After living through the eight years leading up to the 2008 presidential election, my perception was that, in the cosmic battle of good versus evil, the Democrats represented good and the Republicans, the essence of evil. The Republicans were offering their usual brand of trickle down politics albeit with a faux populist, “Joe The Plumber” twist. The Democrats, courtesy of Barack Obama were serving up a potent and heady mix of hope and change. I made my decision immediately, “President to be Obama, I'll take a double of the hope that you are pouring”.
In my own way, I actively campaigned for him with endorsements on my then long form internet radio show, by contributing to the campaign and by telling everyone who would listen that he was the man for the job. In my heart, I felt that he was the next JFK or FDR and would finally right the wrongs caused by eight years of young Herbert Hoover a.k.a. George W. Bush. Life was about to be good again and reports of the death of the American dream were greatly exaggerated.
During the first few months of President Obama's term, some of his appointments of ex Bush people raised a few red flags in my mind, but I went into a mild case of Democratic denial and kept saying, “Yes We Can”. When he appointed financial people who came from the same financial institutions that got us into trouble, in the first place, I has a few concerns, but gave him the benefit of the doubt. Hey, I had a lot of emotional capital invested in the Democrats after their hard won victory.
I never liked the fact that our administration rushed in to save the banks, Wall Street and AIG, but left the person who got sold a bill of goods by the above bastions of greed to get his home repossessed.
The financial institutions were deemed “too big to fail”, but screw the little guy, let him fail. If an institution is too big to fail, it's too big, period! That's an indication that the institution is under regulated and probably should be broken up into smaller, more manageable organizations.
I couldn't help but notice that every piece of pro consumer legislation passed in the past year has some sort of built in loophole. The usual loophole is what I call the long time delay which allows the affected institutions time to get in a few cheap shots before the law goes into effect. A perfect example is the Credit Card Act of 2009 that the President signed into law. That gave the banks and other bad actors a nine month delay before it becomes effective. The banks, some of whom received bailout funds then returned the favor by raising the interest rates of everyone, even those who pay on time. That additional burden caused many people to become bankrupt.
The book hasn't been completely written on the health care legislation yet, but I don't like President Obama's lukewarm support of the public option. I also don't like the time delays that are built into both versions of the health care bill. The working poor who are ill now, can't wait until 2013 or 2014 for help. Almost every industrialized nation has universal healthcare. Those countries protect their citizens, not corporations trying to make a buck from some unfortunate's illness.
The President says that he's everyone's President, not just the people who voted for him. He has gone out of his way to seek bipartisan support. When you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to everybody. The bottom line is that we now have a two party system, Republican and Republican Lite. The lobbyists have more say in how America is run than mere voters do. Their bucks shout, our votes whisper. The bottom line is this, NO political party owns Jack Wade! In the future, I will support ideals, not politics.