Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Will The Real Barack Obama Stand Up

Will the real Barack Obama, who appeared as Everyman during his presidential campaign, step up and govern for crying out loud.

I'm growing disenchanted with the president who suddenly has donned the cloak of a populist which is akin to David Dukes joining the NAACP. Taxing banks and capping salaries is a bogus effort circumventing the real issues.

Whatever the president is, he's lost the patience of the American people who perceive him as Wall Street's buddy while they are running out of time to save their jobs and stave off foreclosures of their homes. Health reform ranks way down their list of priorities. Yet Obama spent all his political capital on that legislative disaster.

Obama achieved little in saving mostly public sector jobs through the stimulus bill. His efforts to help homeowners with underwater mortgages is all but a complete failure. While banks flourished from taxpayers bailout funds in a matter of months, every day is an eternity for the growing ranks of the unemployed.

Consider the plight of Deb Franklin and her husband. She did exactly what her bank and Obama's Making Home Affordable program asked. All it did was lower her monthly mortgage of $1,423 by $200. Her ordeal is documented in this MSNBC "Red Tape Chronicles."

It is outrageously disgusting. "I don't know if President Obama knows what's going on," Mrs. Franklin said.

While the smug ultra-right conservatives on Fox News may gloat "we told you so," liberals are seething and equally disenchanted in their Democratic president as I am.

Writes Bob Hebert in the New York Times:

Mr. Obama may be personally very appealing, but he has positioned himself all over the political map: the anti-Iraq war candidate who escalated the war in Afghanistan; the opponent of health insurance mandates who made a mandate to buy insurance the centerpiece of his plan; the president who stocked his administration with Wall Street insiders and went to the mat for the banks and big corporations, but who is now trying to present himself as a born-again populist.

Hebert implores the president to draw the line in the sand and tell people exactly where he stands.

The president who has been aloof and remote and a pushover for the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, who has been locked in the troubling embrace of the Geithners and Summers and Ben Bernankes of the world, all of a sudden is a man of the people. But even as he is promising to fight for jobs, a very expensive proposition, he’s proposing a spending freeze that can only hurt job-creating efforts.

Another liberal columnist, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post writes:

Even if he (Obama) were to roll up his sleeves, loosen his tie and start talkin' like his predecessor, droppin' his final g's left and right, nobody would buy the (populist) act. So I hope the White House pays no attention to the critics calling on Obama to cultivate a more populist image. Regaining the political initiative will be a matter of substance, not style -- and also a matter of passion. 

And, more:

He needs to do a better job explaining the impact that last year's massive stimulus bill has had in keeping people employed. It may be the case that he should push for more economic stimulus. It is definitely not the case that he should allow Republicans to stampede him and Congress into prematurely taking action to rein in the deficit, because if the economy remains in the doldrums it's the Democrats who will be punished in November. 

Liberals are pushing the Keynsian economic model and by economist Paul Krugman to jump start the economy out of its doldrums. Many point to Japan as an example of too little too late in which that nation suffered a depressed economy lasting a decade.

Jonathon Capehart, a conservative voice on the Wasington Post, dissects both columnists' opinions with this tidbit:

On health care, jobs, energy, whatever, Obama has been consistent in his push to address these issues. Yet he has been irritatingly inconsistent on the details of those policies.

That reflects my sentiments exactly. Even before his nomination in Denver, I wrote that someday Obama's flourishing oratory will have to be matched by substance.

I really don't care whether Obama is a centralist disguised in progressive clothing or a flaming liberal covertly converting our economy to a socialist state.

Stop the pandering and govern, for crying out loud.

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