Day: August 14, 2010

Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama, And The “Professional” Left!

President Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has made a lot of enemies recently between his comment that the Democrats could lose Congress, and now his criticism of the “Professional” Left, which he says would not be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was President, and would not be happy unless there was no Pentagon budget, and we adopted the Canadian Health Care system!

It is clear that Gibbs believes in being blunt, which provokes many on the left, and some have called for him to be fired. But this is not the solution to the issue of his outspokenness!

Rather, it is important that the Obama Administration and the cable channels (particularly MSNBC) work to understand each other!

It is the job of the cable channels and others on the progressive side of the political spectrum to push and prod the administration into accomplishing as much of the progressive agenda as is humanly possible!

They are not the enemies of Barack Obama, but rather are disappointed that he has not gone further than he has on many issues, and has been too concerned much of the time with his conservative critics, often caving in on many issues to try to gain support from Republicans, who unfortunately, have no interests in any cooperation or bipartisanship! Instead, they unleash vicious, hateful rhetoric designed to divide the nation, and undermine efforts at economic recovery and international understanding! 🙁

But at the same time, Barack Obama HAS BEEN a disappointment in many areas!

Obama has not closed down Guantanamo Naval Base, as he had pledged, and moved terrorist suspects elsewhere, as he had stated he would do within one year!

He has allowed his government to deport more illegal immigrants than his predecessor, George W. Bush, most of them not in any way criminal, but here without legal documentation!

He has allowed soldiers who are valuable to the military but gay in sexual orientation to be dismissed, while the government procrastinates on ending “don’t ask, don’t tell”!

He compromised and gave up on a “public option” on health care, so that his health care plan is far from ideal!

His administration failed to focus on the creation of enough jobs through public works programs, the rebuilding of the infrastructure of America, and the economic stimulus has been inadequate. But Obama has refused so far to fight for another economic stimulus, which is sorely needed for economic recovery! Instead, the likelihood is a double dip recession, exactly what conservatives and the GOP want to happen so as to gain political points! 🙁

Obama has escalated our war in Afghanistan, and casualties have mounted, without any real evidence that any progress is being made in that war torn country!

He has failed to accomplish any progress on the matter of global warming and climate change, despite all the right rhetoric, and this is an essential topic that must be dealt with!

His response to the BP Oil Spill Crisis was lacking in leadership early on, and has done a lot of damage to his public opinion ratings!

He has allowed the issue of border security to be used against him by his slow response to the need for more National Guardsmen, only now signing legislation for a beefing up of troops at the border, and with the need for many more than have been provided for in the legislation!

Obama has disappointed in his diplomacy on the Middle East, antagonizing many Jews by his seemingly siding with the Palestinians, although in reality that is not the case, but perception often matters more than reality!

These are just ten issues that trouble progressives and liberals, and it is the job of the so called “Professional” Left to hold the President’s “feet to the fire”, in order to prod the President toward his “friends” and his own inclinations!

But the answer is not to fire Robert Gibbs, but come to the conclusion that the criticism is well meant, that the “Professional” Left wants only the best for Obama and for the nation, and that a truce needs to be declared!

Instead of sniping and infighting, what is needed is to do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the third year of his first term–turn to the left and accomplish his greatest goals in office, including the Social Security Act, which as said in the next earlier entry, celebrates its 75th Anniversary today! 🙂

Social Security’s 75th Anniversary: A Moment To Rejoice! :)

Social Security reached 75 years old today, and it is a time to rejoice! 🙂

Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed through this landmark legislation as part of the Second New Deal, and it is often thought to be the greatest single accomplishment of the many attributed to FDR during his 12 years plus as President!

Not only did it give dignity and a source of security to the elderly, but it also protected widows, orphans, and the handicapped, which many Americans today are not aware of!

It took us to 1935, long after Germany, France and Great Britain had developed a system of protection of the elderly and the needy, to accomplish this legislation!

It made getting older something that was not dreaded, but appreciated!

Social Security has never missed a payment to anyone, and it has been a tremendous success, and yet there are many younger Americans who are convinced that the system will disappear before they reach the age of entitlement!

That will NOT happen, but obviously, there will have to be reform of Social Security, due to the large baby boom generation now retiring, and the fact that now there are only two to three workers for every recipient, while it was more like 9-1 back then in the early years of the reform.

We have already had one extension in the age of full benefits from 65 to 66 and 67 based on birth year, and it is obvious that it will have to be extended for the long term to older ages of 68, 69, and 70, based on decade of birth.

Also, the amount of income, on which social security taxes will be assessed, will have to rise as well, to all income, as is the case with Medicare!

But this successful program cannot be allowed to disappear or collapse, so eventually, measured reform as in 1983 will be enacted!

As a scholar on FDR and the New Deal, this is a moment to hail both the program and the President who saw what was needed, and brought it about so skillfully!

So let’s salute the anniversary and the President who transformed this country in so many ways, but most importantly in the area of Social Security! 🙂