Monday, June 15, 2009

Mary Pitt: "Don't Look Now, Mr. President"

Don't look now but your base is slipping! You may ask anyone involved in the Katrina disaster how important those few little grains of sand sliding off to the side can be. Nobody seemed to notice when the levees that held back the waters of Lake Ponchartrain began deteriorating but we all now know that they were the precursers to calamity.

In the same way, a few of your supporters were disgruntled when your first cabinet appointees were simply re-treaded from the Bush and Clinton administrations. We can appreciate that you needed a few key people with experience from Day One but, rather than they adapting to your point of view, you appear to have accepted their influence to shift your own views to coincide with that of the leaders for whom they previously worked!

Your persistence in continuing the bail-out process begun by the Bush administration dislodged a few small grains of sand. Many others are watching as tightly as possible for signs of success from your own domestic stimulus plan. Meanwhile, there are those who really care about the sexual-orientation discrimination in the military and are watching as some highly trained, capable, and experienced people are being lost to the cause of world peace.

But the storm is building, Mr. President! On the streets of the nation, you can hear the complaints of the ciommon people who have lost or will lose their jobs as well as their health insurance. They were watching as you held the conference on health care "reform". With absolutely no input from the people most affected by the decisions that they and you might make, they can see less of the vaunted "hope" which you sold them on your road to the White House.

But all is not lost! You and Mrs. Obama are well known for your work with the people in the inner city slums and you have each visited in the stricken factory towns of the nation. Perhaps you should send your emissaries out into the "real world" of the small villages that are peopled by the elderly and the working poor where the only jobs in the area moved to the cities before the owners moved them offshore. The mean age of the populace increases because the young just can't wait to grow up and move away to where the good jobs may be found.

In these little backwater places, particularly in the South and Republican Central states, these people are simply ignored. When an important figure appears in the vicinity, they see only the very wealthy and the politically prominent while the people whose voices you should hear remain at home, convinced that nobody wants to hear their opinions. You must reach down and let them know that the care of which they were so convinced on election day was really from the heart. Faith does wear a bit thin when the belly is growling.

We know that you have to try to put the world back together before we can move forward but if, in the process, more lives are decimated the nation as we know it will cease to exist. It is obvious that having a majority of Democrats in Congress is not enough so long as there are still too many Blue Dogs and "moderates" in those Houses, (the same people who rubber-stamped the wartime ambitions of President Bush), and those people must be replaced with some who are more forward-looking and progressive-minded.

Those of us who still cling to the hope with which we sent you to that Oval Office want to see you taking an active part in the off-year elections of 2010. Forget the old Party war-horses who have grown into a sense of entitlement and help us to get a few more of them replaced with fresh minds and fresh ideas to match your own. You see, your supporters are not all traditional Democrats, either. Many of the votes that were eventually cast for you were from previous supporters of Hillary Clinton but many others had begun with their hopes invested in other candidates. Democrats like Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich had, (and still have), a very strong attraction with their proposals. Others leaned toward Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. These are voters who will not stand solidly behind you until 2012 if they feel that you betrayed them.

It is unfortunate that you cannot, despite the immense task before you, ignore the pressures brought about by the imminence of the next election but you will need more than four years to solidify the changes that you are trying to institute. You must tend those levees and reinforce those little grains of sand so that they remain solidly in place. You must fight for the needed programs and refuse the many "compromises" that are offered by the opposition in the attempt to cripple your programs and defraud the people. You must let Congress know that we insist on doing things our way or not at all, and then bring the problem to the people in 2010 and inspire them to give you a more progressive Congress. Otherwise, you may find that your carefully-constructed levee wall fail you in 2012 and the Obama Administration will become an obscure footnote in the history of our nation.

The author is a very "with-it" old lady who aspires to bring a bit of truth, justice, and common sense to a nation that has lost touch with its humanity in the search for "societal perfection".

No comments: