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The time has come for President Barack Obama to feel the power of the base that elected him ... and use it.

President Obama speaking at the Milwaukee Laborfest, 09/06/10. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)
President Obama speaking at the Milwaukee Laborfest, 09/06/10. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)

Mr. President: Welcome Their Hatred

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

26 September 10

Reader Supported News | Perspective

"They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred."

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Speech at Madison Square Garden (October 31, 1936)

ear Mr. President,

You were elected as a populist with a mandate for change. It is not that you have failed to deliver change; change is not an easy thing. It is that you have failed to embrace change in your own heart. It is not enough to give it a shot, or to do your best. Rather, you must personally display the resolve necessary to achieve the goal.

Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington on a sunny day. He also endured brutality, prison, and finally, death. FDR for his trouble was threatened with a well-armed, well-financed domestic insurgency if he persisted with his mandate for change. He persisted.

It is great to be reasonable, it is great to be willing to engage in dialog those with whom you disagree when ideology is at issue. But "government by organized money" has no patience with reasonable dialog.

House Minority Leader John Boehner is not going to work with you, he's not going to reach out across the aisle in a spirit of bipartisanship. Boehner is going to do what his benefactors expect of him: push through an agenda favorable to their interests. Boehner is a lobbyist with a knack for winning elections. It's not that he or his fellow congressional Republicans are inherently bad, it's that their power is rooted in private corporations, and that is who they answer to.

Your record for achievement in the White House is, frankly, not bad; in fact better by far than you are given credit for. Healthcare reform alone, however modest, was an historic accomplishment, you have won a Nobel Peace Prize, engineered the badly needed stimulus package, and quite a bit more. You have been productive.

The problem is that you are a baseless President. You have no base, no group that feels they can count on you, and on which you can rely. You have admirers, and those that respect you, many of each. But that is not the same as a base. What you had during the 2008 Presidential campaign was a base. A mass movement that fought for you and gave you a mandate.

Your mistake is trying to be all things to all people. You want your political opposition to think of you as a reasonable man, but they do not care. To them this is not your country, it is theirs, and you are in it. This is a contest of determination and resolve. You must look to Gandhi, to King, to FDR and come to understand that your struggle is no less than that which they faced.

Be who we thought you were, be who you are. Welcome their hatred.

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+63 # Lola 2010-09-26 21:00
What, no comments?

Beautifully said Mr Ash, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for a very good, intelligent and thought-provoki ng article.

Now, can you send it to our President?
+14 # DaveW. 2010-09-27 09:31
Lola, Yes, I have a comment. The central message of this article is sound. Simply, stop pandering to those you will NEVER sway and start appeasing the base that elected you. But this article is also peppered with nonsense even an old Progressive/Dem ocrat like myself has a hard time swallowing. When the author speaks of Boehner, "It's not that he or his fellow congressional Republicans are inherently bad..." The HELL they're not! They've been adamant about letting millions of fellow Americans simply die without health care, about cutting social programs that millions depend on for their very existence so the f*****g yachting class can have life "easier", rape and destroy our environment for short term profit...must I go on! Someone tell me WHY Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. He's killed more innocent people in drone attacks in 18 months than Bush did in eight years. The stimulus package should have been triple what it was. He could end DADT with the stroke of a pen. This was preaching to the choir.
+19 # DaveW. 2010-09-27 10:41
As I've stated many,many times on these posts I support President Obama. I DON'T support, blindly, everything that he has done or failed to do. This is what "the other side" does. This is why the Tea Party has been co-opted by the GOP. Our President, my President, with his pragmatic, reach across the aisle approach, has put us all at great peril. We, many of us, believed we elected a "champion", a superhero, who would use his great powers of intellect and oratory to achieve for the common man and woman, what the "dark side" has been taking away from us since Reagan strode into the White House with an agenda to undue everything FDR and LBJ had accomplished. Obama surrounded himself with people, who, quite frankly, had done well for themselves under the former regime. Is he that champion? If so, only anger, well directed and succinct will do anything to sway what has to be the stupidest bunch of voters in civilizations jumbled history. The "Buck" stops with you Mr.President. How will you spend it?
+16 # Françoise 2010-09-27 11:52
President was not just reaching over the aisle He was reaching mainly for the blue dog democrats who have proved to be the real spineless ones in these past two years. The President never had a majority in Congress. Look how Lincoln, Nelson etc. voted... And obviously reaching for moderate did not work. This is why we need to be even more forceful in electing real democrats, but not those who sulk and complain that they can't get instant gratification from a situation that was impossible in the first place. Instead they need to turn up their sleeves and enter the fight. I can' believe they would want to see the Republican and the Tea party in power next year and in 2012.. How short sighted. But nothing comes easy as you point out, so back to work to make a triumph of these coming elections once again, with real grown up enthusiasm for the right think, not for moaning and complaining.
+18 # Jeff 2010-09-27 13:51
Since Françoise mentioned the Blue Dogs, I'd like to mention that they are not entirely the President's problem. We need to hold the Democratic Party leaders in Congress, particularly the Senate, responsible for failing to discipline the Blue Dogs. The first time a Blue Dog failed to support the President on an issue central to the his and the Party's agenda, that member should have been warned. The second time they broke ranks they should have lost any leadership position they held. The 3rd time they should have lost their committee assignments. The 4th time their office should have been moved to the basement.

I realize as liberals we are "supposed" to be understanding of differences of opinion, but on issues of central importance what is the point of being a "Party" if the party platform depends on the whims of the member with the weakest knees.
+3 # Patricia Hanen 2010-09-28 06:04
Amen. We have no party discipline and Obama has no political will. The party of tapioca will be replaced by the party of special-interes t fascism. Look at Germany as well as at FDR.
+43 # Carol 2010-09-26 21:55
Lola has said it all. This missive should be placed on top of everything else on the President's desk first thing Monday morning.
We have to believe: Yes, he CAN!
+25 # Elizabeth Baker 2010-09-26 22:04
I agree completely with Lola !!!!!!Let's hope you DID send it to our President. I plan to forward it to MANY .
+29 # Chad Lupkes 2010-09-26 22:22
Roar with the best of them! We've needed someone to take on a full frontal assault against Government by Organized Money for decades.
+10 # Florie 2010-09-26 22:25
+9 # catherine opper 2010-09-27 06:41
Florie: is the address a way to express our support directly to the White House, and, hopefully to the President? We do support him and believe in him. He should know that he can believe in us.
+1 # Hors-D-whores 2010-10-01 04:11
Thanks, just wrote the President a letter, letting him know that I'm going to work as much as I can to give him more progressives in Congress. I also let him know that I think he has done a good job, considering the huge problems he has had to face.
+30 # Texan for Peace 2010-09-26 22:46
Since getting elected he's worried more about offending Republicans than betraying his base.
+4 # bubbiesue 2010-09-26 23:04
I just say, Amen.
+18 # Peggy Wilson 2010-09-26 23:46
We're your base, Mr. President. We'll be at the Lincoln Memorial next weekend. As you "welcome their hatred," enjoy our support. As James Baldwin said over 45 years ago in "The Fire Next Time": 'To create one nation has proved to be a hideously difficult task....' Yet we're still with you, working to complete "the unfinished task" of joining our divided country into one nation... "the great task remaining before us" unfinished nearly 150 years ago. And it's [still] our work-in-progres s, too.
+2 # banderola negra 2010-09-26 23:46
"be who we thought you were" doesn't necessarily square with " . . . who you are".

Wake up. He is who he is.

And it's abundantly clear that millions of dazed liberals, like young steers castrated, dehorned and branded all in the same day, benumbed by the busChENEY facilitation, turning of Amerika (further) on the course of police state, permanent war economy, plutocratic corpacracy before they even knew what hit them, voted for what they wanted to believe (as in faith-based) he was.

You're looking at him -- nothing more and nothing less. What you see is what he is.

Time to review lessons learned, move on and plan and do better. And it's not going to come from the Party with two names!
+15 # donna 2010-09-27 09:34
Move on to what? Another member of the Repubilcant party? NO
+18 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-09-26 23:54
I've said it too many times but I'll say it again: President Obama needs to grow a spine, sieze the bully pulpit and lead; quit being an uncle tom and stand up and fight and start by growig some stones for a change. Cowardice is what appeasement is which is what has been attempted far too long. Bipartisanship when it is a divide between the people and bloody fascism plain and simple is not only immoral...but stupid. I don't choose the word stupid casually. President Obama, put the good of the people FIRST and damn the corporate power brokers. Quit acting like a pimped out whore to special interests and stand for something upon the base that elected you. Quit being the lesser of evils and articlate principles that actually amplify the voice of the base you've been neglecting. Fight for us and we'll fight for you. Fail to fight now at the peril of becoming a one term might have been. Fight, follow or get out of he way for someone who will. Your base simply demands this. Listen for God's sake!
+4 # Just Sayin 2010-09-27 10:59
Standing up to bullies is the hallmark- the litmus test- of leadership, versus merely 'managing'.
Any Management/Lead ership text will tell you this.
Some people are innate leaders;
others are not;
some can learn to be.

We haven't had many in Washingtoon lately... just increases the demand.
+7 # Françoise 2010-09-27 11:56
I guess you thought you had elected superman to the rescue when you voted in 2008! Silly you! Who could have done anything else or anything different given the abundant crises. In this civilization of instant gratification, people can't wait, don't know how to be realistic! Temper tantrum...
+4 # Jeff 2010-09-27 14:04
I my opinion there are a number of important things he could have and should have done and he did not need Congress to do them.

1) He could have repudiated the idea that the Executive has the authority to detain anyone without evidence, charge, trial or judicial recourse. This is forbidden in no uncertain terms in the Constitution ("Bills of Attainder... shall not be passed"). He did after all teach constitutional law.

2) He could have asked that the Military Commissions Act, which ended Habeas Corpus for everyone, in law if not yet in practice, be rescinded.

3) He could have ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell by executive order.

4) He could have repudiated "signing statements" as the extra constitutional excuse for Executive malfeasance they have been since Reagan first used them to explain why he would not be enforcing parts of the law he had just signed.

There are a more. He allowed these symbols of evil to stand, so my support for him is tepid.
+6 # DaveW. 2010-09-27 18:23
Francoise, No instant gratification involved. I voted for a guy who I expected to keep his word. We're still in Iraq and will be for years despite proclamations to the contrary. We're still holding prisoners without trial and spying on everyday Americans. Gays and Lesbians still are waiting to openly serve their country. We need to get off fossil fuels but we're told by the President, two weeks before the Gulf disaster, that "oil drilling in deep waters" was safe. Geithner, Rubin and Summers were financial beltway players who gorged themselves at the trough of avarice BEFORE Obama put them on the govt. payroll. Did the President inherit a monumental mess? Of course he did and most of us recognize that. But he could and should have done better. Do I still support him? Absolutely! But I expect him to keep promises, what a novel idea!, made on the campaign trail. Politicians, even the ones we support need to be reminded that someone is holding them accountable. Blind allegiance is a fool's recipe.
+3 # owlwoman 2010-10-01 09:39
I grok you, Francoise, and I echo your sentiments..... Who among us could do a better job if faced with what he has to deal with? It's one thing to make campaign promises; it's quite another when you get elected and get the real story from a privileged position of being sworn in as POTUS....No one ever knows what they're in for until they're actually there....Godspe ed to the Chief....he's better than what we had for 8 years!!!
+18 # Dinoworldrs 2010-09-27 00:18
I wonder...There is not a single progressive or left leaning voice in his entire administration. The worst elements of the Clinton years and some pretty bad elements from the Bush years all back. But no Robert Reich, no voice of populism.

I think he saw his base as the investment bankers.

Health care started with the drug companies and the insurance companies....ev eryone else came later.

Stimulus started with the banks....

Roosevelt had a massive left wing movement pushing him on.

Sad to say, despite huge unemployment, all the underinsured, etc, we don't seem to be able to mobilize any kind of mass movement.

Without this...the future looks pretty alarming.
+6 # Françoise 2010-09-27 11:58
And what would you have done given the weak congress and the party of no and the strength of the lobbyist and money makers...
+6 # Jeff 2010-09-27 14:10
He should have run them over. Bush did it with a much smaller Congressional majority.

Against all evidence, I hold the hope that when the Republicans next control Congress, the Democrats will do exactly as the Republicans have done and at least slow the damage being done by the Radical Authoritarian Right.

It is unlikely as in general Liberals want to make things better for people and Rightist are determined to destroy the government no matter the cost to the people or the country. But I hold the hope.
+13 # lindalu 2010-09-27 01:15
Yes you can, Mr. President.
And we will be with you.
+9 # Françoise 2010-09-27 11:59
All the way. And protect us from the Extremists waiting in the wings..
+13 # Evelyn 2010-09-27 03:03
..."Be who we thought you were, be who you are. Welcome their hatred" I Believe at some level you have tried to welcome the hatred but you have also forgotten US you base...go back to being OUR President! Excellent article Mr Ash.
+11 # Passion for Peace 2010-09-27 03:13
Mr. President, this is your call to listen to your heart and do what is right for the American people. . . even if the wealthy elite don't like it. They will hate you no matter what you do so just do what you know needs to be done. Listen to Paul Krugman. He's on the nose more than any other economist.
+8 # Chas. Colburn 2010-09-27 03:51
Thank you Mark! You hit the nail on the head. President Obamma needs to study the work of George Lakoff (a cognitive linguist) who, in his book Moral Politics, very clearly describes the difference between the Right and the Left sides in politics. Lakoff shows why the two sides talk right past each other when he describes conservatives as 'strict father' who's highest moral prerogative is obtaining and maintaining authority, and progressives as 'nurturant parent' whose highest moral prerogative is fairness. Prior to reading his book, as a progressive, I was confused by the likes of Hannity, limbaugh, O'Riley, Bush, etc, but now I can see where they are coming from am intrigued by their rhetoric and their steadfast belief that once they win they can play nice... but until they do, 'all is fair in love and war". The Bush years showed us that the 'strict father' will never gain enough control to rule benevolently, whereas Obamma will be bound by a sense of fairness; as is expected by his base.
+7 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:30
Where does OUR responsibility lie? I believe 96% of the American people need the same thing--financia l reform.

Please google THE AMERICAN MONETARY ACT and see what you think. We need to force Congress to wrest financial power from the Federal Reserve and private banks.
+2 # andre sorgen 2010-09-27 17:53
Quoting Chas. Colburn:
Obamma needs to study the work of George Lakoff (a cognitive linguist).

With all due respect, it is clear that Obama needs less "cognitive linguistics" and more fire side chats, common sense and practical skills.
+4 # Jerry Lobdill 2010-09-27 04:02
There will have to be a sea change in Mr. Obama's direction to accomplish this mission...shoul d he choose to accept it. I'm not holding my breath.
-1 # Wordslinger 2010-09-27 04:44
I voted for change and hope and got Bush III. Now I'm in a quandry: Obama and the democrats in congress continually roll over in the face of republican bullying. The result is a half-assed healthcare program, a half-assed war policy, and a half-assed economic stimulous that benefitted big banks, corporations and finance houses, while main street crumbles. For the firs time in 50 years of voting, I'm seriously thinking of staying home. Voting for the better of two losers -- dems and republicans -- is a waste of time.
+2 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:27
See if you can get behind a populist movement to pass the AMERICAN MONETARY ACT.

Google it. It's a 16-page PDF file, a document in progress. I think it is what 96 percent of Americans need.

Coffee and Tea Partiers UNITE!
+8 # Rill 2010-09-27 05:06
Now, let's all of us send letters of encouragement and support to the President, volunteer for supportive candidates this election and not stop until the mandate is fulfilled! WE - us are the U.S.! Let's get back in action! YES, WE CAN!
+2 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:25



Google the Act and see what you think.
0 # Jim Senter 2010-09-27 05:14
Nope. The time for the President to mobilize and use his base was a long time ago-- when he went for health care deform, and financial regulation deform. No, this is not Mr. Obama's style because, face it folks, he doesn't work for you and me. He's just another Democratic Leadership Council corporatist hack. There is no change we can believe in.

The "progress" made was just moonwalk- looking like we're going forward while really going backward-- health insurance left in the hands of private for profit companies without a fight, and insurance for those who can't afford it left to the whims of a deficit obsessed Congress. And financial reform that simply leaves the disaster makers firmly entrenched.

ANd he can't even fully get behind Elizabeth Warren!

Progress my bleeding hemorrhoids!
+1 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:24
Are YOU ready to take back our democracy?


Google it and see what you think!
+6 # J.Lindsley 2010-09-27 05:42
At last!
What needed to be said stated directly and succinctly.

The President needs to expose the traitorous actions of the Republican Party.

The public needs to see the true state of the Union .

Thank you , Mr. ash.
+7 # jackl 2010-09-27 06:30
Great article...but no one has exposed the real reason for the Obama we often hear...FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!!
+1 # fredboy 2010-09-27 06:31
Yesterday I encountered a GOP-tea party bully. So I let him talk, then I countered. I shared a factual summary of 2000-2008. Reminded him that the Bush team both caused and demanded the financial bailouts. Then projected what will be the eventual response to the GOP madness--mass hatred of the rich. The guy was silenced, and even agreed. We thought Obama was an advocate and champion, but he is not. We need an advocate and champion. Someone willing and able to stand up, enter the ring, and own it.
+4 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:22
Aren't WE the advocates and champions? I remember Obama said he needed US! Why are we rolling over and playing DEAD?

Let's pass THE AMERICAN MONETARY ACT. Google it and see what you think.
+9 # wfalco 2010-09-27 06:34
Obama has been too careful. The Jackie Robinson of our times. But he doesn't have to be. It's not the 1940's and a majority are capable of accepting a black President. However, we have that noisy minority that can not let go of the past.
An easily definable achievment is necessary. Rather than health insurance reform how about Medicare at 55 ! Now that is a real populist idea and something that would really help the base. That was a logical rallying cry that, I believe, would have been extremely popular.
+1 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:20
There are those of us who remember all too well the assassinations of Kennedy, King and Kennedy. I believe 'the base' needs to organize itself, and I think it is doing that. We need to pass the American Monetary Act. Google it and see what you think.
+4 # DaveW. 2010-09-27 12:31
wfalco "The Jackie Robinson of our times?"
Of course the arena is entirely different but Jackie performed rather magnificently under the circumstances and environment he was confronted with. Question? Has President Obama performed magnificently? I believe he could do better. That "noisy" minority you speak of is dictating the dialogue. Can "our Jackie Robinson" get the hit we so desperately need?
+2 # wfalco 2010-09-27 19:13
DaveW-Yeah. Jackie Robinson was selected by Branch Rickey not for his skill alone. There were probably Negro Ball players that were better than him. He was selected for his even temper and acceptability to white America. I think Obama is very mindful of the necessity of his acceptability. Maybe a little too careful.
+2 # DaveW. 2010-09-27 22:00
wfalco, There were indeed a number of Negro ballplayers who had more skills than Robinson at the time. Larry Doby, who broke in with Cleveland in '49 might have been better but he also had a temper.Robinson 's "acceptability to white America" was simply based on the idea that Jackie wouldn't fight back when insulted and heckled. Robinson, MLKjr.,Ghandi. They all applied a passive resistance stance and in the long run, at least in some ways, it worked. I agree with your statement however. Obama has been a little too careful.
-6 # Bob F 2010-09-27 06:36
Obama is no more a real populist than the Tea Party is real populism -- both are facades for corporate (which increasingly means the financial industry) backers.
-4 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:17
Please google the American Monetary Act and see what you think. The American people should be able to unite behind it and force their representatives to pass it.
+4 # genierae 2010-09-27 07:09
Thank you President Obama, for putting up with the hostile and very fickle electorate in this country. All that you have done, and that is quite a lot, has been either jeered at, or ignored by those that should have been your most loyal supporters. We who are flawed, seem to expect our presidents to be perfect, and despite the fact that you have only been in office for little more than a year and a half, you are supposed to have all the problems that have been created by eight years of the Bush regime, resolved, and also to have single-handedly produced universal healthcare, a new economy, including 0% unemployment, cleaned up the environment, and all the rest of progressives' agenda, all with one hand tied behind your back. You are supposed to do all these miraculous things while at the same time you are being reviled and undermined by the very progressives that claim to be your base. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
+8 # june seley kimmel 2010-09-27 07:15
It's as though Marc Ash got into my head and organized my jumbled thoughts and articulated them. I only hope Barack Obama reads them and truly gets it. It is possible that the President is just a bit too NICE! He needs to go toe to toe with the haters as well as standing up for us, his base.
+5 # sir real 2010-09-27 07:20
We have been waiting and waiting and waiting for you sir,to be the leader we elected.
+7 # OldRedleg 2010-09-27 07:31
Very well stated, Marc!

Now, put this out on every petition site on the internet and get people to sign it. Hopefully, the echoes will reach into the dark halls of the White House.
-4 # Realist 2010-09-27 07:36
President Obama is a great thinker and a great orator. He is NOT a leader. He wasn't in the Senate long enough to realize that the president gets things done by button-holing congresspeople, inviting them for breakfast, lunch, anything to get his points across and the votes he needs. He is an intellectual in a do-er's job, and he doesn't know how to do. I'm sorry I supported him.
-6 # andre sorgen 2010-09-27 08:11
Quoting Realist:
President Obama is a great thinker and a great orator. He is NOT a leader. He wasn't in the Senate long enough to realize that the president gets things done by button-holing congresspeople, inviting them for breakfast, lunch, anything to get his points across and the votes he needs. He is an intellectual in a do-er's job, and he doesn't know how to do. I'm sorry I supported him.

You've got what you've got. I hope when coming to vote during the next presidential elections, you will be voting for an individual rather than for the first African-America n/Hispanic/fema le/gay/lesbian/ vegetarian (ect) president. Good luck
+9 # NightRaider 2010-09-27 07:39
Obama made an awful mistake in his attempts to include the Republicans and reach out to them across the aisle.

They have spit in his face for two years.

There is no placating the likes of Boehner and McConnell because they are hard-core, right wing, reactionary, white trash fascists with no souls. Their goal is to take back power even if it means trashing the country. Their avowed goal is to “drown the baby in its bath water.” Goodbye America. Hello dictatorship.

Real patriots, eh?
+1 # tanis Fletcher 2010-09-27 07:39
Sweet of you to trust a politician. Now is not the time for begging. Speak to the folks who voted him in and get them mad based on truth. Teapartiers are mad based on lies and halftruths. You are in a position to reach the young voters. I believe you can.
-8 # Jacque 2010-09-27 07:50
Phew!! I'm incredulous. I don't understand how anyone in this country could support a president who works overtime to destroy our U.S. Constitution to deny us our free speech and right to bear arms rights. This is exactly what Hitler did. The Democratic majority in Congress is at this moment poised to force The Disclose Act on the people of this nation that will make speaking-out against our government a crime. Incredible how anyone could support the man or the Democratic majority in Congress. I am an Independent and would protest vehemently against Republicans in Congress if they were doing this and I hasten to say that, if the Republicans win a majority in Congress, there is no guarantee that they won't return to the dirty work they performed under George W. Bush when they were the majority party. We must join together folks to stamp-out anti-people criminals entering our U.S. government including Barack Obama.
-1 # andre sorgen 2010-09-27 12:51
Jacque, Let's "welcome hatred." I am ahead of you so far: Your comment has generated only 5 minuses in. Mine has 6!! To be serious, I share your concerns about the subtle infringements on freedom of speech under Obama. But make no mistake: the genetic roots of the Disclose Act and current attampts to railoard Fairness Doctrine on radio are in Bush's Patriot Act and the entire anti-Moslem frenzy that swept the country. Another problem: is it appropriate to compare Obama with Hitler. I understand the metaphorical nature of this "idiom." As independent as you might be, still throwing such words around strongly reminds me of those Lefties who compared GB jr. with Hitler (no offence). I would rather talk about totalitarian temptations of some left-leaning Dems. Why do you drag guns here? Nobody talks about forbidding guns as far as I know. Do not want to sound elist and offensive, but I think that this gun/abortion/re ligious freak nonsense damages liberatarian/co nservative cause.
+9 # Anthony 2010-09-27 07:59
President Obama has to stand up to these people, the Party of No, both in the House and Senate. He has to persuade individuals like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to fight the Filibuster Rule. A Rule that is not even a part of our Constitution. When the GOP, the Party of No threatens a Filibuster, then Let them. Make them stay up all night, bring the cots for the Democrats to sleep in all night while the party of NO Stupids talk their heads off about anything. This is the kind of thing the voters in our country will see and note who is the Bad Apple in the Barrel. People like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, who, no matter what the Democrats or President is trying to put thru to help especially our Middle Class, gets his people in the GOP who are in Congress say and do. A lot of it is what they voted for when their idiot President, GW Bush, was in Power. But now that the Democrats want the same thing passed, they vote NO. Our voters are smart enough to see what is happening.
0 # Jane Anne Jeffries 2010-09-27 08:14
We need the American Monetary Act. Google it and read the 16-page PDF file. The Act, when passed, will take America's finances out of the hands of the private Federal Reserve and private banks. America needs to control her own money, not bow down to and pay interest to private parties.
+8 # OzzieKen 2010-09-27 08:43
Realist - who should you have supported then? Maybe Palin?

Democracy hasn't changed much in hundreds of years - which means that pretty much entrenched interests get their way. As far as American democracy is concerned here is a sobering fact from a 2004 book called "50 facts that should change the world" by Jessica Williams. Read it and perhaps we can understand how much this great man - your President - is pushing Sh*t uphill to achieve the self evident changes urgently needed in America.

"There are 67,000 people employed in the lobbying industry in Washington DC - 125 for each elected member of congress"

Hey baby! What happened to the log cabin to presidency thing that people like me always thought that America was all about? Much of the rest of the world looks to the U.S.A. for leadership. I hope that Obama who already has achieved so much (he stopped the world from a GFC meltdown)will realise that the GOP IS the party of No and get stuck in to them!
-10 # Mark Hamilton 2010-09-27 08:43
Yes, Mr. O. Attack those big money institutions like BP and all those who took money from those corporations. Oh say you took more $ from BP than any other candidate in '08. Nevermind.
+4 # Cecil Paul 2010-09-27 08:45
Please send this Article to President Obama.
+10 # Ed Rogers 2010-09-27 09:02
Dear Marc, Thanks for the perfect summary. Our forgetfulness about FDRs comments about the money-people should show us that we are at the center of the probem, not just innocent by-standers. And I'm disappointed in the ones who are ready to transfer blame to Obama, as though he were just another con man. The money-people are well entrenched, far more powerful than the game-players of the '20s, and we who would like to see a change are pretty jittery. "So let's not dig in and put up a real fight! Lets just quit and blame Obama for the fact that he and his team aren't perfect." (Like "Boo-hoo, I'm sorry I supported him!") Our planet is cautioning us that we are going in the wrong direction, with climate change and great loss of life, but the money-people figure theres safety in money, so they'll be OK. I suggest we all extrpolate our climate change, and look at our neighbor planet Venus to see where we're heading. Being a money-person won't be any help!
+4 # ginny 2010-09-27 10:38
Yes there are some liberals left in Obama's administration and here are some of them:
Eric Holder
Elizabeth Warren
Steven Chu
Valerie Jarrett
Michelle Obama
Austan Goolsby

And I think there will be more. Emmanuel Rahm is on his way out and I believe replacements made by the end of the year will be more liberal. I also believe Obama will use this time before the next election to stand for more of our liberal values. I do agree with Ash to some extent. I have urged Mr. Obama (I email him frequently) to be more courageous and I am a member of orgs like MoveOn and I am working in this coming election.
He has been intimidated by Boner and others but I suspect less so. My guess (and hope) is that we'll see more of the President Obama that we thought we elected.
And TELL HIM. Work for it. Push him harder than the Party of No, of STOP progress, CAN.
0 # Sallyport 2010-09-27 10:53
I did not vote for Obama, feeling that his ambition to be president far outweighed his ambition to right the wrongs of the previous administration( s). I voted for KcKinney, about whom I had no such misgivings. Nevertheless, I rejoiced in Obama's election as a symbolically healthy happening. That joy was almost immediately dashed by the collapse of the peace movement, intending not to make difficulties for the new president. It was soon clear that the liberal-left-pr ogressive cohort had succeeded in defeating itself by simply letting the new administration carry on the worst policies of the old. McCain-Palin is a horrible image, but such an administration would have immeasurably strengthened a resistance movement & set us on the road to a decisive win this year. I will vote for democrats this year, but without much hope. Meanwhile and thereafter, I will be out on the street every week demonstrating for PEACE, one thing I have no doubts about.
-2 # Peter Brazaitis 2010-09-27 11:58
Well said Mr. Ash. I hear the same thing from Obama core supporters throughout CT. We find ourselves defending him, and in our hearts we are disappointed that he and the Democratic leadership have squandered their mandate and allowed the Republican hypocrisy and need for power to thwart Democratic principals and initiatives. Their success is only because of poor leadership and lack of resolve by the Democrats. How can Democrats explain how they have allowed the Republicans to convince the masses of Americans that better health care, regulation of run-away banks and Wall street, making the super rich pay just taxes, is inherently bad and not in the peoples best interest? Many Democrats I have spoken to, and myself as well, do not believe he has "faced the lion and proven his courage". This election in CT, the Obama administration will be the best ally Republican candidates have. .
-3 # enrique 2010-09-27 12:20
If you have to tell your "leader" over and over again: please, please lead! yet he still doesn't, there must be something wrong. Leaders are supposed to DRAG YOU, instead you have to PUSH HIM.

Hasn't it finally dawned on you gullibles: this man doesn't want to lead; that's why he appears so lame most of the time. He is a double agent! His job is to delay and procrastinate, gain time for the plutocrats to complete the coup de grace. Americans, you are about to be check mated!

Yes, you must not vote republican, but you must not vote for this man either. In the absence of a third party (another one of your brainwashed follies) you must find a new Democrat leader, hopefully not another charlatan. But I hoped the last time.
-1 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-09-27 20:59
You'll probably take a beating for your views Enrique but you are right on the money. In voting for Obama I was not asking him to be a superman but I did not expect a wimp. His apologists make me cringe. I will most certainly vote Democratic but I don't believe he deserves a second term at all. The leadership and backbone desperately needed do not seem likely from him and we have to do better. We could at least use someone who is more capable of appointing a far better cabinet than he did. Maybe next time we will be able to nominate someone who isn't a coward which is precisely what he is. I grant him no excuses. He's not a leader, period. He has not used his base effectively nor carried out the mandate that we gave him. Just one single moment of appeasement was one moment too many and he has squandered his chances to be a leader far too often to make up for it now. To say that the Republicans have no answers is not sufficient for proposing that Obama does. Half assed to me is not a leader.
-1 # DaveW. 2010-09-28 09:28
Daniel, You're rocking the boat again and the "Blind Allegiance" crowd is getting restless. You and I both know Obama has been the Compromiser-in- Chief. The luke warm support garnered from many of his policies and cabinet appointments reflects that today. I'm reminded of an opportunity and a movie at the same time. Remember the speech to Congress when the President was "interrupted" by Rep. Joe Wilson? Now, take that lovely memory to the speech Terry Malloy (aka Marlon Brando) gave to brother Rod Steiger in the back of a cab in " On The Waterfront." "On my night, on my night...I could have taken Wilson apart." The name is even the same. That's the Obama I wanted to see. The guy who should have taken Wilson apart and helped to put the rest of us (at least the sane ones) back together. Was that so goddamned much to ask?
+1 # genierae 2010-09-28 09:38
President Obama deserves better than he is getting from his "base", which is filled with instant gratification addicts, who haven't a clue as to the meaning of patience. He's accomplished quite a lot in such a short time, and in an atmosphere of total obstruction and vicious attacks. There's more grit in a teaspoon of sand than in the whole progressive movement, and what unrealistic expectations! Even presidents can't do the impossible. He has to deal with prevailing conditions, and he must also take insider information into account. Hateful attacks help nothing. It seems to me that the majority of Americans don't deserve to live in a democracy, not even a feeble one such as this. Maybe the coming Republican takeover will wake people up, but I doubt it. They will just look around for someone else to blame.

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Churchill
0 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-09-30 12:31
I have to say that I love you genierae because of your passion for justice and your optimism and regret that we will not agree on Obama. I take comfort in knowing that we hold a shared vision of the possibilities. While I admire your patience and you take issue with mine with things Obama, I must say that an excess of patience leaves one inclined to compromise on matters where no compromise is acceptable. Neither King or Ghandi would have tolerated the degree of pragmatism at the expense of principle that seems to be just okey-dokey with Obama. If nothing short of heroics is what must be had to turn the tides of history we need a Churchill not a Chamberlaine in the White House. Obama just doesn't cut it. He is interim in value only. No, I accept no appologies on his behalf. It is not, and never was, expecting too much for him to sieze the day and AT LEAST fight with an unequivocal fire in his every word and deed regardless of outcome. I voted for a fighter, not a mediator. Are we not at war?
+5 # Patricia Larson 2010-09-27 13:11
I totally agree with this post. Please Mr. President work for your base - the right has said it will do nothing different in its pledge to America - stop trying to be so terribly civil and intellectual - just fight for what is right for the majority of the people.
0 # Watcher 2010-09-27 13:31
Surely you jest?
There are NO responsible, honest politicians. Hasn't the media mind washed public figured that fact out YET?
Well, give it another two years.. and very likely they will be VERY aware that "something" is awfully wrong.
But, by then the rags of old glory and the stern of the ship of state, will both be far under the leaden waves of economic disaster.
America is history....
But people like this still write "It's gonna be O.K. articles, praising the likes of Dubbulah Bush and this current fraud.
+5 # Robert J Molineaux 2010-09-27 14:04
Ash has hit the nail on the head. Obama is apparently unaware of the power of the presidency and/or reluctant to bring it to bear against sectors he views as "powerful." No president can or should attempt to negotiate with those sectors which consider the government to be their junior partner. He must stop placating them and start confronting them. If the whorehouse congress attempts to block him he should go to the people with his anger or use executive orders.
+3 # PamelaDRich 2010-09-27 14:56
Yes, WE can. I want to know Mr. President, if YOU can. WE sent you to the White House with a mandate to affect real change. Now, act upon that mandate. Yes, YOU can, but will you?
+6 # dupagedem 2010-09-27 15:22
While I agree that corporations and Republicans want the President to fail, he cannot, like FDR, challenge or welcome their hate. They probably do hate him, but he can't goad that hate.

He faces a very different hate than FDR faced. FDR's was ideological hate. Barack Obama's haters are racist.

I will never forget on the rope line in Chicago the weekend he announced he would run (2/10/07), I was close enough to hear a supporter tell Michelle Obama, "I am afraid for him." Michelle quickly answered that they could not live their lives in fear...they couldn't live that way.

Thank God for the Secret Service.
+4 # Allan 2010-09-27 16:47
I agree with Lola. Mark Ash, you have done it again -- captured what's in many of our thoughts and articulated it beautifully in a clear and straight-forwar d manner. As ex-President Carter stated recently, our nation is more polarized today than at any time in our history, including the run up to the Civil War. There are many deep, emotional lines of disagreement and we need an ultra-strong President like FDR to demark those lines clearly to the American people and argue why compromise will not work. Could Lincoln compromise on slavery? With Obama's outstanding ability for oration, he could be the leader we need, but even his rhetoric seems to have seriously diminished since the campaign. Obama's base is disappearing because we elected him to demand real changes, not halfway measures like the healthcare act. Sometimes, standing on principle and losing a battle is better than winning with a halfway solution that puts off the really needed changes for another decade.
-1 # genierae 2010-09-28 09:45
FDR's accomplishments were also "halfway measures", which grew over the years into excellent programs for the people. Obama's healthcare system will only get better IF we continue to support Democrats. Back in FDR's time, people had some patience with their leaders. Alas, today's voters have none.
-1 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-09-30 12:32
Quoting genierae:
FDR's accomplishments were also "halfway measures", which grew over the years into excellent programs for the people. Obama's healthcare system will only get better IF we continue to support Democrats. Back in FDR's time, people had some patience with their leaders. Alas, today's voters have none.

How many terms did FDR get to make it work? President Obama does not have that luxury. Sorry. Excuses won't overcome a lack of real leadership.
+2 # billy bob 2010-09-27 17:17
President Obama has internet access right?

If he hasn't already read this article, he's probably not really interested in our opinion anyway.

Personally, I think he knows how we feel. I just wish he'd grow a pair and do something about it.
+2 # roanna 2010-09-27 21:15
Bravo Mr. Ash. President Obama, make us want to vote FOR you again, and not AGAINST a Republican. We were your base and want to have the opportunity to scream and shout praises about you. Please stand up against those who laugh at us and think progress is securing a chaste system in America. And remember AMERICA NEEDS JOBS!!
+3 # Ben Turk 2010-09-28 00:12
The first sentence is false. Obama campaigned as a pro-business candidate. You got what you voted for. Don't like it, refuse to vote for it next time. Both parties' "power is rooted in private corporations". Healthcare reform was not a "modest improvement" or a "historic achievement". It was an increase in customers for the insurance companies that ruin american healthcare in the first place, a backstep. "You must look to Gandhi, to King" I thought Glen Beck took over the job of appropriating, watering down and elevating false and exaggerated images of those guys. Oh well.
+1 # Age of Discernment 2010-09-28 08:32
I think Ben knows what he's talking about.
Sorry to use the W-word, but I think it really is imperative ('high time' to add a cliche) that WE all, non-corporate media cartel types, start demanding a higher standard of truth and veracity. G#d gave us our brains and intelligence for a reason- to win this (seemingly perpetual) struggle against enserfment, mental abuse, and exploitation. Proper PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION (whose lying; whose bullying) is nearly always the greater [though typically unheralded] part of victory.
We all face very serious (and that means DEEP/structural ) problems today.
This is, with all due cyber-respect, not a place and time for fools.
0 # Ellis D. Tripp 2010-09-29 11:30
Obama is a corporate president, as are all presidents. The interests of the corporations come first while we get bent over.

Well, either that or he's a typical Democrat who lacks the balls to follow his convictions. As much as I despise what the Republicans have become - the party of the rich, the racists and the religious right - I am sick to death of gutless Democrats who refuse to fight for what they say they believe in.
-1 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-09-30 12:34
Quoting Ellis D. Tripp:
Obama is a corporate president, as are all presidents. The interests of the corporations come first while we get bent over.

Well, either that or he's a typical Democrat who lacks the balls to follow his convictions. As much as I despise what the Republicans have become - the party of the rich, the racists and the religious right - I am sick to death of gutless Democrats who refuse to fight for what they say they believe in.

Amen Ellis D. Tripp...a thousand Amens!
0 # photojack53 2010-10-01 09:39
This vital site and the facts it posts won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, so the information is indisputable. 6 pages with about 20 promises kept on each one, and of such diversity and foresight, you know Obama's accomplishments in less than 2 years far outweigh what little Bush accomplished in 8! Bush, Cheney and Rove actually DAMAGED our country and its relations abroad! WAKE UP AMERICA and VOTE OUT THESE EVIL REPUBLICANS!
This crucial website shows how much all the Democrats accomplished to get our nation out of the quagmire the Republicans left us in:
And most of those crucial issues were won over the blocking, filibustering and negativity of REPUGNICANS!
0 # shadyladymiami 2012-02-21 19:18
I worked hard for Mr. Obama to be elected and stood in line for hours to vote.. with people that NEVER ever vote dragged along with me. I was extremely happy for the first two years but actually was ready to turn my back in disgust and disappointment during 2011. Why President Obama was not more intuitive about the Republican agenda and their lockstep mentality when the rest of us saw it clear as day I STILL do not understand. The Republicans are all about money and power and they kiss the feet of the rich fat cats in this country. There was NO reason for them to try in the least to make this country better or help bring us out of the ditch that they put us in. If they wanted their power BACK they had to do everything IN their power to destroy Obama. Remember the general rule.. NO negotiating with terrorists. So WHY President Obama insisted on trying to do exactly that for SO LONG, I will never understand. SOMEONE finally (Michelle?) got through to Obama (I hope and pray!) and I think he has finally, sadly, figured out there is nothing these people won't do, including tank the economy, to destroy HIM (and the rest of us can eat dirt as far as they are concerned!) They hope the economy will not be ON ITS WAY up until early NEXT year and believe me, Obama will get NO CREDIT once they are in power. We cannnnnnot let that happen!

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