He Doesn’t Feel Our Pain

After listening to the President’s State of the Union address I couldn’t help but to feel a sense of loss. I understand that this was a political speech in a lot of ways and will surely be the kick-off speech to his 2012 run for re-election, but with all of its platitudes and feel good rhetoric there was something missing. Could it have been that unemployment was not mentioned? Or that the poor and the middle-class were conspicuously absent? I don’t know about the state of your union, but in my union these issues are still alive and well. I have yet to hear this President connect to the pain that so many Americans are suffering from, especially black Americans.

One of the troubling aspects of the speech was how the President basically threw American manufacturing under the bus as a consequence of globalization. He stated that the American worker had to raise their game to compete for the future. That’s funny everything I read says that the American worker is one of the most productive workers in the world. Maybe instead of prodding the worker the President should have mentioned how the worker’s boss’ have outsourced all of their jobs overseas as China’s and India’s economies are the fastest growing in the world because they are making the things we used to make. The challenge should not have been that we have to give up manufacturing to these other nations but how American manufacturing can return and compete against these other nations.

This speech is named the state of the union for a reason; instead we got the state of globalization. The President should have been imploring this nation to support and rebuild our manufacturing base and buying our products. I don’t understand how promoting one’s own nation today is now considered un-American. I guess that’s because it is no longer what is good for America it is what is good for America’s multinationals. The truth be told as we found out during the gilded age is that what is good for Standard Oil is not always what’s good for America. I know there are those who will defend this President no matter what he says and does and I understand their fierce loyalty, but this is not about personality it should be about principles.

My fear is that in an attempt to appease the wing-nuts this administration is going to cave in some form on Social Security. We will either raise the retirement age or cut some benefits to show their seriousness in cutting the deficit. What is not being discussed is that Social Security was created by taxes that we all pay throughout our working lives for the benefits we receive. This isn’t some government give away where we take general tax dollars to support the weak, aged, and affirmed. There are less draconian ways to shore up Social Security but none of this is being mentioned or even part of the discussions. The problem with negotiating with folks who want to destroy what you are negotiating is that their aim is not to salvage it but to undermine it. I think Congressman Ryan made that point crystal clear last night.

This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency. - Paul Ryan's remarks

So on the one hand we have the President telling American workers they have to stop whining and on the other hand we have the wing-nuts telling the American workers that they are lazy and complacent. I don’t know about you but my answer to Republicanism is not Republican lite. Just once I would like this President to speak to the pain of those folks on Main Street as eloquently as he spoke to the folks in Tucson. He should give a voice to the voiceless instead of vocalizing the talking points of the opposition. I am not naïve to the process of negotiation and it is important to throw meat to the opposition to appear open to compromise, but what has been missing from this equation is the suffering of the poor and the middle-class and the enunciation of their concerns.

Last night the President spoke to Wall Street and the business communities letting them know loud and clear that this administration is open for business. The problem with this is that they aren’t the ones suffering. The Dow is approaching 12,000, the banks are sitting on boat loads of cash, and businesses are doing likewise. These folks need signals like the millionaires and billionaires need a tax-cut. The message the President should be sending is to Main Street that this administration is serious about creating equal opportunity and securing workers rights. The problem is not the American worker it is the greed of the American corporation.

“What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures,” - Samuel Gompers (1st President of AFL-CIO)

The Disputed Truth

Tags: President Obama, Paul Ryan, Wing-nuts, State of The Union, poor, middle-class (all tags)

Comments

1 Comment

Did Obama and his team of Clinton retread intentionally subvert the Healthcare Law for the rightwingers

I just got up this AM and turned on the cable news (CNN) to find that a Florida judge has struck down the Healthcare Law which took Obama's inept team of Clinton retreads to get in place.  NOT JUST THE MANDANTORY REQUIREMENT--This judge threw out the entire law.

So where does it go from here. I am inclined to ask "did Obama and his team actually engineer the healthcare reform so that it would be struck down in court?"  One can only wonder about this. Obama has  consistently backed away from any form of meaningful healthcare insurance for Americans. The ultimate plan that was just struck down was complex, unweildy, and costly. Its components angered some special interests in every part of the political spectrum.

Any novice politico could have told Obama and his team that this situation would arise yet they put in place this controversial law anyway. 

Its almost as though Obama had really no reason to get the law to stay on the books. He passed a healthcare law as he promised in the campaign. It got struck down in the courts which he will state is beyond his control. So a year of hard political work and time has been wasted, hundreds of Democrats have lost their party affiliated jobs and our majority in the House of Congress.

What is the next step for Obama? My view is that if he is re-nominated by the Democrats you won't find much grassroots support. Why should there be--he does nothing for grasssroots Democrats except get them thrown out of office. If you are a Democrat in the Senate you would certainly be wary of an Obama election--look what he did for your associates in the House--66 members were tossed out without a whit of help from Obama and his White House team.

I say its time for Liberals/Progressives to dump Obama before we get totally wiped out as a working political party.

by hddun2008 2011-02-01 09:56AM | 0 recs

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