Wednesday, January 20, 2010
More than anything else in life, I hate being proven wrong. It eats at the core of my Intelligent Negro Sensibilities, and whatnot. During the historic 2008 campaign, I kept wondering if the things I saw about Barack Obama that made me uncomfortable would somehow make him a lousy President, but I sooo didn't want Cotton Hill and Miss Sarah occupying the White House, I just looked the other way.
Everytime Obama "played it cool" when confronted with an obvious falsehood, I gave him credit for "taking the high road". Everytime he was punched, and refused to punch back, I wrote it off as "exercising self-control". Everytime he refused to sink to the level of his competition, I wrote it off as "not playing into an angry racial stereotype".
Now, on the one year anniversary of Obama's Inauguration, I'm wondering if I was just ignoring the obvious signs all along. This guy is not, and likely will not ever be, the sort of leader this country needs at this point in time, and with last night's election of some dude named Scott Brown to the US Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy, the GOP has the final vote needed to obstruct everything Obama wants to do.
And effectively, the Obama Presidency just ended.
Some of ya'll on Twitter last night said I was overreacting, but think about this a bit more deeply. The GOP have been hardcore obstructionists of everything Obama's done thus far, even his desire to increase funding for freakin' headstart programs. They don't give a sh*t about anything but getting re-elected. Period. Now that they've got the silver bullet in the Senate, there's virtually no chance of ObamaCare getting passed in any meaningful form. No chance of education reform. No chance of climate control legislation. Nothing. Anyone who thinks the Republicans are suddenly going to start behaving in a bipartisan fashion just delusional. No, they still have no greater ideas for fixing the country than Obama does, but they can block anything he attempts, which effectively renders him a lame duck. I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit to see even more seats in both the House and Senate switch hands this Fall. And the thing is, Obama has nobody to blame for this but himself.
Think about it: he essentially let a bunch of toothless, misinformed ingrates seize the news cycles spewing all sorts of nonsense about "death panels" the whole summer, but had no effective counter attack. He didn't keep Pelosi and Reid in any sort of check as they basically screwed around for months loading goodies into a HealthCare plan that should have been written and passed in weeks. When the GOP continually painted him as a big spender who would "tax our children and grandchildren into chattel slavery", he did nothing to point out the fact that he'd already cut most people's taxes, and the same GOP was still putting pork into every spending bill themselves.
I've said this a million times: perception is reality. If you're expecting most of America to pay attention to nuance, and be intelligent enough to look beyond BS, you are just plain stupid. There's a reason why Fox News has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined. A reason why Sarah Palin is considered an actual politician and not a walking punchline. A reason why folks tune in to people like Limbaugh, and Michael Savage, and Hannity, and other numbskulls. Every underestimate the power of dumb people. This country has a lot of dumb people. Apparently Obama wasn't smart enough to understand this, or he'd have been far more pro-active in getting his message out there, and marginalizing theirs.
Instead, he believed in the intelligence and the resolve of the American people to look beyond foolishness, and he believed wrong. Dead wrong. Don't get it twisted. A traditionally blue state doesn't go red 14 months after an historic landslide election for no reason. These folks weren't voting for some d-bag who drives a pickup truck, they were voting against Obama.
It pains me to write this, because this guy had so much potential. I took days off work to campaign for him. I gave money. I made calls.
I did my part. I wish he woulda done his.
Question: Am I overreacting (as usual), or did last night effectively signal the end of Obamania?!? Was the Mass special election about Brown vs Coakley, or was it actually America vs Obama? One year later, are you equally disillusioned? What, if anything, can Obama do to turn things around?