Filched from PulitzerPrize.org
Perhaps not as much as he would like, but I know that I have let a lot of things he hasn’t done or has done just slide right out of my mind. I could sit here and name them all for you folks..but you would probably change the channel and I really don’t want that.
I only have a few of you reading these bitchfests and frankly I want to keep you. It’s a pain in the ass to think I am only talking/writing to myself…and all those damn cats laying on my bed at this moment.
So, lets let Cornel West and Harry Belafonte say it for me. They are far wiser and more eloquent than moi, take my word for it. Plus, they don’t drop a dozen f-bombs in every paragraph like I do. That is always a plus.
Chris Hedges over at TruthDig tells us why Cornel West went ballistic. I like and trust Mr. West. I might not always agree w/him but I do more times than naught. From the writeup, which I start mid-paragraph:
West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.
Perhaps there was never much of a struggle in Obama’s heart. Perhaps West only provided a moral veneer. Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama. Only Obama knows. But we know how the play ends. West is banished like honest Kent in “King Lear.” Emanuel and immoral mediocrities from Lawrence Summers to Timothy Geithner to Robert Gates—think of Goneril and Regan in the Shakespearean tragedy—take power. We lose. And Obama becomes an obedient servant of the corporate elite in exchange for the hollow trappings of authority.
No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” (emphasis mine)
Head of the American killing machine. Jesus H. Christ…I wonder how he feels about that title. And he might like it or plain not give a shit, who the hell knows anymore? It’s not a positive statement unless you are The Shrub, aka George Bush or his BFF The Big Dick Cheney..or my personal favorite Donald Rumsfeld. I thought Obama wanted more than to kill people and continue Bush’s bullshit ‘War on Terror’…I thought he wanted to talk it out, to solve it w/words and good deeds not bullets, drones and bombs..to be better than the previous man who occupied the Oval Office, his staff of warmongers and his hired henchman aka federal contractors, who btw, Obama continues to employ many of the same War Profiteers.
Because I am friggin sick and tired of dead and/or maimed soldiers, or those that will eternally suffer the mental effects, like PTSD, for the rest of their lives. I am sick and tired of American, Pakistani and Afghanistan families coping with the carnage of our forever wars. Wars that will never ‘be won’ in the traditional sense, just in some happy horse shit that gets spewed during a presser in DC, or a high-ranking military mind grinning, like he just won the fucking lottery, for the embedded journalists. One war has lasted us just short of TEN-FUCKING-YEARS m’dear reader.The second one not far behind in time and soon…in soldiers deaths and permanent maiming and emotional scars that will also last them forever.
I hope that you will read Hedges writeup..its great and its also sad as hell at the same time. It’s about an intelligent, good, kind man, Cornel West, that believed in the change Obama talked about in all his campaigning last time around and so far, Professor West has been let down like a kid whose dad forgets his birthday and comes home drunk to boot. Many of us have been let down by Obama and those he hired to surround himself with whilst he made the hard decisions.
Now, on to Harry Belafonte. A man who has been through the civil rights and equality wars here in the good ole US of A for decades, long before many of us were born, or became politically active. A man who knows his shit, who knows what is what is not and he also knows who is full of shit. From Bruce A. Dixon @ TheBlackAgendaReport, a small blurb of Belafonte’s DemocracyNow Interview, with the wonderful and talented Amy Goodman…. both pieces are well worth listening and/or reading:
Belafonte was asked by host Amy Goodman whether he’d used his occasional access to directly share his many critical and valuable public policy insights with the White House. Belafonte replied that his only access to the president has been for a few seconds at a time, not long enough for any substantive discussion. But, he said, at one such event President Obama approached him to inquire when Belafonte and Cornel West were going “to cut me some slack.”
“What makes you think we haven’t?” Belafonte replied to the president? At this point the brief encounter was over.
Let’s pause to think about that. When President Obama cusses out Cornel West and personally demands that historic stalwarts of the movement for peace and justice “cut him some slack” on black unemployment, on foreclosures and the prison state, on torture and the military budget, on unjust wars and corporate welfare, on fulfilling the just demands of those who elected him, our first black president is revealing his real self. Far from saying “make me do it,” President Obama is saying how dare you pressure me to do what you elected me to do.
What say you m’dear reader? Do you think we expect too much from our President? Do you think that all politicians say most anything to get elected and therefore we should take it has standard procedure that ‘not everything they promise to do, will be done’? Do you think we haven’t cut Obama enough slack? Tell me..tell me if I am the only one that thinks the time to cut him slack is way the hell over.
President Obama still has a lot of time left. But my pov is that most of that time will be spent squeezing money out of supporters at fancy, expensive dinners and speaking engagements for his next campaign to be our President after the 2012 elections. He will have little precious time left to do the things he promised us during his last campaign for the 2008 Presidency.
To understand the phrase “make me do it”, you have to read Dixon’s entire but short article. But the following paragraph really grabbed the hell out of me:
Harry Belafonte has done a great public service in helping us distinguish the imaginary Barack Obama of “make me do it” from the real Barack Obama, who demands our support, but expects us to “cut him some slack.” Rather than agitating and organizing in our communities to “make him do it” all the real President Obama wants of movement activists is for us to sit down and shut up, until it’s time to help chase everybody out to vote for him in 2012.
I don’t know about you all, but I have been getting daily emails about ‘organizing for Obama’ and how important it will be to get out the vote for him, from our President himself or his campaign people. It’s almost at spam level if you want my personal opinion. I actually unsubscribed last week, but I am still getting them.
Because I won’t be doing any organizing or getting out the vote for President Obama this time around. I don’t feel the man has earned my vote much less my shoe leather and hours and hours of phone calls like I did for him last time, the week before the election. Calling voters sucks…but I did it, and I did it for a man who I did not really believe in but figured the team the Republicans were running were worse. You know that drill right?
When he took office and AG Holder continued to support and defend in court, many of the legal cases that were started against President Bush for spying, lying and all sorts of shit..I really went batshit crazy. Then, not only did Gitmo not close, but they seem to be keeping everyone there that was there before Obama took office, not to mention starting up those kangaroo courts known as Military Tribunals again.
Also, if you will notice, on my personal blog on my right sidebar, I keep track,via a graphic from Just Foreign Policy of how many of our soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan under Bush and under Obama. The numbers are staggering but what really chaps my ass is that the number of dead soldiers under Obama have almost doubled, to 924..and he has only been in office a couple of years. Bush had eight years to kill 575 soldiers. Now, I know that Bush pretty much put Afghanistan on the back burner…but still..a dead soldier is a dead soldier to me. It’s someone’s brother, father, son, nephew or husband (or the female equivalents). My niece was there, so I can talk to this subject, I don’t give a shit who it pisses off. I am just happy as hell that she got out before it got real bad over there, although I worried daily about her safety..both on the battlefield and when she was alone in her tent..but that latter one is for another day and time. She was never raped or physically attacked thank goodness, and far too many of our female soldiers were..but..I digress.
So now I will let Mr. Belafonte, say for me, why I believe we must now speak out about the shortcomings of the Obama Presidency. It’s not to undermine him or his second run for the Office of the President..its to speak truth to power in the hope that he hears us and changes his course which looks more and more like he represents the powerful, or as I call it, The Corporatocracy:
AMY GOODMAN: And to those who say, “If you want President Obama re-elected, you will undermine him if you criticize him; and consider the alternative”?
HARRY BELAFONTE: I think we will not only undermine him, but undermine the hopes of this nation, if we don’t criticize him. Absence of protest in the times of this kind of national crisis—Theodore Roosevelt once says, “When tyranny takes over the national agenda, it is that time that the voices of protest must be awakened. And if you don’t raise your voice in protest, you are a patriotic traitor.” And I believe that patriotism is betrayed by those voices that are not heard. Those who would detract you from that fact are those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Nothing will happen but good for Barack Obama and the United States of America, and indeed the world, if everybody stepped to the table and said, “This is the course we must be on.”
Thank You Mr. Belafonte. Thank You Mr. West. Thanks to both of you for speaking the truth to the most powerful man in this hemisphere, if not the world. Lets hope for change…this time…real change. Change on immigration, the forever wars, financial changes aka accountability of the greedy Wall Streeters as to how they do ‘business’, jobs and not bailouts for the corporations shipping their jobs outside our borders and finally… education opportunities for everyone regardless of race or station in life without the fear of being in debt for decades or even worse, not getting the loans or grants needed to better themselves and contribute to our nation and make us once again number one in all areas and issues.
Crossposted from LeftwingNutjob.