Do you ever get the feeling that Tea Party Republicans see the phrase “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a Mission Statement?


When America Needs Some Sanity We Have To Reach Outside Of The USA!

America - He's Your President for Goodness Sake! By William Thomas

There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm.

Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become the glaring exception to that unwritten, patriotic rule.

Four days before President Obama’s inauguration, before he officially took charge of the American government, Rush Limbaugh boasted publicly that he hoped the president would fail. Of course, when the president fails the country flounders. Wishing harm upon your country in order to further your own narrow political views is selfish, sinister and a tad treasonous as well.

Subsequently, during his State of the Union address, which is pretty much a pep rally for America, an unknown congressional representative from South Carolina, later identified as Joe Wilson, stopped the show when he called the President of the United States a liar. The president showed great restraint in ignoring this unprecedented insult and carried on with his speech. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so stunned by the slur, she forgot to jump to her feet while clapping wildly, 30 or 40 times after that.

Last spring, President Obama took his wife Michelle to see a play in New York City and republicans attacked him over the cost of security for the excursion. The president can’t take his wife out to dinner and a show without being scrutinized by the political opposition? As history has proven, a president in a theatre without adequate security is a tragically bad idea.

Remember: “Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”
At some point, the treatment of President Obama went from offensive to ugly and then to downright dangerous.

The health-care debate, which looked more like extreme fighting in a mud pit than a national dialogue, revealed a very vulgar side of America. President Obama’s face appeared on protest signs white-faced and blood-mouthed in a satanic clown image. In other tasteless portrayals, people who disagreed with his position distorted his face to look like Hitler complete with mustache and swastika.

Odd, that burning the flag makes Americans crazy, but depicting the president as a clown and a maniacal fascist is accepted as part of the new rude America.

Maligning the image of the leader of the free world is one thing, putting the president’s life in peril is quite another. More than once, men with guns were videotaped at the health-care rallies where the president spoke. Again, history shows that letting men with guns get within range of a president has not served America well in the past.

And still the “birthers” are out there claiming Barack Obama was not born in the United States, although public documentation proves otherwise. Hawaii is definitely part of the United States, but the Panama Canal Zone where his electoral opponent Senator John McCain was born? Nobody’s sure.

Last month, a 44-year-old woman in Buffalo was quite taken by President Obama when she met him in a chicken wing restaurant called Duff’s. Did she say something about a pleasure and an honour to meet the man or utter encouraging words for the difficult job he is doing? No. Quote: “You’re a hottie with a smokin’ little body.”

Lady, that was the President of the United States you were addressing, not one of the Jonas Brothers! He’s your president for goodness sakes, not the guy driving the Zamboni at “Monster Trucks On Ice.” Maybe next it’ll be, “Take Your President To A Topless Bar Day.”

In President Barack Obama, Americans have a charismatic leader with a good and honest heart. Unlike his predecessor, he’s a very intelligent leader. And unlike that president’s predecessor, he’s a highly moral man.
In President Obama, Americans have the real deal, the whole package and a leader that citizens of almost every country around the world look to with great envy. Given the opportunity, Canadians would trade our leader, hell, most of our leaders for Obama in a heartbeat.

What America has in Obama is a head of state with vitality and insight and youth. Think about it, Barack Obama is a young Nelson Mandela. Mandela was the face of change and charity for all of Africa but he was too old to make it happen. The great things Obama might do for America and the world could go on for decades after he’s out of office.

America, you know not what you have.

The man is being challenged unfairly, characterized with vulgarity and treated with the kind of deep disrespect to which no previous president was subjected. It’s like the day after electing the first black man to be president, thereby electrifying the world with hope and joy, Americans sobered up and decided the bad old days were better.

President Obama may fail but it will not be a Richard Nixon default fraught with larceny and lies. President Obama, given a fair chance, will surely succeed but his triumph will never come with a Bill Clinton caveat – “if only he’d got control of that zipper.”

Please. Give the man a fair, fighting chance. This incivility toward the leader who won over Americans and gave hope to billions of people around the world that their lives could be enhanced by his example, just naturally has to stop.

Believe me, when Americans drive by the White House and see a sign on the lawn that reads: “No shirt. No shoes. No service,” they’ll realize this new national rudeness has gone way, way too far.

Why Barack Obama is looking good for a second term in 2012
by Andrew Rawnsley Sunday, Nov.
The Observer 

 The midterm drubbing for the Democrats masks the many encouraging auguries for the president
  • When Winston Churchill was defeated in the 1945 general election, his wife, Clementine, told him it was "a blessing in disguise". The grand old man was not convinced. He harrumphed: "At the moment, it is very well disguised." The pounding delivered by America's voters to the Democrats is a blessing in disguise for Barack Obama. The results of the mid-term elections were not at all bad for the president. I'd go further: his prospects of winning a second term look as good, if not better, than ever.

    On the face of things, this is a perverse conclusion to draw after one of the worst drubbings suffered by the Democrats in many years. Resurgent Republicans gained more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives, handing them their biggest majority in that half of Congress since the 1940s. They added six Senate places, among them Obama's old seat in Illinois. Though this was not enough to give them control of the other half of Congress, it will make it that much more difficult for Democrats to overcome Republican filibusters. The Republicans also grabbed the keys to the governors' mansions in a slew of key states. Obama reacted to the defeats by ruefully observing: "Some election nights are better than others" and accepting he had taken a "shellacking" from the voters. Like Churchill, he must be inclined to think that, if this is a blessing, it is a very well disguised one.

    So it is. To find the encouragement for the president, you first have to dig beneath a thick crust of inevitable headlines describing these elections in terms of a humiliating rout. Then you have to hack through a lot of predictable commentary on both sides of the Atlantic about the evaporation of the euphoria which attended Obama's election two years ago and talk about his "fall from grace". Only once you've done that do things come into perspective. It helps to have a sense of history. Heavy midterm defeats for the party occupying the White House are very common. Midterms are a safety valve which Americans often use to let off steam when they are in a discontented state. Franklin D Roosevelt took a thumping in 1938 and went on to win two more presidential elections. Ronald Reagan suffered a severe midterm defeat two years before being returned to the White House by a landslide. Bill Clinton followed a similar pattern. In his memoirs, Clinton writes: "After the 1994 elections, I had been ridiculed as an irrelevant figure, destined for defeat in 1996." As it turned out, he cruised to victory. In each case, midterm defeats galvanised the president to sharpen up his act while the other side misread what had happened.

    Republicans, intoxicated by their victories, are making a major mistake. That is to confuse a protest vote against the Democrats with enthusiasm for Republicans. Some of their most prominent figures are vaingloriously bragging about heading to Washington to "take our government back" and undo everything Obama has enacted since he arrived in the Oval Office. That is a misinterpretation of the mood. In polls, 48% of voters agreed with the Republicans that Obama's healthcare reforms should be repealed. But 47% said they wanted to retain or expand those reforms. Cutting the deficit should be the priority of Congress, according to 39%; spending money to stimulate the economy is preferred by an almost equal 37%.

    This election did not represent a ringing endorsement of the Republican platform. It could never be that when there wasn't anything that you could dignify with the name of programme. The ratings of Republicans in Congress are just as dire as those for Democrats – and both are a lot worse than Obama's personal ratings which remain reasonably firm. In short, America is a house divided and has now given itself a divided government.

    It is true that this will have some disempowering effect on the president. He will find it much harder to drive through any landmark laws now that the Republicans have control of the House and can jam up the Senate. That makes him look even wiser to have achieved a string of legislative changes in the early period of his presidency in the face of obstructive Republicans who offered no coherent alternative of their own in the cynical hope of undermining his hopes of re-election.

    By capturing the House of Representatives, the Republicans have acquired a slice of the power and a share of the responsibility for government. Responsibility is going to expose postures that are riddled with contradictions. They want a smaller government and a reduced deficit except in those many areas where they demand bigger government and more spending. They are also riven with factionalism and without an agreed national leadership. On the right, we have the traditional Republicans. On the further right, we have the Tea Partyists. The tea bags contend, and they are correct, that they energised these elections by firing up conservative activists. The establishment Republicans say, and they are also correct, that more moderate and competent candidates would have won additional seats from the Democrats which were lost because more centrist Republican candidates had been displaced by the madder hats of the insurgency. The clownish Christine O'Donnell – the first candidate for office to have to begin a campaign ad with the declaration: "I'm not a witch" – lost a Senate seat that should have been won for the Republicans in Delaware.

    Sharron Angle, another Tea Party favourite who had claimed that American cities were run by sharia and thought Hispanic voters would find it appealing if she told them they looked like Asians, lost to Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate majority leader who had earlier seemed doomed to defeat. In those races were further encouraging auguries for President Obama. Americans may be as mad as hell, but they are not crazy enough to want to embrace the wilder shores of Tea Partyism.

    Such is the pace of democracy in America, Republicans are already obsessing over who should be their standard bearer in the next presidential contest in 2012. That is going to expose their fault lines even more starkly. Despite the rebuffing of the Tea Party in some seats, the Republicans will continue to be dragged to the right by Sarah Palin and her fellow travellers. The threat of the self-styled Mama Grizzly running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 terrifies the party's establishment as much as the prospect delights Democrat strategists.

    The former governor of Alaska is, in some ways, a political genius. She proved to be a hopeless liability when she was on John McCain's ticket two years ago. She is an intensely polarising figure and a narcissist in love with her own shtick. Having had two years to raise her game, she continues to demonstrate an alarming lack of grip or coherence on policy. She now holds no elected office. Yet she has fashioned a profile which makes her probably the best-known American politician in the world after Obama, Bush and Clinton. Celebrity is not the same, however, as credibility. Two out of three American voters believe Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president. The very things about her and the tea baggers which excite right-wing voters are those which repel the more moderate ones.

    There are two further disguised blessings for the president. Paradoxically, one is the economy. Amid the welter of analysis of the Democrats' defeats, by far the most compelling explanation is the simplest one: Americans are frustrated with a lacklustre recovery from the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression. It is not hard to divine why they are angry when the official unemployment rate is nudging 10% and the real level of joblessness is nearer 20%. If there is a double-dip, Obama is almost certainly toast. If the economy continues to limp, he will be in trouble. If the economy is clearly on the mend, the issue that so damaged the Democrats in the midterms ought to work for Obama in the next presidential election.

    People in economic distress become angry people and angry people tend to be volatile people. They thwacked the Republicans in the 2006 midterms. Two years ago, Obama won the best presidential victory for a Democrat since 1964. Now he and his party have taken a bashing. The House has not changed hands and back again so quickly in many decades. Moods ebb and flow in big waves.

    Success goes to the sort of politician who is skilled at surfing the swells of public opinion, one who can ride the crest and also keep his balance when it breaks. Barack Obama is that sort of politician.

    In the wake of the midterms, he has voiced a willingness to work with the Republicans in Congress. He will prosper by being seen as the one who attempted to compromise only to be rebuffed by a Republican party sucked into confrontationalism by its overconfident right. His original appeal was as a healing politician who could lift America above ugly partisanship. The extremism of Tea Partyism will help him to be that attractive, unifying centrist again. My money is on Barack Obama securing a second term in 2012 and quite possibly winning big. Yes, he still can.

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