Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Embarrassment of President Obama's Presidency?

Ain't No Full Mettle Backin'


in memory of Francois-Marie Arouet (with a couple nods to Allen Ginsberg and Bruce Springsteen)

Was not Voltaire himself thrown into the Bastille after his conviction on May 16, 1717, for satirizing a ridiculous government?

As the very last person from America who still has an iota of pride for supporting the philandering philanthropic Philistine, John "son-of-a-millworker" Edwards, I am ready to join The Old Grey Lady in lambasting the duly-elected, never-my-choice President, but I will not pretend to be writing "news" when I am editorializing. Nor will I cite the same things that "reporter" Peter Baker did in this morning's top-headline-posing-as-news: "He presides over a government that to critics appears ever more intrusive, dictating health care choices, playing politics with the Internal Revenue Service and snooping into journalists’ phone records." [my emphasis] Baker's list is the flash-in-the-pan, sensational, ripped-from-the-headlines chaff that sells dying print-media to "the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." My list is more substantive and grave, IMHO...much like my careful use of IM lexical phraseology.

At least since Tammany Hall and probably since John Winthrop added his John Hancock to the Mayflower Compact (that is not a mixed metaphor, but an anachronism), we have seen, in American government, the sort of silly business that the IRS has now been accused of. In fact, the clear-eyed and level-headed will probably find that, while partisans certainly over-stepped, the far bigger contributing factor to their malfeasance was the blundering idiocy that is born of mammoth bureaucracies. A tax code that is larger than the OED begs revision.

That the whodunit nonsense of Benghazi can be strung out by the news stringers for another month is the absurdity brought to us by the simian listener-ship of SS-Unterscharführer Glenn Beck and Rush "12-step-programming" Limbaugh. Does Joe Six-Pack or Jose Wetback (the contingent of voters that will matter in coming elections) really think the credibility of this Presidency and its political party hinge on how many agencies helped develop talking points for talk-show hosts one Saturday morning in October or on the Justice Department's just investigation of a national security leak? It is not like Eric Holder, Susan Rice and Victoria Nuland were creeping around with flashlights in some hotel, despite what FOX might contend.

That the once careful editors of the United States' paper-of-record would permit "dictating health care choices" to appear in Mr. Baker's fanciful list of reasons that "critics" see Mr. Obama as unable to master his presidency rankles me. I am no huge defender of the incremental Obamacare proposal; however, it is not Obamacare, folks. It is the legislatively approved law-of-the-land and our POTUS is charged with carrying it out.

All of this Peter Baker mumbo-jumbo is outrageous, for sure. It is the sort of news that feeds political apathy and the sense of hopelessness best exemplified by my friend-of-a-Facebook-friend who just accepted my gentle correction that the sexual assault case from the military that she thought she heard about a week ago was, in fact, a different case not involving a sergeant responsible for sexual harassment at Fort Hood, but instead "the recent arrest of the Air Force's head of sexual assault prevention on charges of groping a woman."

This stuff all needs to give-way to the real problems of our generation which are "dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix." Here is my list for Obama about stuff that really calls into question "Mr. Obama’s ability to master his own presidency."

Number one: Stand behind your environmental women. First, Lisa Jackson and now Gina McCarthy deserve your full-mettle backing. You were a sunshine patriot and summer soldier with Jackson, often letting her get run over by a natural-gas powered bus, and now you have boldly put forth McCarthy as your next Cabinet-level EPA Administrator. Listen to Maureen Dowd. Stop being a sally. Cut some fucking deals and install the people you need to act like grown-ups in your Administration. The only thing that matters for the continuation of our great republic and a bearable human existence, for that matter, is the mitigation and adaptation strategies that you put in place for climate change. That responsibility has been squandered by every Administration since 1988 and simply cannot wait until 2016...or the return of Billary. 

Number two: While Paul Krugman and Rogoff-Reinhart dicker about coding errors in Excel sheets (with the full involvement of the pundit class of the Financial Times, New York Times, Guardian, and WSJ ), drive through a bailout with some teeth. Do you want to be remembered as the douche-bag who believed in investment, but stood by as austerity measures were imposed? I am no supporter of American exceptionalism, but we ain't the PIIGS or even Olde England. We may not have German unemployment rates, but we have some wiggle-room. Let Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury George Gideon Oliver Osborne exhume the ghost of Margaret Thatcher. You need to get on with the Keynesian agenda...and I don't mean eugenics.

Number three:  I am sure that you will manage to castrate Krusinski and you let Matlovich be "out." Huzzah! Now it is time to do Eisenhower's bidding and hold a bake-sale. If you cannot reverse the death march of the military-industrial complex, if you let us get dragged into more endless wars, not only will you make a mockery of the Nobel Peace Prize that you received in your early moments in office, but you will condemn the United States by leaving it ripe for a rising fascism.

Number four: Mr. Obama, tear down that prison. The school board of Newtown, CT, can vote to tear down their school and re-build in just a few short months, but we have waited five long years for you to restore America's moral high-ground by razing Guantanamo.

Keep your eyes on the prize.