A beleaguered President Barack Obama called a last-minute press conference in the Roosevelt Room of the White House yesterday afternoon after a self-induced politically disastrous week. Meanwhile, Obama administration betrayee Shirley Sherrod says that she’s still deliberating whether she will return to the Obama administration or whether she could be a more powerful and more effective agent of hope and change from outside of the administration. (I hope that she chooses the latter course of action, that she writes a book and goes on a lecture tour, perhaps.)
Rachel Maddow (whose stuff I should watch more often) has a piece on how President Barack Obama just can’t get his legislative and other accomplishments acknowledged. She notes that the Beltway has dubbed this phenomenon “the Obama paradox.”
Eh. It’s not rocket science. Let’s look at the pieces of it:
Obama never was going to get and never will get the support of the Repugnicans, something that he knew or should have known even before he was inaugurated. Not only is he a Democrat (at least titularly), but he isn’t a white man. Two strikes and he’s out.
I’m not sure whether Obama’s (rather lame) attempts at bipartisanship were naive or whether they were political kabuki — that is, he knew that he’d never get any significant bipartisan support, but he figured that he’d better put on a good show of trying for it.
Also, because they’ve coined “the Obama paradox,” I’ll coin “the Bush effect.”
“The Bush effect” is the phenomenon in which the president who preceded you was so fucking awful that the presidential bar has been lowered all the fucking way to China. Therefore, in order to be perceived as anything near a Lincolnesque or Washingtonian president, you pretty much have to raise the dead — or at least heal the blind.
Then, there is this phenomenon in which, because American standards have dropped so low, too many Americans want praise and special recognition for just doing their jobs.
This, of course, ties in with the Bush effect, but the fact is that Obama has just been doing his job. (Minimally, that is; the legislation that he’s been able to pass has given too many concessions to the corporatocrats and has not been progressive enough.)
Obama is supposed to lead the nation in a way that benefits the most number of Americans. That’s the job of the president of the United States. (If the POTUS is a Repugnican, then the job description changes: the Repugnican POTUS leads the nation in a way that benefits the richest.)
For Obama to brag about just doing his job is pathetic and sad.
And then there are the Obama administration’s fuckups. The Shirley Sherrod debacle, most recently and perhaps most notably.
As Maddow recounts, Obama yesterday added an unscheduled afternoon appearance before the press corps to recap his legislative accomplishments of the week.
However, even that was a tactical mistake — it only served to underscore the fact that his administration had fucked up royally by knee-jerkedly throwing Shirley Sherrod under the bus at the very first whiff of the approach of the right-wing, white-supremacist lynch mob.
To betray your own supporter, to sell someone who helped to put you where you are down the river — can you go lower than that?
Maybe we should start calling him Judas Obama. (If he kisses you, be afraid — be very afraid.)
Obama’s refusal to dance with those of us who brought him to the dance — we liberals/progressives (I gave him hundreds of dollars [primarily to knock DINO Billary Clinton out of the primary, admittedly]) — has made us disgusted with and deeply disappointed in him.
So Judas Obama gets no love (and never was going to get any love) from the Repugnicans and their “tea-partying,” cross-burning ilk, and because he has betrayed us after snookering us with his promises of “hope” and “change,” he gets no love even from us progressives.
That leaves him only with the “swing voters,” whom I prefer to call the dumbfuck voters.
And they wouldn’t know a competent president from their bungholes. They still believe that George W. Bush legitimately was elected as president in 2000 and that Saddam Hussein orchestrated 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction, for fuck’s sake.
So Obama’s only potential allies, that I can see, were those of us on the left.
And he has burned us.
Obama finally seems to maybe have something-like-sincerely acknowledged the errors of his ways, but this far into the game, my sense is that it’s probably too little, too late, and that his latest appeal to liberals (which he made just today) rings among the vast majority of us as hollow.