Happy Birthday, President Obama

Half the promises people say were never kept, were never made.  – Edgar Watson Howe

It is useless to hold a person to anything he says while he is in love, drunk, or running for office.  ~Shirley MacLaine

This post has been stewing in my brain since the President announced, in April, that he was running for reelection. The announcement basically triggered an early Liberal Festivus!

All the sad sacks with “Hope” and “Change” bumper stickers fractured limbs and strained muscles to take the proverbial stand to show America where, on the doll, Obama had touched them. In an essay popularly circulated in some twitter circles, one author estimates that President Obama promised him almost more than two thousand dollars in undelivered funds!

Dyyyaam.

To think I was pissed when President-elect Obama didn’t send me my “O” t-shirt in the promised 6-8 weeks! I should have held out for cash!

The litany of angry charges pouring in from the left are diverse, layered and lofty. Much like the left itself.

The President started a war without congressional approval!

The President didn’t close Gitmo!

Where are all the gay marriages we were promised?!

And here’s an actual quote: So I deem him not just a failure, but a menace, a stain on our nation, a disgrace, a big fat black mark in the history books.

Yikes!

(I don’t want to know what that guy says about Jefferson, whose own children were bought and sold; or Jackson who slaughtered American Indians; or Roosevelt who authorized internment camps; or Lincoln who burned half the country to the ground; or Hoover…)

Yet, here I sit (actually, lounge, cause that’s how I roll) prepared to make the case for President Obama’s reelection. And I promise to do so without even pointing at his possible opposition. Much. (DUDE. Have you ever listened to Herman Cain speak? Say…about the constitution?
LOL.

Let’s just say I’m all in on the Bachmann/Palin challenge to the Obama/Anybody but Biden…ugh okay, fine Biden 2012 ticket.

By way of background, there is something about me that you may already know, if you’ve been reading the brilliant prose I’ve been publishing on the interwebs for the last (gulp) eight years, or that you may not know, having only recently discovered my brilliant prose.

The first President I voted for was Jimmy Carter. Not because I’m that old, though I am pretty old, but because my mom thought it would be fun to let her four-year-old pull the levers. And I pulled them but good! She picked me up and and I slid my tiny little hand all the way down the Democratic line DESTROYING those levers along the way! And then with two hands (and an assist from mom) I pushed the metal bar to record the votes and free us from the booth. It was AWESOME. And, without divulging too much, this is how I’ve voted in every election since then. Although, now New York has some weird faux electronic system and there are the five years I spent voting in Connecticut. So, there you have it, I am a Democrat through and through.

Unapologetically so.

While I have great affinity for socially conservative principles, the Republican party embodies none of those. I can’t even “argue” with Republicans anymore because the only consistent party identity that I’ve discerned is “we’re for whatever the Democrats are not for.” Unedr President Bush the federal government MORE THAN DOUBLED, yet now they’re all about small government? Under president Bush, the United States government essentially nationalized more than 30 banks, yet President Obama is the communist boogie man? President Reagan presided over one of the largest tax increases in our history, but President Obama is robbing the ruch blind? Um…er…okkaayyy. Good talk, good talk.

So, *I* will be voting for President Obama in 2012 *knock wood* *spit spit* that I am still alive AND that he’s still alive (oh man, why do I freak myself out with thoughts like those??!) because he’s the Democratic nominee. And that’s how *I* do. But I can hear you now, “but Stephane, I am not you, why should I vote for President Obama in 2012?”

Well, the reasons are various and many.

President Obama has only been in office a little over three years and he’s already accomplished sooo much.

He negotiated the historic healthcare reform bill and now 32 million additional Americans will receive healthcare coverage. I personally, am now saddled with enormous premium bills because the insurance companies have pretty much just passed the added costs on to consumers, but should I have a layabout child one day, it’ll be good to know that said slacker will be covered well into his or her twenties.

He authorized a number of stimulus packages that saved the American auto industry and stabilized the financial sector. This is something that both Democrats AND Republicans should like since it continued the bailout policies started under President Bush/Paulson AND rescued the union heavy auto industry in the same way the Republican administration protected their friends in corporate America.

President Obama’s justice department has deported more illegal aliens than any other administration in the history of the United States. How can anyone who seriously thumps their chest about undocumented immigrants NOT support the administration that is so vigorously enforcing our nation’s laws?

President Obama initiated military action against Libya to defend America’s interests.

Oh man, this is sounding real Republicany and is making me uncomfortable. So how about this, President Obama also, made improving America’s infrastructure a priority, reversing President Bush’s policy of doing nothing – the first President since Coolidge to so neglect the nations highways, grids and buildings. President Obama’s cash for clunkers program got inefficient vehicles off the road, spurred auto sales and subsidized my Beamer. His goal to get fuel efficiency above 50mpg is next up.

The President also lifted bans on stem cell research, retired the clunky and expensive shuttle program. He reversed many of the Bush administration closed door policies and now allows photographs of our war dead, requires all federal agencies to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and refuses to let corporations in arrears on taxes, bid for federal contracts.

President Obama is also seen as a leader on the international stage, winning the Nobel Peace Prize just months after taking office!

The President is a constitutional law scholar and given that the new Republican house spent their first days in power reading aloud from it, such a scholar should be exactly the man to work with this Congress. Indeed, even as Speaker Boehner threatened to slit our nation’s econimic throat, President Obama was able to forge a compromise to maintain our AAA rating.

The President appointed twice as many women to the US Supreme Court than any President before him. He provided incentives to employers to hire chronically unemployed Americans.

The list of his accomplishments go on and on, click the link I provided above.

But what of the things the President *promised* to accomplish? Well, Gitmo is still open, but I don’t think anyone seriously believes that the President could shutdown the Bush administration’s terrorist holding pen without thorough vetting of the occupants and adequate relocation facilities. No one wants to answer to the parents or children of victims murdered by prematurely or inadvisably released terrorists. 

DOMA and Dont Ask Dont Tell are still the law of the land. This reality is disappointing, but I will use my “one time” chip and punt this away with “there is no Republican candidate that will overturn either of these laws. We have a two-party system, so either you’ll have a Democrat discriminating against gay Americans or a Republican. I choose Democrat and hope this shameful chapter in my country’s history soon comes to a close.”

The President promised immigration reforms and seems to have gone the other way. Indeed, as you know he’s the deportation champ. However, for now, these are our immigration laws. He took an oath to uphold them. The same as I did when I became an attorney. I don’t like all the laws… I certainly don’t understand why Americans over the age of majority aren’t given one freebee murder or why BMW drivers can’t drive as fast as they want, but there it is. When the laws change, the Justice Department will move on.

President Obama made good on his promise to wrap up the war in Iraq — sans obnoxious banner flying — and he has ramped up efforts in Afghanistan. Not to mention he gave the kill order that ended the 10-year-long hunt for Osama bin Laden. Oh, did I mention it? Whoops. My bad.

The President did not end the ill-advised Bush tax cuts, but given that the Republican opposition was willing to send the United States into default over the debt ceiling fight, my guess is compromising with the lame duck Congress on these tax cuts saved yet another melodramatic stand off with the Republican leadership. The President’s current plan to begin taxing the trappings of luxury and the mega rich may well go a long way to close the gap between the national debt and disproportionate taxation.

But what of the lamentations of the Matt Damon types who believe the President has let them down? Comedian Elon James White has hilariously dubbed these (mostly) white liberals “Emo Progs.” They believed that the magical negro, dubbed by EJW, Jesus H. Dumbeldore would deliver free love and legal drugs and Priuses in every driveway, maaannn! Except, candidate Barack Obama ran a distinctly centrist campaign… he didn’t even come out in favor of gay marriage on the campaign trail. I don’t know why they thought he was some kind of secret hippie… I blame Donald Trump and his “sources.”  And Oprah.

I’m kidding.

I would never blame Oprah for anything. That woman is a saint whose visage should be printed on our money.

President Obama has the tricky task of being the President of *America.* That means he’s the President of men like Vice President Dick Cheney, who would never in a bazillion years vote for him and he’s the President of awesome bloggers like Stephane Clare who would never vote against him unless he signed some “Stephane Clare will be imprisoned for life if she votes for me” bill. My interests as someone who loves the United States and wants to see my country thrive, prosper and win all the gold medals in every sport ever, are most closely aligned with President Obama’s steady cool, cerebral leadership. I may not understand why Larry Summers has a job in the Obama administration, as opposed to say, a job breaking rocks in a prison yard; but not for one second do I believe the President doesn’t understand the economic, social, or geo-political forces at play. I don’t know that he’s making every decision I would make, but I trust his decision-making.

He’s not a God, he is a man. Probably the second best man I’ve seen in that job in my lifetime. Plus, I could stand another four years of listening to the President’s melifluous addresses and staring dreamily into his pretty pretty face. (Though, Mr. President, please quit smoking! I want to see you around for a long long time and I do not want your face destroyed by smoke or your awesome voice snatched by a cancer tumor. Please and thank you. What? You don’t think the President reads my blog? He totally does! I would read his blog if he had one! Oh, does he have one…um…*whistles*)

So, go forth and prod some sense into a Republican — President Obama has represented their interests (he’s even explicitly signed laws saying that abortions would not be funded at all under the new healthcare bill) far better than half the current field of Republican candidates. Then, go hug an Emo Prog, I guess they’re not used to not getting their way (man, imagine being a poor black teenage girl who campaigned her little heart out for Bill Clinton only to have him throw all her interests under the bus in, oh, 16 months flat. I COULDN’T EVEN DRINK MY SORROWS AWAY, YET!).

My advice? Curl up in your twin bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and play this song till you feel better:

Happy Birthday, Mr. President. I wish you five more years in the White House and decades more of life! 

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21 Responses to Happy Birthday, President Obama

  1. KenP says:

    You might want to review Otis’ thoughts. He is a scum sucker like I am.

    http://www.rapideyereality.com/archives/2011/04/04/an-open-letter-to-president-obama/

  2. Dr. Shady says:

    Jesus. Someone had their coffee this morning. Let me gather my thoughts for a proper reply. And what the HELL does that little singing annoyance have to do with the point of the essay?

  3. stephane says:

    @Ken

    What’s a “scum sucker”?

    • Mariano says:

      I listen to NPR more than any other radio. I pucairaltrly like the BBC broadcast in the wee hours of the morning and some of the more detailed and lengthy interviews they provide.Despite your preconceived notions I do not listen to any conservative talk radio with the exception of Mark Belling up here in the afternoon if I am not working.You should give him a try Pat. He is your conservative snarky counter part, albeit with a much larger audience.

    • potent alpha says:

      Always a good job right here. Keep rolling on through.

  4. stephane says:

    @dr. shady

    I assume the Emo Progs can’t believe their first love broke their hearts for the first time.

  5. sirfwalgman says:

    @Steph – Der, someone who sucks scum. Scum is that filmy substance on top of places like ponds. Also could be a person that is regarded as despicable or worthless. oooh Ken just admit he sucks the dicks of despicable and worthless people. hmm.

    I hate politics. No matter who we vote for they suck. The country gets no better. Only when I am installed as Dictator of the world will anything improve. I am more than willing to post my campaign platform up for your political perusal.

  6. Stephane says:

    EFF THAT! *I* will be benevolent ruler of the world! You can be my vice. *IF* you go comment on my IHO post RIGHT DAMN HELL ASS NOW!

  7. KenP says:

    Seeing that Waffles has a post, I won’t lower the standards any more. Instead let me refer you to http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scum%20sucker which can fill you in.

    P.S. There is this new site called Google. You might give it a try.

    • Stephane says:

      Buuuurrrnnn. Have you seen the “let me google that for you” site? It’s hilarious!

      • Edy says:

        When I first saw this title The White House | Save-A-Lot on google I just whent and bokamork it. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of neighbors will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune Social is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

      • Chamae says:

        YES! CT is FOR Barack Obama! Im a 21 yr old college stnduet and I can honestly say my teachers during class have expressed admiration for Obama’s new ideas stating At first I wasn’t sure but he’s looking to be the real deal and He seems to be the voice the country needs . Also, there is an overwhelming stnduet support for Barack and Michelle’s Change campaign, and one that deserves recognition.Last night at dinner with my mother and father, (All supporters of Barack), I was giving info about voting and my mother cut me off and said Hillary’s going to win anyway . But to see these early poll showing things neck and neck? For every one person that assumes Hillarys going to grab CT there, in my case, is 4 votes that support Barack Obama (including my brother). Needless to say, we will ALL be voting on Super Duper Tuesday to pull off an East-Coast UPSET! =)

      • Mohammad says:

        Why is it that every time there is a financial scaandl a new regulatory agency is formed to monitor the practices that should have been monitored by existing agencies? The new Consumer Protection Agency does just that. Does this mean that consumers were not protected before passage of the Act? If so, that’s a sad commentary on how our government works to protect the public. A good example is the Financial Services Oversight Council that was formed, in part, to identify systemic risk. The Act also gives the Federal Reserve new authority to supervise all firms that could pose a threat to financial stability. Isn’t it the practices of the firms that the Fed will supervise that created the systemic risk? Why create a new bureaucracy to monitor behavior and add to the out-of-control budget deficit when the Federal Reserve could have just as easily done the job?

      • Paulinha says:

        This was a wonderful imevspsire presentation Yet one introduction was missing a lovely black woman between Adm. John Hutson and Gen. Claudia Kennedy was completely skipped over, it was her moment along with her peers and she just looked down and continued to smile, while Gen. Scott Gration spoke.There was never any correction. I’d like to know who she is. There were only three woman on the stage Gen. Marcelite Harris, Gen. Claudia Kennedy and ?? . Let’s fill in this blank and give her acknowledgement due.Thank you

      • This is the perfect post for me to find at this time

  8. Grange95 says:

    As your token gay reader, let me assure you there is no need to waste your “one time” chip on gay issues. Sure, Obama and the House Dems blew it by not enacting ENDA when they had the numbers. Also, Obama has shown little spine and seems content to duck the gay marriage issue and lead from behind by clinging to the old “states’ rights / pro-civil unions” line. In many ways, gays and lesbians remain second class citizens just like most Republicans seemt to want them.

    But all is not bleak. DADT will be a bad memory before Halloween, thanks in part to Obama’s role in working out a compromise to make DADT repeal palatable to enough Rep. Senators who fear their party’s radical masters, and implemented in a way that allowed the military to save face. For the first time ever, gay and lesbian citizens will be able to openly serve the country they love. That’s possibly the most significant pro-gay accomplishment by any President, ever.

    As for DOMA, Obama’s Justice Dep’t has decided not to defend the law against consitutional challenges. Given the political environment, that’s about all Obama’s administration can do on that issue. But it’s still a pretty big step to declare you won’t defend a law signed by Bill Clinton and which is still be used by Rep’s as a wedge issue.

    Obama has also nominated several openly gay judges, ambassadors, and officials. In fact, the first openly gay federal judge was just confirmed by the Senate.

    Obama’s record on gay rights issues isn’t perfect, but he probably deserves at least a B+. Considering no other President has ever scored above a D+ (Clinton), every Republican President in my lifetime has scored an F, and the current flock of Republican presidential candidates are pretty much rabidly anti-gay (other than John Huntsman), I think Obama should be viewed as a success on gay rights issues.

  9. Rakewell says:

    Oh, where to begin?

    I suppose I should be flattered that my comment on your previous Obama post was deemed sufficiently noteworthy to get quoted along with a “Yikes!” Since you don’t want to know what I think of previous presidents, I guess I won’t tell you.

    You praise Obamacare on the grounds that your health insurance premiums are too high. But this horrendous legislation can have no possible effect on your premiums except to increase them. See, e.g., http://reason.com/archives/2011/08/02/were-from-the-government-and-w and http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/11/the-health-insurance-trade-off.

    You seem happy about uninsured people becoming insured, but you say nothing of those insured who are going to lose their insurance because their employers will drop coverage due to the skyrocketing costs–tens of millions of them (see first link above). Obama’s oft-repeated promise that “if you like your current insurance, you’ll be able to keep it” was a lie from the beginning.

    (Lying, incidentally, is a deeply ingrained habit of Obama that is far worse than the smoking that you worry so much about. See, e.g., http://reason.com/archives/2010/03/09/obama-and-the-l-word and http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/06/the-week-of-lying-dangerously and http://reason.com/archives/2009/12/16/the-clarity-of-false-choices.)

    War in Libya is defending America’s interests??? What are you smoking? Seriously–how are our national interests at stake there? My favorite essay on what’s wrong with the Libya intervention here: http://reason.com/archives/2011/03/09/to-the-shores-of-tripoli

    Cash for clunkers? It did none of the things you list. See, e.g., here and its links: http://reason.com/blog/2010/06/02/the-silver-lining-of-cash-for

    By the way, you may consider it a good thing that money was taken from my wallet to help subsidize your Beamer. Oddly enough, I do not agree. Had I wanted to help pay for your car, I would have sent you some money, and avoided the very expensive and inefficient middleman in D.C. You know the old saying: If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you’ll likely earn Paul’s vote. I guess yours is one that is up for sale, and Obama has met your price.

    You’re praising Obama for his administration’s FOIA record? Really? Do you even know what’s going on in that area? See here, again including the essay’s internal links: http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/02/obama-administration-continues The Associated Press generously concludes that Obama’s track record on FOIA is a “decidedly mixed performance.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/14/AR2011031400630.html

    More generally, Obama’s record on the “transparency” that he promised has been atrocious–worse than Bush. Even some of his ardent supporters are willing to acknowledge this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/opinion/27stone.html?_r=1 Politico discussed the contradiction between Obama’s pledge of transparency and his stepped-up war on government whistleblowers: http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=8F3FA142-94C8-1FB9-9AC737BB91BD2493

    I know that you’re not stupid. But I do think you are grossly ill-informed on many of the issues you list and afflicted by seeing only what you want to see.

    Disagreements about politics usually boil down to disagreements about values, which are inherently subjective. I value personal, individual liberty above all else. Using that as a standard, Obama is the worst president in my lifetime (and I’m the same age that he is)–and there isn’t even a close second. I have to assume that you care far less about liberty than you do about, say, having the purchase of your BMW subsidized by other people. So be it. I can’t prove objectively that your values system is screwed up. But I remain convinced that it is.

  10. stephane says:

    Nice! That’s good to read. However, I have at least two other gay readers…and there’s always F-train. #gayftrainjokes *whistles*

  11. Stephane says:

    @rakewell My value system may very well be screwed up. I advocated “freebie murders” in print and signed my name. *shrug* Thank you for the Beamer. See? As screwed up as my value system may be, I am nothing if not polite! P.S. If you’re truly looking for libertarian “government” …

    #andnowyouhavecholera

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