Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Will vote for Obama again--but with reservations.

In 2012, we're faced with a clear choice between two Presidential candidates.

Either vote for the flawed incumbent or vote for the even-more-flawed challenger who wants (among other things) to take American women back to the no-choice patriarchal era of the past.

Regarding Barack Obama, it's quite likely we're in for another four years just like the first term.

In the September issue of HARPER'S, there's a must-read article by Thomas Frank on "Obama in the desert of centrism."  And it says things that most of the blind-faith Obama supporters don't want to read/hear.

Here are a few quotes from the article:
"...President Obama has pursued government secrecy to a degree even the Bush administration never dared, and that he has arrogated to himself the right to kill American citizens overseas who have not been convicted of any crime.  President Obama likes (or used to like) to extend the hand of kindness to the nation's bankers: "Help me help you," he implored them back in 2009.  When he decided to go populist and snarl at the One Percent, he took care to dispatch an emissary to New York to let the finance industry know he didn't mean it.  (Just as he didn't mean it when he badmouthed NAFTA or promised to revisit the Patriot Act.)"

"For the Obama years to be terminated [if he loses because of GOP attacks on him as a "socialist"] on such grounds would furnish future historians with vast deposits of irony.  The president is a man whose every instinct is conciliatory.  He is not merely a casual seeker of bipartisan consensus; he is an intellectually committed believer in it.  He simply cannot imagine a dispute in which one antagonist is right and the other is wrong.  No, there is always something honorable about both sides, some concession to be made by each.  His presidency has been one long quest for a "grand bargain," as he has sometimes put it, between red and blue."

"What Barack Obama has saved [referring to the financial crisis] is a bankrupt elite that by all rights should have met its end back in 2009.  He came to the White House amid circumstances similar to those of 1933, but proceeded to rule like Herbert Hoover.  Today the banks are as big as ever, and he has done precious little about it.  The regulatory system is falling apart, and he is too idelogically demure to tell us why.  Organized labor is crumbling, and he has done almost nothing to help it recover.  Meanwhile, the people who told us that finance was king, that the "new economy" changed all the rules, that we didn't really need a strong supervisory state--those people are still riding high, still making their pronouncements from the heights of the op-ed page and the executive branch."

Nonetheless, I will go into the voting booth in November and mark my ballot for Obama's re-election.  If a Romney administration comes to power, it will be with truly dire consequences for the nation and the world.  Better to stay with a President who has scored a few mild victories in spite of willful GOP obstructionism--even if the notions of Hope and Change are little more than campaign promises that, like most, remain undelivered upon.

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