*updated 15 May 2011
Despite President Obama's evident humiliation in having after two years in office to produce the long form of his birth certificate, there are many on the Right who still refuse to let the issue die, or assume he's still engaged in some kind of subterfuge, or even suggest this was some kind of victory for him. I assure you it was not. A sitting president having his hand forced in this manner has been weakened. To have his very legitimacy questioned and then be forced to produce evidence after 27 months in office? That’s pretty humiliating. You could sense the frustration and bitterness in his demeanour, and then he uncharacteristically lashed out at Trump at the Correspondent’s Dinner a couple of days later. This is a guy on the ropes. He needed some political hit-back. He got it with the killing of Bin Laden…but we’ll see how long it lasts.
The whole argument that his birth certificate is forged is rooted in a belief that Obama is product of the extreme-left. They somehow, despite all evidences, wield so much power that not only were they able to co-opt the American electorate, they selected a foreign born national and even worked within the American intelligence establishment to pull off the greatest forgery in modern times.
Again this assumes Obama represents the interests of the Far Left.
Maybe they should look into what those are the Far Left are saying and how they are evaluating his presidency?
Thus far, he has expanded the war in Afghanistan.
He was contributed in opening up a new front in Libya which now is in danger of developing into a pan-North African conflict.
So, the military-industrial establishment, long the target of the Far Left can hardly complain.
Though utterly outrageous to the Left and the international community, the State Department continues to employ and fund the mercenaries of Blackwater Xe.
With all the talk of budget cuts and dire deficits, Obama's proposed military cuts are inconsequential. This, the key issue regarding America's budget woes is an untouchable issue, an unassailable sacred cow that makes politicians tremble and the Establishment media turn mute.
His appointment of Petraeus to the CIA further diminishes civilian control of the American Intelligence establishment. There are many who are upset of the growing nexus between the military and the Intelligence bureaucracy….that is those who are nervous about it being hijacked as it was during the Bush years.
As I mentioned, he can now claim responsibility for tracking down and killing Bin Laden. Interesting timing. After the utter humiliation of the birth certificate episode, the removal of the most wanted in the world provides a very convenient distraction. Nevertheless, even if the timing was coincidental, the Right can hardly accuse him of being pacifistic or soft in the exercise of American military power.
Abortion? Despite all the rhetoric he's done nothing to aid the Left or hinder the Right on the abortion issue. The Right continues to insist the Health Care Reform funds abortions which it does not. This has been continually debated and refuted, but the Right keeps pushing it. The Abortion trump card is a common tactic employed by the Christian Right in order to shut down the argument and silence any doubters in their circles.
Gun Control? The only reason this is a Christian issue is because most Christians treat the Constitution as Deutero-Canonical. Nevertheless Obama has done nothing to hurt the gun industry or the Right's view of the 2nd Amendment.
Socialized Medicine? Those on the Far Left are hardly happy with Obama's so-called reforms. Rather than remove profit motive and establish either a single payer system like the United Kingdom's NHS, or a hybridized system as found in France or Germany, what did Obama do?
He largely capitulated to the for-profit insurance industry. They're unhappy with having to cover pre-existing conditions, nevertheless those who cannot pay will be eligible for subsidies which in many cases will actually go into the coffers of private companies. Some of the poor will apparently qualify for an expanded Medicaid, but for the most part the insurance industry will actually benefit from this. Those on the Far Left are quick to point out that his Health Care Reform in actuality reforms far too little. He tested the waters and quickly found out that his powers are rather limited. Even the president wielding vast political powers and capital cannot take on the colossus of the insurance industry and the power it wields.
Defense of Marriage Act? Despite all the hot air from the Right wing media, Obama's actions were neither novel nor surprising. Several states have already acted and passed legislation conflicting with DOMA. At this point it has to be worked out in the courts. When Obama lost the 2010 mid-term elections, it made no sense for him to risk political capital defending a federal law which has already practically speaking been overturned, and will likely be overturned when brought to the higher courts. He simply informed Congress to act. The Solicitor General can't defend the law, so like he's supposed to…the president passed the ball to Congress to come up with legislation or pursue a line of litigation. Several presidents have done this in the past. Like it or not there are overlapping issues. The Justice Department has a duty to defend Federal Law, but the Justice Department is part of the Executive Branch…and the Executive Branch plays a role in the legislative process. Thus it is entirely proper for the Executive to make a judgment call and direct the Justice Department to cease enforcing a particular law, and hand the issue back to Congress.
I would also point out that if he really wanted to pursue a 'gay' agenda then he certainly could have acted when the Democrats held both Congressional houses. Nothing was done, again much to the chagrin of the Far Left.
The Guantanamo Prison Camp was supposed to be closed. This has utterly failed and the attempts to avoid the military kangaroo courts has also failed…brought down largely by the Right Wing media and the fear mongering they engaged in. This also has outraged those on the Left.
The Patriot Act was extended, though every Left-wing and many Right-wing groups oppose it as anti-constitutional, and an incremental but significant step toward fascism. Despite what FOX news suggests, Leftist politics do not promote militarized nationalism, authoritarian government, a single collective identity, or view dissent as treason...all hallmarks of Fascism....all promoted under the Bush administration.
And though Obama doesn't project these ideas, he has done absolutely nothing to change the Bush legacy. Hardly what would be expected of a stealth candidate put forward by a Far Left conspiracy.
Obama was humiliated, by a buffoonish Trump no less, and if anything this shows the power of Big Money and what a joke our media is. They should have investigated this thoroughly and debunked it two years ago. They thought it was a done deal, but the Far Right pulled out their oft used Hitlerian tactic…..just keep telling the lie over and over again and eventually it will be believed. Just like the Death Panel farce. Even if you disagreed with the Obama Health Care reform… there is no excuse for employing fraudulent arguments in order to win and/or scare the public into supporting you.
With Trump's showboating it reached almost a crisis point because even more respectable media outlets could no longer ignore what was happening.
This was a shameful episode for him as president and it makes America something of a laughing stock around the world. I don't care, but those who profess to love her so much don't seem to either.
So the Far Left pulled off one of the greatest hoaxes, a master conspiracy and forgery to….elect a Centrist President?.... a president who was elected on an anti-establishment platform…but by the time he took office had thoroughly capitulated and now sits solidly in the Center and in conformity with the Establishment status quo.
He was going to take on the banks and their criminal acts that almost bankrupted the country….but by the end of the election he was taking making contributions by Goldman-Sachs and all the rest. Those on the left already had misgivings by January 2009. They were starting to wonder if they had been duped. And indeed so far, they have been. If Obama is going to push through any hard left legislation or initiatives that will come either at the beginning of the second term if he wins a huge victory which seems unlikely….or in the last two years of his second term, after the midterm elections when he no longer has anything to lose.
Government takeover of the banks? Are you kidding? It's mutual interest. The banks back the politicians, the military machine, they wield immense almost immeasurable power. They can't collapse. They're in a symbiotic relationship with the power structures of the country….they are in many ways 'the' power structure of the country. Of course the government was going to bail them out/subsidize them. They're the ones that can make or break candidates, shape legislation even influence foreign policy.
The complexities of the modern financial system demand technocratic administration…and it is only from this same pool that the government regulation and cabinet positions can be filled. It's not government vs. the banks… that is to misunderstand the nature of the upper echelons of the System. There is an elite that floats back forth between the industry and the government. You can’t pluck a person off the street to administer the banking system.
I'm reminded of a scene from a great movie…The Remains of the Day. In it a rather aristocratic fellow is engaged with others in a discussion and he argues that the common people are incapable of understanding the way the world works. He appeals to the butler and asks his opinion about several political and economic issues. The butler keeps replying that he cannot be of any assistance with those matters. Of course he's being first and foremost…a butler. It wasn't his place to comment, nevertheless he probably would not have been able to answer the questions in an intelligent or credible manner. The aristocrat puffed victoriously on his cigar, his point made.
He was right. It's too complicated, but that's why despite all its failings democracy helps to keep these folks in line. Unfortunately the pool of candidates which we choose from…is often just more of the same. They’re all more or less on the same page. I'm with Churchill…democracy is a terrible form of government, but all the other alternatives are worse. As the years go by, I'm convinced it doesn't work. Let's face it, most people are not even remotely qualified to vote. Nevertheless, it keeps the people at the top scrambling a bit. Between that and they way they stab themselves in the back….things more or less work out. But increasingly the entire electoral process has been hijacked, not by conspiratorial ballot tampering. No, it’s all in the open….it’s money. That’s what drive the whole thing, and if you don’t have any….you’re silenced. The Supreme Court in their recent Citizens United ruling effectively ended what was left of the democracy. Corporations now have free reign. They don’t even have to hide it anymore.
As far as General Motors….it's complicated and I don't profess to understand all the angles. But because we have privatized pensions and the way our stock market works (you know, Las Vegas in Manhattan) there was no way they were going to let a corporation of that magnitude collapse. There were fears of a chain reaction. There were fears of perception and fear that could lead to market collapse. Even many a diehard Free Market advocate was being forced to pause.
There are overlapping considerations. You can say you believe in the Free Market, but do you let the Market destroy your country in order to remain doctrinally pure? Bush didn't think so, nor do any of the powers that be in New York and Washington. Far from wanting to destroy America…they're rather fond of it, especially when it benefits them. They would rather see American flourish as it did in the 1990's when wealth and wealth disparity exploded…only surpassed maybe by the 1980's? Of course debt, deficits, homelessness, credit, and a lot of other things expanded as well.
And finally with regard to General Motors there are security concerns as well. During World War II, many factories were converted to aid and assist the war effort. With the advent of the Nuclear Age, and the growth of technology it was no longer possible to have that kind of military machine…one based on dual use industry and reserves. There was a need for a standing high-tech army that would have to develop its own industries, structures, and mechanisms. Eisenhower helped build this and then in a moment of reflection warned everyone about it…the Complex he helped construct. Despite the fact that the dynamics of modern warfare have changed, there are many who believe there are security considerations…not just economic, but even from the standpoint of keeping some large-scale industry alive.
I'll play conspiracy too for a moment. Many people believe Kennedy was removed by this very Establishment. He had tried to shatter the power structures of the American Intelligence community, and seemed to be aware of the dangers of escalating the Cold War. Thankfully Providence put him at the helm during the Missile Crisis and silenced the Joint Chiefs and other military leaders who during that turbulent era wanted to use Nuclear Weapons in Korea against the Chinese, in Cuba, and in Vietnam. He angered them with regard to his handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion. He did not want to provoke the Soviet Union and Kennedy was not going to pursue another land war in Asia, rightly fearing and heeding the lessons of Korea.
Obama has been compared in some ways to Kennedy. Hardly. Rather than challenge the Machine, he's fallen right in line with it. His recent Panetta appointment to Secretary of Defense and Petraeus appointment to Langley only confirms this.
This whole Birther issue has proved disastrous for him, shown him to be weak, and increasingly alienated from both the Right and Left. He might hope Trump or Palin runs against him. That would energize the Left again, not to vote FOR him, rather to oppose the alternative. It’s evident though he’s getting a bit bitter. As I mentioned, he laid into Trump pretty hard at the recent Correspondent’s dinner, mocking Trump’s tacky and sleazy casino style….
It was unusual for Obama, who usually seems pretty steady and even-keeled.
Obama was probably disappointed to see Trump’s latest profanity laced tirade that demonstrates he’s more of a joke than most realized…except of course to Franklin Graham and other ‘christian’ leaders.
Those that continue to push this Birther issue have already committed themselves to an ideological position and no matter what he or anyone does, they won't change their mind. And I will say it….I do think a good portion of this is motivated by the "He's not one of us," narrative…often a euphemistic expression of racism. Whenever it’s brought up, people scoff and laugh. But coming from the hard right, converting to Christ and re-examining how I viewed the world and the attitudes I harboured in my heart…not only did I have to grapple with the soft-racism I held to, but now I see it everywhere…family, friends, the conversations at the post office. I don’t doubt that most are not aware of it, they simply haven’t examined their own hearts. But the Conservative vision is about protecting a particular version of White Society, the veneer of Christendom and all that goes with it. Those who don’t fit the bill either are enemies or they need to relegate themselves to underling status. That’s not pleasant to say, but that’s how I think, no, I know, many Conservatives think. It’s how I was raised and how I thought for a long time.
This has only been amplified by the radical polarization in conservative circles. Increasingly the Conservative platform is viewed as coherent system and any digression immediately labels you a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, earth worshipper...which is patently untrue.
In addition the loose usage of terms like Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Fascism, as well as Left and Right have only added to the breakdown in both communication and certainly in this case....understanding.