Remember, Remember …
by Tom McMasters-Stone
When I started putting this pre-election piece together earlier in the year, I did not know it would be an iPinion entry. I was a big fan of the group back then, but not a member, and was simply writing a personal blog entry. I’m thrilled with the new forum!
First, some suggestions as we approach the approaches the halfway point of Obama’s first term.
POTUS needs a wartime consigliere, and Rahm did not serve Barack well in that capacity- that, or he was ignored. I did not float the idea back when I first thought a change was needed, as I had no replacement in mind, and I did not want to put forth a problem with no solution. I still don’t, but the change was necessary. I only know a little about the new guy, but I hope he fills the bill!
There is also, finally, some talk about Robert Gibbs moving on as well. He gets a “B-“ as Press Secretary, but POTUS needs somebody who can be more combative when necessary. Sometimes a simple “That’s a joke, right?” is all that’s needed, and at other times a real shotgun blast is appropriate. Not too frequently, of course, but it must always be available in the arsenal, and right now it’s not. As with the Chief of Staff, I do not have a replacement in mind- I wish I did, but, regardless, this change, too, must take place.
Tomorrow, Monday, November 1st, POTUS should immediately suspend the enforcement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, by Executive Order. Politics? Only partially.
We now have the results of the Military Survey on DADT that shows that the majority of service men and women don’t care about the sexual orientation of their fellow members. Obama has now achieved his “participatory” interest of asking those who will be involved in, and affected by, the change of policy. Mr. President, do it NOW!
Yes, there will be some political benefits the day before the election, but he did not control the timing or completion of the survey process. That does not, however, mean he should not take advantage of it, and I see no negative political fallout from him doing so.
The real issue, though, is that it’s the right thing to do. Period. Our military should lose no more dedicated, trained members in this interim period, now that the final outcome is clear.
Next, in a year or so, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton need to swap jobs. This idea, too, is starting to percolate in other forums, and it makes a lot of sense.
I love Joe Biden, and I always have- a down-to-earth guy who speaks his mind, who does not get sidetracked by his occasional gaffes, and is one of the least narcissistic guys in politics.
I love Hillary, too, for a lot of reasons, and, yes, even keeping in mind the few short-sighted mistakes she made during the 2010 primary- mistakes that were unnecessary, and hurt the Democrats overall. She has been a great Secretary of State, will be a great Veep, and, hopefully, a great president.
This change would re-energize folks for the 2012 election, would anoint Hillary as the successor for 2016, win or lose in 2012, and allow her to get involved in matters beyond those of Sec State.
Lastly, Mr. President- Talk to us! Get out more- discuss, debate, explain, clarify, rebut when necessary- that’s when you are at your best. The campaign was phenomenal, and you need to be your own best PR man.
Keep the Teleprompter, too. As long as Sarah Palin has to write things on her hand in order to remember them, like that elusive word “economy”, the critics can kiss your panel of glass.
. . .
There is a group on Facebook you can join, called “Remember November!” The recruiting advertisement for it states that “A Federal judge has sided with Obama on illegal immigration!”
That damn Obama, again!
Never before has a president been called so loudly and so often by his last name. Hmmm. Why is that? I guess I just really don’t know.
“Remember November” is a take-off reference to the Gunpowder Plot of the early 1600s, an assassination attempt on the King of England. The movie “V for Vendetta” told the story not so long ago. I thought it was very well done, actually, and very artistic.
And, no, I don’t think the RemNo folks are preaching assassination. In fact, I would guess that most of them do not know the historic context at all.
They simply want to take us back- not to the future, but to the past, to the good old days- some even want a “revolution.”
There’s a lot of casual talk about revolution these days- and some not so casual. It has really taken off since- well, since January 20, 2008. For me, though, the seeds of revolution were planted eight years earlier, when we decided for the first time to, at least “officially”, ignore legitimate votes cast in a national election.
Those seeds grew over the next 8 years, for so many reasons, including being lied into a war by a couple of draft dodgers, the rise of secrecy to unprecedented levels in both their official offices, and as presidential “signing statements” ran amok as a way to implement a line-item veto that the Constitution does not provide.
That’s why one can find a large Anarchist “A” tattoo on my right shoulder, and a Vendetta “V” on my left- both with drops falling off them. Some think they are drops of blood, others that they are teardrops. Flip a coin.
I recently mentioned the “A” to a friend- he said, “I know, I thought it was the Aryan Brotherhood!” Me? WTF!?!?! This guy has known me for years! I guess maybe I shouldn’t keep my hair so short…
It’s also time for us liberals and progressives to embrace the 2nd Amendment. We fought the good fight, and we lost. The phrase “2nd Amendment Solution” is being bandied about by the quitter from Alaska and some others. We need to be ready. We do not want to be the punch line of a joke in the future: “Dumb liberals, they brought a knife to a gunfight!”
This election is mid-term, meaning any change of direction, if it occurs, will be incremental. So, in 2 days, to whence shall we return, what shall we “remember”?
Shall we go back to using Terrorist Threat Levels to influence elections? Am I the only one to take note of the fact that this is the first time in eight years that the Terrorist Threat Level has not been raised just prior to a national election?
Last week, we even had an event- which was uncovered through the unprecedented relationships we have around the world now, that was handled calmly and coolly, and about which the President told us when the timing was right.
After he made us all aware, he got on the phone, called those who helped us, thanked them, and gave them credit publicly. Wow! What a concept!
Of course, the Terrorist Threat Level was immediately raised, right? No? Hmmm.
Shall we go back to ignoring intelligence reports about an impending attack on the World Trade Center?
Shall we go back to deporting fewer illegal immigrants? Obama has far outpaced GW, but you never read about that. Big AgriBusiness doesn’t want to pay a decent wage unless they have to do so. They only pretend to be outraged by their illegal, low-paid workers.
Shall we continue to fight for “Buy America!” on all public projects, or should we put even more Republicans in the Senate, where the GOP continues to block the “Buy America” effort?
Shall we likewise continue the fight to repeal the tax deductions that US companies get for moving their plants overseas, or should we put even more Republicans in power to stifle those efforts and the will of the People?
The recent Census has identified the largest rich vs. poor income gap in history- which way do you want to go from here, folks? Widen the gap or narrow it? USA Today Census Story It’s not a matter of redistribution of wealth, it’s a matter of people paying their fair share.
Healthcare. We keep hearing the Foxstistics that “show” that a majority of Americans dislike Obamacare. However, the reality is that it is only a majority of Americans that feel that way if you include those who think it does not go far enough. That’s right, once again, the question is dictating the results. When the question is asked properly, 2/3 of all Americans like the healthcare reform- or wish it went further!
Senator Mitch McConnell recently stated that his number one priority right now is to make sure that Obama is not re-elected in 2012. Not jobs, not the economy, not the war against terror, not the environment. Giving him and his army reinforcements just seems like a great idea, huh?
The bottom line, though, is that it apparently does not make any difference to argue with folks, or try to persuade them. Research has shown that the more many people are shown the facts that dilute their positions, the more entrenched therein they become.
So, let’s keep it simple, as we think about voting:
•Do you want to privatize Social Security?
•Do you want to privatize Medicare?
•Do you want to allow Wall Street to operate with little or no oversight?
•Do you want banks and big business to operate with little or no regulation?
•Do you believe in the separation of Church and State?
•Do you want insurance companies to have the right to deny coverage based upon pre-existing conditions?
•Do you want any future oil drilling in our waters to be well-regulated?
•Do you believe alternate energy sources and investment should be a high priority?
•Do you want reproductive decisions to stay as a matter between a woman and her doctor?
•Do you want insurance companies to be able to drop health coverage because somebody gets sick or injured?
•Do you think gays and lesbians deserve equal rights, including the right to serve, and perhaps die for, their country?
•Do you want to give more power to the people that are blaming unemployment on the unemployed?
•Did you agree with Obama’s huge stimulus package? No? Good- because it was not Barack Obama’s, it was George Bush’s. Obama wanted, and got, the TARP.
Years ago, the Republicans rolled out their “Contract on America.” More recently, they changed a few words, and released the “Plague for America.” Same fertilizer, different year.
The bottom line is, as usual, most people will ask themselves if they are better off now than they were two years ago. The economy has improved in each of the last 4 quarters, but not by leaps and bounds. It took Bush & Company 8 years to ruin what Bill Clinton left them, and 2 years has not been enough time to fix it. I understand that slow progress is frustrating, but it is progress.
So, to answer the question: some people are worse off, some people are unchanged, and some are even better off.
What cannot be disputed is the answer to the same question when it is applied to the country and the world. Both are better off since this man took office two years ago.