You’re not the president of me!
I had a custom bumper sticker of that statement printed during the first term of George W. Bush’s malodorous presidency, and the sentiment grew stronger day by day by day throughout his entire reign. That sticker, and my Re-elect Gore in 2008 sticker, decorated the back of my Trooper the whole time, and were joined by an Obama 2008 sticker only after Barack Obama sealed the deal as the Democratic candidate once and for all.
After Obama took office, I tried to remove the sticker, but the adhesive was too strong. I kept intending to take some sort of solvent to it, but didn’t get around to it. I did, however, take a black permanent marker to the word “not” as a temporary measure, making it read You’re the president of me. I didn’t want anyone seeing the sticker and thinking it was meant for Obama. He was not my first choice ( I still maintain that Gore should have run, and was the right man for the job), but I voted for him and hoped he’d do great things. He got automatic points for replacing the worst fucking president this country has ever had.
Obama’s been in office about a year now, so it’s worth appraising what he’s accomplished done so far.
- Abandoned a leadership role in health care reform, except when he has worked to cripple it (as in taking single payer off the table before the debate even began, making secret deals with the very corporate powers we need to de-power, stating support for a public option while actually working against one behind the scenes, and allowing Joe Lieberman and a handful of other congressfolk to seize control of the issue from the elected majority).
- Refused to allow proper investigation into probable criminal acts perpetrated by the Bush administration, obstructed release of incriminating information about same, and an embrace of the same sort of misuse of executive power that Bush specialized in.
- Treated the progressive constituency that elected him with condescension and disdain while seeking over and over to court right-wing cooperation in “bipartisanship” that never gets anywhere, and has netted him only unflinching and uncompromising obstruction from those he’s trying to reach, as well as a widespread personal demonization from the conservative rabble that often walks the line of encouraging violence.
- Scuttled from making any changes to help his LGBT constituency in any ways at all, contrary to what he’d promised.
- Failed to follow through on his promise to close Guantanamo Bay (and when it does happen, shows every sign of continuing similar policies toward prisoners wherever they happen to be held instead).
- Poured untold billions of taxpayer dollars into bailouts of the corrupt entities that (unregulated during the Bush years) destroyed our economy, without bothering to make them accountable for the money or what they did with it, while millions of Americans lose their jobs, homes, and financial security without help.
- Unceasingly favored corporate/financial interests over the interests of the American people at large.
- Increased our commitment to pointless, expensive wars rather than beginning an intelligent process of withdrawing our troops.
- Buckled over and over in the face of partisan opposition, failing to stand strong as a president elected by a strong majority.
God, I could go on and on, but it’s wearing me out just looking back at this man’s record thus far. There’s still time for him to step up and do some good things, but at the moment, I couldn’t vote for him again regardless of who he may be running against, because he’s taking my vote for granted in a way I just will not support. He and his staff obviously figure they can count on progressive votes because, after all, who else can we vote for?
The answer, as far as I’m concerned, is (a) anyone who gives him a primary challenge. or (b) no one. My best case scenario at the moment is a strong Democratic challenger bumping him from office next time around, and keeping Democratic majorities in Congress that that person would hopefully actually use for the good of our country. Second best, and this is something I never would have thought I’d say, would be a Republican defeating him while Congress stays Democratic enough to hopefully prevent the Republican from doing too much damage. No politician should hold themselves above accountability for their actions.
And that bumper sticker?
Well, unlike my Obama sticker, it’s still on my truck. Over the months the black ink over the word “not” has gradually washed away. Now I figure maybe I couldn’t remove it because I wasn’t meant to just yet. Listen up, Barack:
You’re not the president of me!
And you won’t be until you start doing the goddamned job you promised you were going to do.