It is ridiculous to predict the outcome of the 2012 Presidential elections, but people are doing it. Many are saying that Obama has squandered whatever goodwill he has earned with his health care fiasco and will be a one-term president. Either the right thinks he’s pushing death panels or the left sees him as selling them out on Single Payer, let alone a public option. Will he be challenged in the Primaries? That would be unheard of. (Ford, being the accidental president, was challenged by Reagan.) The Republicans are already lining up in New Hampshire and Iowa testing the waters.
I for one am not at all upset that Obama has sold out the Left. Hell, he’s a Democrat. What person in their right mind would think that he wouldn’t be beholden to corporate interests first and foremost? Oh, 99% of Democrats, maybe. That’s why lesser evilism is the prevailing electoral philosophy in America. Yet some say that he was/is different. He’s smart. He’s a decent family man. He showed us hope. Well, he showed us hope like Reagan showed us that it was ‘morning in America’. In reality it was “Mourning” in America. In Baltimore during the last mayoral administration the slogan seen all over the city was the word, “Believe” in white letters on a black background. Like “Hope,” it was an empty slogan. “Hope” or “Believe” tell us that we’re on the bottom and we can only move in one direction.
Let’s pretend that the magic crystal ball does predict a one term president. What could he do (without being impeached) that would really make a difference?
He could scrap his health care plan completely, start all over, and go with Single Payer, which is supported by nearly 2/3 of all Americans. Hey, Michael Douglas in The American President scrapped his gun control bill in the end for a real working plan. People seemed to cheer him on for that ‘bold’ move, as bold a move could ever be made in Hollywood! Have a full fledged campaign, like it was an election, equating the pharmaceutical company and the health insurance industry to the likes of Al Qaeda. Who would dare to take Big Pharma’s and the insurance companies’ side? Learn from the right on how to mobilize your base. President Obama, the first community organizer, seemed to have forgotten how to do it once the election was over. Or maybe that he had no intention of disrupting the profiteering of the largest legal extortion racket in America: the health insurance industry.
On other issues, give up on the weasel-like pronouncements that the US opposes the expansion of the settlements in occupied Palestine. Come out and say that all the settlements are illegal and ought to be dismantled, according to international law. If AIPAC hasn’t hired the Aryan Nation by this time to take him out then continue to campaign for the full restitution of rights and the Right of Return for all Palestinians forced into exile by the formation of the State of Israel.
End the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. The war in Iraq has already ended in 2003 when they captured (and later on hanged Hussein), and when Obama was still a State Senator of Illinois. Bring the invading armies home.
Full fledged house cleaning of the military, weeding out right wing neo-Nazis, Christian zealots, etc., who are using their military training for a white, Christian jihad here in the states. That should include high ranking officers, as well as the soldier in the field.
Reverse our age old policy of exploiting Latin America and welcome Chavez, Morales, and others as equal partners. Bring back CITGO gas stations, as we seem to be losing them to BP all over Baltimore. End the embargo on Cuba with the stroke of a pen.
Expand Secret Service protection and then grant a full pardon and restitution to Leonard Peltier. Watch out for pissed off FBI agents! Show the world that political prisoners in the US is part of our history but stops now. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now pressed President Clinton back in 2000 for a pardon but was rebuffed. Ah, President Clinton. The best Republican president the Democrats ever had!
Nationalize the utility industry, including water. Nothing that affects the lives of all Americans should ever be in private hands and for profit.
Demand of his Attorney General Eric Holder to hold full investigations on every known war crime committed; including those of Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and even himself, as he has already committed war crimes with illegal detention, rendition, torture (yes, it still continues at Gitmo), etc. Show the American public that no one really is above the law.
The irony in all of this is that many on the left hoped that some of this would happen with an Obama administration. Too bad many have been punked by him: The ones who thought he was anti-war even though he ran on expanding it in Afghanistan and not ending the occupation of Iraq. Running against the health insurance industry but then giving them sweetheart deals to curry their support for a health care plan that omits the one plan supported by a vast majority (Single Payer). Showing signs of recognizing that Palestinians have been treated unfairly and then turning a blind eye as Israel engaged in a brutal invasion of Gaza.
It’s no fun being punked. Maybe we would have had a gradual Medicare system for all, like Ralph Nader suggests, if McCain had won. Congress would have been so enraged that such a health care system probably would have sailed through Congress forcing McCain to threaten to veto the only reasonable health care reform possible. With either candidate, though, the empire would continue unabated.
But if there were to be real change, real hope, than maybe a president not afraid of losing the next election would be so bold as to actually do what’s right.
Wait a minute. I am talking about Democrats and Republicans, aren’t I? Oh, never mind.