I’m getting really irritated by people talking about Ted Kennedy as if he were one of three or four children, all of them boys. Perhaps worst of all is listening to a litany of tragedies in Ted’s life, remarkably leaving out that one of his sisters had her brain mutilated by medically employed nutjob Walter Freeman.
It is distressing to me when someone takes that Obama promised ‘change’ and then inserts their own words after the ‘change’. Mind you, Obama encouraged this behavior by using ‘CHANGE’ without content as a (hardly unique) campaign slogan; but he did, frequently, give content. He said, for example, that he was going to try to change the way things are done in Washington, and he said he would try to change the way people talk to each other in political matters.
But, on Air America, Nicole Sandler (with thorough justification) wants our healthcare changed and so she inserts that after Obama’s ‘change’ and complains that he doesn’t ram through healthcare in exactly the fashion of Bush. To do that would be direct breakage of the explicit campaign promise that Barack Obama actually did make. Yes, he promised healthcare reform, but it was, if anything, the foundation of his campaign that Obama would not do things the way George W. Bush had done them.
I’m not saying this is a policy I support; that’s beside the point. I’m not saying that Barack Obama is super wonderful. If I had been elected president, we’d likely be seeing Washington moving in quite different ways. But Obama promised what he promised, and he has been pretty good on the follow-through: he promised military escalation in Afghanistan, and we have military escalation in Afghanistan; he promised to change the way things were done in Washington, and, true to this promise, he has resisted ramming things through without debate; and, as the counterproductive Max Baucus himself recently admitted, Obama will get us healthcare reform. Obama did not promise to get it done immediately and painlessly, and did not promise any particular type of reform (though he did, of course, voice preferences).
The guy who is subbing for Montel Williams just took a call from one of my fellow lefties, and she complained that Barack Obama promised to get us out of ‘these wars’ and he’s not following through.
What Barack Obama is she talking about? The one that’s living in the White House was clear about his policy: he was going to reduce, but not eliminate, our military presence in Iraq, and he was going to escalate our military activities in Afghanistan.
I do not support these policies. I didn’t support them before the election and do not support them now. But that’s not the point; Obama did make them his policy, he did tell us this during the campaign, and we did vote for him on this basis. If one of my fellow lefties thinks she voted for him on a basis of withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, I suggest she sign up for a refresher course in English.
(Mind you, Barack Obama did purposely try to confuse people on this. However, this caller sounded capable of not being fooled; I think she simply put her fingers in her ears when Obama gave us his more specific statements – which is not how to comprehend English.)