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President Barack Obama greets children from the Valleyland Kids summer program outside a school in Chatfield, Minn., during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

"Now we're in the midst of not just advocating for change, not just calling for change - we're doing the grinding, sometimes frustrating work of delivering change - inch by inch, day by day." --Barack Obama

Yeah, but change I can believe in?

First of all let me emphasize from the outset that this president has been a disappointment in too many areas to count. When Barack Obama was inaugurated as the forty-fourth president on 20 January 2009, what I had envisioned for this troubled country was a radical, progressive firebrand, the likes of which we had not seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's been too long since we've had that kind of leadership in this country. Consider this: When FDR entered the White House in March of 1933, my late father was not quite two-and-a-half years old. Today would have been his eighty-first birthday. Too long indeed.

But we didn't get a liberal. Au contraire, mon frere. What we got instead was a cautious and timid moderate - sound asleep in the middle of the road. Not the place to find oneself in times of national crisis. It soon became apparent that Barack Obama did not have the stomach for the good fight; a key attribute contained within the character of every successful politician in history. That appears to be changing however.

I never agreed with Barry Goldwater when he famously said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice", but I totally concur with the next line of that speech: "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." It would seem to me in recent weeks that President Obama's week-kneed moderation is starting to give way to a bit of moxie. This has been welcome news indeed. This guy needs to engage in some serious political ass whupping. We shall see.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” --Paul Josef Goebbels 1897-1945, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda

Well, now! I have an idea where these people might have gotten their playbook. Call it a hunch. And speaking of the Big Lie....

One of the most incredible things of the last two-and-a-half years was witnessing the conservative media's scream machine attempting to portray this president as a far-left socialist. What was even more incredible than that was the spectacle of so many Americans stupidly falling for the propaganda. They've heard the Big Lie - repeated over and over. They've swallowed the Kool-Aid. Show me a person who seriously believes Obama to be a left wing radical and I'll show you a person without the most basic, remedial grasp of American history. I can almost hear Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt giggling from beyond the void.

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My theory (and I hope I'm right about this) is that Obama has been sailing cautiously with the wind in this first term, paving the way for an easy re-election, and that he's saving his best tunes for Act Two of this silly operetta. Maybe the reason he is not waiting until after Election Day to show some long-overdue chutzpah is due to the pathetic cast of characters that now comprises the Republican contenders for the nomination. It is becoming more clear with each passing day, that defeating any of this group of unintentional comedians will be as easy as shooting a school of half-witted fish in a leaky barrel.

Think about it for a minute. Jon Huntsman is the most impressive candidate for the GOP nomination to come around in over a century - since that other Roosevelt (Theodore). He's smart, articulate, relatively moderate - and he's barely registering in the polls with these knuckleheads! Although I would never vote for him, he's the only member of this insane clown posse that I wouldn't lose much sleep over if he were to be elected. Huntsman's "problem" is that he's the only one of these nitwits with an IQ higher than room temperature. He also seems to be relatively sane. Intelligence and sanity don't really play too well with the Tea Party crowd as I'm sure you've noticed. This is an organization of crazy people - and they now control the same party which one-hundred and fifty-one years ago nominated Abraham Lincoln!

I need a good dose of Demerol.

Needless to say, it is essential that the "base" of the Democratic party not engage in another mass hissy fit and stay home in a snit as they foolishly did on Election Day 2010. They have nothing to gain by doing so, and everything to lose. We won't be able to save this country if there's nothing left of it to save. It's time to get out there and make damned sure that Obama is re-elected next year.

It seems to me that our Republican friends have lost what was left of their small, incurious minds. It's no surprise that that disgusting party has been bending over backwards to see that the American people suffer in order that they achieve their radical agenda. What IS surprising is the fact that their efforts in the last year have become so overt. They're not even trying to hide it anymore. I guess they assume that as long as so many Americans continue to watch FOX Noise and listen to Rush Limbaugh for their news and information, they can work out in the open.

And as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the one, surefire issue that the Democrats are stupidly ignoring is that of the Supreme Court. If the next president is a Republican and is able to appoint even one more half-witted, right wing extremist to that bench, we might just-as-well blow a fond, farewell kiss to the United States of America. The wounds will be mortal.

But of course if the prez is reelected and the house and the senate wind up in the hands of the Republican party, his success at the polls won't amount to a damned thing. The Democrats need to understand that they have got to stop nominating these pathetic, conservative Blue Dogs. Conservatism is not he way to go if we're to get this once-great nation moving again. That's been proven time and again throughout history.

As I've said too many times to count, I left the Democrats in 1998 and never looked back. It became obvious to me then that they had forgotten that they are (or were) the party of FDR. Thirteen years later my opinion has not changed. If America is to be saved, it needs to take a hard turn to the left - just as it did in 1932. Otherwise get used to living in a country in ruins.

tom degan

Tom Degan
The Rant