Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hope Has Faded

Other people can say it with less passion, and therefore perhaps more convincingly than I. Something is terribly wrong with this administration those of us hoping for real change installed by our votes. You've read about my reservations on this administration before. But now I'm encountering more and more sentiments like these. These people aren't nearly as radical as I. These are the together Democrat types who placed an awful lot of faith in a guy who promised us that he was for us, not the special moneyed interests who had their hands around our government's throat. What they counted on and voted on, hope, has in the course of six-plus months of the Obama administration turned to resentment and anger. The bill of particulars is familiar to anybody who's been paying attention:
  • In health care reform: a sweetheart deal sealed with Big Pharm to severely limit the government's ability to negotiate for lower drug prices.
  • Appointment of dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street types to head up treasury and serve as O's chief economic advisor
  • O's caving to the Republicans on tax cuts in the $800 billion stimulus package, the same kind of tax cuts that led to the massive deficit Bush left us
  • Allowing the predatory credit card practices that the so-called "reform" bill of the industry stopped to continue for a 10-month grace period before the reforms took place, time the industry has used to engage in extraordinary gouging of millions of consumers. Allow me to quote: "Funny, I don't remember a similar grace period for homeowners who can't pay their mortgages. Couldn't we have had a homeowners' equivalent of the student loan program, through which the federal government would give homeowners no-interest loans for a couple of years to get them through the tough times so they don't lose their homes, particularly when the unemployment rate is near 10 percent because somebody else gambled with their incomes and assets, instead of giving banks zero-interest loans and allowing them to charge usurious rates on existing debt?"
  • Refusal to prosecute the perpetrators and planners of the American torture system
The list could be extended, but this is enough to raise serious questions about this administration. As the writer of this piece points out, the White House has steadfastly refused to focus the anger of millions upon millions Americans on the places it belongs: a fat cat banking system still making profits and paying huge bonuses on the backs of the taxpayers; the drug industry which has managed to negotiate itself out of any trimming of its exorbitant prices; mortgage brokers; regulators who did not regulate; the health care insurers who profit hugely by denying coverage to those who need it. And most of all to the soulless Republican party operatives who are willing to do anything, anything, to achieve their political ends. Which are twofold: to ruin Barack Obama and to advance the agenda of huge corporations, the very entities who are squeezing the life out of the rest of us. These are last bunch of bastards it makes any sense to snuggle with and play "bipartisanship" with. But these are the very people whose asses Obama seems all too willing to cover with kisses.
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