White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer appeared today at NN11 to explain why progressives should continue to support President Obama. From HuffPo reporter, Amanda Terkel:
“There has been much that has been accomplished in the first 2 1/2 years, and as the President said the other night, the work is not done. There are more things we want to do,” he said. “We can either work together to continue that work and finish the project we started in 2008, or we can be relegated back to the sidelines and see what a Republican president with potentially a Republican congressional majority in at least one country, will do to this country.”
“We’ve had that experience. It started in 2000. We ended up with massive deficits, we ended up with a war in Iraq, we ended up with massive violations of people’s civil liberties. We ended up with corporate interests like Wall Street running rampant through Washington. That’s the choice there. This President is as committed to the ideals he ran on today as he was the day he stood in Springfield, Ill. in 2007. He has fought for them as hard as he could. Washington is a hard and frustrating place. We’re doing it under tremendously challenging circumstances, and he’s going to keep fighting for them. On some of the things that you care about and he cares about, I promise you he is as frustrated as you are that we haven’t been able to get it done.”
Based on these reassuring words, the response is supposed to be, “well, gosh, the alternative is worse, so I guess we should still vote for Obama.”
No. Just no. You’ve had your chance to prove you are indeed different, and you’ve failed on every front. Even though I have often decried the intolerant, inhumane, radical extremism, nuttiness and willful ignorance of what the Tea-GOP has become, I no longer believe that President Obama is meaningly different from what President Mitt Romney would be or indeed would have been.
And as I could never vote for the unprincipled moral chameleon Romney, I cannot vote again for a faux Democrat whose policies and moral sentiments now seem little different from Romney’s.
I defy any Obama spokesperson to point out any meaningful difference between what Obama has done and what a President Romney would have done.
Health care reform? ObamaCare is identical to RomneyCare, complete with mandates to funnel trillions through private insurers, with no public alternative and no meaningful hope that a concentrated industry unamenable to competitive outcomes will keep costs affordable. The ACA’s progressive sop of adding millions to Medicaid is now awaiting cuts on Joe Biden’s dining table.
Financial reform? The massive financial crash cried out for a massive downsizing of the wealth, power and influence of Wall Street. But instead, Obama’s Treasury Secretary kneecapped needed reforms and preserved the financial sector almost entirely in its original form, but now more powerful and corrupting of our politics than before. That’s exactly what Romney would have done.
Climate change and environmental protection? Energy transformation? This Administration, never very convincing and mostly wedded to failed, conventional solutions, cannot retreat fast enough from earlier rhetoric. The White House Chief of Staff practically apologizes to the Manufacturers Association and Chamber of Commerce for slowing down their exploitation with watered down regulations, while everything else is stalled by OMB.
Civil liberties? Privacy? Surveillance? Transparency? Obama has been worse than Bush.
Foreign wars? Obama has twice as many, all unilateral, illegal, unchecked. Only now it’s with drones killing civilians in more countries.
Protection of labor rights? Terrible. Where is the White House full throated defense of the right to organize and bargain collectively?
Protecting Social Security, Medicare? See Joe Biden’s table.
Jobs? This White House says they’ve done enough, leaving 25 million un- or underemployed. Even a GOP President would have extended unemployment benefits and passed tax cuts to stimulate growth. Bush did so in 2008, and the GOP cheerfully went along.
The point is, Barack Obama was handed a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the agent of needed change, but he blew it. He did only what the original anti-Bush momentum would have demanded of a moderate Republican, and then he became the opponent of real change at every level. He deliberately threw away the opportunity for change and became the destroyer of hope.
No man with that record of failure, misrepresentation, and betrayal should be rewarded with another term. And if we have to put up with a moral chameleon like Mitt Romney, indistinguishable from Obama, in order to demolish Obamism and what it has done to a once proud but now thoroughly corrupt and complicit Democratic Party, then so be it.