Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Could Obama be a one-term president?

by Larry Geller

I’m not really suggesting “Democrats for Palin 2012” though the thought momentarily flashed through my cranium. But what exactly will happen as Obama’s supporters realize that they’ve been hoodwinked?

I got an email this morning from Obama (Ha, for real?) The From address is President Barack Obama info@barackobama.com. An email from the Big Guy himself? It has his name on the bottom too…No, of course it’s not from him. At the bottom it says “Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee.” I’m just some data in their mailing list.

They want money from me:

Will you donate whatever you can afford to support the campaign for real health care reform in 2009?

The last time I was asked to support Obama’s health care reform, he supported single-payer. Not now. He still wants my money but he has abandoned me and something I believe strongly about. No, Barry, you won’t get my money, and maybe you should think of giving out refunds, actually.

What the majority of Americans want, what the majority of doctors even want, according to various polls, and what Obama talked about before he was elected, is single-payer.

While reading that email this morning, on NPR was Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

Asked if the administration's program will be drafted specifically to prevent it from evolving into a single-payer plan, Sebelius says: "I think that's very much the case, and again, if you want anybody to convince people of that, talk to the single-payer proponents who are furious that the single-payer idea is not part of the discussion."

What will it take to convince Barack Obama that he needs to stand by his campaign promises? Will the possibility of being a one-term president do the trick? Is making his supporters “furious” the best thing he can do for himself?

Well, I’m sure his buddies in the insurance industry will take care of him. He won’t miss my few bucks.

The latest to get “furious” at Obama are supporters of equal rights in marriage. It seems that Obama said he believed that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be repealed when he was running for president. DOMA prevents same-sex couples from enjoying equal federal benefits even if they are in a recognized same-sex marriage, or civil union, or anything. Now he’s totally reversed himself on that. 

Obama is now defending the DOMA in Smelt v. United States, a lawsuit brought in federal court in California by a married same-sex couple asking the federal government to treat them equally with respect to federal protections and benefits.

Worse, according to a widely circulating legal commentary,

(1) even if the Obama Administration finds it politically necessary to defend the federal DOMA, its DOJ has by far exceeded the procedural grounds needed for dismissal;
(2) the DOJ's substantive arguments about due process, equal protection, and federalism are meritless;
(3) the "neutrality-in-federalism" argument is so transparently flawed that it reveals discriminatory intent, and may, without exaggeration, be condemned as "absurd" or "insulting";
(4) Obama has fallen short of his stated commitment to repeal the federal DOMA, and has instead resorted to the same legal arguments of the Bush Administration.

No wonder this feels like more of George Bush—an advocacy group discovered on Friday

that one of the three Obama Justice Department attorneys who wrote and filed the anti-gay DOMA brief last night is W. Scott Simpson, a Mormon Bush holdover who was awarded by Alberto Gonzales for his defense of the Partial Birth Abortion act.

But is that  reaction actually “furious?” More from the same advocacy group (Americablog):

And before Obama claims he didn't have a choice, he had a choice. Bush, Reagan and Clinton all filed briefs in court opposing current federal law as being unconstitutional (we'll be posting more about that later). Obama could have done the same. But instead he chose to defend DOMA, denigrate our civil rights, go back on his promises, and contradict his own statements that DOMA was "abhorrent." Folks, Obama's lawyers are even trying to diminish the impact of Roemer and Lawrence, our only two big Supreme Court victories. Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights gains with this brief. He's taking us down for his own benefit.

I think that qualifies as “furious.”

There has been no meaningful assistance to those losing their homes to foreclosure, no relief from usurious interest rates from bailed-out banks, and plenty of other reasons to be “furious”. Oh, let’s not forget escalation of the Afghanistan war and no real pullout from Iraq.

I got an email “what did you expect?” It really hurt, because I did expect better. Yes, we have better than Bush, better than McCain, better than Palin, but not as good as Obama promised.


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