Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Open Letter to President Obama

This is the email I fired off to the White House yesterday. (Technically, this is the first draft - had to knock off most of the adjectives and all of the background to fit the White House server's 2,500 word limit. But hey, he's the president - he knows this stuff already.)
Dear President Obama,

Congratulations. You gave a very nice speech last night. That's to be expected, of course: you are, after all, a great orator. I have a few thoughts, though, which I'd like to share with you.

Despite the unhinged and melodramatic claims of your detractors, you have always been essentially a centrist. Not "the most liberal senator in history," not a socialist, Marxist, fascist, black Islamic Chicago-style gangster. (Well, OK, you are black - that much is true.) You were elected saying that you would work with politicians on both sides of the aisle to get things done.

How's that working out for you so far?

You made the following statement in your address:
We can't wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side -– a belief that "if you lose, I win." Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can... I'm speaking to both parties now.
There's only one problem with that: speaking to both parties about that is a waste of time, because it's just the Republicans who've been doing that. In order to be successful with a bipartisan effort, both sides have to be willing to work at it.

See, it's a standard tactic of the Right and has been for about three decades now. Any time a Democrat is elected, they immediately go into overdrive to prove that he (or, someday, she) is illegitimate and has no ability to govern effectively. Google the phrase "permanent Republican majority" sometime.

Keep talking up the theory of post-partisanship, and keep inviting the Republicans to help. But since you already know that they're just going to stall, delay and deny, don't hold anything up for them. Mobilize your base and keep making progress; if you succeed and they refuse to join in, they'll either die off like the Pleistocene rejects they are, or they'll realize that, when your only campaign platform is opposition to successful programs, you aren't likely to keep pulling that sweet government paycheck for long.

Now, you also say that you need to save money. Well, here's a thought: bring the troops home. Stop dropping billions into other countries when you don't need to.

Iraq is easy: every single goal that's been set for them has been consistently met. We're done over there - to be honest, we shouldn't have gone in the first place, but there's really no need for them to still be there now.

Afghanistan is a little harder - there's actually a purpose for being there. But state what that purpose is, set an attainable goal, and when we get there, bring them home.

I notice that you finally admitted, without naming anyone specifically, that you inherited a giant pile of trash left by a certain unnamed former president who didn't feel he needed to worry about the future of America. Good job - you need to remind the historical revisionists that you didn't cause this mess, you're just trying to clean it up. They'll be more than happy to pin that on you, too.

You know, a commission to examine some of the accusations of law-breaking that occurred throughout the first decade of this century might also be a good idea. After all, if we are, in fact, a nation of laws, then there needs to be repercussions for breaking those laws. Otherwise, future generations will be sorely tempted to do exactly the same things all over again, if they believe that there will be no consequences for their actions.

There's other things you said you'd do that we're still waiting for. Close Guantanamo - you've moved in that direction, but you aren't there yet. End Don't Ask, Don't Tell - you touched on it vaguely during your speech last night, but you could end it right now, with a simple executive order.

You were elected on a platform of hope and change. Well, some of us are still hoping for some change.
Won't do a damned bit of good, but sometimes you just have to say something.


Miss Roxie said...

I'm glad you said what you did. It's got to help in some way, right? If we all stop talking, then what?

Nameless Cynic said...

So, does anybody know why eman is back to commenting every flipping day, two or three times a day? He seems to think he's waiting for a response from me on his site.

Barack Hussein said...

That's me - it's Kim. I went and looked at his site, and you're right - he's got about three answers to any question, and none of them are right. I'm currently going in under the president's name, and so far, he's admitted that it doesn't matter what Obama does, eman is going to keep hating the president - apparently because he doesn't understand economic policy or something. Eman's argument breaks down right about there, although he takes another 250 words to say how much he doesn't understand.

Nameless Cynic said...

Crap. Why do you want to go and do stuff like that? I've been ignoring him for a little over a month now, and gotten him down to one try every two weeks or so. Slammy was the same way. Now you've gone and woken up my creepy stalkers again, and they're going to keep it up until they fall out, panting and exhausted under the weight of their own stupidity.

I'd say they're like lice, but the only blue-gel option I have is a pretty ugly metaphor.

They're more like toy poodles in a cage you have to pass every day. They keep yapping, and sometimes it's fun to poke stuff through the bars, but they aren't going to shut up until they fall back asleep again.

I mean, come on, this is Diogenes' schtick. If you're going to go after them, it isn't hard, but they aren't smart enough to see when they come in a distant third (hehind both you, and a fart you let loose about halfway through that initial post).

But please, sign in as yourself. If they can't immediately identify Dio, they assume it's me, because both of them are weirdly fixated on me and assume that they're as important in my life as I am in theirs.

You owe me lunch tomorrow.

Nameless Cynic said...

Update (for anyone following this sad little soap opera) - On the upside, Kim seems to have angered Eman, who now doesn't believe he exists. Eric also took the fascinating step of trying to post a remark on my blog, banning me from his.

Hey, if it just makes him go away, I don't care what he thinks. (Of course, he's promised this before...)

So, I take it back, Kim. You did a good thing. Just don't do it again, or he'll probably come back, since you're apparently my sock-puppet.

Kim June said...

This guy really doesn't like you, does he? He's got a whole post about what a "pariah" you are.

Oh, and I'm a woman now. My wife is going to be pissed.