So back to the half measure Obama has seemed to take so far.
What are we getting out of the White House...
But first let me stress that, yes, we are not a year in yet. No, I don't expect the moon, nor a unicorn for Christmas. But things were said last year, speeches were made, and a lot of talk about hope and making tough decision and being committed. Where the fuck has this taken up so far? Where is his campaign trail passion and fire?
AMERICAblog notes what I was saying, he seems to be all about the compromise.
...A lot of the criticism of this president has been over his willingness to cave on a promise at the drop of a hat, even when he holds some pretty damn good cards....
Why does he seem so adverse to political risk? He seemed eager to face it last year.
Look at health care reform. They don't want it to be messy. They sit on there hands for months. Only when things are about to fall apart and say...something. They say don't care about a public option, then say it is valuable, then say it is not important, then say it isn't key, then say...I am not sure where the White House is standing now.
Then there is the attitude that seems to permeate much of the White Houses actions, and what Dem leadership is saying. They seem quite adept at telling bloggers, grass root types, legislators, and other eager liberals to just go and shut it. Go after teabaggers, shut it. Criticize Lieberman, shut it. Put out ads to try and push blue dogs on health care, shut it.
This has actually been position of the Obama team since last year, if you remember. But it didn't keep any of us quiet. And it seems they still do not want the additional rhetoric, nor do they wish to acknowledge any of the impact it has had. Impact on the media discourse, and, of course, as pressure on him to take stands, speak up, or not think he is working carte blanche.
Look how at how many of the supporting groups from last year have been treated.
...Women are pissed because the White House didn't seem very worried about throwing them overboard in the health care reform bill. Gays are pissed for about 40 reasons, including the President's defense of anti-gay laws in court (and his lawyers' unfortunate comparison of gay marriage to incest and pedophilia - oops). Civil Libertarians are ticked that he flip-flopped on his support for domestic spying. Health care advocates are outraged that President Obama seems to have forgotten all the health care promises that Candidate Obama made. Everyone is ticked about the genuflecting to Wall Street that seems to take place on a daily basis. And so on. ...
Before Stupak got placed in the House Health Care bill, the White House assured NARAL that it would keep reproductive rights protected, if they would not cause trouble during the creation of the bill. NARAL agreed, kept its people out of the way. And look what we got. Where was the White House? Did the Prime Directive suddenly come into play and they needed to just not interfere?
And now we seem to be sending 30,000 to 36,000 additional forces into Afghanistan. Slightly less than what was asked for, but not a withdrawal either.
What does this mean? Interesting question. If it falls to pattern so far. We are sending them in as being enough to complete the plan that the 40,000 (originally 80,000) were wanted for. Namely to seed them in the mountain region in isolated groups to fight. A crappy plan.
But perhaps, they have a new innovative plan that needs fewer and pushes this conflict towards some resolution. That would be nice. Because up to this point, over the past several years we have had jack shit for a plan. Fight the Taliban. Fight the terrorist. Secure the capitol. Build roads. Destroy opium fields. Send drones into Pakistan. Do you see a problem here? Where is the end goal? How long did the Soviets do much of this before packing it in? Why? They were trying to hold and subjugate, and it didn't stick. We are trying the same, with a nicer face. We need a newer, realer, plan now. Because now we are just throwing Americans into harms way for little real return.
So I await Obama's speech next week. What will it be? A plan? Because I don't fucking need a lofty speech about our international aspirations and hopes. No soaring rhetoric about a commitment, expect towards a real ends. I need to now what we are going to do to resolve are involvement over there. No more just cutting down the middle commit to a result and accept the risk of not being lauded for it. I need some fucking leadership to start emanating from the White House. Take some stands. Engage supporters, the country.
I don't consider myself much of an idealist. I am a pessimistic bastard. But what are the White Houses goals for the first term? Get a second one?