Have We The People been betrayed by President Obama and his fellow Democrats? Betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow, especially when one as an individual tries to maintain some semblance of hope that his elected officials will do the right thing, only to realize they have done him or her wrong.
Our American lexicon offers several choice terms to describe a betrayal, a subtle indictment to how little attention our cultural lexicon is given to honor and integrity, by men in positions of authority. Backstabbing is one such term. Backstabbing is like, well, being stabbed in the back with a knife, or more appropriately, dozens of daggers that, for a few corporate silver dollars, have been thrust into our working class backsides by our entrusted elected representatives.
We know the Republican Party is in the proverbial pocket of the powerful billionaires and their corporations. That is a given. There is no glimmer of hope or honor within their ranks.
The Libertarians, through the invention of the Tea Party, have been usurped and bastardized by the Koch Brothers’ more insidious plans. Even Ron Paul appears to have sold out many of his principles in order to elevate his son Rand’s presidential ambitions.
Has my hope for President Obama’s best intentions been diminished as well? Since the invigorated promise of his reelection, actions have come to light that do not speak favorably for him or his majority Democrats.
A clear verdict has been difficult to ascertain, the deciphering between the rhetoric and actions often quite murky and convoluted. A ‘when all is said and done” litmus test seems the best tool to apply.
A “when all is said and done” litmus test application to the much hyped and fear-mongered “fiscal cliff” produced this final result: the primary victims of the fiscal cliff resolution were working class Americans, as the payroll tax break was eliminated. The increase in the higher tax bracket for the wealthiest Americans will ultimately have little impact since, with the retention of the preferential tax loopholes, the wealthiest Americans’ effective tax rate still remains low. Did President Obama ultimately agree to do what he said he would not do, which was to raise taxes on working middle class Americans? Yet, we know President Obama to be an honorable man.
Recently, President Obama signed HR 933, the annual Agriculture Appropriations bill that includes a provision that protects egregious agriculture giant Monsanto Corporation from any litigation lawsuits associated with their genetically engineered (GE) seeds and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Included in the bill is a rider, Section 735, dubbed by critics the Monsanto Protection Act, which says federal courts cannot intervene and halt biotech companies from planting and selling GMO goods to the public, even if testing proves them to be potentially hazardous to the greater public. Even after more than 250,000 people signed a petition asking the White House to intervene and ensure the bill was not passed, President Obama nonetheless approved the bill.
Did President Obama side with corporate interests over Americans’ health needs, an act which would question his populous stance? Yet, we know President Obama to be an honorable man. Many of his leading Democrats also endorsed the Monsanto Protection Act provision, an act contrary to their own rhetoric. Yet, we know the Democrats to be honorable men and women.
Also, while the nation was distracted by the Boston bombing incident, the House continued its dismantling of the Fourth Amendment as well as protecting corporate interests by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, known as CISPA.
Apparently, we can easily get bipartisan congressional support when it comes to protecting corporations.
President Obama has allowed Senator Reid to prevent any progressive legislation changes to pass, by Reid’s refusal to take appropriate action to reform the current filibuster rules, allowing Republicans to stonewall any good, sensible legislation for the average American to be passed. Yet, we know Senator Reid to be an honorable man.
President Obama has allowed his Democratic Senators to cower from doing their elected job and stand up for reasonable gun legislation. One cannot solely blame the obstructive Republicans on this failure. Applying the “when all is said and done” litmus test on this issue to date, President Obama’s attempt at gun control has been a boon for gun sales, and the gun manufacturing companies’ stocks during this period reached record yearly highs. Was this the ultimate goal?
Despite his oath to not raise taxes on our poorest of Americans, President Obama has taken a Koch Bros.’ approved conciliatory stance by stating he is willing to implement financial austerity measures that will punish those Americans who least can afford financial cuts, by reducing social security cost-of-living increases and increasing Medicare payments. Yet, we know President Obama to be an honorable man.
The conciliatory stance is allegedly meant to get the Republicans to also be conciliatory and eliminate their wealthiest patrons’ coveted tax loopholes. The Republican leadership merely laughs in return. The Democrat Senate and House leadership are suspiciously silent concerning this betrayal. Yet, we know them to be honorable men and women.
A reflective review on other important issues the Obama Administration should be addressing reveals the following:
There appears to be no movement on enacting progressive climate change legislation.
After President Obama’s initial opposition to the Keystone pipeline project, his present growing support for the Keystone pipeline project does not bode well, and will not help America become more energy independent. The pipeline is carrying low-grade crude oil that Canada wants to unload and the Koch Brothers stand to make a lot of money refining this low-grade crude oil since they have the exclusive contract for the refining.
In truth, now in his second term, Obama has betrayed his constitutional rhetoric by continuing the Patriot Act provisions, Section 215 in particular, which dismantles our First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment constitutional rights. Yet, we know President Obama to be an honorable man.
President Obama continues to allow illegal and immoral practices to be conducted at Guantanamo Bay prison. President Obama says the blame lies with the Republican-controlled Congress who is preventing him from closing the base. Does that excuse after four years in office, still resonate?
The Obama Administration continues to maintain their international drone program which treats innocent civilians that are “accidently” killed in the line of fire as collateral damage.
Five years after the housing financial crisis which nearly destroyed our economy, the Obama Administration still hasn’t sent any of the most egregious financial players involved to jail nor has any legislation been enacted to prevent or make criminal any similar event from reoccurring.
The Obama Administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder recently confessed that our largest banks are too big to be prosecuted. Yet, Attorney General Eric Holder, sanctioned by the Obama Administration, has been willing to prosecute courageous Federal employees who have blown the whistle on several federal programs riddled with waste and fraud, utilizing the WWI-era Espionage Act to prosecute the whistle-blowers.
A Senate committee has found fault and continual lies from JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon on global financial misconduct, yet President Obama continues to play golf with Jamie Dimon, and had considered him as a replacement for Treasury Secretary.
Why can we not find the same courage and conviction among our legislators that is so strong among our brave Occupy Wall Street protestors? Why, with the Democrats in power in the Executive branch and the Senate, do we not hear their progressive voices on the mainstream media outlets; instead only through back channels on alternative media outlets, as they whisper their words to a receptive though miniscule audience?
Yes, we have been betrayed and the disappointment is palpable. What choices are left for us, We The People, the 99 percenters, to be heard over the corporate plutocracy one percenters and their treacherous henchmen and women?
We can’t rely on the system; the corruption is too embedded. We must solve our problems on our own and circumvent our American institutionally-rigged undemocratic system. WE must resurrect the Occupy Wall St. Movement, organically expand its voice, with all participants equally strong and able to lead individually and as one strong collective voice.
For future elections, we could apply a crucial litmus test for governance such as to not elect or select a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, or an executive from Goldman Sachs, J.P.Morgan, Monsanto, Bain Trust, etc.; you get my drift.
I could mention the few strong voices in the Senate and Congress that have the integrity and compassion to represent us properly; however, their uphill battle under the current system appears insurmountable. No, for real structural positive change, we must think outside the box for a solution.
What do the powers that be still need from us to protect their wealthy interest? They need our obedience, our work sweat, our tax dollars and our consumer money, of course. It’s time we took a lesson from Henry David Thoreau and initiate acts of peaceful civil disobedience, a rare remaining Constitutional right we still have. As Americans, as workers, as consumers, we can do this!
Here’s the game plan: Don’t go to work. Don’t buy anything that’s not the bare necessities. Withdraw your bank funds. In solidarity, a social network coordinated nationwide work stoppage en masse. We have all earned a vacation, that’s for certain. Let’s all take one together.
Like those spontaneous flash meetups, when the moment is right, we all receive a text or twitter message to not go to work, or not shop, or withdraw our bank funds. We’ll find out, thanks to the elimination of our protective financial reform Glass Siegel Act, how few funds are actually in our multinational “too big to fail” banks. Bring crony capitalism/ corporate feudalism to a grinding halt. We’ll get the plutocrats’ attention right where it hurts… in the wallet! Then, we have the leverage to negotiate a better future.
Let’s use our critical thinking to establish this critical mass solution, peacefully, joyfully, a festive 99 percenter parade! Unlike Caesar, we shall refuse to be surrounded by betrayers. Nor shall we betray ourselves by giving up on ourselves. We deserve better. We can do this!
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Well written article.