Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hymne a L'Obama

"If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill." -- Barack Obama, North Carolina speech.

"If the sun should tumble from the sky,
If the sea should suddenly run dry,
If you love me, really love me,
Let it happen, I won't care.

If it seems that everything is lost,
I will smile and never count the cost,
If you love me, really love me,
Let it happen, darling, I won't care.

Shall I catch a shooting star?
Shall I bring it where you are?
If you want me to, I will.
You can set me any task.
I'll do anything you ask,
If you'll only love me still". --
Edith Piaf, Hymne a L'Amour

King of Swing (States)

Normally, when  somebody in a frenzy-whipped Obama campaign rally yells out "I love you", the perennial candidate/sometime President replies: "I love you back!"  In this case it was probably too much to expect a response along the lines of "If you love your country, support this bill."  

Unfortunately when we set him any task (like a Public Option, protecting the environment, stopping the wars), he does virtually nothing that we ask.  It does indeed seem that everything is lost, and the cost is all on us.


Ciara said...

Obama, I'm thinking, doesn't actually want to win these fights. He is a smart man. If he wanted to win, he knows how to do it. Or at least how to try. Since he doesn't even really try, however, we must conclude that he doesn't actually want to win. I'm not sure what kind of bizarre head-game he is playing with himself. I only know that it's at the expense of principle and us.

Valerie said...

I feel quite discouraged about Obama and the future of our country these days. You are absolutely right, Karen. Obama doesn't care at all about what the people who voted him into office want in terms of his leadership. He has slavishly worked only for his campaign donors - and ironically to "win-over" those Conservatives who hate him on principle. The rest of us regular folk just don’t matter - and he has made his contempt abundantly clear.

I read now that the Obama camp is getting nervous about all those "angry left" progressives that Barry and his team dismissed or callously threw under the bus. Turns out the Prez needs his alienated base after all if he is to win in 2012. Too bad he doesn't seem to think he needs to give us anything in return for our vote. The Masters of the Universe underestimated how large a group the Angry Left had/has become and how fed up we were/are with Obama's betrayals. Of course, their strategy is not to relent and work for progressive legislation but rather they are counting on their faithful to try to pressure us and scare us into voting for the Lesser of Two Evils.

It is a real shame. Obama, when he came into office, had the brains and support of the electorate behind him to turn this country around – to undo a lot of what Bush/Cheney so effectively put into place. Instead, he was dazzled by the rich and powerful and threw his lot in with them. Well, now he has THEIR undying loyalty.

Personally, I think the DNC should encourage Obama to step down and should replace him. Let him go with dignity – pretend he wants to spend more time with his family – but get him off the ticket before he loses the next election for the Democrats. I think if the DNC took a poll, they would find that most of us would gladly vote for, and would prefer, someone like Russ Feingold to lead the party.

Anne Lavoie said...

First he complains that the Republicans left him at the altar twice, now he appeals to our love for him to help him get a bill passed. The guy needs therapy, or maybe he should just put his mirror down for a change.

What next? Maybe "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for me."

Soon he'll be portraying himself in the campaign as the underdog/poor beaten up puppy for sympathy votes.

Anonymous said...

The line was really stupid. So what. Face it, guys. This is not a Progressive country. And it's not Obama's fault. The country has taken one great big step to the right. The biggest (and growing)segment of the population self-describes as Independent. And those people do NOT lean left. They will determine 2012. Yes, you worked hard and played an important role in his election, but you had 8 years of Bush and war and torture on your side. Those things are "gone" and now it's teachers, unions, deficits, and the whole damn government is the problem. Now do those "problems" garner votes from the right or from the left? Do you think that 51% of the voting public are just wishing that Obama had been more Progressive? Progressives do, but how many is that...maybe 10%? Have you seen the way anti-abortion, immigration, anti-unions, and now anti-contraception bills have gained? What do you make of that? I'd question the belief that Obama needs the base to win. Obama needs the Independents and they lean right.

We've lost the argument and I guess I'm ashamed to have given up already. But I look at the scary GOP8, perhaps soon to be 9, and we've got nothing. And don't give me Bernie. He's a great guy, but do you really think this country is ready to elect a socialist? You guys read. You've seen the same stories I have. Are those indications of a country just longing for a more Progressive president?

Oh, I fear for our country, too. But it's not the president. It's the people.


Ciara said...

I agree with Karen, and I agree with Valerie and Anne. Yet it's almost certain that I will vote for Barack in 2012, despite my alienation and cynicism. Why? Because I'm inclined to agree with the analysis offered by Michael Berube at Crooked Timber -- Yes, we're mad at Barack and rightly so. How quickly we forget, however, just how much worse is was under George Bush. I don't think Barack is filling the DOJ with graduates of Oral Roberts University. I don't think he's deliberately appointing people to FEMA who are known to be incompetent. Etc., etc. Yes, Barack is really bad. But the Republicans are so very much worse.

I don't really expect anyone here to agree with me (well, hardly anyone). I'd be glad if someone were willing to read Berube's analysis, though, and respond to it here.

Denis Neville said...

How pathetic!!! "If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill."

The contrast of the hopelessly naïveté of Obama to Franklin Roosevelt is so stark.

Read the speeches of Roosevelt, who dealt with immense problems that demanded solutions in the face of fierce opposition.

“For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing government. The Nation looked to government but the government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that government is best which is most indifferent.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace - business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred.”

- Franklin Roosevelt's Address Announcing the Second New Deal/October 31, 1936

Hearing such mush, "If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill," from the wimp in these awful times is more than I can stomach. I find myself hitting the mute button, or changing the channel, anytime he appears on the screen.

4Runner said...

Beside feeling betrayed by Barry, I'm also disappointed by Michelle. She seems to have settled into a mousy, housewifey kind of role, tending to her veggies in the WH garden. I really thought she'd be taking on much chunkier chores, far beyond being just a childhood obesity foe. For me, she's gone totally MIA.

Anonymous said...


There are two wonderful articles in today's NYT about the experience of 3 American kids in a progressive Russian school. Please don't miss it. I know we don't agree on much, but I'd bet my bottom dollar you'll enjoy these reports - they address some (much?) of what you had to say about education. Here is the link to the video, but I suggest you start with the Dad's article: My Family's Experiment in Extreme Schooling by Clifford Levy.

The Mom's article is: "Z is the First Letter of the Alphabet"
These were published 9/15/11 NYT


Valerie said...

"Face it, guys. This is not a Progressive country. And it's not Obama's fault." @Ned.

This is where we differ - I think a lot of it - IN FACT MOST OF IT - is Obama's fault. Sure Obama inherited a mess but he also inherited two Houses of Congress that were Democratic and a country hungry for change. Obama has done absolutely nothing to turn this country around and he proved the Republicans right when they said he was in bed with the bankers that crashed our economy and the corporations sucking the life-blood out of the Middle Class.

Do you really think any reasonable person in this country would be against Obama if he had gone after the banks? If he had tried to put a firewall back between investment and commercial banks? If he had tried to break up the big banks? If he had demanded that the second half of the bailout money had strings attached that required the banks to use the money only for low interest commercial and home loans? If Obama had fought for a public option? If Barry had said "Mission Accomplished" after we killed bin Laden and immediately started bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. If he had put those soldiers and that money instead to work on a WPA type project to improve our decaying infrastructure? The truth is, even if he fought the good fight and the Republicans beat him, he would have shown he was a champion of the average American. And with his brilliant oratorical skills he could have shown the country that his political enemies were on the side of the blood sucking corporations.

For most of us, if Obama had used his bully pulpit and had taken a stand on the side of the Middle Class in this country, he would have our support. IT IS VERY MUCH OBMA’S FAULT that he chose to get in bed with the corporations raping this country and very much his fault that people see him for the spineless leader he is. Obama didn't change hearts, other than to alienate his base, because he showed, through his actions, that he wasn't on the side of the American people.

Valerie said...


Thank you for the links. We DO differ on how we see Obama, but I am sure on issues of principle and compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves, we are very much aligned.

Anne Lavoie said...

Ok, I can't help myself.

It won't matter if any of us vote for Obama or not, whether it is with a clothespin on our nose or with enthusiasm. We would be throwing our votes away as surely as if we wrote in our own name. He is unelectable. If I am going to throw my vote away, I want to throw it towards someone who has a chance. (Not that I would even consider voting for Obama again.)

Obama simply cannot win, whether he goes up against Romney or Perry. The only Democrat who has any chance of running a strong race at this point would be Hillary Clinton, not that I necessarily agree with her on all issues, and acknowledging that she is part of the establishment. At least I have never thought of her as a Republican in disguise.

Face it, Hillary would put up a fight. She already has connections, resources, and name recognition. She is also far sharper intellectually than Obama (there's got to be a powerful reason for an Ivy League grad to lock up his academic record - I'm pretty sure he flunked Economics!) with a firm grasp of details of almost any political topic, and with absolutely no need for a teleprompter.

Hillary could make any of the Republicans look foolish in a debate. If you recall, Obama strategically adopted her positions in debates, preempting any possible contrast between them except he was fresh and clean, as Joe Biden said.

I know Hillary would put up a fight for anything she believed strongly in. At the least she would fight for programs that benefit women and children, which is more than what Obama stands (?) for. She would be far better than any Republican. We'd know the difference for a change.

She's far too smart to let her ego blind her like Obama's does. Imagine Hillary saying "If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill". That would be the day! She does her own hard work, unlike Obama.

A President who will not fight for his/her policies, positions, or principles but rather begs the people to do the work is not a leader, and doesn't even seem to be American in character. No wonder people think Obama must have been born in a foreign country.

Obama is a disaster not just for the nation but for the Democratic Party. He not only has no political coattails, he is an albatross. If he doesn't announce soon that he is dropping out of the race, then Democrats should be racing away from him.

Other than Hillary, there is no chance for a Democratic President at all in 2012. Disclaimer: I did not vote for Hillary. I was a rock solid (Independent) Obama supporter from the time he announced he was running in the Primary to his election. It's been all downhill since then.

p.s. Please check out Obama's CREEPY new website where he urges his supporters to report attacks, smears, and gossip. Feel free to report my gossip about his flunking Economics to his stormtroopers at:

Ciara said...

Fwiw, I do agree with Valerie that:

". . . a lot of it - IN FACT MOST OF IT - is Obama's fault. Sure Obama inherited a mess but he also inherited two Houses of Congress that were Democratic and a country hungry for change."

Barack Obama inherited an unprecedented opportunity to change America for the better. And he couldn't wait to keep everything the same. He has done a terrible thing to our country, our hopes and the Democratic party.

Anonymous said...

@Valerie...No argument there were lots of mistakes made in policy. But we could talk/argue for hours about the numbers of "reasonable" people who would have supported Obama while we still had Congress. I remember an awful lot of ugliness starting in March '09 and by the August recess it was jaw-dropping. And we never really had the Congress. From DAY ONE the minority leader of the Senate said his one goal was to defeat Obama. Nothing gets done without the Senate and the Senate Dems were terrified of a filibuster. It continues today...Dems are talking about not supporting the Jobs bill. Kennedy dies and Scott Brown was elected in fall 09...from MA! Coakley was a miserable candidate, but still. That means something. Then we lost Byrd who was somewhat better than Maichen.

However, my focus was about a shift of ideas. Your essay sort of talks about the same thing. People are meaner - I've got mine - you take care of yourself - who wants a safety net - no taxes. Then of course you need to add fundamentalism and anti-science to the mix. Are those Obama policy failures? I don't know what caused it - fear? - effective messaging from Fox and Repubs? - long term planning on Republican strategy? - failure of education? - election of an African-American vunerable to a charge of being ineligible to office? - maybe a convergence of all of those things. Whatever. Very bad timing for us since it happened when the whole Western world was on the verge of economic collapse.

So we wind up with acute Western economic distress, banks failing, two wars, bad unemployment, homes in trouble, car industry collapsing (remember when it was "what's good for GM, is good for America?), states sinking under deficits, rust belt rusting, big manufacturing gone, healthcare costs exploding, last administration vunerable to charges of war crimes, 24 hour propaganda machine working against you, and a very determined and united opposition... I consider that one hell of a daunting list. And all that existed on January 19, 2009.


Valerie said...


Checked out the creepy website and it is REALLY creepy! Who comes up with these ideas? They certainly don't reflect well on the President.

I have never been a fan of Hillary and I really dislike her husband and his pro-corporate agenda - but I am in if she decides to challenge Obama in the Primary. I don't think she will be any better on most of the issues but I agree she will probably take a tougher stance on women and children's issues and I think she might even be willing to go another round on REAL health care reform.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I have a beautiful recording of Bing Crosby singing this song!

Get used to living in a country inn ruins.

On that happy note....

Jay - Ottawa said...

"Are those Obama policy failures? ... a daunting list. And all that existed on January 19, 2009." -- Ned



"... it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart! .... Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels." -- The Godfather II