Tuesday, January 26

‘I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.’ Charles De Gaulle (1890 - 1970)

There has been a deluge of pundit opinions regarding Mr. Obama’s (that’s right, ‘Mr.’… he isn’t my president) administration’s first year in office lately, especially in light of the recent senate elections in Massachusetts and the even more recent declaration of a spending cap. The range of these opinions varies, from those that have declared Obama’s administration an utter failure through those who see problems and issues, but have not called it DOA just yet. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is saying that his administration has done a stellar job.

With the election of a Republican senator in perhaps the most Democratic state in the union, the Democrats have lost their super majority in the Senate and may (will) now be subject to the unpleasant reality of endless filibusters, effectively crippling the Senate of any efficacy whatsoever. In retrospect, some of the pundits are saying, Obama should have used the majority to ram his measures through, but that opportunity has now been lost.  Of course, this ignores the reality that he had to ram things through the Congress to get it to the Senate, and that proved impossible enough. Too many Democratic Congressmen were drooling too much at the thought of all of the political might they had, and how much they could translate that into favor for themselves and their election campaign contributors, to make any real effective use of said might. In essence, Obama’s own party undermined whatever efforts he was making. Of course, there wasn’t a supportive Republican to be found anywhere, they of the corporate right refusing to do anything but pout and point fingers.

And so, facing the first real crisis of faith in his presidency, Mr. Obama reacts by announcing a spending cap to appease whoever finds that decision appeasing. The first year in office showed that the administration’s offense was weak and ineffectual. This year has started with a demonstration of an equally fragile defense.

I’m not ready to call the Obama administration a failure. He does, after all, have three years to fix things a bit, and I haven’t forgotten that he inherited this ridiculous mess rather than create it. That said, a tragic history is only an excuse until you admit it and recognize it; then it either becomes motivation to not repeat that history, or a crutch to mitigate responsibility.

I also remember that Mr. Obama and his sidekicks are politicians. When he won in November of ’08 I told everyone that would listen to not forget that simple fact. For all of his fine words and inarguable rhetorical ability, there is no way that Mr. Obama and his handlers maneuvered him into a position to claim the Oval Office without him being a fierce political animal. He still believes in a system that is corrupt to the core and devoid of integrity, and that makes him corrupt too.

While many thought he would be immune to that dynamic, at the best of times I hoped he would simply be less corrupt. Now I’m not so sure. I’m still hopeful in an “I’m not in denial at all” kind of way, but that hope is eroding. While I still believe he was the better choice in ’08 (I respect McCain, but nobody would have been able to handle another 4 years of corporate and military  cocksucking the likes of which George W and Dick were capable of, and which the Republicans would have no doubt forced their candidate to engage in), I’m sadly back in the place where I recognize that saying the Democrats are better than the Republicans is like saying that the second rung on a thousand-foot ladder is higher than the first rung – there just isn’t much of a difference, and rock bottom is still within easy reach.

Maybe Jefferson was right and we do need a real, old-fashioned revolution. I’d vote for a bloodless one born out of the consciences of the masses, a grass-roots effort to promote equality and egalitarianism, but I think we’re getting to the point where we can’t be too picky. Or maybe Obama’s administration can pull this out of the fire…. If they have the will to do so.

That, folks, is a mighty big ‘if’.