Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fickle Democrats Show Fair-Weather Feathers To Obama

Fickle Democrats Show Fair-Weather Feathers To Obama

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends."

– John Collins

It is expected that Republicans will continue in their harsh objections to almost everything President Barack Obama does, but it is disturbing to see his fellow Democrats rising up in opposition during this time when he is so heavily besieged. The most recent example was Scott Brown’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race. Brown won over Democratic candidate Margaret Coakley, 52 percent to 42 percent. The GOP victory came, in large part, because so many professed Democrats, as well as a significant number of independents – prodded by Tea Baggers and the National Republican Senatorial Committee – rejected the Democratic candidate. In addition, many voters who roundly supported Obama in 2008 failed to vote at all in the election.

Despite losing the Senate majority that had helped push his initiatives, the president has said he will not abandon the programs he feels are right for the nation, especially the health care bill, which literally is a life and death issue for many. The election loss in generally progressive Massachusetts came after Obama, according to The New York Times, “all but pleaded with Democratic voters to be more ‘fired up’ than they were in 2008. But two days after he asked for support, his call went unanswered.”

The seat vacated by Edward M. Kennedy’s death had been held by Democrats for almost 60 years. Yet these voters there were the people who, in their frustration and anger, chose to join the opposition rather than support the Democratic initiative and work to make it better. The Democratic Party will maintain its effectiveness and become an agent of change only to the extent that its members are committed to its overall aims as they claim.

An analysis of the vote reported: “As expected, turnout was depressed for this special election. About 54 percent of registered voters turned out, compared with 73 percent in November. In President Obama’s strongest areas – towns where he received more than 60 percent of the vote – the number of voters was about 30 percent below 2008 levels. In the rest of the state, the number of voters was down just 25 percent. In Boston – one of the strongest areas for Democrats – the number voting fell 35 percent.”

The president acknowledged that in concentrating on his domestic policies he might have failed to properly explain their virtues, thus leaving many Americans with a “feeling of remoteness and detachment.” Obama entered office with bold promises, possibly not realizing how Republicans would be so relentless and Democrats so impatient. Many wanted an immediate solution for longstanding problems. However, the president, ultimately, is not a dictator. He can only petition for support of his proposals and when those who can help refuse to do so a traffic jam forms on the road to improvement.

Now many elected Democrats, in the wake of the Massachusetts loss, are fearful and panicked by the prospect of facing voters again.

One of the tragedies of the current political situation is that the flames of hysteria have been fanned and the public is accepting the right-wing dogma that it is patriotic to resist efforts to unite as a nation to confront national problems. Furthermore, not only are Democrats being assailed, but also upset voters are criticizing some GOP officeholders as not conservative enough. The voices of those who distrust the basic idea of a national government are rising again. Calls for states’ rights are being renewed in some quarters – the same argument that was used in the 1960s to oppose civil rights.

Regarding the health care bill, the most contentious piece of legislation now on the horizon, the GOP is holding out for a “perfect” bill at the expense of the national interest. The reasonable thing to do, it seems, is for disaffected Democrats especially, but also Republicans and independents, to back the proposal now under consideration, with the understanding that future modifications might be necessary to increase its efficiency. This has been a frequent approach, and there is every reason to believe it would be effective in this case.

(George E. Hardin worked as a photographer, reporter and editor, and in public relations during a long career before he retired. His column appears every other week.)

See Also...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special: Pres. Obama A.K.A. Mr. Tough Love & The Myth Of A Post-Racial America Part One

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special:Reflections On The 2009 Inauguration Part One:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Yes He Did...So Now What??? Defining The Obama Presidency...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special:O Yes We Did!!! The Barack Obama Tribute...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:
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