Monday, February 24, 2014

What the hell is Barack Obama's presidency for?

Ask any Tea Party Republican what he thinks Obama's presidency is for, and he'll probably say some variant of, "To establish socialism in America." 

What with so many conservatives convinced that President Obama is the most liberal president we've ever had, I wonder how they process the fact that so many real liberals are so severely disappointed in him for not being liberal enough, for caving or just seeming not to try, again and again?  

Gary Younge captures liberals' collective regret at the wasted promise of Barack Obama's two terms in office:

Barack Obama has now been in power for longer than Johnson was, and the question remains: "What the hell's his presidency for?" His second term has been characterised by a profound sense of drift in principle and policy. While posing as the ally of the immigrant he is deporting people at a faster clip than any of his predecessors; while claiming to be a supporter of labour he's championing trade deals that will undercut American jobs and wages. In December, even as he pursued one whistleblower, Edward Snowden and kept another, Chelsea Manning, incarcerated, he told the crowd at Nelson Mandela's funeral: "There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people."

If there was a plot, he's lost it. If there was a point, few can remember it. If he had a big idea, he shrank it. If there's a moral compass powerful enough to guide such contradictions to more consistent waters, it is in urgent need of being reset.

By Gary Younge
February 23, 2014 | Guardian

No comments: