Independents Bolting from Obama? Of Course

by francine Hardaway on November 18, 2009

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 20:  (L to R) U.S. Sen. J...
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I am a proud Independent bolting from Obama. This morning on “Morning Joe” somebody said all the Independents were doing it. If so, this might be the first time I do anything “all” the people do. I think each of us, true to the term, has his or her own reasons. Here are mine, and they surprise even me for the order in which they occur.

1)Failure to end “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I’m not gay, and I’m not in the military, so I have zero vested interest in this issue, except that I see it as a bellwether: He promised to do this. It’s a small issue compared to health care, Afghanistan, or jobs. But he hasn’t even kept this promise.

2)Green jobs. Van Jones became a human sacrifice to a corrupt political system whose interests he didn’t serve.  He’s gone, and so is the focus on precisely what we need to succeed the next era, save the planet, AND right the economy. Even if Al Gore is wrong, Arab oil would be a good enough reason to go for alternative energy technologies.  Come on, Obama, you promised this, too. But instead you’ve defaulted to China while using the green jobs money to bail out Goldman Sachs. I believe that only a laser focus on energy efficiency, clean energy, and other new entrepreneurial technologies will keep us a world leader. Banks won’t.

3)Bailing out the banks. I was against this. It sent me a clear message that money controls Washington, and everything else, despite all the blather about Main Steet. Campaign contributions control everything. And having so many people from Goldman Sachs in the administration, even if they are smart, is wrong. It doesn’t admit other points of view. My credit card rates were raised to 29.99% over the summer for no reason. I watched it, commented on it, and finally got it corrected. But I have a very loud voice and a very good credit rating. If it happened to me, just imagine what is happening to everyone else.

And now we get to the issues on which he gets my total disdain.

4)Continuing to fight in the middle East.  I disagree with this (read Michael Oren’s book Power Faith and Fantasy and you will, too). I understand that it’s difficult to act on a global stage. But we’ve been fighting the Barbary pirates with no hope of victory since 1776. In fact, we only have a Navy because we tried to get past the “musselmen” (old term for Muslims) to trade. Jefferson noticed that they didn’t view the sanctity of human life the way we do. That isn’t going to change.

5) Health care. He defaulted that one to Congress, and you can see what a clusterflock that is. The same Congress that’s controlled by bank lobbyists one day can turn around and be controlled by pharma lobbyists the next. We have now gotten to the “pass anything” point, where the bills now being discussed do not change delivery, control costs, or improve the health of Americans.

So I’m an independent. I believe with John McCain on campaign finance reform, and with Keith Olbermann on the need for free clinics. No one can box in my opinions and call me a radical or a conservative accurately. I’m both, on an issue by issue basis. And I have no respect for Obama  right now because he is what my friend and mentor Ed Robson calls a “shaper,” — a hockey metaphor for a buy who looks good skating but doesn’t really do anything. Or maybe he’s that basketball player who dribbles the ball up and down the court and never takes the shot.

I really want him to succeed.  I voted for him, I cried for him. I still think it’s a historic moment for America that we elected him.

But talk is cheap, as I have just demonstrated. I hope he grows into the job before I have to vote again.

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