Make no mistake about it, from the moment I first heard him, delivering the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I believed in the promise of Barrack Obama. Didn't care about his middle name. Didn't even particularly give a crap about his scant political experience. After all, California has elected two actors governor and one as U.S. Senator.
In the 2 1/2 years he's been in office, he's accomplished so much, done so much for real people, that it's thisclose to heartbreaking to see him under siege by the left and the right. And I don't think the middle thinks too much of him right now, either. This is a man who before the age of 50 has been elected to the U.S. Senate and the Presidency of the United States, and for yucks picked up a Nobel Peace Prize just for the stark contrast that his election the good old-fashioned way offered vs. George W. Bush's Supreme Court-appointment and the great Diebold combo: Biggest donor in Ohio; manufacturer of voting machines used in Ohio.
The Democratic candidate for president of the United States has won every presidential election since 1992. If I have to go over it again, I will, but you all know the stories. After Ken Starr, uh, blew $7 million investigating President Clinton, getting an impeachment in the House but acquittal in the Senate, the Democrats literally started running scared. And lazy. And, they gave the American people waaaay too much credit for intelligence. Vice President Al Gore would have won decidedly in 2000 if he had won his home state of Tennessee and had the balls to get the most important political figure in the 20th century not named Roosevelt to campaign for and with him.
His mishandling of both of these, based on his fear of a theoretically - but not real - weakened Bill Clinton on the stump, cost him big. So much so that he meekly stepped aside. Four years later, Senator John Kerry made the mistake of thinking no one would take seriously the questioning of the validity of his Vietnam War heroism. The absent-minded, absent military man George W. Bush reveled in the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth's untruths and the aide of his good friend and largest Ohio donor, and manufacturer of the voting machines used in the 2004 election, Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell. All day long, exit polling in the Buckeye State had Senator Kerry way ahead. But, alas, no Kerry fight, no Kerry Administration.
And then came Barrack Obama. Clearly favoring fight over flight, candidate "No Drama" Obama let the stupid distractions of comments made by his former pastor, the GOP ticket of the Maverick and the MILF and pretty much everything else slide off him like water off a duck's back.
He had no way of knowing that the economic calamity would hit just as Bush was packing to go back to Texas, "to be one more horse's ass" as the Bobby Bare song said. Rather than listen to smart people, rich, old, white guys decided to do the speaking. Dressed as Benjamin Franklin or Betsy Ross or a middle-aged idiot with teabags hanging off every piece of clothing, these Doomsday Patriots decided that the problem was we just spent too much. Remember the idiot with the sign "keep the government out of my Medicare?" Those guys somehow inspired a de facto third party that put a hinky bunch of promise-signing, pledge-signing, vow-signing civilians in both houses of Congress.
These Doomsday Patriots have completely flummoxed Sir John of Orange, seemingly willing to risk financial collapse - worldwide - for political points. The debt ceiling has been raised 81 times since it was set in 1917, including 18 times under Saint Reagan and 7 times under Bush the Dumber. Usually, we didn't hear about it because it was taken for granted. This time, the Doomsday Patriots were willing to let the clock run out on the world economy. President Obama should have taken, should still take, the advice of President Clinton, who said if it were him, he'd invoke the 14th Amendment "without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me."
But that would take courage. Not the fake "mission accomplished," George W. Bush in his G.I. Joe pilot's outfit kind of courage. The real stuff. What Thomas Wolf called the right stuff. "I am the president. I believe the people elected me to this position for just such situations as this. The path is clear and the wind will be at my back. To let the greatest nation in the history of mankind default on it's obligations would be disastrous, not just for this country but for every one, and I will not let that happen."
Or something like that. The only courage shown on Monday was the return to the House floor of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to cast her vote in favor of this most misbegotten but better the end of the world bill.