Let’s face it; most of us can’t afford President Obama to lose in 2012. It is not an aspirational hope that Obama is victorious; it is a raw feeling of desperation and accepting the fact that we literally cannot afford for any of the alternatives produced by the Republican Party to win.
With the wealth gap at an all time high and unemployment skyrocketing we have to accept the fact that as bad as things are now, it could be worse. Such a revelation isn’t exactly a campaign kick-starter but it’s a hard truth that needs to be the catalyst to end the “we should primary Obama” or “Obama isn’t doing enough for [insert the name of the group here] talk.
The frequent dust ups over whether President Obama is a huge disappointment or whether he is constrained by the political reality is a topic that is not lost on the people working long hours right now on the ground for his re-election campaign in Organizing for America.
WATCH OBAMA ADVISOR ROBERT GIBBS DISCUSS PERRY, BACHMANN:
Last week, a director for OFA in New Mexico caused quite the stir when he quoted a blog post in an email which was leaked to the public slamming the website FireDogLake a website of progressives and its founder Jane Hamsher who has consistently slammed the Obama administration. FireDogLake and Hamsher both have long railed against the Obama administration and its supporters for being weak or dumb or both.
The ins and outs of this specific kerfuffle isn’t necessarily important but it is related to other outbursts namely from Professor Cornel West and Tavis Smiley who claim Obama isn’t doing enough for the black community. Neither Professor West nor Mr. Smiley is unemployed and struggling to make ends meet and the sad truth is that their complaints may in fact harm turnout in the next election, which will harm the people they claim to care about. While there certainly are legitimate gripes it is interesting to observe who is delivering these messages in public.
There is one thing that these complainants have in common; they can afford a world under a President Bachmann or Perry. Many of the complaints leave out the fact that President Obama can come out fighting for a robust jobs plan tomorrow and every day after that until November 2012 but that any plan would be blocked by House Republicans and would never become law.
This is not to say that he shouldn’t come out with a plan but the fact that it has no chance of passing is an inconvenient truth that is often left out of the conversation. Proclaiming that President Obama needs to “fight harder” isn’t a specific policy proposal that can be signed into law. It’s just talk.
Americans who are unemployed and struggling financially are frustrated. They are not just frustrated with the slow pace of economic growth and high unemployment but they are frustrated with the ugly political process that is slow to produce anything meaningful to help them in their daily lives.
Black families who were once middle class but who lost their homes during the downturn know that going back to Republican policies that got us into this mess are not an option.
There is no viable alternative. The current crop of Republican presidential candidates are even more radical and far right their President George W. Bush.
Republicans haven’t changed and still champion the economic policies that put us in the hole. You only need to look at the Republican debates to see that they have even gone further to the right. None of the candidates would agree to raise taxes under any circumstances which means the economy which is in dire need of stimulus will not get stimulus under a President Perry or Bachmann or Romney.
The sad reality is that you can’t get stimulus right now under a President Obama either so we have to put in the work over the next year to remake Congress. Otherwise our complaints will ring even more hollow. This September we will be a year away from making a big decision about our future, and the question is are we so unsatisfied with the pace of change that we are will to throw everyone under the proverbial bus by staying home or not actively working to re-elect Obama and congressional Democrats?
Sara Haile-Mariam a political communications and strategist formerly of Campus Progress says that we need to focus the message on “not only voting to re-elect President Obama, but if we’re serious, it means more than that. We won’t be staying home because we’re disappointed in the man Barack Obama. What was real about 2008 was us, the millions who believed in our power to change the country. We’ve yet to substantively tap into that. We may be weary, but collectively we’re still powerful.”
Many of the loudest voices can afford a President Rick Perry. Let’s not listen to them and focus our collective energy on giving President Obama a more progressive Congress to work with so that he can “fight” for things that have a realistic chance of becoming law.