Saturday, April 02, 2011

Leaving Obama

If Michelle Manning's frustration and disappointment is any indication of what's in store for President Barack Obama in 2012, he may be in very serious trouble. Obama, who made his re-election bid official in a video message released Monday morning, is struggling to retain his most loyal supporters. And Michelle was one of his fiercest devotees.

Back in 2008, a very pregnant Michelle, who's little brother was fighting in Iraq, protested the war and rallied hard for Obama. She took part in out-of-state get-out-the-vote campaigns. She produced the above video at her own $8,000 expense. And she sent the maximum contribution allowed by law. She was one of those people who were ridiculed as Obamacons. She took the Kool-Aid pitcher right up to her face and guzzled until she was drunk on "Change We Can Believe In." No doubt about it, Michelle was hard-core.

And then something happened after the election. There was change, alright, but not the kind that Michelle, and millions like her, expected. The president they loved and fought for was letting them down. He hadn't ended the war, as promised. He escalated the war in Afghanistan. Dropped health care reform's public option. Didn't support gay marriage. Took forever to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. Folded like a $2 lawn chair on repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. They grew angrier as he seemed to care more about placating Republicans than the die-hard progressives who put him in office. And now they're upset that he's gotten the United States embroiled in a third war, in Libya. For the Obamacons, this is not how "Hope" was supposed to look.

Michelle explains why she can no longer support and accept the inevitability of a second Obama term:

"I can't anymore. I worked too hard for him. I gave too much. I stood out in the freezing rain on Super Tuesday in Union Square holding a sign seven months pregnant begging for votes all day. I knocked on doors in Pennsylvania for two days begging for votes while I was nursing my new newborn baby, taking breaks to pump milk with a portable breast pump and a cooler in my car every three hours. I was a maxed out donor. I made two videos I put up on YouTube at my own production expense. He owes me. He needs to at least keep his promises, and he hasn't. I haven't wanted to say anything so as not to betray my party, but I am an American first, and a Democrat second, and keeping my mouth shut is wrong. We need another option in 2012. I'm afraid Mr. Obama is a one term president, and the sooner we recognize that and start working on Plan B, the better off we will be when the time comes. Pretending he's doing a good job isn't helping anyone, and I'm afraid the "give him time" grace period is over. It's reelection time already. I want another option."

To be sure, defections like Michelle's could be devastating to Obama's re-election bid. His approval rating continues to be stuck in the low-mid 40's, if you believe recent polls like Gallup. And half of those surveyed don't want him re-elected. Yet his advisers say that time is on his side. That the economy will improve enough to win over a majority of voters. That may be true. But the opposite may be true as well. Unemployment remains unacceptably high near 9%, and about 14-million Americans are still searching for work. The budget deficit is at a record high, and the economy, while recovering, isn't recovering fast enough. The military engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya won't help him either. People are fed up. They're dissatisfied with the political system and the politicians who've failed them. The Michelles of the party gave their heart to a new lover. Someone who promised an entirely new kind of relationship. They put their trust and faith in Obama, and there's no mistaking that he broke those hearts.

Democrats should be scared. They should start praying that someone like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't enter the race. He 's wildly popular among moderates and independents, and many believe he'd trounce Obama. And while all eyes seem focused on human Ambien pills like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, don't be surprised to see a dark horse like Sen. Scott Brown (MA) toss his truck into the ring. He'd be quite the formidable opponent for Obama. Considering the aggressive, calculating and often ruthless campaign tactics of the GOP, 2012, for all of the reasons stated above, could be a truly horrible year for Obama.

Given this fertile landscape, would someone like Hillary Clinton recognize this reality, and opportunity, and run against her boss? One thing's for sure: Michelle Manning would drop Obama and throw her mighty weight around the Secretary of State in a nanosecond. And so would millions of others. Considering that Clinton actually won the popular vote in the 2008 Democrat primaries, is this such a far-fetched scenario? The conventional wisdom places Hillary atop the 2016 Democratic ticket. But, if Obama were to lose next year, her chances of toppling a potentially popular Republican incumbent in 2016, especially given a very likely, and strong, economic recovery these next few years, would be extremely diminished. As politically incorrect as it may seem, going head-to-head against Obama in 2012 may just be the strategically better bet for her.


Anonymous said...

Just remember: If you want a repub to be elected president, this is how it's done.

Marc McDonald said...

I'm not sure when it was precisely that a lot of us lost faith in President Obama. But for me, it was around the time of the Shirley Sherrod case. It was then that I realized that Obama couldn't even stand up to the NeoNazi thugs on talk radio. He was a wimp.

I've long been sick and tired of spineless, wimpy Dems and that episode just crystalized for me just how gutless Obama can be. To cave in to the likes of Limbaugh was just unforgivable, as far as I'm concerned. I suppose I'll vote for Obama in 2012---but I'll just be going through the motions.

I no longer believe in Obama or the Dems. And frankly, I'm tempted to stand back and let the NeoCons take control---as they'll drive the nation off a cliff, thus paving the way for possible REAL change, as a people's revolution could well be the result.

It's clear that the NeoNazis in talk radio and the Tea Bagger really rule America---and you've gotta give them credit: they stand up and fight for what they believe in.

Anonymous said...

I think Obama has done a very good job under some very challenging conditions. When you stand him up against the final candidate the Republicans fields I think he will indeed win. Is he perfect? Nope. Can anyone be perfect? No.

Charlie said...

I remember this article circa 1995 re: Bill C.

And don't forget how absolutely beatable W looked in 2003.

The incumbent wins--much more than he loses.

I'll go donate to Palin just to insure an infinitely beatable opponent for Barak.

Rick said...

Hillary run aganst Obama from the left? Surely you can't be serious. I supported Obama vs. Clinton late in the primary season precisely because he was (slightly) less the corporate lap dog than she. I wouldn't expect Hillary to be any more friendly to the progressive agenda that the people of the US actually desire than Obama has shown himself to be.

We need a true progressive to challenge Obama - and to do it now, while there's time for the challenge to force the president to do something concrete, to show us real change we can believe in.

Krapotkin said...

I aggree 100% with this Lady! My hope is that we have another choice
to vote for! Where is Gus Hall?

teknikAL said...

I would vote for neither Clinton nor Obama, as I held my nose and voted for Obama in 2008.
You are correct, the only "Change" the voters who voted for Obama got was the "Change" of candidate Obama into President Obama, and they are not the same fundamentally.
I would say Obama has the worst record of saying one thing during the election then doing something else while in office. It is like an overnight "change" which shows me that A) Obama is a great liar; or within a few days of getting elected B) he was given a raft of secret info that changed his opinion or C)someone whispered the letters "JFK" into his ear and let him know that same mechanism was ready to go if he did not go along.... and he does have a beautiful family, doesn't he.

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for Obama in the Primaries. In the General Election I voted against McCain. The lesser of two evils. What a folly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this lady 100%. I voted for Obama, was very active in the primary process, something I've never done in my life.

I will not go out and vote in 2012, and should we get a republican president, in my opinion, we dont lose much. Obama has been a failure, sure he's passed things he promised to pass but he's let his original idea be watered down to the point where it really doesnt help as much as it could had he stood up for what he say he believed.

Health care, a gift to the industry, we're still in Iraq, still torturing people in Cuba, and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, etc are still out there running free.

He's escalated wars, started new ones, and even though he says we're out of Iraq we have 50,000 troops plus contractors there which means our treasury is still financing this Iraq to the tune of Billions per week.

Im not voting in 2012, maybe we can get a democratic house and senate to fight any republican who may win, most likely B O will win but should he not.........

george k said...

The big unspoken secret is that the right is too well funded for President Obama to have accomplished more than he has. They have a 24 hour network that plays everywhere in the country, all day long. I think Obama is playing a prudent game of surviving long enough to be perceived as the adult in the room, and to get re-elected. That'll get more Dems in the House as well. If the Repubs get in and end the EPA, end Medicare, end Public Education, and outlaw Labor Unions, we'll all be on our knees begging for Barack Obama to come back. Let's not all fall for the bait. Let's get him back in, let's get the House & keep the Senate, and then let's work from WITHIN to push the progressive agenda for four full years. It's our best chance. Hillary is much much more of a corporatist and war hawk than Barack. Let's learn from his approach, and chill for a second, and think of the consequences of the Repubs being in across-the-board power. I shudder to think! Let's stick with him and then push him to keep more of his promises when he can breathe for a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Just another dupe parroting the DINO propaganda and voting against her own best interests.

Obama talks like a Progressive Democrat, but he act like a DINO further to the right than Dubya.

DINO Obama threw the Progressive Democrats under the bus, bailed out Wall Street but not Main Street, declared he could assassinate any U.S. citizen without a trial, refused to prosecute war criminals or Wall Street criminals.

Who in their right mind would ever want to vote for someone like that? Oh, that's right, people with a right leaning mind.

It's time to vote out all the right leaning DINOs including DINO Obama. Vote only for Progressive Democrats in next year's Democratic Primaries!

Kevin Schmidt

Anonymous said...

It is truly irrelevant whether Obama or a Republican gets in. In point of fact Obama is more lethal to progress and opposition to destructive national policies than a Republican. The field the Republicans have any one of whch would provoke massive street action whereas Obama keeps conning the street into hope. We definitely need a third party candidate who will deny the vote to Obama and start the formation of a real oppositon to fascism. B. Traven US Army Air Corps 1943-46

Darrel said...

Claim: "He needs to at least keep his promises, and he hasn't."

Two days ago I posted a comment showing, with reference, that Obama has kept 134 specific promises and has 219 more in the works.

But it was censored.

Good job!

Even when we win the looney left works against their own interest to empower the far right.

Anonymous said...

I still have faith...I STILL have hope. I still believe. The only thing we lose with having a republican congress and president is everything. Please educate yourself on the issues and not rely on what ONE cable news reports or only listen to those you agree with. If you went to college on a GI BIll, if you are the beneficiary of a minimum wage, if you are weak, old, disabled and draw medicare or medicaid, social security or have health ins. ck where it came from. Remember those in Congress who are yelling the loudest have (or are) taking advantage of these same programs. They just don't NEED them.

Anonymous said...

Former professional wrestler & MN governor, Jesse Ventura has pointed out that our political/media system is like a professional wrestling match. In wrestling it appears the wrestlers hate each other & are trying to kill each other. There is an announcer telling you that this is so, but everybody knows it's a sort of gymnastic act. The wrestlers & the announcer work for the same employer & they are just putting on a show.

In politics it appears that Democrats & Republicans are battling each other, that there is lots of partisan bickering & nothing gets done. There are arguments about gay rights & abortion. The mainstream media tells you that this is so.

However, there is little publicity when both parties work together year after year to:

Vote for the same bailouts to bankers, e.g. 1990 S&L bailouts & bailouts since 2008

Vote to deregulate the financial industry e.g. Securities Reform Act of 1995 & Financial Services Improvement Act of 1999.

Fund the same wars.

Promote the same so called free trade agreements that offshore our jobs.

Promote health care bills that are give aways to insurance companies, e.g. Bush's medicare prescription bill & Obama's healthcare bill.

Bush & Obama have one character flaw in common: they both work for the benefit of their big donors & they mostly have the same big donors. Obama received more money from the financial industry than McCain did in the last presidential election. With a few exceptions like Dennis Kucinich & Ron Paul this seems to be true of most Democrats & Republicans.

If you don't like abortion or gay rights, vote for Republicans & they will allow their rich donors to steal your money.

If you support abortion rights & gay rights, vote for Democrats & they will allow the same rich donors to steal your money.

They have used these wedge issues very skillfully to distract people from the fact that neither party serves the interests of most people in this country.

John Pilger has been making award winning documentary films for over 40 years. His films are almost never shown in the US. To see his explanation of how the US government really works & who Obama really is, go to:

After voting for Democrats for 40 years, I voted for Nader for president & the Green Party senate & congressional candidates in 2008 & for the Green Party again in the last election.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should face the reality that Obama accurately discerned in 2008 that a strong populist message was a sure winner. I would venture to sat that if Hillary had come out with such a strong populist image rather than the image of 'seasoned and experienced' she chose it would be she who would now be seeking a second term. At this point even should she decide to run against her boss I fear she would share the same fate that Hubert Humphrey was dealt when he secured the nomination in 1968. Of course pure practicality demands that anyone with half a brain does everything possible to keep Republicans (a) out of the White House and (b) in the minority in both houses of Congress once again; it is the only way to buy enough time and hope that a real populist leader emerges in 2016. Finally, I don't think Obama is per se a liar; I think he is just clever enough not to have presented himself as such a strong proponent of DLC free market values.

Anonymous said...

I agree with George K 4:14 pm.
Obama is keeping his enemies closer than his friends for NOW.Discovering the depth of the corruption. Stop and think about the power of this global enemy. It is a strategy that he can't brag about.
Now is not the time for 3rd parties, challengers in hope of winning and then expecting instant change again? Get Real!
Change takes time no matter how efficient our machines are. Read history. Technology can speed things up, organize us but it comes down to changing hearts. That is an inside job and much harder for some.
If we walk away from Obama NOW, we are guaranteed the failure of America. If we continue the fight and push him for four years with all the new awakened citizens we have a 50%+ chance to change the course of America into the next century.
Wisconsin is proving my point. The enemy is brazenly confident from victory and have exposed their goals. We will gain seats in Congress if we keep working to inform our neighbors of the facts and history that brought us here.
Remember, when the revolution happens, the media will not cover it. It's happening and Obama is our only chance NOW.
Kris in Oregon