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Jan. 11 2010 - 7:04 am | 4,206 views | 3 recommendations | 91 comments

Obama’s Health Care Reversals

During the presidential primary, in the spring of 2008, Obama ran a campaign ad aimed directly at Tauzin, chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. In the ad, titled “Billy,” Obama tells a small gathering of seniors:

“The pharmaceutical industry wrote into the prescription drug plan that Medicare could not negotiate with drug companies. And you know what, the chairman of the committee who pushed the law through went to work for the pharmaceutical industry making $2 million a year. Imagine that. That’s an example of the same old game-playing in Washington. I don’t want to learn how to play the game better. I want to put an end to the game-playing.”

But Obama has played the game, and Tauzin was one of the first players he picked for his team. White House visitor logs show that between Feb. 4 and July 22, Tauzin visited his office an average of once every 15 days — about as frequently as Tauzin probably collects that generous paycheck candidate Obama derided. We don’t know how often Tauzin visited after July, because of the ad hoc nature of White House visitor log releases.

via Once Obama’s target, lobbyist Tauzin now his pet | Washington Examiner.

Is there anyone out there who relied on Obama’s promises on health care as a key reason for voting for him, whether during the primary season or during the general election campaign? If so, I’m interested in hearing what you think now.


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  1. collapse expand

    I voted for him because he portrayed himself as a progressive Democrat that cared about the needs of average Americans. He lied and that makes him WORSE than GW Bush.

    We’re fukked until we can get unbribed progressives in control of our government.

    I mean, FUKK, he was so convincing that I have to wonder if some secret society a$$#oles told him they would erase him if he didn’t do things their way. HOW ELSE do you explain someone doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he said he was going to do?

  2. collapse expand

    I didn’t think it could be possible, but the fight between Obama and Hillary over “who has the better health care plan” during the primaries seems even MORE ridiculous now.

    • collapse expand

      Yes, I remember a disproportionate amount of time spent on their different health care reform plans, considering how damn near identical they were. The only highlighted difference, ironically enough, were the mandates, as Candidate Obama repeatedly said “I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want to buy insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it.” And at the time, I was actually in favor of the mandates because they were being provided a government-run service (this was really Edwards plan, to put all uninsured Americans under a public plan).

      Now we’re without the public option, and somehow the mandate that Obama once opposed is still in place. The uninsured will now be forced to buy what everyone in Congress agrees is a bad private product or face penalties. It’s unethical, if not downright unconstitutional.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Exactly! The whole argument was a useless exercise. And yet heated exchanges went on and on about it in the media shaping a large part of the campaigns between the two.

        What’s even more ridiculous is how some conservatives, and actual representatives are still claiming that this bill is somehow the whole scary-socialist-takeover of healthcare and treatment. Which is ALSO more ridiculous now than i thought it could be before.

        Their free-market-cure-all bullshit rhetoric won’t let them address the REAL problem with the healthcare bill: that it’s just a huge subsidy for the insurance and pharma industry, the very corporations whose fraud and greed is the cause of this mess, with all of the new, younger (and overall healthier) customers that will now have to buy their products and the tougher restrictions on imports and generics.

        So, INSTEAD, conservative are STILL waving the socialism card and bemoaning how the private sector wasn’t allowed to fix it. and droning on about the “rationing-out” of treatment by bureaucrats. like pinhead representative mike rogers.

        it seems truly hopeless on both sides of the aisle.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Even one of the lefts big heroes,Fidel Castro, doesn’t trust Obama, saying on Dec 21,2009:

    “…that Obama’s “friendly smile and African-American face” hide his government’s sinister true intentions for the region.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091222/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_cuba_us_obama;_ylt=AnMif7h941GmPHwwT0BMgjK9IxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTM1N2h1bW1qBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMjIyL2NiX2N1YmFfdXNfb2JhbWEEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDdG9wY3ViYW5vZmZp

    Now we have the health bill being re-written in secret by leaders of the Democrat Congressional Crime Syndicate, Pelosi and reid

    • collapse expand

      the “left’s” big hero, eh?
      you make these problems sound as if they wouldn’t be going on if the “right” were in charge…

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        No. That’s the dilemma- these problems would be as bad, or worse, under the Right (who are nohow “conservative”, unless conservatism really does equal facism) giving the moderate Republican Barack Obama a gun to hold against Liberals heads in the 2012 elections. Because the next time the Right achieves control of the government, they will not relinquish it. Anyone who believes otherwise has their head screwed on backwards. (For the record, I think Fidel Castro is just another caudillo, like Baptista, Pinochet, or Chavez.)

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    I’m profoundly disappointed, which is somewhat surprising for a cynic like me. While I realize that compromise is absolutely necessary in a republic such as ours, but kowtowing to the interests of big business (to the detriment of the population) is just…disappointing.

    Now I know why folks give up and become isolationist cat ladies.

  5. collapse expand

    Selling your soul to get ahead is the American way. Why be surprised that Obama said whatever it took to get elected and now does whatever he wants or what others in power want him to do once elected? Is not this the way the game is played? One would have to be sleepwalking to expect otherwise.
    What I think now is the same thing I thought before for many years before this. How do we make our government work effectively and restore accountability?

  6. collapse expand

    Maybe I’m young and gullible (25 years old) but I voted for him because he didn’t seem like a politician. It sounded like everything he was saying during the campaign was genuine.

    I’m a registered Independent and this was my first emotionally invested election. I knew enough not to think he could accomplish all he was promising, but it’s crushing to now know he never believed in anything he was promising. After eight years of Bush he was saying all the things that would make any left leaning voter get excited about.

    What this has come down to for me is I will refuse to vote for another Democrat. They are not the answer to the Republicans (who I never have and never will vote for.) I’m just hoping more and more people come to this logical conclusion and we start seeing viable candidates from third parties.

    I didn’t vote for Ron Paul because it was so obvious he wouldn’t win and I didn’t want my vote for him to help McCain. But at least voting for Ron Paul would have been a vote for someone with new ideas. I’m not going to be thinking in those terms for future elections.

  7. collapse expand

    I voted for Obama in both the primary and the general election. Now I want to puke. Tauzin is the poster boy for political corruption. I totally bought into Obama’s “don’t want to learn how to play the game better, I want to put an end to the game-playing.”

    Nothing would surprise me at this point. He could give a speech wearing a “Free Jack Abramoff” t-shirt and I wouldn’t bat an eye.

  8. collapse expand

    Hell yes I voted for him because he promised to reform health care. Last year I paid $1100.00 a month for coverage and this year it went up 14%… and oh yeah I lost my job in the meantime.

    And I voted for him because he said he would get us out of Iraq and close Gitmo and stand up for the Middle Class Americans. Not, Not , Not…

    What a fucking disappointment he turned out to be. You’d think that after 20 years of voting for tools I would have known better. But I really believed in “Change”.

    Uggh… forget it, I am permanently jaded.

  9. collapse expand

    I have to admit I was pretty duped by Obama. To his credit, he is one of, if not the best speaker I have ever seen and heard.

    I am still hoping for the best and I expect he will be able to throw us a bone or two as he gets established more in the role of President. The best thing we can hope for is some revolutionary level outbursts from the population.

    If nothing else, the one thing the last year has really shown me is how incredibly bad off we are as a “democracy”. I am appalled by the betrayal of our so called “elected representatives” in congress and the senate. I truly view congress and senate as traitors to the American people at this point…

    • collapse expand

      Don’t hold your breath, I voted for him too, what a disappointment he has been, and will continue to be…it’s a joke.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Can we finally dispense with the myth that Obama is a good speaker? Every major speech he’s given, from the Rev. Wright apologia to his latest Health Care missive, are bordering on incomprehensible – as evidenced by how much time goes into re-explaining them.

      Let’s be honest, the ginned up level of Bush-hate caused entire swaths of Americans to see an “emperor” inside the suit.

      With out the assistance of the financial meltdown, McCain would have eked out a win.

      If you REALLY think Obama is that sooper-cool of a speaker, you either suffer from the lowering of standards evident in our society, or you spend too much time repeating what you hear on TV.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  10. collapse expand

    I can’t say I entirely believed Obama in his presenting himself as a real progressive, but I was at least somewhat convinced. I was, however, entirely reassured that he would be no such thing, at one important moment before he even took the oath. This was the moment he chose Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.

    I remember people debating it on certain progressive sites, saying “okay, we know the kind of “centrist” (read: Corporate Clinton Democratic Conservative) Rahm is, but come on, he’s chief of Staff, that means he just signs the paychecks and does what Obama tells him to”

    Right.

    I mean, I agree that Rahm Emanuel isn’t running the show over Obama, it was just a sign to me of what kind of administration this would be, and as anyone who’s followed these things for a while should know, Emanuel is in no way considered anything remotely “progressive” by Democrats who are. The fact that Obama felt that much of a kinship with him as to make him COS was a forerunner of all that has come since.

    The worst was this “I didn’t campaign on the public option” line, when there are videos showing him clearly making it a campaign promise:

    “That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange — a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, costs and track records of a variety of plans, including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest, and choose what’s best for your family.”

    http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/president-obama/flashback-last-month-obama-said-reform-must-include-public-option/

    Fooling people into thinking that he was a progressive was one thing, and can be blamed on those who were fooled more easily than on him.

    Pure and unmistakable broken campaign promises however, that was all him.

  11. collapse expand

    It was part of my support. I live in the developing world (not Mexico) and I get universal healthcare from the government now. To me there’s no greater illustration with how completely fucked up our country is. Maybe the University funding situation, but it’s a close call. Poor, developing countries are less captive to their oligarchs than we are in some cases.

    If it came down to Obama vs. Romney or Obama vs. Palin I’d vote for Obama, but most people I know aren’t going to donate or work for him again. I suspect he’ll sail through, but right now he’s stuck in Kennedy before the Bay of Pigs mode. We’d all prefer a third party candidate of some kind or a good primary challenge (which would of course fail) to register our dissent.

    • collapse expand

      I voted for Obama, but if anyone labeled me “progressive,” I would feel insulted. So if Mitt Romney (or Jeb Bush or Sarah Palin or anyone) made a big enough campaign issue out of repealing the health insurance mandate — so big I knew he could not back down — I would vote for him.

      It’s already a burden to pay for my low-cost, high-deductible plan; an expensive mandated plan would be out of the question. I’ve always made fun of one-issue voters, but now I am one.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  12. collapse expand

    I voted for Obama for many reasons: intelligence, multi-cultural background, inspirational figure/role model for minority children, his promises, and the fact he wasn’t McCain/Palin.

    I wanted a stronger health care bill, but I’m thankful for even the senate version for one very powerful reason: Once people get a taste of having health care, they will insist it improve even more.

    Even the senate bill encourages tens of millions more people to pay attention to health care reform and what their representatives will be doing/not doing to improve it. It creates more stakeholders. I consider that quite positive.

    I’d like to see Grayson or Franken to draft a comprehensive food labeling bill (so we know what the fuck we’re eating), so we can further reduce health care costs (and carbon emissions). Who wants to be the asshole who says food labeling is bad? I’d love to see that person debate Grayson.

    Obama promised more transparency. He’s somewhat delivered on that promise. He delivered enough for everyone to know how many times Tauzin met with him. I’d like to see some transparency with our primary source of fuel — what we eat. Cap & Trade will just create numerous, new loopholes. Allowing the informed consumer to vote via food purchases will likely do more to reduce carbon emissions now than any type of Cap & Trade bill.

    The jury is still out on Wall Street. My 8-Ball says, “Doesn’t look good at this time.”

  13. collapse expand

    I’ll tell you what I think. When I was standing at the mall in DC for the inauguration freezing my ass off, I was both thrilled and cautiously optimistic. Around 11:40am that day, people around me started doing a countdown–not to the beginning of the Obama presidency, but to the END of the Bush era. “Seventeen minutes of Bush left, sixteen minutes of Bush left, and so on. And I was thrilled about it as well. But I was very apprehensive also. I’m incredibly cynical/skeptical when it comes to the malodorous morass that is the American political landscape, so naturally I wondered if Obama would be just like every other president since WWII: bought and paid for, and in the corporate bag.

    Maybe not, I told myself. Obama’s half-black. He lived in Indonesia. He’s cultured. He came from a modest background. He was everything Bush wasn’t. And so maybe, just maybe, his policies would be (meaningfully) different as well.

    Well, I never thought he’d be the savior of America, but I didn’t think he was going to sell-out this bad. Hey Obama, how’s that public option idea of yours working out? Drug re-importation? Government negotiation of pharma prices under Medicare? Meaningful financial services industry reform? Reimplementation of Glass-Stegall?

    It was early this summer–when Obama went to Wall St. to ask them nicely not to be so greedy–when I saw that Obama would not be pulling an FDR, and would not be saying, “Listen up: this is how it’s going to be. You people have fucked up royally and now we’re going to have to treat you like the out of control hellion children you are.” But there was none of this. Just a milquetoast speech, after which the oligarchs in the room politely applauded before getting back to financially raping the country. It was actually quite pathetic. And that’s when I realized it was all over.

    Maybe the best metaphor for this shitshow is from a chick who sent me an email she wrote asking me to put it up on my site (which I did). She said in part,

    “We didn’t vote for vanilla, middle-of-the-road, not-gonna-rock-the-boat, mom jean-wearing, Bud Light-drinking Barack. We voted for change. We voted for empowerment and people rising above politics and getting things done. We voted for intelligence, classiness, and pizazz. I thought things would be different this time around and that I could chill on the jaded twenty-something routine. I thought he didn’t flinch at the ‘liberal elitist’ accusations. Harvard grad, son of a single mom.

    “I feel stupid. Like I just slept with some dude who said he really liked me but was gone when I woke up and never called.

    “Barack fed us a bunch of lines to bed us, but the sex sucked and now he’s gone.”

    Goodbye indeed. Change, we hardly knew ye.

  14. collapse expand

    Obama ran on probably the oldest most worn out slogan for a candidate ever. ‘Change’ How many fucking times have you heard a variation on that theme. Somehow he made that worn out slogan sound new! Maybe it was the ‘Hope’ sprinkled in.

    Yes I was particularly excited about the prospect for real meaningful health care reform as well as closing GITMO, withdrawing from Iraq, finding something meaningful to do in AfPak among several other policy positions he claimed to support.

    I was also perched on the fact that he claimed HE WOULD NOT SUPPORT AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE and HC did. I saw that the IM was a seriously slippery slope to scale and particularly so if there was no meaningful regulation and competition in the insurance market.

    Not only do insurance companies enjoy an anti-trust exemption but now we will all be forced to buy their shitty products. That is an unprecedented corporatist takeover of government.

    Isn’t it fucking enough that Wall Street has captured their regulators, the goddamn IRS only cares about ass fucking middle class and poor class taxpayers while the ‘big people’ like Daschille and Geithner ‘overlook’ paying thousands and thousands of dollars in taxes but could we at least have some decent basic health services? What do you blood sucking fucking assholes want from us anyway?

    I thought this lying as typical cut of the cloth politician in the form of Obama was going to stand up for the middle class. At least a little bit. Whether you are a Reflublican or a Dumbocrat unless you are pulling down seven figures a year you don’t count to this administration. This is exactly the opposite of the way he presented himself.

    The middle class is being assaulted from all sides and to what end? A vibrant middle class is the hallmark of any great nations golden age. Destroy middle class Americans, destroy America. Health care is one of those key factors killing off the middle class. Literally. 75,000 personal bankruptcies and 45,000 deaths directly related to the health care in this country is fucking ridiculous.

    There is only one way to stop this train wreck. Vote with your wallet. DO NOT PAY ANOTHER DIME TO A HEALTH INS. COMPANY! I can see if you have kids, you could be criminally liable for not taking them to the doctor, and of course you can’t watch your kids suffer with some chronic illness, but you have a choice as an individual. Every dime you put in the pocket of an insurance company executive is a brick in the wall for selective and capricious coverage and a cut of that ends up in the campaign contributions of some lying motherfucking politician that will ensure we will never get any benefits that are worth two shits. REFUSE HEALTH INSURANCE IF YOU CAN!

  15. collapse expand

    “Is there anyone out there who relied on Obama’s promises on health care as a key reason for voting for him, whether during the primary season or during the general election campaign? If so, I’m interested in hearing what you think now.”

    Definitely. I’m a full-time working mother of two young children. My husband works part-time and stays with our children during the day and works part-time in the evenings. We live in the suburban Seattle area. Both my husband and I are deep in student loan debt, so much so, that we cannot afford the $900+ a month for health insurance. We have been uninsured for more than two years now. I was emotionally attached to Obama’s campaign because I felt his speeches. He appealed to my family on every level. I truly felt that when I cast my vote last November that I was part of history in the making, I was voting for ‘Real Change.’

    Today – I’m almost sick to my stomach because I’m worse off than I was a year ago at this time. Not only does my family still not have health care or the hope of it, the healthcare reform plan is completely unaffordable for me and now I will have to pay a penalty for not buying private insurance. I feel duped and betrayed. We might as well have voted in McCain and Palin, at least when they F**ked us in healthcare, we would have expected it!

    I wrestle everyday with the fear when my children run down the sidewalk or climb on the equipment at the park. If one of them falls, breaks a bone and requires surgery, my family will be financially ruined.

  16. collapse expand

    I know the captain goes down with the ship and all, but lets not forget that obama is part of the executive branch and not the legislative branch. congress still has to write the laws for him to be able to sign them into law. obama wants the public option but it will never make it through the senate. so what does he do? he goes on with out it because there is nothing he can do about it. he can count on nearly 100% opposition from the republicans, so that leaves the dems and they cant seem to come together. lieberman and nelson should be ashamed that they single handedly may have taken down comprehensive healthcare reform.

    with all that being said. im disappointed, but not nearly as most, but i never expected any miracles either.

    any way just my 2 cents.

    • collapse expand

      I totally agree. It is easy to lose sight of that sometimes. But where Obama really screwed up is not providing the leadership required to herd the wily cats in congress into some semblance of the direction he pledged in his campaign. If fact he sold all those ideals out from the beginning. All this ‘debate’ and delay crap was classic misdirection. The bill was already written months ago.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      “there is nothing he can do about it.”

      I disagree with this idea. If Barack Obama were pushing for single-payer health care which is actually what he favored during the campaign, then that would set a baseline completely different from starting with a weak public option.

      Then the single-payer could have been given away as the big sacrifice, in return for the public option as the compromise.

      If you don’t believe that this is actually how these negotiations work, then you have to explain Joe Lieberman actually admitting, right out in the open, that he only considered opposing the expansion of Medicare to those 55 years old after he saw how excited progressives were at the idea that it would be included.

      In other words, for someone like him it’s entirely about jockeying for position to seem “centrist” and to be seen as holding back the liberal hoards. If he could have done that by just opposing single-payer and compromising by allowing a public option, he may well have done so.

      The President has a lot of power to set these starting places, among other things, don’t kid yourself.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Other presidents have had the cajones to say, “You can pass that legislation if you want, but you will have to override my veto.”

        Obama could have forced Congressional votes on single-payer, the public option, and anything else he might have wanted. And if the bills failed, Obama would not have suffered any political fallout. Congress would have had a hard time blaming Obama for pushing for things voters elected him to push for.

        The president holds an incredible amount of power — a point not lost on Obama’s predecessor.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Exactly! One marvels at the thought that Obama is ignorant of basic negotiating skills. One doesn’t *start* negotiating from one’s final position, duh…!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  17. collapse expand

    Bush II can sleep more soundly now, knowing that he need not fret about being the biggest presidential fraud this country has ever labored under. It might be better if “Bush III” turned out to be our 1st black prez, and our LAST prez.

  18. collapse expand

    You know how when you have one of those really awful dreams that seems so real that you’re scared shi!less even after you wake up? That’s what going without health insurance was like for me and my husband for more than 20 years; unfortunately, that’s what this year since Obama was elected has been like too.

    We voted for Clinton because he promised to get universal health care passed during his presidency; we voted for Obama for the same reason. By the time Obama was running we finally had health insurance (sort of) but I didn’t want all those millions — think about that — MILLIONS of people who didn’t have health insurance to go thru the stress and fear that we did those 20 years. That said, the healthcare bill that is about to be passed is like a sucker-punch to those of us who honestly thought that this guy was different; I’ve been hoping since last summer that at some point ‘candidate’ Obama would rip off his shirt and show all of us that he really is Superprez and won’t allow the watered-down version of this healthcare bill to be passed.

    I guess it’s time to wake up from THAT dream.

  19. collapse expand

    I voted for him most specifically because I thought the country needed an end to the Republican quasi-fascist machine. Which still rolls on, duping the dipshits down south while prepping for a house takeover in the next election, which should pretty much finish off this country once and for all. Career-wise and healthcare-wise, Toronto looks like the perfect next stop for my family.

    IOW, no, the single-payer health plan he promised would have been a magical value-add, but it wasn’t my main reason.

  20. collapse expand

    “The pharmaceutical industry wrote into the prescription drug plan that Medicare could not negotiate with drug companies. And you know what, the chairman of the committee who pushed the law through went to work for the pharmaceutical industry making $2 million a year. Imagine that. That’s an example of the same old game-playing in Washington. I don’t want to learn how to play the game better. I want to put an end to the game-playing.”

    When Candidate Obama made statements like this, regardless of what the topic was, it really appealed to me. I’m all for the idea that President Obama would use some of his time, energy and clout to root out the ingrained Washington DC power brokage system. the system that exists behind the scenes regardless of who’s president.

    So I feel a little stabbed in the heart every time I see that Obama is not following through. Either by bending his “give ‘em hell” rules. Or outright hiring someone he railed against in the past.

    I choose to interpret situations like this as demonstrating how little actual power a President of the United States truly has. Versus believing Barack Obama is fundamentally corrupt and willfully perverting his intentions.

    I may be naive but I think President Obama has more personal integrity than his job allows him to express. I base this opinion on his life before becoming president and how he chooses to spend his personal time with activities such as volunteering.

    • collapse expand

      That’s all that was keeping my Obama bumper sticker on my car, I thought “He has to personally want to do these things but just can’t do them because of others.”

      That doesn’t excuse or explain “outright hiring someone he railed against in the past” as you put it. It’s becoming obvious that he is just another politician.

      The team we are rooting for sucks, so we got excited about the new captain of our team who looked he might whip them all into shape. Well it turns out he is just like every other player on that team.

      That shouldn’t make you say “Well, even though he isn’t playing the game like he said he would, he is really nice to the fans and signs a lot of autographs, so I’ll let it slide.”

      This should make you find a new fucking team.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        “micahphillips

        That shouldn’t make you say “Well, even though he isn’t playing the game like he said he would, he is really nice to the fans and signs a lot of autographs, so I’ll let it slide.”

        This should make you find a new fucking team.”

        No doubt. No one should lie on the ground spread eagle just because Obama is incredibly charismatic. It’s our duty as adult American citizens to keep pushing for what we want and need from our elected representatives.

        I can tell you this, I won’t get sucked into a politician’s spiel the same way again. In the future, show and prove will be the only way to earn my volunteer energy and advocacy. Faith gets you burnt a little.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Ah, that reminds me…need to scrape that sticker off my car in the morning.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  21. collapse expand

    I supported that Son-Of-A-Bitch Edwards(tm) in the primary (I was even on the ballot as an Edwards delegate). But I leaned more towards Obama than Hillary because I thought Hill would bring in Bill’s old NAFTA crowd and I didn’t want ANY of that. Ha-ha, I guess the joke was on me. Obama has totally lost me.

  22. collapse expand

    I am not surprised or truly disappointed with Obama, I voted for him for the simple reason I wished to send the Republicans into the wilderness for awhile, I supported Kucinich, in the primaries and view Obama as a corporate shill.(which has been born out with this Health care monstrosity) But the right had went so far off the rails I did not feel comfortable in casting another protest vote.(have voted Green for Nader twice and Libertarian once in 92) Ron Paul is good for a couple chuckles, but he flirts to much with the John Birchers and Conservitive Christian Coalition of old to truly make me comfortable.

    One of the few friends I have that truly isn’t apathetic feels betrayed by Obama, he is in his early 20s and it is depressing, amougst a large segment of Obama’s supporters there is this horrorific sense they were duped, that is sad to see.
    Obama was a “Lifestyle Brand” and some of the coffee drinkers are just now coming to terms about the true cost of their grande latte

  23. collapse expand

    What else was there to guide our voting if not the candidate’s campaign pledges? A year later and for me it’s a feeling of betrayal and the squandering of the opportunity of this Democratic voter’s lifetime to sweep the Presidency and both Houses of Congress and for it to mean something. Something progressive.

  24. collapse expand

    Me? I voted for the guy for lots of reasons and foolishly believed that this time and this candidate were different. I am now mad as hell – but can see no option but to keep on taking it.

    They own the place, and I feel impotent to change it. No way my one vote will matters since the game is rigged. Writing letters? Get serious. I’m just not the sort who takes up arms …

    -Brent

  25. collapse expand

    I didn’t vote. I’m too Thoreauvian to vote.

    However, I did want Obama over Hillary, and subsequently Obama over McCain, even though I would have supported Ron Paul over everybody. The #1 reason I wanted Obama over Hillary was the mandate on health insurance, which he was clearly against in the primaries. That was very important to me at the time, and now I’m really disappointed. I think it’s probably the most blatant flip-flop for Obama since he seemed so adamant about it against Hilary. And by the looks of it, a lot of people here feel the same way.

  26. collapse expand

    I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster since the 2004 election. I never thought that Kerry would be anywhere close to an amazing President. But, I was left devastated and feeling helpless that night at Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta, when the country decided to re-elect George W. Bush.

    Fast-forward to 2008. Remembering that feeling of helplessness in 2004, I was determined that I was not going to stand on the sidelines this time. A good friend of mine from High School got me involved in the Obama Campaign.

    I became a neighborhood team leader here in Atlanta. The moment that convinced me to do this was the speech he gave on race relations in the wake of the Jeremiah Wright hullabaloo. I never thought he would be able to fundamentally change the system. But, for the first time in my young life, I heard a politician speak to me as if I was an adult. I thought, no matter what, this guy might just level with me, even if he can’t get anything done.

    Fast-forward until today. Long story short, again, is…I’m reserving judgment. Not because I truly believe Obama is going to blow my mind, but because I’m kind of tired of caring for a while. I don’t know how things will turn out. But, I will say that I feel actually more helpless than I did after the 2004 election, when all I did was get drunk and bitch at Bush.

    I realize that things had gotten so screwed up under Bush, that Obama’s job was near impossible to begin with. But, I have not heard anything close to the candor of the race speech from President Obama that I did from Candidate Obama.

    His handling of the financial sector is, and I think will be, the biggest blemish on his Presidency. He put the very people who made millions off the bubble in charge of the economy. And, in doing so he squandered the opportunity to show us that government is not owned by monied interests.

    As to healthcare. I knew we wouldn’t get a single-payer system out of this. But, I hoped that our President would be a leader and stake out a position that Single-Payer was the ideal, and a public option was the compromise. So, I am extremely disappointed that all I’ve heard from Obama is half-assed justifications that what he said on the campaign trail was not what he said.

    As I said, I’m still reserving ultimate judgment. But, I think I have to agree with you in that we have been sold out.

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    I was optimistic in 2008, and I did buy into a lot of the pretty words about changing business as usual. I am still completely dumb-founded how Obama and the Democratic party used their massive political capital after 2008, not to enact any promise or pass anything meaningful therefore ensure a D majority for years to come, but to short-sightedly curry the private sector contributions they’d been missing out for decades.

    At first I thought Obama was just overwhelmed with the entrenched system, but it’s hard to be optimistic any more.

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    Check out the song “The Man Called Hope.”

    http://kiwi6.com/uploads/hotlink?id=vos3p3dxpc

    The Man Called Hope

    I fell in love with the man called Hope
    What a fool I was
    What a sap, what a dope
    He knew just how to kiss me
    He knew just where I’d break
    He was handsome and fine
    As the little man on a wedding cake
    Well, I gave him my heart
    What a laugh, what a joke
    Yes, I fell in love
    I fell in love
    I fell in love
    With the man called Hope

    He caught me in a moment
    When I was worried, I was weak
    I was stuck in a conversation
    With a man who could not speak
    And he gave me a rainbow
    And he promised me the world
    O, how I ached to believe
    When he said I was his girl
    I thought this time was different
    But it’s just the same old soap
    Yes, I fell in love
    I fell in love
    I fell in love
    With the man called Hope

    Well now I still hear his name
    They’ll be playing some old tune
    I’ll turn and see that face
    Painted blue and maroon
    Now I live on my own
    Ain’t no crime, ain’t no sin
    But when Hope starts stealin’ out the door
    These blues start stealin’ in
    O, Mothers, tell your daughters
    Don’t do booze, don’t do dope
    And don’t fall in love
    No, don’t fall in love
    Don’t fall in love
    With the man called Hope

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    Is there anyone out there who relied on Obama’s promises on health care as a key reason for voting for him, whether during the primary season or during the general election campaign?

    Policy-wise, I recall thinking there was not a great difference between Hillary and Obama – especially wrt healthcare reform. However, a few things tipped me into voting – and supporting – Obama. 1) I thought he wouldn’t be as much of a hawk on military and international policies; 2) I appreciated the sane, calculated, yet inspiring rhetoric, which I believed would energize more participation in politics in the future; and 3) I felt that he would be more likely to actually enact the policies which both he and Hillary campaigned on. It was the third of these which which carried the most weight for me, and tipped my vote (unequivocally) to Obama. And on this score, I am extremely disappointed.

    Healthcare reform (along with climate change legislation) was at the top of my list for big domestic legislative priorities. My impression at that time was that Obama would be able to navigate the special interests affected by health care reform in a way that Hillary could not, and get us a better bill than she would be able to. The bill – as I imagined it – would include a repeal of anti-monopoly protections for insurers, a robust PO, leveraging for cheaper drug prices either with reimportation or (preferably) using the gov’t buying power to bargain for better deals, real regulatory oversight on the practice of rescission, and a tax on the highest percentiles to fund the expansion of medicaid. None of these have come to pass. Instead, we have a legal mandate to buy insurance which (according to the Senate bill) will not be any better (in many cases worse), or even cheaper, than it was prior to the Act taking effect. The one exception is the expansion of medicaid to the poor, which I think could have been accomplished without the sellouts to corporate interests.

    I have to admit, however, that one assumption I made wrt the shape the legislation would ultimately take was that US businesses – in general – would be supportive of a healthcare overhaul as way to improve their bottom lines and competitiveness. Walmart made some initial moves along those lines back when the PO was in play, but I feel that not trying to get big employers on board early was a huge political mistake.

    So, all in all, I supported Obama (I would have voted for him anyway in the General) because I believed he would deliver a HCR bill that addressed real concerns re: healthcare accessibility and affordability, and one which would also appeal to the business community insofar as the overall costs of HC were significantly reduced. Instead, we got a bill with protections for PhRMA, insurance companies, primary care providers, and no real plan for ending our current national healthcare disgrace.

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    I’m a Chicagoan and didn’t vote for Obama because I knew he was a Chicago pol through and through and, therefore, probably corrupt and phony. The national press corps never seemed to pick up on this, but the judgment has borne out, hasn’t it?

    Really, the man’s record here was thin but revealing, with some pretty strong hints on full display for all to see. Still, Obama certainly had strong support in Chicago. But, hey, so do Richard M. Daley and Todd Stroger. Even Blagojevich did well here.

    One could cite a whole string of Obama reversals, and not just in health care. Frankly, I can’t see how anyone identifying himself as a progressive can continue to support this guy. What it’s all going to boil down to in 2012 is fear of the Republican alternative, whoever that turns out to be.

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    well matt i was not one of those doe eyed peasants during 2008, but I did actually think Obama would enact healthcare reform that would actually make things better than they are now.

    i also really did think he would use the purchasing power of the government to lower drug prices. i thought it was such a strikingly obvious good idea that the corporate dark side wouldn’t be able to stop it from happening. i mean really, looking through a power politics lens, making drug prices more affordable for everyone is probably the part of healthcare reform that voters would see the most noticeable impact on their lives.

    imagine how easy the midterms would be if Democrats could run as the party that made drug prices affordable for everyone?!?!?!

    but no.

    so yea my reaction Matt is that I hate Obama and hope with heated anticipation for his political demise, or should i say his Waterloo.

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    One of the major reasons I supported Obama and not Hillary early on was due to his talk on health care reform. I assumed because Hillary had been involved in politics (in one way or another) for as long as she had, it would be the same old spiel on health care and since she had her failed attempt in the ’90’s at it, I also assumed the Republicans would just pounce on her and it would never get pushed. So, for me, Obama stood out as someone who would actually fight for the people, not the industry or lobbyists. Maybe I was too hopeful after eight years of Bush’s crap and lies, but health care reform (especially a public option or single payer) would have such a huge impact on my family’s well being i chose to vote for Obama. There were other reasons I voted for him, but this was the major reason. Now, thanks mostly to your reporting, I realize that he has been suckered right into the same old Washington politics that plagues the rest of our Senators, Representatives, etc. I have lost so much respect for him and our system in general that I don’t even care about this fake “heath care reform” they are still pushing in the House and the Senate. I wish they would scrap the whole thing and start over according to what people really need.

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    I for one am incredibly upset about Obama as a whole and don’t understand how people continue to say, “give him a chance.” At every opportunity he has failed to live up to his promises and he continues to make large promises that it seems to me he has no intention of fulfilling. He is a politician and I do not mean that in any flattering way. Makes me think of a recent article at the Atlantic about our political system and how broken it all is. I have to imagine that our founding fathers would be quite disappointed in what has come to pass as representation of the people.

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    I won’t say that I was a fervent believer in Obama because I never was. I thought he would be without the baggage of Clinton, and although no one’s perfect, that he wouldn’t deviate from his campaign pledges -as- utterly as he has. I did expect he’d be smarter than this, if only for the sake of his own self-interest. We’re at a moment in time when the middle class and poor have been squeezed to the breaking point. To avoid political disaster, the President – Obama in this case – has to actually start to fix the problem, not just pretend to fix the problem. Clintonian marketing, sellouts and non-solutions won’t fool anyone at this point. And even at such a moment, Obama is consciously choosing not to actually address the crux of the problem (health care in this case, but it really applies to just about anything), but just to get something out of Congress labeled “health care reform”, sign it, and sell it – as if signing “a bill” will make the lives of the beaten-down public better.

    For instance, take health care. The problem is that the delivery of health care is in the hands of a profit-maximizing oligopoly with an antitrust exemption, and that the publicly-traded companies have a financial incentive to deny care. So to promote a solution of subsidizing that industry and legally ordaining it as the sole health care provider is just insane and tells anyone with a brain that other real problems will not be seriously addressed – the White House is still in the “political solutions” phase. And he’s smart enough to know this is not a solution – but he’s doing it anyway.

    A real leader, if faced with the bill coming out of the den of snakes that is Congress (for which Obama shares responsibility, as he exhibited no leadership on the issue and left it all up to them), would publicly read them the riot act as far as being completely divorced from the reality of peoples’ lives, hold a publicly televised burning of the bill (okay maybe not this part, but it would be nice), and tell them to go back and try coming up with something that actually addresses the problem.

    The reason this is so dispiriting is that while political problems may be solved in the manner this White House is going about it, actual problems are not – and there’s a heaping helping of “actual problems” staring “actual people” in the face right now. So I do despair for the future.

    Right now there’s some Obama For America organizing tool rallying people to get out the vote for Coakley in Massachusetts, because if horror of horrors she doesn’t win that Senate election, the Democrats won’t have the 60 votes needed to pass health care reform. Like people really give a shit whether this industry giveaway labelled “reform” passes at this point (what’s it at, 30% approval at this point?) This miserable health care bill needs to die a very public death in order to teach the next President not to try to “fix” health care the way Obama has and so the next President doesn’t get to avoid the problem as being “addressed”. It won’t be “fixed later” – we’re still waiting on the NAFTA labor protections to be fixed!

    It’s not like I expected miracles out of the guy. The country was in such horrible shape when he inherited control of it that I had no expectations he’d be able to “fix it” quickly. But I did expect him to start, for his own sake – as well as ours.

    • collapse expand

      The problem is that the delivery of health care is in the hands of a profit-maximizing oligopoly with an antitrust exemption, and that the publicly-traded companies have a financial incentive to deny care. So to promote a solution of subsidizing that industry and legally ordaining it as the sole health care provider is just insane and tells anyone with a brain that other real problems will not be seriously addressed – the White House is still in the “political solutions” phase. And he’s smart enough to know this is not a solution – but he’s doing it anyway.

      This. Exactly this.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Some portion of my decision to back Obama in the primary had to do with health care. I read analysis that said Hillary Clinton’s plan would insure more people, and absolutely distanced myself from that take out of fear of just what has happened: an inside game.

    The entire process under any Clinton seemed suspicious in it’s closeness with the lobbyist, and I felt that even though this Presidential candidate Clinton had a different first name, there would be bills to pay for past years of the dynasty, and her health care plan would be prone to dilution.

    With Obama, a chief selling point was his proclamation of a distance from the ruling lobbyist class inside Washington, but it seems that this is playing out like the end of Oliver Stone’s JFK with the great health care sellout being the centerpiece example of people we’ve never met actually actually running our country.

    Did they tell him when he got in office, sellout on health care or don’t go to Dallas?

  36. collapse expand

    Matt,
    During the election I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria, and I spent a lot of my coffee time explaining why I was excited about Obama to my counterpart, who was convinced that all politicians were crooks, whether they were from his country or mine. I repeatedly emphasized universal health care and climate change legislation as primary reasons I believed in Obama. I explained his transparency promises and praised his boldness to make such claims. It felt like the people would have power over the industry through the simple solution of putting a camera on the proceedings.
    And now? I don’t know. I still don’t want to let go of my hope.

    Unrelated, but one of the issues that I doubt anyone will notice about this, besides the idea of losing ‘independents’ is the fact that Obama attracted a lot of younger evangelical Christian voters. I, at least, was attracted to his promises of preserving a creation worthy of the biblical praise and his vision of an America that echoed the best expressions of Christian community. ‘If a veteran digs in a dumpster for his dinner in some city, if a child anywhere cannot read, than all of America suffers,’ sounded an awful lot like ‘whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to me.’

    Time will tell, and Christians are notorious for their patience, but any gains Democrats may have made into that demographic, may be lost if this trend of failing to meet expectations on the environment and health care continues.

    • collapse expand

      I identify with 2 of your statements —
      1. The reason so many of us are so schizophrenic about Obama right now is because it took a lot of strength to hope the way we did when he was running, and giving up on him is, in at least some small way, tantamount to giving up on ourselves and our willingness to believe and hope.
      2. Your take on christians — I hear a lot of them are looking at Sarah Palin, and that REALLY scares me because as of today (after reading ‘Going Rouge’ — the antithesis of her biography ‘Going Rogue’) it really seems like she’s planning to make a run in 2012 and from what I have seen thus far she really seems to be even lower on the bell curve than the shrub was, and when you combine that with her age (and imminent menopause) I do NOT want her that close to the ‘batphone’.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Sorry Dorry, but I knew he was running with the dogs and voted against him with all my heart. I suppose that is just experience with fools. No use in rar-rahing who I liked as once lost, always gone…usually. Anyway, when you got spilt (Yea, I like that instead of spilled) milk around it begins to stink after while. And damn, if it drys out it gets stuck on things. Messes up clarity, so to speak.
    I was in favor of a health plan when Hillary was opting for hers…to bad she got played off with the Euro-Trash effect that got her balled up. Now, who gives a fuck, burn the house down. Then again, it could get repaired over time…much time. I don’t like people’s freedom again infringed on with onerous requests that they must do something…or, pay the piper. Somehow, we missed the boat. Car Insurance is bad enough. And I’m not an anarchist…hmm, exactly. You need some Gov controls but ours seem to be run by Insurance Underwriters creating Safety for all of us while al-Qaeda tunnels under the Whitehouse.
    I’ve got enough ego that I like being on the winning side. I don’t think, in the end, Obama, sadly enough, is a winner.
    Nice you brought up the subject, Matt, thanks…

  38. collapse expand

    Prior to the ‘08 election I had a long talk with my friend Tom, a bright and reasonable fellow. He was dubious about Obama. I vouched for Obama, telling Tom that Obama would truly change the context of our politics, wrest the nation out of its pattern of self-delusion and self-destruction. Tom’s response? “Hey, he’s a politician. You can’t really believe anything he’s saying.”

    I reiterated that Obama was different, perhaps a once in a generation (if not once in a lifetime)pol.

    Sadly, I’ve had to admit to Tom that he was correct. None of us should have taken Obama at his word.

    Obama has revealed himself to be a poseur. He is not fulfilling his promises. He is avoiding difficult battles, which any true eader joins.

    His failure to twist arms on meaningful health care reform is a tragedy.

    The larding of his economics team with elite insiders is corrupt, not to mention imbicilic. The people who hollowed out our economy are still in power, and the people responsible for holding them to account are shamelessly luxuriating in their cash.

    Obama apparantly is completely cowed by the security/intelligence mandarins into embracing unconstitutional and immoral policies on detentions, renditions, state secrets. It makes me wonder whether the spooks have got something on him. He behaves like a man who’s being extorted.

    It’s a dismal state of affairs to think I may have no choice but to vote for him again, given the vile caricature the GOP seems certain to nominate next time. And with no viable third party, the only real choice may be not to vote at all.

    If I could, I would call Obama a poseur to his face.

  39. collapse expand

    Health care reform was probably the most important specific issue behind my decision to support Obama during the general election. During the primary I preferred Hillary’s plan to Obama’s (primarily because of her support for mandates), but on all other substantive issues I preferred Obama. I heard Obama speak early in the campaign here in St. Louis and I clearly remember him referring to a ‘public option’ type component in his plan, although I don’t think he used that exact term. My whole family and I worked for the Obama campaign canvassing and working the phones. We were elated when he won by such a wide margin and when the democrats carried such a commanding majority. Surely, I thought, Obama has the mandate to pass health care reform and a congress who will back him up.

    How do I feel now? For the most part, my hopes have been dashed. First of all, I lost my job a year ago and, consequently, my health insurance. I’m still unemployed and uninsured. Without going into any detail, I have reason to believe that I now have a very serious- as in life threatening- illness but I can’t go to a doctor because I won’t financially destroy my family just so I can survive. Since it’s too late to follow part one of the republican plan- don’t get sick- I guess my only remaining option is to die quickly. I don’t think Obama exercised anywhere close to the necessary amount of strength or leadership at the front end of this process. Letting such a big part of the process land in the lap of Max Baucus was not only an error, it was a massive blunder. Refusing to corral the democrats and demand their support for what the electorate clearly voted for, and continually pleading for meaningful bi-partisan participation, was naive. Having said all that, I still believe that Obama was and is, for the most part, committed to the correct principles but reigned in by the pragmatism required by the self-imposed dynamics of the moment and by the Washington modus operandi. The real villains in this process are the entire Republican Party and the handful of so-called blue dog democrats who gave the republicans the requisite numbers to successfully carry out their obstructionism. Senators Baucus, Nelson, Lieberman, Landrieu, and Lincoln are traitors to their party and to the middle class and I hope the backrooms in Washington have a mechanism for punishing assholes like them for blatantly disregarding the country’s best interests.

    The bill, as it stands now, has been stripped of meaningful reform and, at the same time, packed with favors for a number of special interest groups. And yet it is STILL better than our current system of health care. That speaks to just how bad the current system is. I guess a journey of a thousand miles really does start with a single step. I wish I thought I was going to be around for more of the journey than just the first step.

    • collapse expand

      I have some idea what you’re talking about — I am basically healthy but my husband fell and broke his hip almost 2 mos ago and he is still in the local VA rehab facility. When I googled ‘broken hips’ it scared the phuque out of me; thankfully, the VA actually seems to be doing a more than adequate job of helping him recover so that he lives past this first year. That said, 4 years ago he was working 2 jobs and had the energy to do it; 3 years ago he was in such desperate physical condition that we had to go to the VA to have him looked at because we didn’t have health insurance. He was diagnosed with diabetes/chronic kidney failure/ congestive heart failure and all these diseases were caused by his ignoring his diabetic symptoms for more than 10 years. At this point I have no idea how much longer I will be a wife instead of a widow, but honestly, if he had decided all on his own to shoulder that secret so that I couldn’t tell him now how important he is to me it would make losing him so much harder than it needs to be. I am saying these things in the hope that you will consider telling your family — be it wife, brother, mom or dad — what is happening with you if for no other reason than to give yourself and your loved ones the opportunity to prepare for what might lie ahead.
      My first child was born 10 months after my husband came home from Vietnam; he died 2 days later; I know how hard it is to ever reconcile losing someone when you are not prepared to lose them — that wound never heals. Give the people you love the chance to heal.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    I was/am a big supporter of BO because he’s a big thinker and a solid pragmatist. He will work to accomplish big things but he will not let the chance to make things better lose out because the change isn’t ‘perfect’.

    It’s gonna take a LONG time to transform our health care industry to make it more ‘outcome’ efficient with better cost controls and broader coverage. The bill now working its way thru the belly of the beast is designed to look for the best ways to make these changes. I read a TREMENDOUS New Yorker article (12/14/09 issue. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/12/14/091214fa_fact_gawande ) that compares the terrible state of today’s medical industry to the sad state of the US agricultural industry in the early 1900’s. A great read for anyone who wants to truly understand the trials and efforts it’s gonna take to turn this ship around.

    But back to Obama… he is bringing a calmness and steadfastness to the office that we haven’t seen in a decade. The Party of No is rugged opposition, tho. I hope he doesn’t bend much more to meet their loud whining.

    • collapse expand

      The disgrace is that Congress knows what needs to be done to get things to turn around, but it would piss off the insurance industry so Congress caves in to their demands. It’s OUTRAGEOUS to simply have taxpayers pay for the millions of uninsured in this country without forcing the insurance companies to get their costs under control. The answer MUST begin with a limit to how much profit they are permitted to make. A cap on CEO’s pay that is ASTRONOMICALLY lower than what it currently is.

      I was talking to a coworker the other day and he seems to think that the problem is that too many people have investments and 401K’s in things like health insurance and pharmaceuticals and if we were to legislate the profit out of it the economy would tank further. It’s all so complicated and I don’t understand it completely, but I do know one thing: we’re completely fukked when it’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Matt,

    My disappointment in the growing chasm between the candidate I voted for and the reality I got is made worse by the fact that I never expected he was anything but a centrist, despite the great hopes he engendered in us lefties. The fact that he has failed to rise even to the level of centrism that I thought he would is a real slap in the face. But unlike others here who are younger, I’m old enough to know better, so I have only myself to blame for my chronic pissiness these days. If it’s true that the difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals never stop believing in the essential decency of human beings, then perhaps I’m ready for a more jaundiced philosophy, but dammit, I just can’t let go of my doofus-ass hopefulness.

  42. collapse expand

    I was a Kucinich supporter and would have voted Green but fell for the old ‘lesser of two evils’ bullshite. I am longer a Democrat (and I’m damn sure not a Republican), I guess I’ll have to call myself an independent. I think the Kick-Them-All-Out plan as proposed by the KTAO project is the only way to move forward. Despite their website containing links to conspiracy theories (which I don’t put much faith in but at this point, who the fuck knows?), their two step plan is spot on. The blame lies squarely with us for electing the same corrupt Congressmen/Senators year after year. Until we get beyond the left/right sides of the same coin and vote en masse to dump all of these corporatists, we will get nowhere…..all the way down into the coming Depression. The second leg down is just beginning to start and the sooner we revoke ‘corporate personhood’, the sooner we will recover.

  43. collapse expand

    I lost a few friends because I did not buy one thing this guy said. Most have said something to me and we are friends again. It was quite lonely last year. I happened to read the right people. The people at blackagendareport.com which should be must reading for people here. They are real connect the dots people. Their reporting on health care has been outstanding. There reporting on Africom and the neo-liberal assault on Africa is important stuff. Glen Ford told me in February , 2008 that Obama was a Trojan horse. It made my blood run cold.
    I also read Kevin Alexander Gray’s brilliant review of “Audacity of Hope”. Adolph Reed, Jr. warned us as did Paul Street as to the “deeply conservative” soul of Obama. http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/23196

    You have to find people to trust. I trust Matt Taibbi, Naomi Klein, Nomi Prins, Jeremy Scahill, Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon, Alexander Cockburn, Greg Palast.

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    The worst crooks and criminals of the world figured out that all they have to do is corrupt about 535 people (congress and president) And all they need is about $500 million – that’s not even a pocket change for them in exchange for taking control of the top world war (aka black mail) machine, massive tax bounty, and enormous credit lines via the reserve currency of the world.

    Of course in order to do that, they had to come up with the most likable puppet – and Obama is a very good choice – slick, talkative, chameleon, and not-so-smart.

    This country outlived itself and only when Texas, California, Oregon secede then we can talk about living our lives. Right now we are nothing more than slaves to a little group of visionless crooks that are mostly banksters.

    Ron Paul once said that his favorite country was Switzerland because people there didn’t know the name of their president. When can we have the same and not have a king/superstar but a boring bureaucrat to deal with sleep-inducing issues of tariffs, etc?

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    I was deeply cynical about politics before the election, but the policies of the republicans were so offensive to me that I allowed myself to believe Obama when he said that he would work on getting the lobbyist influence out of legislation. He lied. I’m completely disillusioned and have no intention of voting. To quote Parker and Stone, “Why vote when your only choice is between a giant douche and a turd sandwich?”

  46. collapse expand

    After the previous 8 years, I would have voted for a yellow dog before I’d vote for a Republican. But I would not have worked for the dog, or contributed money, or proselytized on the dog’s behalf, as I did for Obama. Health care was part of it, along with the restoration of civil rights at home and our image abroad, but the main thing to me was getting expelling republicans from power, trying something new.
    If given the chance, I’d be happy to try something new again come 2012, and would happily work for and contribute to a candidate who promises to do what B.O. promised to do. But I shall not be contributing to or working for Barack Obama in 2012.

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    I bought Obama’s “change we can believe in” because of what he said about his mother’s experience fighting with insurance companies as she lay dying of cancer. I thought this had made such an impression on him that he would never let that happen to anyone ever again if he became president. And he promised there would be no “mandate” to force people to buy policies from the corrupt insurance companies. As a result of what I have seen over the past year, I will never vote for a Democrat again, though up until Obama’s election I had been a lifelong, active Democrat. I gave lots of time and money. Never again. I have health insurance through my job but am afraid to use it–the copays and deductible are too high, and I am trying to help my adult children stay afloat, despite my hours being cut back. I will never be able to retire. If I make it to 65, maybe Medicare will allow me to get my nagging cough and shortness of breath diagnosed and treated. One of my sons got a great job four months ago, right after he graduated from graduate school with honors. But he was laid off before he even got to start work because the company downsized. And despite his brilliant record, my son hasn’t found work. He has no health insurance. He is resourceful and optimistic and will make it, but no thanks to Obama or the Democrats, whom I now really hate. I see the partying on Wall Street with my tax dollars while my family is barely holding on, and so many other families are jobless and homeless, and I see Obama selling out all the people who believed in him and who gave him their little contributions that they couldn’t really afford, and it makes me sick. I can’t wait for the elections, so I can vote third party. I don’t even care which third party. All I want is to make the Democrats feel a fraction of the pain they have caused those of us who trusted them. I am even more disgusted when I hear Obama’s lying voice than when I heard Bush’s, because at least Bush was upfront about what he stood for.

  48. collapse expand

    I thought I was cynical enough before the election. I didn’t believe any of the wishy-washy feel-good stuff about ‘change you can believe in’, I wasn’t *that* stupid.

    On inauguration day, I chuckled a little as we saw people so utterly convinced that he was a messiah crowding the plaza, crying and hugging each other.

    But even so, I was not prepared for the sheer callousness he has shown in two specific areas:

    1. Closing Guantanamo and prosecution of war criminals. Sure, I didn’t expect to ever see Bush being handcuffed but I expected at least a show trial of John Yoo or others like him. But we got none of that, and even worse Obama has endorsed and extended many of the Bush theories about state secrets and executive privilege that would be anathema to *anyone* who takes the constituion seriously.

    2. Complete failure to reform healthcare in any real way. This was a real kick to the guts because the public option, drug reimportation, and ‘no secret meetings’ weren’t just feel-good ideas, they were actual legs holding up his platform. They were concrete, real things that he was going to do. In the end, whatever plan gets passed is going to make things worse. He engaged in secret meetings within a day of moving into the whitehouse, and drug reimportation was off the table instantly.

    In terms of harm to the country, both of these pale in comparison to TARP, Geitner, and the sheer glee with which he has sold out to Wall St. But in terms of harm to my opinion about him, those two issues are the biggest disappointments by a long way.

    And honestly I think both of them could be summarised under the umbrella of ‘Democrats fail to use their majorities and mandate to acheive anything’. This is the real problem. He took office with the popularity and numerical advantage to pass basically anything he wanted to. He has studiously avoided exerting any real pressure on anyone to achieve the things he said he would. We *have* seen him exert pressure on other issues so we know that it can be done, but they simply have NO desire to use their position to actually do the things they promised to do. In the end they will try and tell us that the GOP were too obstructive, but we know that’s just spin.

    As an earlier commenter said, for me the sinking feeling I got in my gut first appeared when he announced his staff. Emmanuel, Geitner et al, we know what those guys are all about.

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