Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

"He raised the white flag, even before the fight got underway in Congress"--as did the Clintons before him, because none of them were really committed to healthcare for all. Because there is nothing that they truly believe in, other than their own ambition. I mean, this guy is supposed to be smart. If it wasn't all a cynical ploy to string along liberals, this has got to be the most ham-handed, idiotic political maneuver since W. J. Bryan ran for president--and that doesn't do justice to Bryan. If it isn't crass manipulation, Obama isn't nearly as smart as people think he is. And I don't think he's stupid.

How do you like being played for a sucker again, by people who claim to represent you?

The best defense is a good offense. Karl Rove understands this. Franklin Roosevelt understood this. Military leaders understand this and call it "taking the fight to the enemy." Democratic misleaders don't understand this because they don't believe there's anything worth fighting for, besides their re-election.

How can Obama not see he is destroying his presidency? Because he isn't. Clinton got re-elected using this same triangulation strategy. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is raking in the big bucks from industry lobbyists. For them, things are going great. They can always count on people's fear of what the Republicans would do to get our votes. And it's the nation as a whole that is getting flushed down the toilet.

Get a grip. Like most of the misleaders in the Democratic Party, Obama is not on our side. He is working against us. And he is winning.

Jim Senter

Person County Democratic Party<br />Rougemont, NC

Aug 21 2009 - 6:24am

Web Letter

I realized I made a mistake voting for Obama about six weeks after the election, when he made all those bad appointments of the crooks. We all know by now who they are. And he continued making bad appointments. Are there no uncorrupted, qualified people in this country from which to chose? During the campaign, I made the mistake of not reading the bad stuff about Obama that was out there. There's a lot of corruption and scandal in the histories of some our politicians of both parties and it's ever ongoing and I'm sick of it. Sick of corruption and scandal. Sick of politics as usual. Sick of politicians. Sick of the way things are that change only for the worse. The economic problem is unequal distribution, the financial problem is a faulty dominant definition of value that seeks to assign a monetary price tag on everything, which now has devalued even human beings and our survival because everything costs too much. So maybe we should find a better way to determine value, other than monetary. Behind the greed for money lies the lust for power and control. We are headed in a very bad direction still and Obama has lots of help in keeping us on the path to destruction. We need to clean house in government, finance and corporations. We the people of this country have got to get together and speak with one loud voice to make it happen.

Lynn Bard

Kennewick, WA

Aug 20 2009 - 8:24pm

Web Letter

Time has just about run out for president obama and his healthcare plan. He has allowed two men,with the whole group that put him in office, to put a halt to his plans. What is he intending to do now? I think he must be lost now, and can't figure out where to go from here.

ricky powell

Calumet Park, IL

Aug 19 2009 - 9:53pm

Web Letter

Having just listened to whistle-blower Potter (Cigna CEO) and re-examining the stated plans and process of Obama and Max Baucus and reading the article the Afghanistan poll results... I can not believe we ever voted for a president. Because of the process followed, we will not be allowed to see a vote for the "Public Option" if the vote goes to 51 majority. If we expect a "Public Option," we must negotiate with Republicans who have already voted.

In the current bill insurance companies have already negotiated for a 35 percent profit permit. Meaning lower deductables and higher payments. And this is the only option Republican negotiations will give us.

I propose no healthcare. Democrats do not have a sufficient votes to pass a true healthcare abuse plan. Therefore they are guaranteeing more and higher healthcare abuse.

I also propose no Afghan terror war. The Democrats we have elected do not deserve to be trusted with one dollar of taxpayer money.

carl frederick

Maplewood, NJ

Aug 19 2009 - 7:40pm

Web Letter

Mr. Greider has written the best analysis on the Obama presidency yet. As a European with a great affinity for the US, it saddens me that President Obama is turning out to be such a deception. Everything from healthcare reform to Iraq and Afghanistan seems to be falling apart.The puzzling policies of the Obama administration suggest two possibilities: either they overestimate their own power to control the economy and global affairs (especially Afghanistan), or they are blackmailed by the "powers that be" (the banks, pharma, the military). Banks could probably throw a lot of sand in the gears of the economy if they don't get their way. It would be great if Mr. Greider could tackle that question in a follow-up article.

John Krikke

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Aug 19 2009 - 11:18am

Web Letter

Obama reminds me of Jimmy Carter, and at his current rate of inaction he will be a one-term president like Carter. I agree the Democratic party is the place Progressive ideas go to die. :(

What is the difference between the GOP and Democrats? The GOP are crooks and liars. The Democrates are inept and crooks.

I, for one, will not vote for either party in the future. I will vote for term limits in all future elections and will vote for third-party candidates.

Gregg Harcus

Veterans for Peace<br />Eden Prairie, MN

Aug 19 2009 - 12:00am

Web Letter

For some of us it was always clear that Obama was the most conservative Democrat running for the nomination (except for Biden, and look where he is). Indeed, Hillary was clearly the liberal alternative, if only in comparison (as Paul Krugman recognized at the time).

Which is why I've no patience for those only now waking up to their error, and trying to cover it up by pretending that Obama's faults are the result of influence of the Clintons.

Bill faced a Republican high tide, Obama one in retreat. Actions tolerable in one circumstance are intolerable in the other, and that the right currently has influence is entirely because of Obama's "post-partisan" determination to rescue them from the consequences of their failures.

Liberals had the choice of a flawed candidate (Hillary) or a disastrous one (Obama) and too many (including at The Nation) made the wrong choice. The question of why they made that mistake (Obama's skin color, sexism, Clinton Derangement Syndrome, Obama's "blank slate" campaign strategy, a mistaken view of their relative stands on Iraq) is an important one, but we can't have that debate until liberal Obama supporters face up to the truth and consequences of their error.

Ted S. Raicer

Bronx, NY

Aug 18 2009 - 10:48pm

Web Letter

Well, I guess it's time to roll out that famous saying from my friend David Cobb (Cobb was the 2004 Green Party candidate for president): "The Democratic Party is where progressive movements go to die."

But please don't be discouraged, we in Pittsburgh need your help with the G20 Finance Ministers coming to town in September... poverty, war, economic collapse, environmental/climate justice, bring your issues... a better world is possible and our constitution is on the line:


E.B. Bortz

Pittsburgh, PA

Aug 18 2009 - 2:32pm

Web Letter

The president has been quoted as saying that if his healthcare efforts lead to his becoming a "one-term president," then so be it. OK. He needs to stick with a strong public option, at the very least, or go down swinging for "Medicare for All." MFA is a better descriptive for a public plan, because everyone knows about Medicare. The "public plan" moniker is squishy and unknowable at this juncture.

Just think: if idiot Bush had not led us into an illegal and immoral war, which is now leading us into an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan that is looking more and more like Vietnam, we could afford to provide free healthcare for everyone earning less than $100K and low-cost healthcare equivalent to the FEHBP for everyone else earning less than $250K .

While I try to remain optimistic that our president will prevail, if he doesn't it's just one more indication that the US is on a steep downhill slope to become a backwater country, as we witness the Chinese Century and the Indian Century.

It's clear that we need a new constitutional convention to recast our government. Our Founding Fathers would approve, because much has changed in 225 years. If we had had, for example, a parliamentary system, we could have dumped fake president Bush and saved one million innocents being killed or seriously wounded and 3 million displaced (equivalent to 36 million displaced in the U.S.).

No wonder no one trusts government after the Bush experiment. But we are the government, and if that isn't working now, a new constitutional convention could bring it about.

All of our public schools and universities should provide instruction and training in "critical thinking skills" so we're not so susceptible to neocon (or anyone's) propaganda. Courses in empathy would be good, too. If we had had empathy for the innocent victims (including children and pregnant women--think about that, you "right to lifers"), things would have been different.

To remove the pall over America so we can regain our confidence and think clearly about healthcare reform and other issues, we need to clear the decks by asking the International Court of Justice to try Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rummy, Richard Pearle, Wolfowitz and others of their ilk.

Meanwhile, we should think of providing reparations to innocent victims of our deplorable, arrogant and cruel policies in the Middle East.

It all hangs together, and arrogant neocon religionists are at the root of it.

If there is no public option (as a minimum), then there should be no healthcare bill this year. We need to organize like never before to oust the parties of "no" (including Blue Dogs) and ensure sufficient independent & loyal Demo wins in 2010 to achieve Medicare for all and to restore America's place on the world stage.

The greatest power a nation can have is respect. We can't even figure out how to provide the best healthcare delivery system in the world, while we divert our attention to military games, self-indulgence, and escapism. Don't the neocons understand this? This is a national security issue, not just an exercise to get more mone for their political campaigns from the pharmaceuticals and other healthcare profiteers. They're as bad as the war profiteers.

Who needs to fear the Taliban when we have the neocons right here among us. They are truly "the enemy within"!

I'm a 74-year-old white male originally from Texas, a Korean-era vet (USMC) with thirty years with the military, and I think I've earned the right to speak my mind in trying to restore my country after the greedy oil types and neocon religionists have ruined it.

Throw the bums out and let's have a new constitutional convention. Now that we have failed under the neocons and their propaganda, we can look forward to re-creating our country as our founders intended. We need to recapture their original vision in the present context.

Have courage! Speak out! Don't just escape to the movies! And for God's sake, don't pay any attention to fixed news or their advertisers. They're part of the problem!

Cecil Eugene Pollard

Seattle, WA

Aug 18 2009 - 2:01pm

Web Letter

I have been a supporter of Obama since he defeated Hillary Clinton. But if he folds now, I'm walking away in disgust and will start thinking about Hillary in the next election.

Joseph Mullinax

Charleston, SC

Aug 18 2009 - 1:09pm