Has the time come to decide?
At exactly what point does a liberal decide that enough is enough?
What if our President proposed gutting the Voting Rights Act? Or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934? Or if he said that labor unions no longer needed the protection of the Wagner Act? Or the antitrust laws were no longer necessary?
Because it appears that he has offered up two key pieces of the New Deal and the Great Society for Republicans to gorge themselves on. The man who brokered a deal to preserve the Bush Tax Cuts just last December, is now the socialist who is going to do what neither Ronald Reagan nor George W. Bush were able to do: gut Social Security and Medicare. And Bush had Republican control of Congress.
No one knows what the President is agreeing to with his new golf buddy John Boehner. (By the way, did Martin Luther King or Adlai Stevenson or Hubert Humphrey play golf? That probably accounts for that inconvenient backbone that they had.) Maybe dangling Social Security and Medicare out there is just a ploy, some clever ruse to position himself for re-election.
But even if it is, why should we care to re-elect him? What can we expect from a second term of Barack Obama? He has successfully continued the major achievements of George W. Bush and he is now engineering something that no one since Barry Goldwater thought achievable. His recent neo-liberal nonsense is not much different from Mitt Romney. Hell, his most liberal achievement was Mitt Romney’s. He spends more time with John Boehner than he does with Nancy Pelosi. Maybe they are sharing contributor lists?
But what if, you say, the Republicans nominate someone completely nuts, like Michele Bachmann? Is it better, I ask, that a sane man kick down the achievements of statesmen of good will and activists over several life times? Should we be comforted that a man who memorized some of the phrases of liberals is the one who makes the income gap in this country (already greater than at any time since the beginning of FDR’s Administration) even greater? Should we be proud that an African-American is the one who perpetuates constitutional violations, condones inhuman treatment and arrogates to himself the right to decide which American citizens are “enemy combatants” and therefore able to be killed at his whim?
Mitt Romney might not look as cool putting at Andrews Air Force Base, but I bet we’ll get over it. Michele Bachmann probably doesn’t golf (the Bible says that men play golf and women cover their heads), but I’m sure she will do something that will equally amuse us. Maybe speak in tongues.
The fact is that after the largest economic crisis in any of our lifetimes, the best the left could produce were the neo-liberal bromides of the new “centrist” Obama. It looks like we are going to have to go through an even bigger crisis before the left starts thinking for itself and stops cheerleading someone who, for reasons that none of us can know, has decided to undo programs and turn his back on principles that made up nearly a century of statesmanship that he has no affinity for. And while he is betraying the needy for the benefit of the powerful, the country sees him as a “liberal.”
It’s better we take our lumps now and start over from scratch.