only misses the point but is a surrender to cynicism; cynicism not something to be proud of, as if it is secret knowledge that will set me free if only I surrender as well.
He saw that we were organized and took advantage of that. He can just be another portrait in a gallery of underachieving presidents or he can actually be the person that his speeches are written for.
His soaring rhetoric falls flat when he speaks about what he will do for the civil rights of gay people, when he spoke to the Nobel committee, when he announced an escalation in Afghanistan and when he worked the inside game and let congress take the lead on health care and financial reform.
He is not wearing the wardrobe of power well and right now his clothes hang on him like an overlarge costume. That may be part of maturing.
Soaring rhetoric is potent only when it is in fact true and leadership is not just about winning in electoral politics. That may be all he really knows and that may be his default mode and if so, he deserves what he is getting from the heartless, soulless conservatives. I see them as helping me to help him make the right choices. The only power they have is the power that he gives them.
Simply speaking, his latest actions demonstrate to me that he has chosen the establishment over me and about fifty five million others. Change works from the bottom up. More of the same works from the top down. Today, there is risk in depending on the establishment and there is risk in depending on popular support. Especially if he took advantage of us simply for votes.
There are many others that are not waiting for him to do the right thing and that have been far ahead of him for a long time. The march in Chicago on the American Bankers Association is a good example of grass roots activism, the irresponsible media did not cover it as well as the covertly financed teabaggers but it was more focused, more impressive, grassroots and bi-partisan. It was people like that whose work established Obama's base. It was not internet donations and large contributors that elected him. The votes were there for the taking, the money would have come anyway. Don't wait for him, make him get on the train.

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