Thursday, January 19, 2017

Au Revoir, Mr. Prez!

Casting my vote, 2008
So much has happened. It might as well have been fifty years ago; at least, that's how it seems to me. On the night that Barack Obama was elected on November 4, 2008, the elation I felt over the idea that a nation that was built upon the bloodied backs of African American bondage had just elevated to the presidency it's first black man seemed too good to be true. For weeks I was walking on air. But as the days leading up to his inauguration went by, that feeling of elation began to slowly dissipate. By January 20, 2009, it was gone, That's when it hit me:
What's this president going to be doing for the next eight years, I asked myself? The same damned thing that black people in this country have been doing for the last four centuries - cleaning up the mess left behind by lazy and ignorant white people! What's the big freakin' deal?
I was expecting the second coming of Franklin Roosevelt with this president, and ended up disappointed. Most of the blame for what he left unaccomplished lies at the feet of the disloyal opposition. He might have done so much more but for the fact that the right wing in congress were determined to destroy his administration. Much as they tried, they didn't succeed. Given all the obstruction (I dare call it "treason") he had to contend with, it's a miracle he was able to accomplish anything. And through the storm, he and Michelle - and those two extraordinary kids - handled themselves with the utmost grace and dignity.
But as much of a disappointment to this crazy lefty that he might have turned out to be, I never - not for half-a-second - regretted casting my vote for Barack Obama. But for all the obstacles that were thrown in his path, he might have been remembered as a great president. Perhaps he will be. At the very least, historians in  the not-too-distant-future will remember him as "near great". Of that I have no doubt. He certainly was the most competent chief-executive of my lifetime - and I've been around since Eisenhower.
I could write more about this but I'm tired and not in the best of moods this evening. In the wee small hours after his election eight years ago, I wrote a piece called "Wake Up and Face the Dawn". This one might very well have been called, "Wake Me When It's Over". The fact that this able and decent man will forever be sandwiched in the history books between George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump is too sad for contemplation.
Every day, the ramifications of this electoral catastrophe become clearer and clearer. I am no longer comfortable living in a country so civically irresponsible that it would send a man as horrifically corrupt, unhinged and unqualified as Donald Trump to the White House. I am so utterly depressed tonight I can barely articulate myself. And to think what we might have been....
God bless and good luck, President Obama. You'll be missed more than you know.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to the piece I wrote early in the morning after that historic Election Night eight years ago:

I cannot believe our luck has gotten this bad. I don't know what else  to say.


At 6:23 PM, Blogger Bill said...

You are not alone Tom. He should have kicked their asses. However, he has to much class and dignity. "Sandwiched" between dim bulb Bush and arrogant Trump is a sad legacy.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

I for one am glad to see him go, ninety percent of his agenda was a disappointment to me. He did far too many things of his own accord that were just Neo-Liberal politics.

Here is an article describing in detail his war mongering ways.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Today we celebrate the three sweetest words in the English language:

Former resident Obama.

exeunt omnes Obama.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You're going miss him soon enough, Chuck. Pay attention.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Sure Tom, sure.

How many of your prophecy's over the past 3 years have come about?

Based on what you've posted here, your track record is pretty dismal. Is this a reflection of your sources or your beliefs? Either way, you make a rotten prophet.

Exeunt omnes Obama.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Tom, I don't think that the worst of your fears will come to fruition, sir. If it appears that things might, then I will stand by your side in protest. I pray that America never sees that day.

Despite your lament as President Obama's administration ends, I think more objective clear-eyed historians in a generation from now will see his tenure for the overall squandered opportunity and mismanaged agenda that it truly was. He will assuredly not be remembered with the greatest presidents of our nation. Indeed, I am very sad to say, he will only be remembered as our first black president. That is the only accomplishment of any significance that he accomplished, in my opinion.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Most Americans miss Obama already.

From Politico:
A majority of voters, 53 percent, approve of the job Obama is doing as president in the final days of his White House tenure, while 44 percent disapprove. That’s a marked contrast to views of President-elect Donald Trump’s handling of the transition: Only 42 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing, compared to 47 percent who disapprove.

As Trump wrecks our economy, endangers our country, gives tax breaks to the rich, and screws the rest of us, Obama's approval ratings will soar.

As Trump divisively revels in his cult of supporters by giving an Inauguration Address identical to his campaign speeches, scorning the majority, he has seen his approval peak already.

Fascism, suppression of free speech, and intolerance are spreading as Republican rule turns to dictatorship.


Trump = Worst. President. Ever.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

Kellyanne CONway's not bad name for Don the Con's chief liar, but I usually just refer to her as Kellyanne Goebbels.

Just this morning, she defended Sean Spicer's demented rant at the press yesterday about how the crowds at Trump's inaugration were a lot bigger than the press, evidence and the truth said it was, saying what he said wasn't a falsehood but "alternative facts".

The Trump administration's motto is "who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Whether you voted for or against Trump, facts are facts, defend the free press, or lose it. The first thing a despot does is delegitimize the press, trying to portray them as the opposition party.

"All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers." - George Orwell 1984

At 10:32 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

From what I have seen and read about Trump, I believe he will be an epic disaster for this country. To have a record of it all there should be a website or even a TV show called "What did Trump fuckup today"? I am sure it would be a hit.

In 2008 the country was practically in flames when Bush left office, but Conservatives never uttered a word of criticism toward Bush.

It might be different this time, even Chuck will not be able to defend Trump and he is the epitome of a reality challenged hyper partisan Conservative.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger T. Paine said...

I am trying to think of at least three things that Obama did that were good for the country.

1.) He got bin Laden (using intelligence collected by ways in which he "disapproved" from his predecessor.)

2.) ???

3.) ???

So long, President Obama. I truly hope you go gently into that good night and show the class and dignity that Bush did by not criticizing you and your policies, despite your first five years in office being spent doing nothing but passing the blame for all ill and evil upon him. I am not holding my breath, however.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

I am in mourning and this piece expresses how I feel. I wish President Obama could see this.....try to send it his eay.

There toward the end I read "civically irresponsible" as clinically irresponsible (sleepy). It sort of made sense also, since they had to be "mental" to vote trump into office, and most certainly to defend the insanity we've already witnessed in the first days.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

TP, I am trying to think of at least three things that Obama did that were good for the country

I agree Obama didn't accomplish much. He was, after all, more a corporatist manager than a leader of a democratic republic.

Would you feel better if Obama had left office after starting an ongoing civil war in Iraq that bred ISIS, and leaving a collapsing economy with rising unemployment like Bush did?

And how about our new "populist" president with his cabinet OF Exxon, BY Goldman Sachs, and FOR the Kochs? Talk about aristocracy and government by elites...This is what Corporatocracy looks like after America has fallen.

Now Dear Leader has openly advocate a war crime at the CIA. He wants to plunder Iraq's oil. Not a peep from con-servatives about that. "Values".

Your side won, just like I've been saying all along. And this is what the corpo-dems, corporate media, Republican Party, and MOST conservatives, have sown.

Now we have an authoritarian narcissistic madman in the White House.

God help us.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

Obama set a standard of using Executive Orders to get around a recalcitrant Congress. That isn't going to be helpful as an example. A lot of the regulations he established this way didn't have to be vetted by anyone but his own team.

His desire for health care for all was such that he allowed the medical costs to escalate with no controls at all. I get why he did this given the Republican control of Congress but there's a reason they had control.

He was a disaster for the Middle East but maybe it'd have all gone to hell anyway... maybe. He seemed to have little idea of what ISIS would mean to the world when he called them junior league, whatever that meant. His big payoff to Iran is another suspect thing and did that nuclear deal really stop them from developing a bomb???

I can't believe any country can have unregulated immigration, which is part of what enabled someone like Trump to win the election. If we want more immigrants, make it happen legally, not across a porous border with the worse of the worst bringing workers across so Americans can get cheap labor. Ignoring this should not be a point of pride for any liberal as it's not really kind or sensible.

I don't know what he will do next-- try to cause more dissent or work to heal the divisions but his last press conference indicates the latter as a way to get control back in the hands of the left... and uh anybody care about a nearly $20 trillion debt??? Do lefties really believe they can keep spending without a responsibility of paying? The debt means our dollars lose value as the feds print more of them to pay it. I don't blame Obama for all of this but his grace, brilliant speeches, and handsome demeanor made people overlook a lot of what he did-- or blame someone else. He was the ultimate celebrity in a nation that dotes on such.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

First, starting on a good note, I am heartened that there are clear-eyed and honest liberals like Rain that are still out there. She doesn't agree with me on most principles but she is honest enough to see the beam in her own political party's eye. With her, we can discuss issues like adults and work on issues because we can find common ground.

Next, Dave, one of the few things Trump did get right is that Obama and his policies were the catalyst for the creation of ISIS. His pulling our troops out of Iraq instead of negotiating a new status of forces agreement when that country was showing such instability was a huge failure of his administration. ISIS occupied the power vacuum that resulted and made the blood and treasure of all of those that fought for Iraqi liberation to be largely in vain.

His dangerous and foolish deal with Iran only ensures that the nuclear arms race in the Middle East will begin as the balance of power shifts to a deadly adversary there that is the number one sponsor of state terrorism in the world!

His continued and unnecessary attack in Libya to overthrow Quaddafi, despite Quaddafi's recent willingness to disavow his nuclear ambitions and to cooperate with the west, ended up violating the War Powers Act and facilitated the Benghazi attack as he channeled weapons from there to Syria.

His red line to Bashar Assad was immediately crossed and Obama did nothing. He emboldened our enemies and put the Middle East in dangerous chaos, all the while denigrating and undermining our only ally of Israel in the region. He and Hillary griped about Russian influence in our elections and yet Obama spend MILLIONS in an attempt to undermine Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election campaign.

Is Trump a buffoon and an disgusting ass? You bet! But your outrage sure seems to be selective, sir. You talk about Trump's ruining the nation and his poor approval ratings when he has been in office for less than a week, and yet ignore the multitude of foolish actions Obama did in his last weeks in office such as the release of ten more terrorists from Gitmo and the pardon or commutation of over 1000 sentences (more than any president by FAR) in order to right his misguided sense of justice over oppression in this country.

I stand by my statement. Obama had no significant and lasting accomplishments in his eight years while dramatically undermining our nation's economy, military, and world standing. His goal to "fundamentally transform America" was accomplished, but certainly not in a good way.

The result of that is seen by the outrage here and abroad when Trump states in his inaugural address that we will put American interests first. Is that truly such an incredible statement from the president of the United States, or have many on the left truly abandoned any sense of home, self interest, and American pride? If so, I wish you all would round up the whining celebrities and move elsewhere as promised. If not, then let's join together and hold Trump accountable to the law of the land... just like we all SHOULD HAVE done when Obama was in office.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-three percent (43%) disapprove.

With enough time, regardless of Trump's success, liberals will beat this down. It's in their best interest, not the country's.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Rasmussen is Republican biased and inaccurate:

Nice try, Chuck. how about a FOX poll?

At 3:11 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Any poll that showed results favorable to Republicans is obviously biased, Majormajor. Surely you must know that! ;)


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