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The Man Who Doesn’t Want to Be President

Posted on Aug 9, 2011
Adam Campbell (CC-BY-ND)

By William Pfaff

The spectacle presented the world by the elected American government’s inability to deal with how the national debt is to be paid and the budget set, with its commercial exploitation by rating company Standard & Poor’s, is widely considered abroad (and not only by China’s propagandists) as a devastating blow to the reputation of the United States.

It has demonstrated that the Republican opposition is riddled (perforated, like a sieve, according to the dictionary) with ignorance, irresponsibility, and half-baked and demagogic ideas, and the nation’s president has been revealed as ominously ineffectual.

Barack Obama had a magnificent hand to play: to save the nation from the gigantic debt to China that his Republican predecessor had left to the nation, spun from Republican gifts to the rich, tax-evading American corporations that have exported the national economy’s jobs, and the reckless wars that two Republican administrations created and were incapable of either winning or ending.

President Obama is a strange man whose sincere desire to restore cooperation and civility to government is admirable, but for nearly three years has been unreciprocated. Despite that, he seems unwilling to be president. What a contrast he makes to George W. Bush, in his boots and with his swagger—the Decider who promised “to create chaos, to create a vacuum” in every corner of the world if that were necessary to save America from the mortal threat he saw everywhere, and ruthlessly started out keeping that promise. He left Obama with the wreckage.

Obama promised to end the debacle in Iraq but has not done so, and has left it to the Pentagon to bargain amid the ruins to keep American military or mercenary forces there indefinitely so as to secure its oil and “protect” it from Iran, which thanks to the devastated Iraq’s vulnerability already is in a position to indirectly control it. Iran can leave the United States to police domestic order in Iraq as long as that is convenient to the leading Shiite forces in Iraq, and to Israel. It saves trouble and money all around—except for the American taxpayer (which is to say, those Americans constrained actually to pay taxes, such as Warren Buffett’s secretary, who, as Buffett has explained to us, pays at a higher tax rate than the financier does himself.)


Square, Site wide
As a candidate, Obama promised to end the war in Iraq and fight and win the “real war”—in Afghanistan. Early in his presidency he respectfully sought and accepted the Pentagon commanders’ plan for accomplishing this, as presented by Gen. David Petraeus. He elicited from Petraeus the assurance that the plan would be carried out as scheduled, a schedule which, of course, has run out, without comment from the president, who instead has promoted the general to head the CIA. This is a promotion that Petraeus enthusiasts believe brings the general closer to the position they seek for him, the presidency itself. One might think that careers are built in Washington by successful accomplishment of assigned missions, but for some time this has not been the case.

The latest and most sobering report from Afghanistan (from which Petraeus as well as his predecessor, Stanley McChrystal, have prudently removed themselves, willingly or otherwise) is supplied by a New York Times report (in the International Herald Tribune of Aug. 9) offering background on the successful attack by the Taliban on an American military helicopter Saturday, killing 38 Americans and Afghans.

The report, by Alissa J. Rubin, calls this evidence of the “harsh reality that even now, at the height of the NATO troop presence and not far from the Afghan capital, large stretches of the country are perilous and heavily infiltrated by insurgents.” Logar and Wardak provinces, gateways to Kabul, “have become more insecure even as NATO has stepped up its troop numbers nationwide.” Local officials, the report says, now frequently consider it too dangerous to attend provincial council meetings, as the Taliban set up roadblocks and control the main road.

The war in Afghanistan is lost or being lost. U.S. military officials obviously will not tell this to the president, nor even, one supposes, admit it to themselves. The decision to leave must be taken. A president is elected to take decisions. George W. Bush knew that.

Visit William Pfaff’s website for more on his latest book, “The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America’s Foreign Policy” (Walker & Co., $25), at

© 2011 Tribune Media Services Inc.

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ETNIKS's avatar

By ETNIKS, August 13, 2011 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

This thread about Obama is augmented by the following recent Max Keiser’s report.

Check the interview with Peter Schift in the second half as well.

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By ETNIKS, August 12, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Okasis.  You said:
“The DNC, Nancy Pelosy, and Reid all care about one thing only, and that is securing their own power base.  It’s all theater, and most officials of either Party would support a warthog if it would win the Presidency. As for the DNC, Obama picked the Chair, just as he did his Cabinet members and personal advisers.”

Thank you for your insight as someone who was in the middle of it.
I agree totally we should concentrate on building LOCAL social movements to satisfy the Real needs of the community.
Washington and the two party US politics is totally corrupt and out of control.  We shouldn’t expect ANY solutions from them either Jackasses Democrats, or Banana-Republicans.

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By ETNIKS, August 12, 2011 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Gerard,  According to linguist George Lakeoff humans think in frames and depending on how we frame the issues, is how we perceive reality, as if it was a window through which we look out.

Therefore it’s very important to be aware of this fact in order to understand the limitations of thought, and its consequences derived from the assumptions we base those thoughts on.

You are assuming Obama was abandoned by the Democratic party when he took office, and that he (we) had “everything going for us” at that moment.  I do remember the exhilarating experience of seeing him win the elections, with people crying around me so happy, but that doesn’t mean we had everything going for us. 
We might have felt that way but the truth is the circumstances at the time were dismally negative all around, curtailing any new president’s range of actions.
The situation demanded precise, energetic, blunt, creative, independent, out-of-the-box approach to solving the crisis, after 8 long years of suffering under a fundamentalist scumbag W. Bush and a Banana-Republican party bordering on fascism.

What we actually got from Obama was nothing like it.  From the start Obama surrounded himself with Wall Street insiders (the very people who created the crisis and now wanted to cover their asses.  Obama willingly obliged) and his decisions have come to rust today with an economy falling to pieces because the limited bail out funds were not placed on the middle class pockets to be spent and jump start the economy, but on Wall Street’s pockets, so they can continue their rampage in the Stock exchange casino, ripping us all, while they give themselves 24 billion dollars a year in bonuses.

Even BEFORE the elections, during the campaign already some pundits were talking about Obama being a “centrist”, not an “ideologue”, a “conciliator” etc.

In retrospect I can see now Obama was packaged like any other Madison Avenue “product”, (in fact his campaign won the best prize in branding and marketing that year) with Barak saying exactly what all of us wanted to hear, with his fabulous speech delivery, well timed and effective.

In my view we the liberals DID NOT have everything going for us, but if Obama had been what he presented himself to be, we could have made it.  Obama has not the balls, or the knowledge of an FDR who knew how the wealthy thinks, since he came form a political rich circle.

Where you and I differ is in your view Obama’s shortcoming come from the Democratic’s party lack of support, while I think Obama had ALL THE SUPPORT of 80% of the people during the next few months and if he had use it properly, he would not only have become even more popular, but would also have resolved the crisis by now.  The reason it didn’t happen is because Obama is a lot less than we think as a statesman, and as a man.  Obama’s Peter’s Principle is evident as a ‘Ronald Reagan” in reverse who can deliver good speeches but is hollow inside.

The answer to your questions Gerard is, Obama never was who we thought he was.  Our assumptions were wrong then, and let’s not make the same mistake now.  Let’s see him for what he is:  a pathetic shadow of a servant to the world financial powers who are pushing for the last artificial crisis in order to create the context where people are going to accept a World Government, with a World Bank under the fraudulent Fractional Reserve Banking system, so they can reverse ALL the social equality advances to a feudalistic state of serfdom.

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By RayLan, August 12, 2011 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

The deficit is not the national debt. But it is important to compare them - the debt that individual Americans slide into in the private sector reflects the habits of the public sector’s incurring a deficit.
O-blah-ma is an ineffectual rhetorician with not enough spine even to hold to an ideology, or more importantly a promise.
When morning in America actually comes, I’m hoping he disappears like vapor over a swamp.

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By Okasis, August 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What faith you have in the Democratic Party. It’s a shame it is not based in reality. I was active as a Democratic Party State Central Committee Person, Chaired the State Platform Committee, and several Initiative Campaigns. I went to meetings with Congressmen and Senators and Governors for over 20 years [I officially resigned over Clinton’s Welfare ‘Reform’ Act]. The longer I was involved, and more power I accrued personally, the more queasy I felt, even tho the power becomes a drug.

In 1992, when a large contingent from Washington State refused to back Clinton in the Precinct Caucuses [they choose the State delegates, and then the National Delegates], we were publicly chastised by the State Chair as fools. In her opinion, Clinton could be elected, and that was all that mattered.

And that remains true in spades. The DNC, Nancy Pelosy, and Reid all care about one thing only, and that is securing their own power base. It pays off in perqs, gratuities, and celebrity status. The good of the Country, their home State, or community is beside the point.

It’s all theater, and most officials of either Party would support a warthog if it would win the Presidency. As for the DNC, Obama picked the
Chair, just as he did his Cabinet members and personal advisers.

As long as we have only 2 Parties that matter, and party control of redistricting and election laws, they will do as they damned well please. Change won’t come from the top, it will begin with local organizing and spread from there, if it’s real. If it is funded and organized by some fat cat like Perot, it won’t last beyond the next campaign cycle.

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By gerard, August 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

ETNIKS:  Thanks for responding directly.Couple of points in reply:
  You took my last post as “making excuses.” I do not wish to make excuses for Obama’s weaknesses.  I am as disappointed as anyone. It’s just that by nature I try to understand why, what factors influence persons to act in certain ways rather than others. 
  I based by assumptions on my own gut feelings, remembering how shocked I was to find no direction or encouragement from the Democratic Party after the election; instead an obvious and sudden vacuum, an emptiness sucking sound which at the time gave me an ominous shock.  Why?  They (we) had everything going for us. That question is still not answered.
  The phoney response to the Nobel Prize was a second early evidence of bad advice coming from somewhere in the party.  It should never have happened, was tactically and ethically insupportable. Soon it became ludicrous in view of upping the war in Afghanistan.  The Democratic Party could have pulled the plug on that, too.  Where were they? Where were the Party-sponsored plans for reigning in the dominance of the MIC?
  And so on down. It’s evident that Presidents can’t do much without strong Party and public support. (And particularly in Obama’s case as the first “black” president, I might add.  It’s not rocket science to realize that.) The elites will always take over if they can, and that’ not new, either. Where was the Party?  Where is it now?
  Where did this supposed “community organizer” compromise-with-evil legislation come from? (continual war, acceptance of torture and heavy surveillance, no habeas corpus, mortgage crisis, continued joblessness among the poorest people, half-baked health care?  Where is the Party on these. Where are the rich Democrats who could afford to buy the media to promote these goals?  What do you think?
  Evidence accumulates that all of it was/is missing in action. That Obama should do this, take that leadership, advocate, use the bully pulpit etc. I agree.  Still, the ultra-conservatives and corporate elite are filling a vacuum, and the vacuum shouldn’t be there to fill. That’s my contention.
  Where did this supposed “community organizer” compromise-with-evil-legislation come from? Where is the Party on that? What do you think?
  How can a Party so negligent as to virtually abandon a guy they elected expect to elect him again—or anybody else, for that matter?

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By Gorgeous, August 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

I agree that Obama doesn’t really want to be president and I support him in not running for a second term and letting someone who actually wants to create jobs, end the stupid wars, raise taxes on the rich and take on the idiots in Congress - it shouldn’t be that hard but it needs to be done. Civility be damned - the country is in trouble and civility isn’t getting the job done.

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By ETNIKS, August 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

I was a wholehearted Obama’s supporter and campaigned for him during the 2008 elections.  I even lost friends in the battle because they were right wing and things got hot before the elections.

WAKE UP BROTHER.  Obama is what he is.  HE KNOWS and he acts the way HE WANTS TO, from the very beginning he made clear choices.  Instead of calling back Brooksley Born who was right (Watch for FREE the PBS program THE WARNING. google it) who heroically fought for you and me and the country, he instead called the very guys who were wrong and wronged this fantastic woman.  Everything he has done is clear and goes in one direction.  All his acts are deliberate while playing the little game he’s “fighting” for us.

The opposition calls him a “socialist” and racist epithets to get his troops roused to defend him, and it works with millions running to his side while he’s stabbing us all in the back.  It’s clear as day, and yet many don’t see it.

I know it’s hard to accept the fact the guy we thought was honest is actually a scumbag, a traitor, a man with intelligence at the service of the enemies of society.  Stop looking for excuses for him.

OBAMA IS WHAT HE IS.  It’s HIS choice.  He knew what he’s doing stinks and still decided to do it, the lure to be the “first Black President” and all the glamour that comes with it, was too much to let go.

Obama is too intelligent not to know he’s screwing the country instead of moving off and letting someone else do what has to be done.


If Obama actually explained how things are to the masses while surrounding himself with real loyal aids and troops, he could pull it off, but it’s very risky and prefers to play along the game, with his pretty wife and kids, a fairytale fantasy (while the planet is falling to pieces on his watch)

Stop making excuses.

We need to work at the local level organizing from the roots to keep society and the economy running while the whole political and economic corrupt Washington structures fall down to pieces on THEIR own weight, just like it happened in the Soviet Union.
The Congress, Senate, White House and the Supreme Court are all beyond redemption.  Only very few individuals are true patriots but the system has become so corrupt, we can’t expect any solution from them.


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By gerard, August 11, 2011 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Speaking of the “magnificent hand Obama had to play when he came into office”—here’s my thoughts on that:  Remember his saying right before he was sworn in or took office, “I want you to make me do it,” and other lines to that effect.  He was calling on his millions of supporters to keep active and help him promote his promised program.

Something happened on the way to the White House. What?  Why didn’t the Democratic campaign machinery that had helped to elect him, stay organized?  All their machinery was up and running.  Millions of people were entnusiastic and could have been mobilized to continue their support in specific ways. They only needed direction; the motivation—even the organization down to the precinct level—was there.

What happened?  Immediately all the air went out of the balloon and the moment was lost.  Was that the point at which the heavy hand of money came into play?  Something happened, and we may not know for years, but I sense that he was, in a sense, betrayed by the party itself, from the top.  Conservative Democrats decided to betray the rank and file in the interests of giving power to the money instead of to the people.  I could be wrong.  In fact, in a way I hope I am wrong.  But something haunts that post-election period that sucked the air out of Democratic integrity, IMO.

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By John Poole, August 11, 2011 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many speculations about Obama’s agenda-up front or hidden. Might it just be that
the plutarchy picked the guy after a thorough vetting and then prepped him to
discreetly palm the baton of empire from Bush’s outstretched hand. The pitch was: 
It’ll be an easy gig for you.  No one will dare try to make it uncomfortable for you.
You’d be the first black president! Everyone would be concerned with making it as
cushy as possible for you. You’d have it made. He’s finding out that the plan isn’t
going well and is absolutely clueless. He’s a hollow man but still capable of doing
monstrous things (witness his Libyan “kinetic action”).  Still,  the Obama
“deadenders” hold out hope.

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By Bird48, August 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Thank you so much ETNIKS! Someone has the courage to tell the truth and I can only hope(bad choice of words, I know)that maybe your words said loud and often enough to the Obamabots, they will wake up and realize their emperor has no clothes.

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By ETNIKS, August 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

I couldn’t disagree more with you Devon Noll.

Obama has had a very clear line from as far back as two months BEFORE the elections in 2008 when he voted for the retroactive law to leave W Bush and the Telecoms off the hook their crimes spying on US citizens.

From the first moment, Obama surrounded himself with the very people that created the crisis, like Larry Summers and the nerd Geithner, plus so many Goldman Sacks ex employees (something he had promised not to do), his backroom deals with the Pharmaceutical corporations which he also promised no to do, his backroom deals with Verizon-Google to end the net neutrality, to push out Elizabeth Warner, and the worst has been passing on the Bankster’s debts to the US taxpayer, and on and on and on.

Obama sold out when he didn’t let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, when he acted AGAINST the Public Option in the Medical fiasco, when he allowed the Republicans to frame the terms of the circus around the lifting of the debt ceiling, going as far as to put on the table Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!!!


OBAMA IS A TROJAN HORSE able to do more damage against the people, that NO Republican President could.  The very fact you’re speculating about his security, suggesting he’s doing something against his will, is bizarre.  If it gets too hot in the kitchen he should get the hell out, and let someone else with real courage do what the country needs.

Dennis Kucinich said it very well when he stated “Obama hasn’t closed a deal he didn’t want”  and also more importantly, KUCINICH MENTIONED THE US CONSTITUTION ALLOWS FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO CREATE ITS OWN CURRENCY INTEREST-FREE and therefore no need for increasing the debt ceiling.

You’re asleep.  The Debt Ceiling circus was a Red Herring to divert people’s attention while he could have resolved it by an executive order or creating his own GREENBACKS like Lincoln did.

By the way, that weekend when Hillary Clinton and Obama disappeared together before the elections, they joined with the Bilderberg Group meeting outside of Washington, whose members probably checked them both up, and decided Obama would be the best agent to pursue their agenda of pushing back all the gains made by the working people in the last 150 years.

No Republican could get away with it but Obama is doing it while people like you are so naive to still support him.

Obama is doing such a good job in pursuing the world’s Oligarch’s agenda, very possibly they’ll allow him to win again in 2012 to finish the job and leave us all in a feudalistic state.

The list of actions Obama has taken against all he had promised is very long, and I find it outrageous people still are going out of their way to excuse him.

Obama is actually worse than Bush, precisely because he’s neutralizing millions of democrats supporters who refuse to pull their head out of the hole and see the truth.

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By poodfreemon, August 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

[to ocjim]I have a dream! It is a dream about the deal cooked up by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008. One year from now, at the Democratic Convention, on the last night, Obama comes to the podium and announces he is stepping aside and that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2012. The crowd goes wild. Everywhere across the USA, Republican heads explode. After the Dems crushing victory in November of 2012, Obama becomes Secretary of State. He retains the option to run for president again in 2016 or 2020.

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By Baddabingo, August 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To “take” decisions?


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By Lew Ciefer, August 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately for the nation Obuma is president, wants to be president, and is doing exactly what he is told to do by his Masters on Wall Street. Like Bush before him.

If he seems a little ragged it’s probably due to all those taxpayer provided golfing trips to exclusive golf clubs ... not to mention all that deciding what to take on his next vacation.

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By dailyplanet, August 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America has no president. Obama is AWOL, missing in action. The school yard
bullies of the lunatic right have pounded him to a pulp and he’s cowering
somewhere hoping everyone will just label him a “conscientious objector.”

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By ocjim, August 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Maybe Obama should move over and allow Hillary to run again. At least she has the spunk to fight for the majority interest.

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By david451, August 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

As the author said “Barack Obama had a magnificent hand to play…” 

Obama came into office with a magnificent hand to play.  And he has refused to exercise his advantage from the outset, as seen in his capitulation on everything from the health bill to the debt ceiling.  But, as Matt Taibbi has said, he delivered exactly what was expected of him.

As he chases the goal of every first term president—a second term—we can expect more of the same.

For more, you are most welcome to visit: .

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By Bird48, August 10, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

All I can say to Devon Noll is this: Personally I don’t agree with your assessment but if your poor beleaguered president is under some threats, real or imagined, then what he should do is resign or at the very least choose not to run for reelection. For him to keep blundering along doing the bidding of the corporations is not good for the country, the people of the world or his own family. Why he is doing this does not matter but if he knows it’s wrong then it is up to him to quit. That would show some character.

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By John R., August 10, 2011 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

As prisnersdilema has already stated -

Having a president in this age is a moot point. He is only the projection, the
hologram, of where emotion can be placed, while the corporations that control
policy in America, hide.

The corporations must be leveled.

The distribution of profit in those corporations has brought America to its knees.

The surveillance of political views on potential future employees is appalling.

American values, and laws assuring freedom are being stripped away.

When YOU do not take action YOU will live in the fear they instill.
These are the end days, will YOU be the one whom watched wheels go round and round - and did nothing?

Or will YOU be the one whom stood shoulder to shoulder in protest against those whom would oppress you and your rights?

There are no more political parties. The political parties have failed, the Corporations have won. There is only greed, and those suppressed by that greed.

View this link to read just what has been taken away from your rights since 9/11

As you can see, our government is in alignment with corporations. These losses of
rights benefit corporations in their hunt for those whom would fight for individual


Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought. Let us have faith
that right makes might and in that faith let us; to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Abraham Lincoln


Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln


True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.
People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are

Franklin D. Roosevelt


The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to
protect its free expression should be our first object.

Thomas Jefferson


Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the

Martin Luther King Jr.


The law will never make men free, it is men that have to make the law free.

Henry David Thoreau


If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like
sheep to the slaughter.

George Washington

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By c-post, August 10, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Devon Noll, I think you are right. Your comments are perceptive. And it makes me wonder—is the Secret Service protecting the President or is it providing “protection”?

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By Devon J. Noll, MPA, August 10, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My husband made an interesting observation last night:  he said that President Obama was looking like a man who has been held in prison for a while.  He noted that he seemed to be walking like someone who is told to follow the line and who when he speaks is not sure if what he is saying is the right thing.  I had noted shortly after his nomination that his speeches and his body language no longer seemed to match, and even now I can tell when he is giving a speech he has written versus one written for him.

My husband and I discussed this observation and have begun to wonder if the President is under threat from those whom we all call his handlers - the DNC and their corporate leaders, especially the Clinton faction.  Every policy he has embraced, and which he originally ran against, were Clinton backed policies in 2008.  And during the primary, it was the Clinton’s that raised both the question of race and of assassination.  And does anyone remember the people at various gatherings carrying weapons when the President was going to be there, who were not summarily whisked away, as would have been the case with any other President?  We find ourselves wondering if this president is not a leader and fighter because he has been told he. or more likely his family, will pay a heavy price if he is.  A man will do and say anything he is told when he realizes that those who are suppose to protect him, or his family, will stand aside if told to do so by others. 

Bill Clinton once said that the Oval Office was the crown jewel of the American penal system.  Perhaps, with President Obama, we are seeing how it can be used to hold a nation hostage - the subtle, behind-the-scenes threat to an African-American president who would rock the boat in order to hold him hostage to neo-liberal/neo-con policies with which he does not agree.  And the sad part is that his own party is at the head of this threat, if such a one exists.

I am not some naive person, but I truly find this complete change in personality of one man and his policies extraordinary, and it seems to have started just as he made his deal with Hilary at the time of the nomination.  It would explain why Pelosi and Reid said after the inauguration that they would not be dictated to by this White House - and have proceeded to tank the Democratic agenda he wanted so thoroughly and given away their majority in just 2 years.  They had the cover of knowing that the White House would not interfere, and had Rahm Emanuel as their watchdog to insure it.

Of course, this is all theory with no basis in fact, just observations and comments.  However, one does have to wonder…

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By c-post, August 10, 2011 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

When the leading opposition party member in Congress says removing Obama from office is his top priority, and in fact the tactics of the Repubs have been uncivil as all hell all along, I read racism in it, plain as day. They can put Herman Cain in their lineup to give the charge deniability, but I know what I see.

Obama has been in a straightjacket ever since he was inaugurated. Yet he still has a tongue—too bad he doesn’t use it with the same passion he brought to his candidacy. There’s something about becoming the defacto leader of the military industrial complex that changes a man.

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By MeHere, August 10, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Obama very much wanted to be president and, judging from his efforts at re-
election, he still does.  Perhaps he thought he could be a charismatic president
that could by and large please Republicans and his Democratic voters. But the
country is too deteriorated to play that game successfully after decades of
administrations that played the same game while ignoring key issues. So Obama
can only be a weak president and continue to govern without any vision.

Obama’s ambition to be president has always been larger than his convictions
(whatever they were to begin with) but he got the votes nonetheless.  It is impossible to expect someone like him to rock the boat now.

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By Big Duke Six, August 10, 2011 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey ‘Blue Island’

Please scroll up and actually read the comment that was posted by ‘prisnersdilema’ as it reflects a great many Americans feelings about your ‘President NOBAMA’ as well the current situation we find ourselves mired in..

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By Ron_B, August 10, 2011 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

It is the 4th inning and our pitcher - one that many saw great promise in - has given up 12-intentional walks and 4-grand slam home runs. Time to go to the bull pen.

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By John Poole, August 10, 2011 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I coined “Lyndon Baines Obama” the moment he signed on for more war in
Afghanistan -a war that is going to end horribly for the USA. I’ve admitted over the
past two years that I’m very conflicted. I want him to do his LBJ thing but also want
him to suffer through a second term while this nation tanks. Who is to blame for
this weakling male? Blame his doofus hippie mom for engendering a monstrous
ego in this monster.

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By prisnersdilema, August 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

I agree Obama should resign….but he won’t because he is doing the biding of the
plutocracy, as Bush did before him…

This is why Monsanto runs the USDA, Goldman Sachs runs the treasury, why the
pharmaceutical companies run FDA…and why Obama is personally working on Free
trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia, etc…and why congress continues tom
pass laws like the Food Safety act, that have nothing to do with food safety, and
actually make food less safe..

And why all of them continue to do nothing while whole industries are moved overseas,
along with their technology…While Mexican truckers will soon roll across the border…..

The heads of those agencies that are supposed to protect the public, are corporate tools
appointed by Obama..

Don’t kid yourself Obama, has acted, so believing he’s just a coward is really another
way of making excuses for him…Obama’s actions from health care to Vilsak heading
USDA, have always been part of a calculation by the plutocracy, and Obama has known
what he has been doing all along, and each action has furthered the goals of the
plutocracy, to destroy this country as a free nation, and to destroy the military in
Afghanistan and Iraq..

When they come home from Iraq and Afghanistan, they and their families will be peeing
Depleated Uranium until the day they die.

No he won’t resign he’s not finished with the work he set out to do.

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By Alan, August 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One need not be a (Daddy) Warbucks graduate (sorry, “Wharton graduate”)
in order to fathom these particular depths. Nebulous monetary fiddling
by the fed is no substitute for a crisis industrial policy
a la FDR.  NYT had quite a good explication today by that prof from Emory University, Prof. Westen, I think.
Obama is incapable of seizing his historical moment. Therefore,
it is IMPERATIVE that an alternate Democratic candidate emerge NOW as
the standard bearer for 2012. There is NO time to lose!

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By Blue Island, August 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Despite that, he seems unwilling to be president.” Oh please. Maybe you need a return to Bush to really give you a reason to complain. You may enjoy the pomp of promises that can’t be kept. But all that just seems like another version of the sultry statement “lie to me”.

Is it possible for someone to lead without seeking to be a lightning rod? This President deserves praise for trying to thread reason through an uncompromising public.

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By gerard, August 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Is Obama, wittingly or (more probably) unwittingly, preparing the empty space for the galloping entry of “a man on a white horse?”

IMO, the vacuum created by inaction, insufficient action and mistaken action is fertile territory for any strong, forceful, hyper-masculine figure who could sell an ignorant, fear-ridden majority on almost any program that promises to rescue the “American Dream” from itself and restore it to false pride and dubious honor.

I believe that nothing short of facing our shortcomings with extreme honesty and political integrity, and helping each other understand what has happened to undermine democracy during the past decade, can save us.

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By Traditional American Democrat, August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe the author is correct.

I also believe Obama could save himself and the Democratic Party further grief by
declining to be the Democratic nominee in 2012.

The disaster Obama has become is a disgrace to the Democratic Party (of course,
Pelosi, Reid and Hoyer all voted to ‘support’ Obama on the last ‘debt deal’, adding
insult to injury for the Democratic Party).

And that is evidence of the deep deep problem: We Democrats end up complicit in
the degradation of the middle class by even associating with the Party we have
formerly identified with.

As the saying goes “Ive known lots of Democrats, and Obama is no Democrat’.

Enough. Put both the Democratic Party and Obama out of their misery ... No
Obama in 2012.

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By frecklefever, August 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment


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