Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama Starts Off As A Divider

For those of you who read these posts, you know that I have already expressed my disappointment in Obama’s abandonment of the whole “Hope Over Fear” pledge, which was the centerpiece of his campaign. Obama going on TV everyday and warning us of economic Armageddon unless congress signs off on $325 million for STD prevention, is just as fearmongery as anything George W. Bush was ever accused of hyping .

I also understand the limits and rules of the political game. Obama has to convince people that the situation is dire if he wants to get his agenda through. However, his supporters and detractors alike should be honest enough to admit that he is not fulfilling his promise of a tone change in Washington.

Today Obama’s oft repeated promise of tone change, a post-partisan era and unity once again showed itself to be little more than political sloganeering as Obama put forward a bill, so partisan, so ideologically charged that not even a single Republican could find a reason to vote for it. In fact, even 11 House Democrats abandoned the popular President, in order to oppose the pork laden spend fest that was the Obama “stimulus” package.

I keep telling myself; ‘The guys not stupid. He must have known that this bill didin’t have a chance at getting Republicans on-board.’ That’s what bothers me so much about it.

Obama could have put forward a bill that was a bit cheaper. One that had a chance of garnering bi-partisan support. He said he wanted votes from both sides of the aisle and he came into office with enough good will to achieve it if that’s what he really wanted. However, Obama seemingly couldn’t wait to cast off this illusion of a new era of compromise and instead put forward a bill that flies in the face of everything Republican’s stand for.

Partisans will love this. That’s not the point though. The point is that eight days into his administration, Obama has shown himself to be a completely different guy than the man who talked of our “unity of purpose” in his inaugural address.

It will be easy for some of Obama’s most heartfelt and loyal supporters to write off the discrepancy between Obama’s words and actions as one of necessity given our current situation. However, I will remind you that the campaign was not that long ago. Obama knew what lay ahead and yet even after his electoral victory kept using the same rhetoric in order to appeal to his supporters and those who didn’t vote for him, but who were open to his promise of a new style of leadership.

So with all due respect, I ask this of Barack Obama’s most loyal supporters. Will you be willing to overlook hypocrisy over the next four years, if the president’s agenda suits your desires or will you hold president Obama accountable for the promises he made and the way he presented himself to the American people?

Your answer to that question should tell you a lot about yourself. Especially those who are relatively new to the poltical process, and I know that’s a whole lot of you.

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