The One Term Wonder

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.

Myles Hoenig is a veteran of the Prince George's County Public School system in Maryland, USA. He's a long time activist for social justice. He lives in Baltimore. Read other articles by Myles.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Agatha said on August 28th, 2009 at 10:15am #

    This really gets down to the points.

    Obama is more concerned with his big donors than the American people, just as most congressmen are. But why is nothing being done. What has caused such lethargy and apathy in American society? It always appalled me that more was not done to stop Bush, by the People. But when this fake economic crisis was concocted, and the people of U.S. being openly ripped off of all their wealth and resources, I thought for sure we would see the anger turn to some form of action. But nothing happened. This is why I know deep in my heart that U.S. is finished. When even their own money and wealth is plundered and looted in broad daylight, and they do nothing, it is time to realize that its over. The oligarchs are winning and people need to understand that as horrific as Middle East crimes are (nothing worse than this), it was the U.S. working classes that have been the main target all along.

    The one thing standing in the way of One World Government by the few has been the Average working class and middle class citizen of U.S.
    Now that this threat is and has been diminished we will soon be seeing a complete change in landscape. Expect to be flooded with foreign elites, coming to claim their collateral.

  2. magarulian said on August 28th, 2009 at 2:09pm #

    It is ridiculous to predict that there will even be elections in 2012! If the upcoming swine flu vaccines don’t kill many of us, the coming war with Iran will.

    As far as the American sheeple are concerned, here’s a few reasons why they will continue to slumber into full-blown fascism:

    “There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarianisms should resemble the old. …In an age of advanced technology, inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost. A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”
    Aldous Huxley

    “A culture that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion dies, and we are dying now. …Those who cling to fantasy in times of despair and turmoil inevitably turn to demagogues and charlatans to entertain and reassure them.”
    Chris Hedges. See The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle at

    “Getting through the noise, hoping to find snippets of interest in otherwise flat and formulaic programs, and having to endure the densely-packed relentless advertisements and product placements, and not knowing whether a news segment is canned from an industry consultant, invites a vacation from an already limited resort to my TV. There are so many other things to do and learn and evoke than watching screens.”
    Ralph Nader at

  3. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2009 at 7:04am #

    The fundamental problem in the USA Inc Empire is scale. I can’t even imagine a US govenment program that is really effective.

    While I completely agree that privatization needs to be removed from health care, much of health care is how we, each of us, take care of ourselves. As the body breaks down it shouldn’t be a wonder. We are disconnected from our bodies in so many ways. Take work…I mean the kind whereby the WHOLE body (and mind which is the body) is engaged. It’s been eliminated, erased, from most American’s lives. We “exercise”, walk, bike not to get some place but to take our bodies out for a little activity because our bodies are like foreign objects…like the automobiles we drive around in. And many Americans (most?) don’t even bother with that.

    And the neglect of what we take in for energy, our food…is grotesque. Sure it’s what comes out of a massively-scaled fossil based food system…but

    Health is much bigger than the so-called “system” the US has in place. Certainly that system is completely dysfunctional because at its best you get an annual check up (like your car). We have no pleasure with our bodies…the kind of pleasure that comes from physical work requiring mental dexterity and engagement. The kind of exhaustian that comes from such work is pure pleasure. And it is the basis of health care and healthy living.

    Industrialization and post-modernism has created much of what we have and are. But the mere scale of the US landscape makes it totally incapable of responding to human needs. Those needs are local, human scale.

    Yes, we have a polity which is corporate to the core. It is not what we need, but we keep expecting something from it. That’s the mistake. Ignore it…let it go away…engage ourselves in living and community.

    We are truly the problem because we keep waiting for a different polity and different government…or we rail against it in ways that are negative and produce nothing new.

    When those “leftists” do protest, say against, nukes, they hop back in their fossil cars, and go home and turn on the switch all brought to you by the very utility you demonstrated against. We are the problem.

  4. John Hatch said on August 30th, 2009 at 5:38pm #

    And one more thing- an honest investigation of 9/11. But that’s mere wishful thinking, as Mr. Obama is just a figurhead, Congress is the biggest whorehouse in the world, and the USA has disintegrated into a form of de facto fascism.