BY SHARON MARTIN
There’s that cautionary tale of the man who wanted to remain neutral during the U.S. Civil War: he donned blue pants and a gray jacket. Confederates shot at his bottom half and Union soldiers shot at his top.
That seems to be what’s happening to our moderate president. He’s blamed for not being tough enough on terrorists. Then he’s blamed for being too tough on terrorists. Oh, those drones!
It was his fault that the IRS targeted 501(c)4 applications with Tea Party in their name even though partisan organizations aren’t eligible for social welfare non-profit status. And just who was it demanded those phone records? It must have been President Obama.
The headline screams, “Will Obama’s Agenda Survive Political Turmoil?”
That’s what this is all about. It isn’t concern for talking points, seized phone records [Hey, guys, remember the Patriot Act?], or the IRS [which some of you want to abolish]. This is about doing whatever is possible to keep a president you don’t want in the White House from accomplishing goals which favor the American people over your corporate donors.
He’s done his best to compromise, angering members of his own party. He made promises that you have seen to it he couldn’t keep. It was Congress who refused to allow Guantanamo detainees on U.S. soil.
The root of Obama’s political philosophy seems to be that government should make the lives of people better. He shows us by example that he believes in community and family. He also speaks up for basketball, free enterprise, and Wall Street. He says we should pay taxes to provide for the common good, but his policies chip away at Social Security raises and granted a temporary cut in FICA fees.
You may not agree with all of this, but surely you believe in some of it.
Right in the middle. Guns? OK. Background checks and limits on magazine size, also OK. Path to citizenship? You got it. Deportations? Got those, too. Natural gas imports? Yeah. Improved efficiency for cars? Yes! Keystone XL Pipeline, on the fence. Carbon tax, on hold.
Historians will tell you that the middle is optimal for our system. We are most prosperous as a country when Republicans and Democrats work together across a thin line, not a gaping chasm.
Our centrist president is trying to straddle that chasm. Those of us near the center must help to close the gap from either side so Obama can get on with the people’s business.
If not us, who? Certainly not those who want to see this president fail.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer