Via Frank Schaeffer:
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.