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I am just a tad disappointed with the performance of President Obama thus far. Twenty-three days past the halfway point of his first term finds the man with a mixed record.

barack obama

He called his autobiography "The Audacity of Hope". During the campaign of 2008, he spoke of change we can believe in. Many of us were hoping for radical change. We didn't get it - or at least, we haven't gotten it yet. I am tempted to believe that for purely expedient political reasons, Barack Obama is saving his best routines for act two. Maybe I'm kidding myself. Maybe not. We shall see what we shall see.

FOR THE RECORD: As disappointed as I may be with the performance of this president to date, I still thank goodness each and every day that John McCain is not sleeping in the Oval Office at this very moment and that Fascist Barbie is not a seventy-two-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. Can you even imagine?

As far as his political horizons are concerned, the President is in an enviable position. A cursory glance at the insane clown posse that passes for "the loyal opposition" these days tells me that defeating the GOP on Election Day 2012 will be as easy as shooting a goldfish bowl with a 12 gauge shotgun. Just have a gander at their front runners: The only one of the lot with an IQ above room temperature is Mitt Romney. A Mormon as Republican standard bearer? That ain't NEVER gonna happen baby! The religious bigots and extremists who have hijacked that disgusting party will see to that.

No doubt about it; as of this writing anyway, it looks to me that the prez is going to have a relatively easy time of it during the campaign next year - that is unless he is challenged in the primaries by one of his own. Keep your eyes glued on Evan Bayh of Indiana. I predicted two months into Obama's term that Bayh might very well go for it in 2012. Two years later, my suspicions are only heightened. Why do you think he chose not to run for re-election last year? He knows damned well that these days it is much easier to run as "an outsider". One of the things he says he's working on these days is moving the Democratic party more to the "center". I translate that as meaning "more toward the right than it already is". I can't trust the guy as far as I can throw him.

My message today is for the Liberal base of the Democratic party.

barack obama state of the union

President Barack Obama greets Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill, right, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., center, and Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., following his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Listen, folks, a lot of you engaged in a mass, nationwide hissy fit by staying home on Election Day last - and what the hell did it get you? The House of Representatives is now controlled by half-wits and crazy people. The only reason the Democrats were able to retain the senate is because the Republicans were kind enough to nominate too many certifiable head cases to count (Thank you, Sharron Angle). As I said, Obama will have an easy time of it next time around - but not without your wholehearted support. We have to get to work to make sure that he is re-elected in 2012.

I know what you're thinking and I agree. He has been somewhat of a let down. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm just mild about Barry. Giving in to tax cuts for the plutocracy was beyond idiotic. Did he really believe he would gain any leverage with these jerks by appeasing them? Who the hell knows what he was thinking. His most significant legislative accomplishment - health care reform - is not much to celebrate The American people will still be at the mercy of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and they will continue to die an average of two years earlier than their cousins in Europe. And, most frustrating of all, he seems blind to the futility of continuing to wage the longest war in American history - a war that cannot - and will not - be won. The President would be wise to heed the advice Senator Akin of Vermont gave Lyndon Johnson as Vietnam was immolating his presidency: "Declare victory and get the hell out of there!"

But there are a number of reasons to be hopeful about Barack Obama's second term (I hope). Let's go over some of them.

On February 27, 1951 the Republicans in congress insulted the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only man in history to be elected to more than two terms. When the 22nd Amendment to the Unites States Constitution was ratified, it insured that no person could ever again be elected to more than two terms as president. This means Obama will be free to more vigorously pursue progressive legislation simply because he won't have to worry about re-election. While no president is ever completely free of the political consequences of the decisions he makes (There's always the damned party to think of) the chief-executive who does not have to worry about the coming election has much less of a burden to carry.

In a second term Obama might very well kick out the jams and become the progressive Superman we all thought he was capable of being. Of course this will only happen if his party takes back both houses of congress. Otherwise all that he will be able to do in his final term will be to keep the right wing tide at bay. That's why it is so important that the base re-energizes itself in the coming year.

Another thing to take into consideration is the man's personal character. For all his flaws it is clear that he is an essentially decent guy with good intentions. The same cannot be said of the contenders for the job. As president, Obama has been bombarded with obstruction, slander - and overt racism - by the "party of Abraham Lincoln". They have been dedicated to the proposition that he fail - utterly and completely. The fact that he has been able to accomplish anything is testament to the man's fortitude. A second term for Barack Obama could be very successful - but that success will not happen if you silly Liberals stay home again on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Something to ponder.

Then there is the sticky little problem of world opinion, and the esteem in which President Obama is held by the rest of the planet. Do you remember the headline that Britain's Daily Mail ran the day after Dubya was re-elected?

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"HOW CAN 59,054,087 PEOPLE BE SO DUMB?"

How indeed? Given the nauseous atmosphere at any Republican gathering nowadays, it's not likely that the world tip their hats in admiration if any of these jackasses are sent to Washington two years from now. In fact, sending another incurious extremist to the White House will - to put it mildly - complicate international relations.

And finally there are the GOP contenders to consider. Look at them! THEY'RE BRAIN-DAMAGED! Did you happen to check out that silly CPAC convention this week? Extremism in the defense of Librium. Michele Bachmann told the crowd, "And the all -important, must-have of 2012 is this: making Barack Obama a one-term president." - and then she did something I've never seen a public speaker do in my entire life. This imbecile actually pleaded with her audience to give her a standing ovation:

"STAND UP! STAND UP! STAND UP!"

It was all caught on videotape, folks. I'm not making any of this up, I swear. With the exception of Romney - who is the only one of the lot who does not have little birdies flying out of his ears - I can only pray that one of the current crop of idiots gets the nomination, assuring an Obama victory. But that's probably wishful thinking on my part. Would the people who vote in Republican primaries be asinine enough to go with any of these chuckleheads? That all depends on the state of course. While a candidate like Sarah Palin would be a cinch in South Carolina, it's doubtful her act would sell many tickets in Vermont.

They'll probably wind up going with Marc Rubio, the newly elected (and popular) senator from Florida. I can see it now:

"Just like Obama, folks! Rubio came out of nowhere BUT HE'S A CONSERVATIVE AND HE'S WHITE!"

He's also Hispanic - a growing and important demographic. And, like Romney, he seems to have an IQ higher than your average half-eaten box of Milk Duds.

A lot can happen in the twenty-one months between now and the election. We just can't afford to sit around twiddling our thumbs. Barack Obama may not be a Progressive's dream, but like it or not, he's the man many of us have invested our hopes in - and a third party uprising is out of the question. Don't even go there. The GOP is beyond redemption. If that party is ever again given control of the legislative and the executive branch of our government, you can kiss this country goodbye.

AFTERTHOUGHT:

If the people over at Spell Check had their way, the president's name would be, "Bareback Alabama". Honestly.

Here's a link to Michele Bachmann's speech two days ago at the Conservative political Action Conference two days ago:

It has to be seen to be believed. The gal is a scream!

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net