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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The fading Obama myth

The myth surrounding President Barack Obama is disappearing faster than Rod Blagojevich's political career. The great reformer is caught up in mounting questions about his actions. The agent of change is turning out to be more of the same.


The myth surrounding President Barack Obama is disappearing faster than Rod Blagojevich’s political career. The great reformer is caught up in mounting questions about his actions. The agent of change is turning out to be more of the same.

"I screwed up," Obama admitted Tuesday after two cabinet nominees withdrew their names from consideration after admitting they forgot a little item like paying taxes. Another tax cheat, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, remains part of the Obama administration — raising questions over whether or not the President is able to keep his promises to the American people.

While it is refreshing to see a President admit failure (something George W. Bush would never do), Obama’s contriteness comes only after he got caught in an increasing string of failures to keep his campaign promises. The man who promised a complete break with the past is making too many exceptions in his appointments. The man who promised no lobbyist would be involved in his administration is hiring lobbyists. The man who promised zero tolerance in ethics problems is looking the other way when someone he supports is ethically-challenged.

Obama knew his pick for treasury secretary had a tax problem but went ahead and selected him. He knew New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had a reputation for playing fast and loose with the rules and the truth but nominated him for Commerce Secretary. Richardson’s withdrawal as the FBI closed in on a "pay for play" scandal is becoming the norm rather than the exception for the new, two-week old administration.

Obama is acting more like a street hustler from Chicago than a new President with a fresh, honest approach to government.

The President went into damage control mode Tuesday, going on national TV and admitting a mistake but the attempt looks more like a public relations stunt than honest contrition. I’m not sure at this point if Obama is any more honest than the liars-in-chiefs who preceded him in office over the past several decades.

Partisans, of course, will defend Obama with the usual, relative-based defense of "yes, perhaps, but Bush was worse."

Sorry. I don’t buy into that relativity crap. Here are Capitol Hill Blue, we measure everyone by the same yardstick. Bush was a miserable failure as President but that does not give Obama a free pass.

A President is either honest or he is not. He either keeps his promises or he does not. He either starts delivering on the voter hope that put him into office or he starts planning on what to do when his one term in office ends.

Obama’s term is brand new and he still has time to recover but he has to start acting like the man he claims to be. Right now, he’s coming across as just another political phony put into office by a flawed system that may have outlived its usefulness.

57 thoughts on “The fading Obama myth”

  1. Nogood…you’re on to something.

    Voter responsibility is a pain in the ass…so much so that for the past 250 years voters seem to be less and less engaged in taking responibility for the quality of government.

    But, all still cry foul. I have little to no sympathy for anybody right now…

  2. I guess Mr. Thompson would like to see Jesus Christ as President. Oh, Doug would probably find something wrong with Him. Obama has not been in office three weeks and stones are already being thrown.

    It is not with Obama that I find fault, it is with the low-life that over the years have cheated on their taxes and got away with it. How? Had me or any common person done what these scums have done, we would be looking at the sun through bars, but they do it and get away with it. I feel Obama did not know about these scums and the scums thought that they might just get away with it.

    Payday is someday!

  3. Easier:

    Join an existing major party, help reform it, and then throw the bastards out. When you are part of one of the big two you automatically have some clout that will take you decades to get with a third party.

  4. Eliduc

    The solution to a corrupt government is really very simple, on it’s face. Form a grass roots third party and throw the bastards out.

  5. Oh Doug, fer chrissakes!!

    disappearing faster than Rod Blagojevich’s political career

    more like a street hustler from Chicago than a new President

    Less than a month. It took less than a month for you to start with the over the top rhetoric, after admonishing us to “stop hating”, after telling us to stick to the issues.

    I can’t say I’m surprised Doug, given your Jeckyl and Hyde nature of the last six months, but after reading all those columns I can only call this latest one hypocritical.

    I find it difficult to believe that someone who has been in politics as long as you could possibly have garnered such unrealistic expectations.

    To wit:

    “A President is either honest or he is not. He either keeps his promises or he does not.”

    Doug, you know damn well that is NOT TRUE. The world is not such a black and white place.

    You’re making it sound like there’s no difference between Bush and Obama.

    Is that really what you intended to say?

  6. Deja…

    Firstly, I’m not dripping with love for any of the folks you’ve named, but who would you have selected?

    I’ve probably slammed Obama as much as anybody for bringing in a few of these folks. But, we’ve got’em…so now what? We keep throwing rocks? Do we all just pen-stone our President to death?

    Is it possible that the selections might have been different had the market place not visibly crashed two months priorty to November 4th?

    I’m way more concerned about the ownership our our Congress by the Corporations who backdoor run our government…lock, stock, and barrel. They are Constitutionally responsible for appropriations. They made the laws…such as Commodities and Futures Moderation Act of 2000 and the Gramm, Bailey, Leach Act of 1999 that removed any regulations from the SEC and the CFTC over Credit Default Swaps, Derivatives…and gave loose reign on subprime lending practices.

    In other words, our Congress created a legal way for our lending institutions and market place to steal…yes, legally steal savings, pensions, and investments from folks not just in America, but around the world.

    What do WE do about that…you know the people who voted all of the bastards in office then cried…”BUT I WAS DECEIVED, LIED TO BY THE BAD POLITICIANS AND THE MEDIA”? I WAS TRICKED INTO VOTING FOR THEM! Yeah, right. Give me a break.

    What is the solutions at hand for the electorates…the citizens?

    As you do, I hear and see the gripes from everybody from dusk till dawn, every day of the week. WHAT THE HELL DO WE do about it? “We The People” have been Constitutionally charged with responsibilities as well. We The People are the FOURTH BRANCH of GOVERNMENT. We are a part of the “check and balance” system.

    Ohhhh Woe is us…Boooo Hoooo!

    Everybody needs to stop whining, get off their asses and start flooding their Congressional members with letters and voice their discontentments, but also their opinions, offer their solution…ending those emails or letters with…we’ll fire your ass if you fail to perform your job. Oh, and by the way…stop sucking Corp Tit! We hired you.

  7. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Read John Taylor Gatto’s “Dumbing Us Down” and “The Underground History of American Education”. They’re both eye-openers as to our government’s true intentions which have gone horribly awry.

    And for President Obama’s true purpose (as Rachel Maddow says, “Talk Me Down”, somebody, if this is wrong) see this:

    And for information on where our bailout money actually went, see this:

    “What Cooked the World’s Economy?”

    Now, if these articles are nothing more than conspiracy-theorist crap talk, inform me as to why, please.

  8. I still haven’t forgiven the man for appointing establishment neocon crooks like Emmanuel, Clinton, Summers and Geitner let alone Mr. Big-Banker-Caretaker WMD-Tycoon Israel-Pandering Slob by the name of Biden. It’s getting REALLY, REALLY REALLY hard for me to imagine any real change happening with characters like these manning the controls. I hope more than words can convey that I’m dead wrong. Otherwise, I may just be dead.

  9. Uncle Ludwig…You’re In the Groove.

    I want to repeat my posting in response to an exchange between myself and Bryan McClellan. I like Bryan’s postings, by the way.

    So, Hence my posting on the first page of this article by Doug:

    “We have become a nation of victims.”

    My point is that until we (every individual citizen) stop pointing the finger of blame at “them, they, it” and look at the underlying problem, which is way more connected to our abilities (or lack thereof) to use reason and logic to examine our system and the history of our government. We simply are not applying those abilities OR we have something way more dangerous going on in our nation than a market crash and potential depression… or even bad government. We have a staggering deficit in our nation’s literacy as it relates to basic civics.

    For those of us who are members who post in this forum (and of course similar sites) are the “exception”, not the rule, of basic, intermediate, and advanced civics literacy. Consequently, none of us in this forum have an excuse for being sucked in by media and politicians in this day and age. None of us.

    Yet, right before my eyes, I see that there are a slew of victims of our government and media right here in good old CHB who are in awe, overwhelmed, frustrated, outraged, and who cry foul because once again the media and/or politicians have lied to them and ripped them off.

    I’m sorry, that’s just isn’t making any sense to me. Until we all stand up and admit that we have an electorate problem…recognize that “We The People” are as much the problem as those who we are ready to crucify in Washington, then all is futile.

    We electorates can no longer use the excuse that politicians and media bamboozled us with false promises. We continue to live in false expectations. We have to stop living reactively and start living proactively.

    Our corrupt government hasn’t taken anything from us in any respect. We The People have surrendered to our government all that we’ve lost via either ignorance or apathy.

    Our Growing Ignorance About Government:

    We have an incredibly large population who can’t tell you who their Congressional members are. They can’t tell you how a Bill becomes Law. They can’t tell you how the Electoral College works. They can’t tell you the name a single Supreme Court Justice. Many can’t tell you who the first president was. In fact, they probably can’t name four presidents prior to Kennedy. They can’t tell you who the mayor of their city is much less than any council members. You get the gist of what I’m referring to.

    We The People have been so divided over the past few decades. We are rapidly losing a common sense of purpose, values, and traditions. Our kids across the nation are in school systems that are de-educating them. They’ll suffer dearly for it. I could go on and on about the systemic social problems that plague our country, but it would just burn posting space.

    Thanks for you view Uncle Ludwig…it’s a realistic opinion, IMHO.

  10. Obamania on patrol… please, please, please don’t ruin our illusion… no matter what he does. After all… he’s just a babe in the woods… a poor little lamb that has lost his way. Bah bah bah.

    Stimulus package??? Fools.

  11. Thanks for such sweeping solutions…

    We elect them, so now fire them all. Toss it out. Do a “do-over”.

    Yep, that’ll happen.

    Fact is, we either accept the American ideal of “citizen government” and all its (our) failings, or we install something we’re all a little more comfortable with…say, a monarchy?

    Let’s face it, folks. We the People haven’t paid enough attention for so long, the Parties are just divvying up the country to all their financial backers, and we “don’t know what to do.”

    Get active. Make the governance of this country a personal thing!

  12. “It would be nice if damaging criticisms of our president could be withheld until he has a chance to get his bearings. There will be plenty of time to criticize along the way, but give the man an opportunity to get into action. Right now, he needs support, not negativity from the media.”

    Don’t hold your breath on that one, KK. It’s becoming a feeding frenzy. There’s a streak of meanness here that just doesn’t seem to go away.

  13. Just a shade over 2 weeks, & the wolves are turning on him….that proves one thing…and not about President Obama, but rather, about the citizens of this country.

    What it proves is with a populice so quick to condemn, so quick to disparage & renounce, there is no way in Hell ANY economic stimulous package will, or could, ever work…no matter where it comes from.

    There is no sense of teamwork or unity left alive in this country–there is only condemnation, followed by self-inflicted annihilation…national suicide.

    And They Shall Eat Their Young….

  14. Oh ye of little faith. Judging a president’s performance in the first 100 days is way too soon. Judging it in the first two weeks seems a tad hasty.

    While I agree the President should be monitored, for want of a better word, but not slashed.

    We all knew Obama was going in as a rookie, right? We all knew Washington was a sludge pot of corruption, cronyism, and cockiness, right? Are we saying we really expected Obama to Swiffer his way through Congress? Is that realistic?

    I’d like to see a list of the Republicans who knowingly withheld taxes including giggling-with-glee McCain.

    Obama has strict rules about the behavior of lobbyists — he didn’t say he wouldn’t hire one if that one was right for the job and followed the new strict rules (2 years non lobbying at both ends of employment term). That isn’t made clear in this article.

    It would be nice if damaging criticisms of our president could be withheld until he has a chance to get his bearings. There will be plenty of time to criticize along the way, but give the man an opportunity to get into action. Right now, he needs support, not negativity from the media.

  15. For God’s sake, Doug, the man has been in office for only two weeks. 14 lousy days. It took W. and company eight years to create the mess he has to untangle. Do you seriously think he’s a failure because he hasn’t undone their incompetence in that time? Where is your head?

  16. “Right now, he’s coming across as just another political phony put into office by a flawed system that may have outlived its usefulness.”

    The alternative system is? Surely, it must be a hybrid of which 21st century political reality – Denmark? Israel? Canada? UK? Japan? Brazil? Australia? Spain? South Africa? “Enquiring” minds want to know.

    The “system”, to which you refer, must surely, absolutely and most definitively have consumption as its cornerstone, right? If not, I completely and totally reject the premise of your editorial today. After all, isn’t that what is driving the decisions being made on your behalf and mine in DC?

  17. “Sorry. I don’t buy into that relativity crap. Here are Capitol Hill Blue, we measure everyone by the same yardstick. Bush was a miserable failure as President but that does not give Obama a free pass.”

    I agree Doug about the free pass, but I do NOT agree that Obama is acting like some street hustler from Chicago.. That to me is Bullsh!t, and frankly, beneath you…

    A Hustler NEVER would have weekly You Tube chats with the American people, now would he?

    But let me guess, Doug. You havent watched a single one, have you?

    Obama shows his true colors when he IMMEDIATELY admitted he made a mistake in with his selections… He is TRYING to follow his promises about a more transparant governemnt. Why dont you give the guy HALF a chance before dragging him over the fracking coals??

    And FYI, I am a 54 year old WHITE male who is harldy a Obama partisan…. I just happened to have voted for the BEST man for the job….

  18. “just another political phony put into office by a flawed system that may have outlived its usefulness.”

    Really? Four poorly vetted nominees equal a failing democracy?

    I want post an eloquent response to this post and to that comment in particulr. But then actually I think this reposne is most approriate:

    Dude [Thompson], chill out bro!

    haha, more seriosuly though, please don’t compare my President (and yours) to a street hustler.

  19. Oh for crying out loud! Don’t you ever go to work for me because you’d be subject to your own standards and shown the door the first time you passed gas during your probationary period.

  20. If it comes to violence we will win. No army has ever defeated the local populace. This doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a blood bath, but that eventually the local populace would regain control, usually after thousands, perhaps millions die and many years of struggle.

    There have been a lot of fires near us recently, mostly businesses burnt to the ground. I have a feeling there will be many more, though it will shift from owners committing insurance fraud to arson with a political agenda. Arson is really the most damaging with least risk to the perpetrator.

    I just hope they have the sense to burn the places when they are empty so it’s just material losses borne by the global corporations. Any civilian deaths and your cause it lost as it will be demonized by the corporate media.

    You will be branded a traitor and possibly convicted to death via anti-terrorism laws. That’s if you even get a trial. Might be they just rendition you to another country and torture you for 10 years or even the rest of your life.

    Without media coverage we have no way to get anything nationwide organized. How many of you were aware of the veterans that took over the national archive March 19th 2008?

    Media blacked it out because they were afraid it was the start of a popular uprising. How many other local popular uprisings have already been put down without our knowledge?

  21. We all hoped that he would not hire out of the “regular hands” on Capitol Hill, but the explanation was that he needed people who could hit the ground running, that knew the ropes. All these people have histories, so they’ll all have stuff like this in their past. What amazed me was the senior aides thinking that the public would stand for people who aren’t paying their taxes, despite their big fat paychecks. Didn’t the attitudes about the bailout VP and P’s signal where everybody’s heads were at? It’s not Obama’s fault that they are cheaters, and if he follows his own dictum about getting old hands to run, he’s going to have a lot of problems for a long time getting lily pure people to take these cabinet posts.

    It is too bad that he wouldn’t take the likes of Ralph Nader on, nor Ron Paul. I would have liked to see Kucinich work in the cabinet, but then we would lose him in the Congress where he is much needed. I would have loved to see J. Stiglitz, who predicted this mess years ago and who has actual solutions to our problems, over that pompous as*hole Larry Summers. So he was a big disapointment in that regard. Most of us on the ground had our doubts (here in Chicago, where we know where he comes from) and are not surprised.

  22. Think for a minute as to why the government wishes to regulate the ownership of arms for regular citizens. Why would they want to do this? Hmmmmm…

    But, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion…

  23. If we were to fire CONGRESS, abolish the IRS and the FEDERAL RESERVE, it might be hard for awhile, but things would definitely improve in this country. The question is, how do we go about getting this done? How do we completely change the entrenched financial system we’ve had the past century? It was wrong to start it in the first place, and it needs to be changed. Congress has been bought and paid for, so they need to GO. How do we do this?

  24. I agree with all these comments but who doesn’t cheat on their taxes in one in one way or another, get rid of the IRS, it’s just there to make sure we pay a never ending debt to the Federal Reserve who prints the funny money and is responsible for most of our woes. Fact is Obama can’t change the direction this country has been on for many years, one man can not overcome that kind of inertia. Hell, if he started making the real changes we need right now he would probably get shot. The point is we have got to get off the couch and start being the people that this government is supposed to be about instead of bleary eyed crybabies who were asleep at the wheel until 9/11

    I believe Obama could be more than an establishment puppet, a shade tree mechanic, weather you like it or not, that is up to us and how we act if he is to be the leader we desperately need.. I truly believe he wants to do the right thing, what man wouldn’t in his position. It is not his job to look good in the eyes of everyone at the same time, that is impossible. He can not do it alone, as someone said earlier we have to ring the bell until they listen. There are a lot of good people coming out of the woodwork these days, look at Code Pink, John Perkins, Whole Foods corporation, truth tellers like Noam Chomsky, Yuri Avnery and so many more.

    There are monumental battles going on now between the corporate world and universal heath care, the environment and our foreign policy. You have to admit, these are some exciting times we are living in and the outcome depends not on one man but one people.

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