Apr 21, 2011

Frank Schaeffer

After reading this commentary, I had to look myself in the mirror. There is nothing better than reading an article that gives you an 'A-Ha Moment' and Mr. Schaeffer did exactly that with this article.

If you think that president Obama played the Republicans in the last lame duck congress like a violin just wait until after 2012 when the rotten Tea Party will be about as relevant as 1930s hate monger radio priest: Charles Coughlin (the "father" of hate radio), is today.

President Obama has met the vile far right (and religious right lynch mob) and also met the disappointment of the shrill impatient left with a calm smile and good humor. He's even reached out to what remains of the Republican Party languishing hock deep in the quagmire of their own frightened and wholly imagined paranoid "victim" status. President Obama has also played chicken with each new crisis and -- invariably -- pulled last moment hair raising victory from what critics said would be defeat...

Before he'd served a year president Obama lost the support of the easily distracted (bitter?) left of the Left and also became the target for the white hot rage of the hate-filled right of the Right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds are sticking with our president.

I happen to be a white fifty-eight-year-old former Republican. In my new book I explain why I left (fled!) the right and religious right movement my family helped found Sex, Mom and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway. (In this book I deconstruct evangelical "thinking" about politics and the Bible in a way that I hope entertainingly exposes the religion-created sexual dysfunction that has been the only actual motivating factor for the so called culture wars.)

How about this: Given the racist state of American politics and the lack of steadfast lefty support not to mention morale-destroying lefty jilted lover carping (and the critique-for-profit members of the left who now define themselves by opposition to president Obama and thus have their egos tied to presidential "failure"), and the hate-filled mythology of the right, president Obama has done incredibly well to get anything done at all.

Maybe there are some on the left who (besides selling anti-Obama screeds) suffer from some sort of psychological problem of denial and are unable to deal with the reality of what America has become and actually is: A place where progressive ideas are routinely crushed beneath the weight of the corporate state and entrenched bigotry. But THAT reality is where president Obama must function.

And he has to bide his time. President Obama did not sell America to the cooperate oligarchy that has destroyed our democracy-- the Republicans did, the lobbyists did and above all the Supreme Court did. President Obama didn't bust the unions-- Reagan did. President Obama didn't declare war on women and minorities and immigration rights, gay rights and working men and women-- the Republicans and religious right did. President Obama did not create the permanent war economy of imperial gun-toting undereducated and over-armed America-- the Republicans did with the backing of American evangelicals (not to mention the neoconservative Israel lobby) who believe in God-ordained American "exceptionalism."

Trying to change any or all of this will take time. It will not be achieved by one man. And our best shot at changing anything at all is to be realistic about what one president can do.

The President's critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history.


  1. i will have to go back and reread the entire article. At first glance, I think it is well written and on point. The impatience and expectations of so many...on just one man. There are a few things that I wish the President had done differently. But I recognize his accomplishments and believe he is doing a good job considering history and all that is on his plate. I don't know that anyone else could do it better!!

  2. I think that people need to realize that running a country is not as simple as playing a game of tag. There is tremendous pressure on the president. After all he has the well being of millions of Americans to worry about as well as the millions in foreign countries who cry out for our help.

    I can say personally that I couldn't have done a better job at working with all the mess Obama inherited from Brush's presidency. I think that people wanted change over night and that's not realistic. Next, I think most of us forgot that Congress was put in place to stop America from being a democracy which means major changes that Obama wants to make has to be approved by them.

    And if anybody paid attention they would have noticed that Congress seemed more focused on fighting each other for the sake of power rather than fighting for us the people and thus a lot of what Obama wanted them help him with didn't get done. We can't blame everything on the President because he doesn't run this country alone.

    We need to start going to our local officials and then working our way up when talking about seeing change happen in our specific areas. I wish more Americans would go back to school and retake Government and Economics so that they can place the where it belongs instead of dogging Obama out and trying to smear his name and presidency. The man has done well with what he had to work with!!