Point of View Columns

President Obama Did Not “Surrender”

As this column is being written the Danse macabre called the debt ceiling negotiations continue like some bizarre video loop of the 1990’s movie “Groundhog Day”. Every day it is the same intransigence. Every day brings hopelessness dimming the light of future days. Every day witnesses the triumph of greed over compassion. Every day witnesses the triumph of hate over common sense.

Please reread that last sentence………anyone who thinks that the G.O.Tea Party frothing intransigence and obstinate frenzy is about the debt ceiling and the budget deficit isn’t paying attention or is just fooling themselves. The Republican playbook calls for eviscerating and amputating every vestige of power and discretion that Barack Obama might exercise as President of the United States. The reelection of Barack Obama is viewed by the right wing of the right wing as being unthinkable and against the very laws of nature. It is something to be avoided at all costs.

We have now seen that those “costs” include the debasement and possible unhinging of the American economy. The fact that the unthinkable fiscal default of the United States government has almost occurred is due to the kamikaze-like belief of the G.O.Tea Party that it would be better to let this country crash, burn and die rather than let Barack Obama lead it.

Amidst the smoking embers of near catastrophe we can smell a whiff of brimstone from racist fires. The brutal invective and color-tinged vitriol directed at President Obama during the first two and a half years of his presidency have not been seen since the administration of Abraham Lincoln and that was in the midst of the Civil War.

There is old saying that goes like this, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” The G.O.Tea Party has taken a spin on this bit of bamboozelry to tell the American people that the debt ceiling crisis has been caused by a lack of leadership on the part of President Obama.

The fact is that the Republicans have refused to negotiate on any aspect of the debt ceiling /budget debate and remain welded to the anchor of their no new tax pledge that threatens to us all. The fact is that the right wing of the right wing has abandoned any pretense of seeking to work with Barack Obama and is prepared to place the collateral damage of their fanaticism on his doorstep.

Mean statements and harsh words are part of the political process. But the racial radar begins beeping when Senator Mitch McConnell talks about “breaking” Barack Obama. And then there is Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado stating that negotiating with President Obama is like “touching a tar baby”. On the Planet America, if these aren’t fighting words they are cause to start searching the crowd for nooses and pitchforks.

Critics from the left wing of the left wing contend that President Obama has “surrendered” to the G.O.Tea Party. My Dartmouth College classmate Robert Reich contends that Barack Obama should have “done more” to articulate the crass and brazen greed of the Republicans as they protect the greedy and continue to fleece the needy. I assume that Dr. Reich means that President Obama should spend even more time trying to convince the American people who vote for “American Idol” in greater numbers than they vote in presidential elections.

During the past few weeks President Obama was like the guy in a chair fight where everybody had a chair but him. The sounds of silence emanating from Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus and organized labor have been deafening. There have been some murmurs from AARP and Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher and John Stewart have weighed in on occasion.

But any support for the president has been drowned out by the 24/7 drumbeat from the right wing of the right wing and its personal television network, Fox News. The television commercials funded by the Koch brothers and organizations affiliated with Karl Rove have skewed and corkscrewed the mentality of the American public until no sense and nonsense make sense.

Too many people who stand to be victimized by the G.O.Tea Party agenda do not vote. Too many people who disbelieve the idiotic notion that “shared sacrifice” means that sacrifice is shared between the middle class and the poor do not vote. Too many people who instinctively understand that President Obama is being played like a cheap banjo stay silent – public officials and private citizens alike.

To suggest that Barack Obama has “surrendered” is to ignore the facts. Under the circumstances he will be fortunate to get out of the debt ceiling debacle with a decent portion of his epidermis intact. And we can see already that November 6, 2012 will be a real bad day for the progressive community if it doesn’t wake up from the hypnotic spell cast by the G.O.Tea Party.


4 thoughts on “President Obama Did Not “Surrender”

  1. Hakim says:


    This is a suprb commentary on how progressives and other folks have abandoned Obama. Also, where is the Black community–those crying crocodile tears about our “first Black president”?

    This nation is in big trouble and among sane folks there should be cause for concern.

    I have a pair of made-to-order Black Reconstruction III runningshoes with special “Steal Away” insoles. This nation has proven what I have known after years of working in New York City: they are not prepared to deal with a Black man (Obama) in a real position of power.

    They (the powers-that-be) have taken the gloves off. Frankly, I do not believe that Obama will be re-elected. I think the reactionary forces in this country would rather elect Sarah Palin than deal with Obama another four years.

    I applaud the insights in your column(s).

  2. Debbie Meyer says:

    Does anybody remember who created the last surplus and who spent it all and created the deficit? We can’t let history be re-written!

    While we are on that, who got the money and hired all the new cops that Giuliani took credit for?

    Hakim – I think we can’t be complacent, and we can’t be dour and non-active. I’m from the most backward state we currently have (but I live in Harlem now) and I’m sure the far right will implode again. Newt Gingrich was the best thing for Clinton.

  3. I do not know what to believe anymore. Wallace this is getting out of hand.I just am sick and tired of losing all that I have worked for. Do you know that they are trying to dismantle the post office. What kind of mess is that, and who is responsible. I am losing to much.

  4. Marky Baby says:

    I have been saying the same thing for years. It’s amazing that the Tea Party decided to get started as if everything went wrong on Jan. 21st, 2009, the day after the president was sworn in! Their leaders claim they were “angry when George W. Bush was running up the deficit.” BULL SHIT! They didn’t give a damn when the redneck idiot from Texas was running up bills but as soon as a brotha gets into the White House THEN it’s a problem!! Aggghhhh!!!
    And if you even hint, just hint, at saying the Tea Party has racist under- and overtones, they get up in arms like that is the farthest thing from their minds. Right. The Tea Party is just a 21st Century Klan rally without the robes!

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