On January 19, 2009 Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. President Barack Obama was elected on a wave of grass-roots support, the public crying out for real change in American politics. He promised change, he spoke of change, he advocated for change, and he delivered the status quo. For the past year President Obama has done nothing but walk the middle of the road, refusing at any level to rock the boat and attempt to deliver the change upon which his campaign was based.---
President Obama promised a number of things during his historic race for the presidency. He promised real health care reform, the closure of the US prison (torture) facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the end of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He promised transparency in government. To date, he has delivered on exactly NONE of these promises, and from all indications, that trend will only continue.
Institutionalized discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community still continue, both in the military and at the federal level, with DOMA and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” still in full swing. The president did sign an executive order closing the base at Guantanamo, but immediately backed away from that fight when Congress refused to appropriate money. Transparency? That’s laughable. Organizations have been fighting with the White House almost since Day 1 to see visitor records. Several of those battles are now being held in federal court.
And of course, health care reform. On December 9, 2009 the president claimed victory. He’s “thrilled” with the compromise worked out between the House and Senate. This is the compromise that effectively guts anything resembling a public option and strips away choice by requiring that individuals purchase health insurance – from the insurance companies that created the disaster that is American health care. What Congress has created, the bill that thrills the president, is an abominable pile of bureaucratic bullshit that will not only fail miserably to extend health coverage to all Americans, but will also serve to further entrench the status quo and continue to fatten the wallets of the greedy bastards that have spent the past several decades profiting from the pain and suffering of American citizens.
Last November I supported Barack Obama, I voted for him, and I was happy when I put the “Yes We Did” sticker on the back of my car. Today I will walk out of my office and remove that sticker. In 2012 I will be looking for a new candidate, someone that represents real change, not just the status quo in a different suit. Nothing survives for long in the middle of the road, and for this president, this latest compromise should be the end of the line.