Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stick the Black Guy with the Bill

Americans are amazing: we have the best president since Franklin Roosevelt, and yet, even the so-called liberal media can’t stop finding fault. This is proof, if ever it was needed, that tv anchors are paid to provide suspense, not information. They speculate endlessly on what negative effect this or that policy decision, speech, or encounter will have on the 2012 election.

Their endless harping on President Obama’s “performance” feeds negative poll results. It’s no surprise that 52% of voters are dissatisfied with the President’s handling of the Gulf oil spill, when they hear nothing but criticism on TV! Questions to actors in the BP disaster have only one purpose: to elicit negative appraisals of the administration's behavior.

President Bush failed by every criteria when Katrina struck, yet this was a natural disaster that had been waiting to happen (with insufficient protection for New Orleans); policemen shot people hovering under a bridge, the thousands that took refuge in a sports complex had no water for days, yet the only thing on the minds of officials was the possibility of looting. People clung to anything that floated til they were (sometimes) rescued. And “Brownie” was praised.

I think Americans have forgotten just how incompetent the Bush administration was. And ironically, because it was so incompe-tent, they expect nothing less than miracles from his successor. As the President would say, “Let’s be clear”: No human being has ever been responsible for the number of catastrophes and blunders this president inherited. The greatest economic debacle since 1929 began before he entered the Oval Office and is not over. He inherited two and a half wars in Southwest Asia - with two more looming in the Horn of Africa; is expected to finally end Israel’s war with the Palestinians, of which we are a part. Meanwhile, at home he’s facing a border/drug/arms crisis with Mexico, largely because the previous admi-nistration did not implement immigration reform.

And he should have made sure the rot in the Office of Minerals Management was dug out so that the greatest ecological disaster the country has ever known would not strike a still recovering Gulf Coast?! Even as other industrial disasters occur almost daily, and while the coal industry continues mountain-top mining of the most polluting substance?

Americans cursed and wrung their hands for eight years over the most inept AND crooked president the country has ever had (not to mention a Darth Vader vice-president), then, having managed to beat the skeptics and the racists and elect a man who is his exact opposite, who could produce the kind of outcomes most of us are desperate for, we feel betrayed because he doesn’t have a magic wand.

We fault him for bowing to the generals’ demand for a surge in Afghanistan after eight years of wasted efforts to turn a tribal country into a liberal democracy (which suddenly, turns out to have untapped precious minerals galore). The same explanation prevails for Obama’s failure to endorse calls in Copenhagen for serious action on climate change: one of his hands is tied by the military complex, the other by the industrial complex, and alas, he’s not Houdini.

The larger picture is this: pre-Reconstruc-tion Americans are determined to make America’s first black president pick up the tab for the disasters created by his pre-decessors, not only to ensure he cannot be reelected, but also to preclude another such crazy idea from entering the heads of voters - who might dare to back an Asian or Hispanic for president next time.

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