Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Blues

“This is the fourth Thanksgiving of economic hardship.” a CNN reporter lamented.  “Where’s the leadership coming from the White House?”

Workers especially, blue collar and white collar workers, the base of Obama’s support, core Democrats usually, have had it.  They are anxious and fearful; jobs are scarce, the future looks bleak.  

The president is sliding in the polls, now down to a 44% approval rating. His economic advisors are nowhere.  Are they all in the pockets of the wealthy corporations?

Obama’s foreign policy is all bombast and bombing, all war, no peace. What a sad spectacle.

After the disappointment of Hillary’s loss, I supported Obama. Wholeheartedly.  It was a historic election and I had lots of hope. 

Those hopes have been shattered.  Obama thinks the Occupy movement is like the Tea Party. He acts as if it’s okay to compromise the interests of the majority for the 1% who control most of the country’s wealth and power, and that the anger this causes ordinary Americans will dissipate before the next elections.  He seems to think that fighting multiple wars that are not in America’s self-interest is okay, that spending money on foreign wars is better than spending money at home.  He thinks that the US can go into many different countries, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, all of them, to tell them how to behave, bombing whatever targets we want, whenever we want.

Americans do have short memories, like forgetting that the Reagan and Bush administrations began this downward economic spiral through their embrace of  “deficit spending,” decreasing taxes for the rich, and creating and enforcing wars and federal policies supporting wealthy  corporations like Halliburton, banks and Wall Street financial mega-institutions.   

These institutions profited from government welfare for the rich, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These are the same folks who literally sold Americans down the river, got government bail-out money (OUR money), then used it to enrich themselves at the expense of working Americans.  Many of us are reeling from the results and effects of these policies.

The anger is real, widespread, and deep. The sense of injustice and unfairness that inspires the Occupy movement is one symptom, the sliding polls another, the dissatisfaction of workers another, the disappointment of loyal Dems another.

Worse of all, the Obama administration has created an audience ripe for the Republicans’ multi-billion dollar PR machine, now gearing up to blame it all on Obama, to get Obama.     

But if Americans turn against the Democrats in 2012, it won’t be because of the Rove, Cheney, Halliburton PR machine, which will be formidable.

It will be because after four years of the Obama administration Americans are not better off.  America is at war, not peace; we are in economic crisis, not economic prosperity, not even close.  The Obama that once meant hope, now means despair.

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