I actually began this column in April but set it aside after the first couple of hundred words because I felt it was premature to write off a President only a few months after his inauguration for a second term. Recent events, however, have compelled me to dust it off and finish it, just as those same recent events may have finished our President.
Barack Obama was elected twice, the first time because people were ready for a change after eight years of a Republican administration that rather frighteningly bungled the country’s foreign and domestic policies, and the second time because his opponent was little more than a wooden wind-up toy and pitch man for the American plutocracy.
President Obama’s supporters will one day look back and say, “he tried,” and will attempt to explain away his failings by saying he was ultimately undone by a spiteful, racially motivated congress that could not come to grips with a black man occupying the highest office in the land.
And while there may be some truth to the later part of their argument, it is the former aspect that is actually more troubling.
Did he try? Really try?
Most notably, during his first term he set out to change the health care system with the goal of bringing down costs. But before the debate ever really got underway, he yielded to pressure from the insurance and hospital lobbies and pulled the public option from the discussions that eventually led to the passage of what is know commonly called “Obamacare,” easily one of the most controversial and vilified pieces of legislation ever enacted.
By backing away from the public option, Obama rendered more or less meaningless everything he’d said about hope and change and proved he was no different than most everyone else in Washington D.C. who, once in office, adjust their behavior and their rhetoric with only one goal in mind — remaining in office.