December 2010 through April 2011 denotes an important chapter in the history of the relationship between Barack Obama and progressives: this period marks the moment when the president lost the last remnants of the faith that liberals had once invested in him (many of us saw it coming – only we never dreamed it would be quite this bad).
The final stake in Hope’s heart: the president’s atrocious (ludicrous and cruel) “deal” to avert a government shutdown.
The Republicans had begun the negotiations demanding some $32 billion in “draconian” cuts (Harry Reid’s phrase), mostly to social services, the poor, and regulatory agencies.
The president, instead of talking them down some (or countering with cuts to military pork or subsidies to highly profitable corporations), managed to lose another $7 billion in cuts to the EPA, Medicaid, etc. by the time he was done “bargaining.”
This latest (hopefully final) wave of disillusionment with the president began in December, when Obama, with control of the House and Senate, extended the Bush tax cuts without a hint of a fight (these cuts are among the most regressive in history, with 42.5% going to the top 1% of earners; and, at a cost of $4 trillion, the Bush tax cuts are also the single largest driver of deficits over the next decade).
That capitulation couldn’t have been easy for Obama. He had to break a campaign promise for that one… something he has only done 30 or 40 times, at this point.
Here are just a few of the most egregious examples:
Failing to close GITMO; reviving Bush’s “fascism-light” military tribunals; accepting rendition and indefinite detention as new legal norms; torturing Bradley Manning; attacking press freedom (WikiLeaks); threatening Julian Assange with assassination or execution; perpetuating war in Iraq and Afghanistan (Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia…); deploying drones that kill ten times as many civilians as militants (Brookings Institution); allowing huge corporate mergers, including in the media and financial sectors; shielding Wall Street crimes from investigation; threatening Net Neutrality; using black sites to hide prisoners from the Red Cross (a la Bush); continuing the practice of attaching Signing Statements to laws; asserting secrecy and immunity for official misdeeds; making backroom deals with corporations (PhRMA and AHIP); filling his administration with corporate insiders; genuflecting to the fossil fuel industry, nuclear power, and the military-industrial-security complex…
Endless war (as the infrastructure crumbles). Endless pain for the poor. Endless tax cuts for the richest (and least taxed) individuals and corporations in America’s history.
Barack Obama is no Democrat.
This is the Left’s moment of despair. Anger. Desolation. Liberals feel betrayed (as well we should; Obama never even tried to live up to his campaign promises. From the start, he treated his mandate for REAL CHANGE like a plague-infested cootie-sandwich left out in the sun for a few days).
Lick your wounds, my friends. Sulk a little, I understand. But don’t throw in the towel yet.
Because very soon, it will be our turn.
NEXT: The SOLUTION – How the Left can assert our relevance and make the Tea Party look like the make-believe “movement” (brought to you by NewsCorp) that it is.