To the White House:

I just want the President to know that any so-called “deal” he strikes to raise the debt ceiling that involves cutting and/or restructuring Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is a non-starter with the vast majority of the American people, including myself (center-left) and my father (center-right, and kindly disposed to his local Tea Party).

Personally, I donated many hours and dollars to candidate Obama in 2008 (primary through general) and I want you to know that after the last 2.5 years, I wish fervently that I could take it all back.

About the only thing President Obama could do at this point to win back SOME of my respect would be to assert his authority under the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling in a clean way — WITHOUT damaging the economy and subverting the New Deal. I know the President doesn’t want to abuse his authority as the Chief Executive in this way (that he’s far more comfortable waging war without the imprimatur of Congress or assassinating American citizens sans due process) — but for once he’d be on solid ground.

James C. O’Donnell III

*          *          *

WHO IS BARACK OBAMA? (The following links should help pull off the blinders for any remaining Obama fans who thought themselves principled critics of his predecessor rather than mere partisans.)

1. Drew Westin’s “The Three Wings of the Republican Party” — www.huffingtonpost.com/drew-westen/democrats-identity-_b_880135.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

2. Glenn Greenwald’s “Barack Obama is Gutting the Core Principles of the Democratic Party” — www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/21-6?print

3. Frank Rich’s “Obama’s Original Sin” — www.nymag.com/print/?/news/frank-rich/obama-economy/presidents-failure/index5.html

4. Jane Hamsher’s “Breaking Point: Obama and the Death of the Democratic Party” — www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/08-3?print

5. Jeremy Scahill’s “The CIA’s Secret Sites in Somalia” — www.thenation.com/article/161936/cias-secret-sites-somalia

“Using a trumped up crisis to raid the public purse and attack the basic rights and benefits is a very old trick — but rarely is the shock doctrine tactic wielded as brazenly as in the pseudo debate about the debt ceiling. This is naked class war, waged by the ultra rich against everyone else, and it’s well past time for Americans to draw the line.”

— Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”

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