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Sunday, December 27, 2009


Transformation of Barack Obama


A Year of Disillusionment

"To dream of one government ending doesn't mean you'll want the one that comes in its place."
---Nathan Englander, The Ministry of Special Cases

Almost a  year ago, on December 30, 2008, I wrote:

Peace, Elusive Peace
In a few days a new year will begin. Our world is full of turmoil. Wars raging; death raining from the sky on innocent civilians who are pawns in power plays of major nations. Collapse of the scams concocted by Wall Street and blessed by government watch dogs have affected countries far beyond the shores of the United States. Not easy to be hopeful about the future. But hope for a peaceful world we must.

 Peace still remains elusive.  Now we have another 'war president' in the White House.  We could be in Afghanistan for a decade or more. Barring a few, our elected representatives of the Democratic Party have proven to be not much different than the Republicans warmongers. The all-powerful military industrial complex is not interested in killing the goose that has been laying golden eggs. They spend a part of their huge profits to buy influence.  It works.

President Obama, who once made us feel hopeful about the future, went through a sea change.  Some people talk about Obama as a pragmatist.  Yes, in politics pragmatism has a role. But in Obama's case it is more than that. It is almost as though the Obama who campaigned during 2008 was a completely different person. His move to the right began soon after he was nominated -- part of his goal to bring the uncommitted middle to the fold, we thought.  But the wooing of the right never stopped.  Today, he bends over backward to appease them but there are no signs that he is succeeding in his courtship.

What is undeniable is his failure to follow through on issues.  From peace in the Middle-East to reform of Wall Street, Obama talks the talk -- only talks. He has a golden tongue.  Reminds me of ex prime minister Blair of United Kingdom who lied and committed his nation to Bush's war in Iraq. The bankers who had a major role in the economic meltdown were rewarded with bailout without restraints.  They are still involved in questionable practices.

Prayers and Politicians

It was sickening to follow the debate over health-care reform.  There were times when  members of Congress behaved as if they had emerged from caves. Republican Senator Tom Coburn (OK) tops the list of boors.

Dana Milbank in The Washington Post 12/21/09

"At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon -- nine hours before the 1 a.m. vote that would effectively clinch the legislation's passage -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. "What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight," he said. "That's what they ought to pray."

"It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads -- but without his vote, Democrats wouldn't have the 60 they needed."

Prayer breakfasts are alive and well in Washington DC, the right venue for hypocrites.  President Obama, a natural-born practitioner of expediency, took part in one in January shortly after he was inaugurated.  Senator Coburn is certain to be among those who regularly attend prayer breakfasts.

Senator Coburn and others like him are abominations. Now the same bunch is fighting to protect funding for "abstinence only" sex education programs. Does it make you think of Bristol Palin?

Recently, during an interview when he was asked about his position on religion, British author Terry Pratchett  said:

'I'd rather be a rising ape than a fallen angel'

I'll drink to that.  Let's hope that 2010 would be a better year.  Stay well.

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