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Andelman writes: "Shall we tell them how you came into office... wrapped in a message of hope and change... promising transparency... saying you're one of us... and then how you fought relentlessly to help the people of this country? Or should we tell them the truth, Mr. President?"

President Obama notices some pre-school children peering out of a window at a child care facility in Bethesda, Maryland, 06/09/11. (photo: Pete Souza/White House)
President Obama notices some pre-school children peering out of a window at a child care facility in Bethesda, Maryland, 06/09/11. (photo: Pete Souza/White House)



What Shall We Tell Our Children, Mr. President?

By Martin Andelman, Reader Supported News

02 January 12

 

t's 4:00 AM. I couldn't sleep...

I had lunch with my 15-year-old daughter today. It's her Homecoming Dance this coming weekend, and with 12 of them all going together, they thought they'd get a limo to take them to dinner and then to the dance. The kids were struggling with being able to afford it and get it done, so she called me. My wife and I decided to help them make it happen. But that's not my point here...

During lunch she said in passing: "Maybe a few years ago when people had money..." and it made me sad to realize that they know... they see and hear what's happening in this country... they see people, including me, working more and worrying more. This has already affected their lives growing up. They'll take the feelings they have today with them through the rest of their lives.

I'm going to vote for President Obama in 2012... again. I'm going to do so because I see no viable alternative. And I will pray for us all.

But, what shall we tell our children, Mr. President?

Shall we tell them how you came into office... wrapped in a message of hope and change... promising transparency... saying you're one of us... and then how you fought relentlessly to help the people of this country? Or should we tell them the truth, Mr. President?

How you turned your back on the working class in this country to favor the banking class. How you decided that a mediocre healthcare bill was your priority over 20 million Americans losing their homes. How voters became so angry with your administration that you lost control of the congress after only two years and now we face gridlock and nothingness as a result. What shall we tell the children about how your decisions affected this country, Mr. President?

Should we tell them how things are fair in this country, that we are a nation of laws and that we are all equal in the eyes of those laws? Is that even true anymore, Mr. President? Should we tell them about our nation's Founding Fathers and how they envisioned a representative democracy, a republic, in which our elected representatives represent the will of the people? How can we show them their vision and claim it came true, Mr. President?

Should we tell them how we are a nation, one people, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all? That united we stand and divided we fall? That we never leave Americans behind; that we care about the poor as we care about the rich? How can we tell them these things, Mr. President? Is this what you and your wife are telling your children, Sir?

What should we tell them about the future of this country? That the working class people of this country all became irresponsible at the same time, went out and bought homes they couldn't afford, and now deserve to be losing them... 20 million or more Americans... all losing their homes, and that once that happens our economy will be better? Is that what you'd have us tell them, Mr. President?

Because that's crap, Sir, and I don't lie to my daughter... ever. So, I think I'd prefer to tell her the truth about what's happened, Mr. President. That a small group of rich bankers broke laws, abused our financial system, caused the incalculable pain and suffering they see around them... that our government was inept... that they looked the other way because they were so out of touch with the way the world really worked... works. That we can't really trust them because they will be influenced by moneyed lobbyists pedaling the views of a small segment over the needs of the nation. That we cannot trust or believe in politicians when they say things, whether to get themselves elected, or otherwise.

Like you, Sir... that they cannot trust people like you, Mr. President.

Shall we tell them that this is the land of opportunity, and that we strive to make that opportunity as equal as possible? That crime doesn't pay, and that they can be anything they want to be as a citizen of this great land? Because that's what I was told as a child, and I've believed it all of my adult life, Sir. But not anymore, Mr. President... and not because of what our last president did or didn't do, but only because of what you have and have not done.

You alone have caused me to lose my faith in America, Mr. President. How could you allow that to happen, Sir? I feel a loss so great and so tragic that I can barely think of it without weeping, Sir. I wonder if Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, Kenny Lewis, Dick Fuld, John Mack, John Stumpf, Vikram Pandit... and all the rest... do you think any of them feel that way, Mr. President? They received record bonuses for their role in our nation's fall from grace, I wonder what they will tell their own children about this time. Do you wonder that as well, Sir?

I haven't lost a house, Mr. President. I haven't lost a job either. And yes, my daughter and her friends will be driven by limousine to their Homecoming Dance. And you can know that I thank God and this country every day that my wife and I were able to make that possible.

But, because of your policies I also know that no one in this country is economically safe, and no one will be safe for a long, long time. Millions more will endure pain and suffering to a degree that should not be possible in this country. And that's your fault, Mr. President, not President Bush's, or anyone before him. You were given the ball, and it was yours to run with... but you ran the other way.

What shall we tell our children about that, Sir? That you said you were a man of the people when you were riding around Iowa? Do you think the people of Iowa knew what you'd do once in office, Mr. President? Because I surely did not know, Sir, I surely did not know.

What shall we tell the children, Mr. President? How can we tell them the truth? How can we tell them that we've lost faith in America... that our government has abandoned us... that we no longer feel like a nation whose government is of the people, for the people, and by the people? That thus far you've failed us, Sir.

What shall we tell our children, Mr. President?


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+43 # Scott479 2012-01-02 18:14
I'd like Martin Andelman to read this at the end of a 60 minutes show-and, at a distance, I think Andy Rooney might enjoy that too .
 
 
+51 # Richard Raznikov 2012-01-02 19:23
Well, Mr. Andelman, this is fine as far as it goes... but what will you tell your children when they ask you why. after being abandoned by the President not only over the economy and special deals for the banks, after seeing your civil liberties –– and your children's civil liberties –– wiped out with his acquiescence, after the nation's treasury is further ruined by more and more wars of corporate greed against countries which have not attacked us, you still voted for him in 2012? Will you say it's because you didn't know what else to do? That there didn't seem to be any other viable candidates? That the Republican nominee would have been worse?
I'll tell you this: I am telling my grandchildren that after backing Obama and working for him in 2008 I feel betrayed, and that the ONLY way to stop this obscenity is to stop feeding it; that I will vote for Rocky Anderson, or Ron Paul, or anyone who stands up for what's left of my Constitution and Bill of Rights, because to support the re-election of this man after what he's done would be a betrayal of my grandchildren and of their birthright. The future must start somewhere and with someone. Let it start here with me.
Stop giving your vote away to anyone who tramples on your rights. Spend it on someone who makes you feel clean.
 
 
+39 # karenvista 2012-01-03 00:19
Vote for Rocky Anderson. He's not insane like Ron Paul.

Read Ron Paul's official campaign website. He will reduce taxes to zero within three years (read his Budgets) there will be no military, no Federal Government, no national parks, no interstate highways, no federal agencies (FDA, CDC, DOE (which takes care of our nuclear weapons) and all the other agencies that provide, at least, a little, protection of citizens from megacorporations.

And of course, he is going to do away with the Fed but since he is also doing away with all taxes would he actually have a government owned central bank and mint? If so, how would he finance and guard them with no tax base to pay for it?

Or would he do like we did before the First Bank of the United States where we had more than 50 different currencies circulating, both foreign and state issued and no one knew what any of them were worth at any point in time so scoundrels ranged the country cheating people out of money they were unfamiliar with and arbitraging it at great profit.

That's why the First Bank was founded. The Congress and founders agreed that the country and its commerce couldn't proceed under the previous circumstances.

Think about what Ron Paul is proposing and the inherent impossibility of implementing it all with no tax base.
 
 
+12 # jcdav 2012-01-03 08:07
karenvista: thank you for your intelligent comment..and history lesson..I have come to look forward to your contributions here. the below referenced guardian.uk link is a good start..thank You for the lead I had never heard of Mr. Anderson.



Due to the many reference links I wanted you to read this in the original –
I stumbled on this via comments on another article ..I had never heard of him before..I await his platform with great interest…there is much wrong in gvt.for the most of us

I would like to see correction not continuation. How about you?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/12/rocky-anderson-radical-third-way


Rocky Anderson in 2002. The former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah expects to launch the new Justice party this month. Photograph: Douglas C Pizac/AP
"As long as the fear of being a spoiler prevents people from moving in a direction that will change the corrupt system that's in place, then we'll never see change in this country," he says. "At least, we'll never see changes move in a positive direction. The choice people have now is to either support a very different way that would signal a revolution and vast correction of the systemic problems in our government – or they can carry on going in the same direction they have been going all these years that's resulted in so much tragedy for people in this country and the world."
 
 
+21 # kitster 2012-01-03 09:17
before you do anything as ill concieved as voting for ron paul, please educate yourself about his economic beliefs. his "libertarianism " is only a smokescreen for disaster and fiscal foolhardiness. please, as well, read the following comment be karenvista. she pretty well sums up his speciousness.
 
 
+3 # patw 2012-01-05 02:11
And will you be able to tell your children you were in frequent contact with the White House and your Congresswo/man and Senators to tell them what you want? I read that Obama has said he hears from thousands of Americans every week (day?)about Israel. We know Congress hears from AIPAC. And the war drums are beating for Iran. And we heard the candidate McCain singing about attacking Iran four years ago - if he were president, that proably would have happened by now. And the Republican candidates talk about attacking Iran, too.

Our elected officials want to get re-elected and in the end - all the $ in the world cannot buy enough votes (if the voting machines aren't tampered with) from informed and active citizens to win elections. If enough of us counter pressured Obama and our other elected officials with what is right for our country, and they still served the interests of the military corporate "persons" then we could complain, if they still sold us out. But until enough Americans actively participate, not just by complaining, but by contacting those elected to "serve" us and our country, we don't know what they would do. How many of the people writing and reading these comments have called about the issues you care most about? I'd suggest calling about Iran, now, if you care about what happens there.
 
 
+46 # RMDC 2012-01-02 20:27
Yes, this is right. The worst sorts of people, including Obama, run the world. They are driven by psychopathic ambition that simply has no sense or honest, decency, compassion, or honor. Oh yes, they are good actors. Obama can play the role of the concerned and compassionate man. But down deep he feels nothing but contempt for the proles who require such performances from him.

We need a regime change. The system we have cannot be reformed. There are a few honest politicians but they are far too few. The psychopaths run the world. They are delusional. They cannot be reasoned with. We will have to go through the collapse and then rebuild.
 
 
+44 # God Dont Like Ugly 2012-01-02 20:33
"Is this what you and your wife are telling your children, Sir?"

I would like to hear Mr. Obama's answer to that question.

Bravo, Mr. Andelman, well spoken.
 
 
+20 # Averett 2012-01-02 23:50
Excellent letter, Mr. Andelman.
It truly hurts to see the opportunities he (Mr. Obama) had and squandered when he assumed the Presidency. I too will vote for him again, if my choices are Paul, Perry, Jeb Bush or just about any other Republican. This is the perfect time for a truly progressive candidate to challenge the incumbent. The Republicans are a party of 25%, and Obama has destroyed his base of support. Just imagine what we could do - or at a minimum, stop. Imaginepolitik. net
 
 
+21 # PeterAttwood 2012-01-02 23:52
What goes on in the mind of a man who can say all these true things, who evidently gets it, who knows and understands this grinning psychopath - and then decides to vote for him anyway?
 
 
+10 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-03 00:44
Peter Attwood: You said it so well.
Does Adelman lack insight, clarity or a spine? He gets it and negates it! If a good man does not stand up in the face of evil and do something about it, evil will prevail.
 
 
-1 # Lolanne 2012-01-04 10:55
Quoting dorianb@fuse.net:
Peter Attwood: You said it so well.
Does Adelman lack insight, clarity or a spine? He gets it and negates it! If a good man does not stand up in the face of evil and do something about it, evil will prevail.


@ Peter Attwood and dorianb, Pt 1:
I'd say what goes on in Mr. ANdelman's mind is just common sense. I'd say he understands reality: if we let the Repigs take over again WE ARE LOST! They will not be satisfied until we are ALL impoverished, all except the few at the top who already have most of the nation's wealth. They won't stop until the 1% have ALL of it! And they'll stack the Supreme Court with far-right goons so that whatever they want to do will easily be ruled into law, if anybody dares to challenge them.

Don't you understand that dividing the vote is GIVING the election to the Repigs? Can't you remember 2000 and 2004? Good people "voted their conscience" (I was one of them), and thereby handed dubya the presidency (along with the Diebold manipulated results in key places).
 
 
-2 # Lolanne 2012-01-04 10:55
@ PeterAttwood and dorianb, Pt 2:

We MUST keep the repigs OUT! And the only way to do that in 2012 is by keeping Obama in. Yes, he has disappointed me; yes, there are things he could have done differently. But if we can get a Dem majority back in Congress and support OWS to help them keep the pressure on and the public informed, we will have the power to begin to change things! PLEASE DON'T SCREW IT UP BY DIVIDING THE DEM VOTE!

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN!
 
 
+26 # fdawei 2012-01-03 00:01
Thank you Martin Adelman for your clear insight. Unfortunately, referring to RMDC, honest politicians cannot garner sufficient votes to be elected. Why, because their voices will be drowned out by the demigods, the delusional foul-mouth radio gasbags, the right-wing preachers as well as the conveyors of disinformation and fear.
More important, what will Obama's children say to their classmates and colleagues and friends in their later years of their fathers' betrayal of the hope people placed in him in 2008. Not to mention how he enabled Wall Street to take over America and bankrupt the country.
 
 
+6 # James38 2012-01-03 00:10
Otto von Bismarck said, "Politics is the art of the possible" Uber-liberals have been dissing Obama since back during the health care battle. I find it annoyingly puritanical, and out of line. Some keep harping on the borderline if not actual conspiracy theory type stuff "he was put forth to continue the Bush policies...etc"
Some have taken to calling our current President a "liar" or a "coward".

Before all of this really helps to push a real jerk into the Presidency (any of the Republicon candidates), I recommend all of us, especially the hyper-critical ones, to read the book "Obama's Wars" by Bob Woodward. It does a good job of putting you in the President's shoes. Also, go to the article at
http://thedemocraticdaily.com/2009/09/22/politics-is-the-art-of-the-possible/
This, and especially the book, will give you some perspective on the President's situation, and on a way for you to understand how you would deal with being President yourself. You may be surprised at how different it looks from that perspective. At least you will probably understand that as president, you are still your own person, but you better be stronger than you may be able to imagine to live up to the standards you are demanding of Obama.
 
 
+13 # Karlus58 2012-01-03 11:03
Yes, I see what you mean. So, the answer is to provide a Congress aligned with the President. We mus rid ourselves of the corporate cronies in Congress. That must be job #1.
 
 
+1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-03 18:13
Karlus58: Job#1 is to rid ourselves of Obama. He has lied to us, betrayed us and our democracy by taking away our constitutional rights. This from a law professor who taught Constitutional Law?
Forget about the congress being corporate cronies. Obama is a corporate cronie. He got something in return for signing in a fascist law. He will go down in history as the worst POTUS who brought our country down and betrayed the American citizens, the US and our democracy which he took an oath to uphold. No more pointing the finger else-where or apologizing for him. Obama knew what he was doing when he signed the law.
 
 
+19 # banichi 2012-01-03 00:33
I read this and wept. It says so clearly and succinctly what I have been seeing and concluding for the last 3 years of an Obama administration that has no care for the people, the citizens, the 99% - us. This article could be read verbatim by Keith Olbermann as a special comment - and I hope it is. It deserves to be.

I don't believe in any politicians, no matter the party, with a few exceptions such as Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, and a few others. The only thing left for me to believe in is my fellow American citizens, who will suffer, and many die...for the lack of sufficient care for the nation of laws that is now coming apart, no, being torn apart, in front of me.

Revolution? Is that all that is left for those who care about this country? Tear it down and rebuild it - in a world so polluted that we have, most likely, already passed a tipping point with the release of the giant methane plumes as the ice melts?

We can only try to start - never knowing if we are too late on so many fronts that it is overwhelming.
 
 
+7 # maveet 2012-01-03 16:54
Yes, am with you. My sole consolation is that I left the US under Reagan and am watching this devolution from the relative safety and sanity of Australia. As I was moved to post on Lawrence O'Donnell last night, the mindset of living in a country with few gun owners, universal health care, and mandatory voting (instead of wholesale disenfranchisem ent) is so different an underpinning as to belong to different species.

"No care". When you look back at the American history of struggling for the most basic of rights, you find that it's ALWAYS been an uphill struggle. How tragic is that? Maybe something about the belief in Exceptionalism via the puritan legacy brings about this extreme social Darwinsim. And I weep often, too. How 'bout how even msnbc is totally down the rabbithole of Iowa caucus?? Namaste
 
 
+6 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-03 18:18
Namaste, maveet. You have written a poignant and realistic comment. btw, the universal HC you are speakaing of is a far cry from Obamacare. I am a HC worker and have spoken to medical people from Europe and the US and Obamacare is not what it should be or what you have. We need a Single-Payor HC system which Obama wanted not part of. Blessings!
 
 
+4 # TexasAnn 2012-01-03 01:01
Honestly, I remain flabbergasted at previous supporters of Obama who have become so quick to dis him. Well manipulated by the Right, it seems to me. While many of your thoughts are well-stated and are ones with which I agree regarding the state of affairs, I wonder at your analysis that Mr. Obama has this amazing power as President---pow er not given to any President in the Constitution and who knows that better than Obama. For now, I will simply say, re-read Obama's inaugural address and the campaign messages prior. Never does he promise to single-handedly wave a magic wand to turn everything 'wrong' around on a dime. He repeatedly reminds us that it takes all of us, it takes time and that it won't be easy. He has stopped a fast runaway train and begun to turn it around, which is huge. He has trimmed govt spending more than any other President before him. He has launched more initiatives to get us on the right track than he touts. He is, in my humble belief, 100% honorable and a 100% to the vision he gave us all. Yes, imagine, even slightly, being in his shoes (representing all Americans)and working within our system of govt (which is awesome, but moves slowly). I will proudly campaign and vote for him. Get a grip and do your part to back this amazing individual; with 'friends' like you, he doesn't need enemies and he has enemies doing all they can to get rid of him because THEY know he is doing all he can and more to make good on his promise.
Think about that.
 
 
+5 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-03 18:25
TexasAnn: Obama had the POWER to not sign the HL bill into law which takes away constitutional rights from Americans we have relied on and taken for granted. Any American can be arrested, detained indefinitely without due process. He took an oath to protect our constitutional rights and betrayed us. Noone held a gun to his head and told him to sign a fascist law. He's a constitutional law professor and knows exactly what he signed. You may not be fully aware of the seriousness of this law which curtails your democatic rights and your children's and grandchildren's for years to come. "Dissing" Obama isn't enough. He needs to be impeached.
 
 
+9 # disgusted American 2012-01-03 01:23
first comment is to Martin Adelman, author of this article: after all the harm and horror of Obama, you'll still vote for him? Have you no self-respect?

You can vote for Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson or stay home that day. Saying you'll vote for him negates everything you wrote about him.

What should you tell your children if you vote for him?

next, James38, people don't have to read a book to try and find a way to excuse Obama. Jerk is too light a word for him, and any of the other idiots won't do any worse to us or this nation and the world. It's a one-party operation in D.C.

If you can still apologize for him and think he's having a hard time living up to our standards, you are clueless. Obama is getting everything he wants and then some. He's got you fooled.

btw, the only conspiracy is on the part of this president, his administration and all the politicians - and let's not forget mainstream media. That's your conspiracy team, not us.
 
 
+3 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-03 18:45
Disgusted American. Now I understand you! You are disgusted with Adelman for not seeing the forest for the trees and Obama for his failed promises and for being the worst president we've ever had in America and the "Obama Apologists" whose excuses are running on empty. I'm with you, Disgusted American. Anyone who can vote for a man who took an oath to uphold our constituional rights and signed them away after betraying us in so many ways and on so many levels prior to this ultimate betrayal is either sleep-walking or dense or still in the snare of his "hope and change" rhetoric.
 
 
+3 # disgusted American 2012-01-05 02:50
dorianb,

Democrats including Obama talk the talk and think they're fooling us, and this is as disgusting as Republicans who let us know from the get-go that they don't give a damn about us.

If people continue to apologize for these miscreants, those people will get what they deserve - more of the same and worse which is on the way at a fast pace. Sadly, the rest of us will get what they deserve as well.

People need to get out of the R and D boxes and realize that this country is run by a one-party system that pretends to be two-party.

I have little to no tolerance for stupidity and always hope that people will educate themselves so they can get clear on what goes on re political posturing and the divide and conquer game Washington plays.

And, yes, Adelman's comment blew me out of the water. If he's going to vote for Obama anyways, that's where his article should have stopped b/c he has rendered the rest of it meaningless.

btw, Obama is not the worst prez - he's one of several. He has taken up where Bush left off. I saw through him during his campaign when he talked about health care reform, and I could not vote for him. I voted for myself b/c I certainly wasn't going to vote for McCain.

The scary piece is that the majority of Americans either live in denial, take what TV talking heads say as gospel or don't even know what is going on except who won Dancing with the Stars.
 
 
+1 # OrlandoDFree 2012-01-03 02:17
This letter is a lot of bunk. President Obama has fought hard for the American people in the most hostile environment for change I have ever seen. (I think the right is fighting so hard because they know how much Obama wants to change.)
The President gave us the best health care bill he could get past congress, which, I'll admit, wasn't everything I wanted, but it was a lot better than we had before, and I can finally buy my own health insurance. For that alone, Obama has my enthusiastic vote this year. But there's more. The President also passed the biggest stimulus that Congress would allow (which wasn't big enough), and it created millions of jobs. He pulled us out of Iraq. He would have done a lot more if we voters had organized and fought with him instead of spitting on him. It's the Republicans who are blocking real change in this country. Those of us who want change need to organize and fight for it. We can't expect Obama to do it all, and we have no business kicking him because he didn't single-handedly convert Republican congressmembers into human beings.
 
 
+3 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-03 18:49
Are you for real? OrlandDFree? Have you read the fine print in his HC bill? Do you understand what the HL law will mean for American citizens. Are you aware he is taking money from WS contributers as we speak?
 
 
+1 # OrlandoDFree 2012-01-04 01:40
As I said, his health care bill made it possible for me to buy insurance for the first time, and at a good price. And as I said, no, the law is not ideal. But it's better than the alternative, which was nothing.
What fine print are you referring to? You refer to fine print without telling me what it says. Am I supposed to just take your word for it that the law is bad?
 
 
+1 # disgusted American 2012-01-06 01:50
OrlandoDFree,

Obamacare will not provide you with access to affordable care. It's based on the failed MA plan which has premiums that are not affordable for far too many including the subsidized plans (except the free one).

In Obamacare, if you are at 133 percent FPL or less & under age 65, you'll be dumped into Medicaid. No other choice. Medicaid benefits used at age 55 and up are subject to the federally-requi red estate recovery program (OBRA 1993). Congrats. You just got a mandated collateral loan.

The MA plan & Obamacare are oppressive & regressive. Gov't tells you how much you can afford to pay based on your income - prior year for Obamacare. Earn more money & you pay a higher premium even if the amt earned is not enough to pay the more costly premium. You may find yourself better off not seeking extra work or dropping work.

You'll be forced to buy health insurance before you buy food, heat your home, pay property taxes, rent or mortgage, etc.

If you can't afford insurance so remain uninsured, the tax man comes after you. In MA, the DOR; Obamacare, the IRS. If you can't afford to pay the penalty on time in full, it is treated as a tax debt with all the bells & whistles.

Your best bet is to start planning how you will be the least victimized by this scheme.

Perhaps a few out of millions will be helped by Obamacare. How many is it OK to exploit in order to benefit a few?
 
 
+15 # Carolyn 2012-01-03 03:06
Obama has come to a sleeping people. Every inch and every acre of our land, as I understand it, has now been defined and signed as a battlefield, over which, as we are at war, we have no control.
And we are still dreaming of the changes we will bring in the "next" election.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
 
+7 # davehaze 2012-01-03 05:27
What the heck is an "uber-liberal?" Should I feel insulted?

What did we expect of Obama? That he be just a little better than Bush. There have been some good arguements and REALITY that he hasn't.

The only refuge regular liberals have left is that the Republicans are worse than Democrats. (sigh)
 
 
+12 # davehaze 2012-01-03 05:33
What standards are we demanding of Obama?

That he represents us first, them second. ("us" are people, "them" are corporations both national and foreign)

Ooooo, too much to ask.
 
 
+7 # stonecutter 2012-01-03 06:25
@James38: Good to see one reasonable counterpoint to the river of pain and anger expressed in this "letter" and these comments, notwithstanding a few of the typical homicidal rants attached to every comment stream at RSN.

Mr. Andelman expresses the disappointment and betrayal many progressives and others feel toward Obama, not without valid justification. However, a couple of points bear scrutiny:

1. At least twice, Andelman goes out of his way to exclude previous presidents from any blame in his indictment of Obama's "crimes" against the people, specifically excluding president Bush, and by implication Clinton, Bush Sr. and of course Reagan and Carter. To exclude all these presidents from creating the economic Everest that Obama had to climb when he took office seems grossly unfair at best, and at worst the mask of some hidden agenda that singles out Obama for reasons other than his "inept" handling of the presidency; he leaves the rapacious wars, tax cuts and spending of Bush, or the duplicitious "triangulations " of Clinton, or the union-busting, corrosive "trickle-down" voodoo economics and Alzheimer's presidency of Reagan, blameless. Sorry, can't buy it.

2. Andelman says he's still voting for Obama. I can't refute this off-the-wall intention any better than Richard Raznikov above. Given his complaint, Andelman's seemingly heartfelt letter just doesn't add up as anything more than an eloquent criticism: the line forms to the left.
 
 
+2 # gwynneac 2012-01-03 10:47
Ya, when are we going to stop blaming Bush for stuff that Bush did?
Keep it up, you self-serving ultra-liberals and we will be dealing with a Supreme Court that is to the right of Himler.
 
 
0 # angryspittle 2012-01-03 10:58
Jesus, Don't vote for him. Vote for Ricky Anderson or someone else.
 
 
+10 # eAlan 2012-01-03 11:22
Yes, Obama brought us hope, which is wonderful. But it is a mistake to think he has the power of a God and can with the wave of a wand change everything. He has to deal with the right wing Republicans in Congress and the conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats (that wouldn't support a "single payer" health care system).

Yes, Obama could have used the "Bully Pulpit" more to counteract the "Tea Party" wave that swept in more of the conservatives, but he is still our best hope for progressive change.

We need to develop a "groundswell wave" of support for progressive Democrats to take back Congress in the 2012 election, with especially getting a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
 
 
+3 # bobby t. 2012-01-03 11:57
monday morning quarterbacks are a dime a dozen. easy for all of you to say. theodore sturgeon, the great science fiction writer famously said,
"Eighty percent of everything is crap!" that is what i am hearing except for a few rational people. hitler used divide and destroy. that is what people are advocating here. the rich love that we are so sick of the crap that we hear from all sides that we don't vote, or vote for nader or anderson or paul, and kill any chance for real change. they are all partners, crooks, work for the corporations, etc...why bother. that is what they want you to keep saying. we need a huge turn out the vote campaign and throw the bums out of office. like lieberman who with another democrat killed the public option, and thus left the price fixing of drugs (by the drug store, not the drug companies!) and the profits of hmos to their raping of the people. and millions to suffer with no insurance yet.
too many people stay home during a very serious election. obama just slid in in 08' by one percent of the vote. women want legal abortion but vote for the idiots who want them to go back to coat hangers. women want no glass ceiling and vote for the good old boys club. blacks vote for bigots. and liberals vote for the other side just for spite because of their disappointment that obama was not god. get real. it is not that hard to figure out the tactics of the right. it is easy catch 22. no revenue, no jobs. no jobs, we win. too hard?
 
 
-1 # BradFromSalem 2012-01-03 12:13
When you evaluate Obama's 1st Term here are a couple of items to consider:
#1 Would McCain have been better?
#2 Did you think that Obama was a Progressive in the mold of Sen. Sanders?
#2.1 Did you think he was to the left of Nancy Pelosi?
#3 Did you vote for Obama because you believed it made no difference who was president and its about time we had an African American President?
#4 Did vote for him, relieved that Hillary was not the Democrat?
#5 Did you vote for him, but really wanted Hillary?
#6 Did you vote for him because Sarah Palin terrified you?
#7 Did you vote for him because a)he was the Democrat OR b) he was not the Republican?
Before jumping all over President Obama consider why you voted for Obama. If you believed that he was an anti fascist Progressive, dedicated to taking advantage of the difficult economic bankruptcy to truly remaking the American economy and making the United States into a beacon of peace, cooperation, and transparency then I blame it all on you. If you believed that Obama was that transformationa l messiah that the Right Wing wants you to believe you thought he was; then blame it all on you.
The Simple truth is that Obama is a centrist who understands our problems and the solutions but cannot bring himself to believe that the solutions on the right have ALL been explored. He believes in compromise, but has failed to comprehend the power of the Oil Oligarchy and the Military Industrial Complex.
 
 
-2 # gwynneac 2012-01-03 13:52
How funny/sad when average Joes declare themselves to be smarter than Presidnet Obama! Do you really think that you have the intellect, government data and experience to state that POTUS does not comprehend Big Oil or the Military Industrial Complex? REALLY?
 
 
+6 # BradFromSalem 2012-01-03 14:00
gwynneac,

Maybe he is powerless against them and my words were not as precise as they would be in a more formal format.

But, using your logic; on an intellectual capacity, who would have been a better Prez; you or Bush2?

I don't know you, but I vote for you, or me. Either way is an improvement.
 
 
0 # futhark 2012-01-03 13:56
LiberalLibertar ian, I didn't vote for Obama for all the reasons you listed, except #5. The last I heard, Hillary considered herself to be a Democrat, for as much as that may be worth. I voted for someone who I think would have made a more just and effective president, Cynthia McKinney.

Obama seems to think that all the political pundits are correct in assigning some kind of virtue to "centerism" and thinking that compromise is an effective way to build consensus, even with parties that are dedicated to exploitation and destruction.

I think that severe problems, such as those now faced by the United States, ought to be dealt with by radical approaches. The opposition has their right to carp and complain about, but not to impede, progress toward achieving health, equity, and justice in the world.
 
 
+4 # BradFromSalem 2012-01-03 14:33
futhark

I pressed the Green button.

I may vote for Jill Stein this time around, but I can do that with little risk of harm to Obama since I live in MA, and I doubt many here are enamored with our former Governor.
 
 
-3 # MsO 2012-01-03 12:56
Tell them Obama is not in charge and that his near-total about-face is purely a matter of family and self-preservati on. He has my heartfelt sympathy for the dilemma he's in--he should have yours too.
 
 
+5 # BradFromSalem 2012-01-03 13:35
If there is anything we can learn from the Obama presidency is that whoever is the President, has only a small impact on the direction the country takes. To think he could pull off what either Roosevelt accomplished or even what LBJ accomplished is naive.

The Right Wing has been working diligently ever since the Great Depression. Not to make America a better place, or achieve world peace, or even to create an open, democratic society. They have worked diligently to reassert their political agenda cum power. They are trapped inside their own webs of lies and bald faced power grabs.

It is all slipping away, and in their desperation, I fear for our safety. Obama is not the source of our problems he is a victim as we all are. And, Simply put; the Right Wing always blames the victim first.
 
 
+10 # colvictoria 2012-01-03 17:22
If he is not in charge then he should step down and resign and move back to Chicago. Maybe he could do more good for humanity if he returned to his grassroots community organizing job or became a minister or something else besides being a puppet president.
Maybe he can redeem himself by going to Pakistan and personally apologizing to the 24 families who lost a love one. Maybe he can tour Libya where Black Libyans are being lynched and slaughtered an apology would hardly be acceptable. What about going to Afghanistan and rebuilding the lives of victims to US military "mistakes".
I hope Obama realizes how he is being played. In the long run he is the one that will go down in the history books as the betrayer of so many people. Meanwhile this 2 party charade will continue as long as we buy into it and keep voting the "lesser evil".
 
 
+4 # bobby t. 2012-01-03 13:25
sorry for the misquote. ninety percent is crap.
 
 
+5 # shortonfaith 2012-01-03 20:40
Thank you Martin Andelman. I too worked hard, gave & believed. We know politics is a hard-ball blood sport. After Bush/Cheney we wanted someone to get back some of the things we had lost in the last 30 years. If nothing else, we expected a start in that direction. That is done by addressing openly which of the things & people committed acts that were against the law. Not just things that were morally wrong but, all those things that were obviously legally wrong. Hundreds of people needed to be called out, charged & punished. Not only has Obama help furthered the loss of our rights as a people, he has allowed those who blatantly broke the law to profit & thrive. He has thrown in jail those that had a civil right to speak out. He has protected & furthered so many bad policies start by Cheney it has been almost as if the two administrations were seamlessly connected. Even his prized Healthcare can be overturn at any given moment. Nothing has been solidified here. We only carry the hope of something actually happening in healthcare. This one thing is granted only by our deep need to have it happen. The Supreme Court can take it away at a moments notice. Then Obama will have accomplished nothing for the American people. Only a small credit card reform bill.
Meanwhile millions lost jobs & homes & 1/2 million more have been separated from their children so we might create US low wage earners. I see only 4 years of talk & talk followed by I can't do it, they won't let me.
 
 
+5 # Activista 2012-01-03 21:02
"it has been almost as if the two administrations were seamlessly connected"
the ruling class, the special interests group, neocons, MONEY rules - this is the SYSTEM/game. Next president will have to obey - just to get money to get re-elected.
 
 
-2 # OrlandoDFree 2012-01-04 01:50
"He has thrown in jail those that had a civil right to speak out"
Huh? Who has Obama thrown in jail? Many OWS protesters were thrown in jail, but Obama was NOT the one behind that.

"Even his prized Healthcare can be overturn [by the Supreme Court] at any moment..."
Surely you're not blaming Obama for that! I certainly don't like the possibility that SCOTUS may overturn the law, but that's just a reason to fight harder. It sounds like all you want to do is complain. We on the left need to stop complaining and start fighting for real change. Electing Obama was only the first step. Instead of fighting, much of the left went to sleep, only waking up long enough to complain. We need to organize if want real change. (At least OWS seems to have figured this out.)
 
 
+10 # Activista 2012-01-03 20:57
the solution that could save the country:
Debt Relief (search Joseph Stiglitz)
When it comes closing the gap on the country's $1+ trillion deficit on $14+ trillion in debt, Stiglitz says the country can turn things around in 4 relatively easy steps:
1. Repeal the Bush-Obama tax cuts for the richest Americans.
2. End the WARS in Afghanistan and Iraq, "that have not improved our security" and are costing trillions of dollars. In 2010 Stiglitz published the book: The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.
3. Get Americans back to work. Stimulus and works programs are politically untenable right now but Stiglitz says spending on these programs will ultimately reduce the debt because if we put people to work and "our tax revenues will increase enormously"
4. Reform Medicare Part D - Under the current law, big pharma sets their own prices. Stiglitz says if that provision is eliminated and the government can negotiate drug prices it would save taxpayers $1 trillion over the next 10 years."
5 (by hasapiko) --- add to that contain health care costs and higher ed costs that are strangling the middle class.
There are smart Nobel laureates Americans - can they team with "politician" and run as independent?
 
 
+2 # bubbiesue 2012-01-03 21:58
Amen, Mr. Andelman. I wish I'd said all that, and I'm a grandmother. I don't see how my grandchildren will have half the opportunities I've had in life.
 
 
+1 # Robt Eagle 2012-01-04 12:06
Obama, the disaster maker...he has sent us into an inflationary period, the likes of which has never been seen before, and yet to come, but come it will and hit America hard.
 
 
+3 # Uppity Woman 2012-01-05 00:56
I feel great sympathy for President Obama. I'm quite sure that he and his family have been threatened with harm if he goes too far with a populist agenda. It seems that many have forgotten that his grandmother died just after he won the election. It seemed very suspicious to me, as we had not heard that she was ill during the campaign. This is why we must consider alternatives to solving our problems that do not depend on politicians. If they have family (and if they do not, they will not be allowed to get very far) they will not be able to work for our benefit without risking their lives. This is something we all know, it has been true since Lincoln, at least. This is why the Occupy movement is our best hope at this time. We can change the world, but we can't expect help from politicians, they are just vulnerable individuals like the rest of us. Only by making substantial changes in our own lives can we affect the type of change we want to see in the world.
 
 
0 # Mandelman 2012-02-24 02:57
First of all, there are a couple of things about Obama's presidency that are facts. 1. He came into office at one of the worst moments in modern American history. 2. He has faced opposition from Republicans that decided to vote in unison against him every time, and he learned of that decision during his first month in office.

The advisors he chose to listen to and the decisions he made in year 1 are on him. He knew the economic stimulus wouldn't stimulate, it would make up for state budget deficits. He also knew there was no such thing as a shovel ready project. He could have gone back to Congress and had the fight, but he chose not to. And we are all paying for that decision today.

He decided, while the US economy was clearly sliding off a cliff, to devote his second year to health care. The result was a bill that makes no one happy.

From there he went into financial reform and in the end passed a bill that wouldn't have stopped the last crisis from happening, let alone the next one.

And through it all he managed to fail spectacularly with every single program designed to mitigate the damage caused by the foreclosure crisis.

He didn't have the experience... the RNC was right about that.

But who are the guys running for the GOP this time? And do they all get out of one tiny car to hold their debates?
 

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