Like I said a few days ago, the Barack Obama I voted for isn't the same guy who is now President of the United States.
I wanted change, optimism, and progressivism. What we're getting is more of the same, malaise, and some sort of amorphous whatever political philosophy.
(There's another opinion floating around in the blogosphere -- that the current Obama is the same as the old one, a non-progressive who is kissing up to conservatives and Wall Street because that's who he has loved all along and just fooled us before. Having read his book, my wife doesn't believe this and neither do I, but it's a depressing possibility.)
Obama doesn't appear to be getting the message of What the f__k is going on? from those who once fervently supported him.
So I urge everybody who signed up with Organizing for America (OFA), the online presence of the 2008 Obama campaign which still sends out incessant irritating emails, to unsubscribe their email addresses.
I just did this using the "unsubscribe" link on the most recent email OFA sent to me. Hopefully that will work for others also.
It felt good to send a message to Obama and Organizing for America that one more progressive is fed up with giving in to Republican bullshit, even though we have a Democratic President, a Democratic Senate, and for the moment a Democratic House of Representatives.
A deal is in the works to temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts for everybody, billionaires included, even though Obama campaigned on keeping the tax cuts only for the middle class.
With the cost of the full extension estimated at $700 billion over 10 years, and the deficit already a horrific problem, there's no good reason to cave in to Republican demands of "my way or the highway." That is, either extend the tax cuts for everybody, or nobody -- because we'll filibuster a continued middle class tax break.
Paul Krugman says in "Let's Not Make a Deal" that Obama should call the Republican bluff.
Last but not least: if Democrats give in to the blackmailers now, they’ll just face more demands in the future. As long as Republicans believe that Mr. Obama will do anything to avoid short-term pain, they’ll have every incentive to keep taking hostages. If the president will endanger America’s fiscal future to avoid a tax increase, what will he give to avoid a government shutdown?
So Mr. Obama should draw a line in the sand, right here, right now. If Republicans hold out, and taxes go up, he should tell the nation the truth, and denounce the blackmail attempt for what it is.
Yes, letting taxes go up would be politically risky. But giving in would be risky, too — especially for a president whom voters are starting to write off as a man too timid to take a stand. Now is the time for him to prove them wrong.
Give in to a bully, which is what Congressional Republicans are, and you're virtually guaranteed to suffer more indignities in the future. Compromise is one thing; surrendering your principles in the face of screaming meanies is a whole other thing.
A CBS poll showed that most Americans oppose the Republican tax plan. Most want the tax cuts extended only for those with an adjusted taxable income less than $250,000 for couples. Even 41% of Republicans favor this, only slightly less than the 46% who want the cuts extended for all.
So it's time for Obama to take a stand, or he's going to end up leading the country in a dangerous unpopular direction and losing his core supporters. There's still hope -- if I didn't believe in Obama, I wouldn't have voted for him.
He just needs to get a wake-up call. If lots of people unsubscribe from Organizing for America mailings, that would be a good start. (FireDogLake had a similar take on OFA a week or so ago.)
Pleasingly, Organizing for America asked for the reason I was unsubscribing my email address. Here's what I told them:
Because Obama and OFA have caved in too many times. Obama isn't the guy I voted for. Neither is OFA the organization I sent some large donations to back in 2008. I'm done with both of you until you show some guts and stand up for progressive principles. Giving in on tax cuts for the wealthy is the last straw for me.