Friday, December 18, 2009


18 December 2009   re PLEASE CUT OBAMA SOME SLACK

We in Europe (for the most part) envy you who have a brilliant president, and we are dismayed that so many of you lucky Americans are so critical, even opposed, to him instead of helping him. Not just your right wing Christian freaks and your Cheney neo-conservatives, but your so-called "progressives" (we call ours "politically correct") who seem more interested in gay marriage, abortion at government expense, rushing out of Afghanistan and Iraq no matter the consequences etc. 

Far too many Americans simply do not realise that even a political genius - and Obama may yet prove to be one - cannot quickly deal with "too many open files": in other words the ten year catastrophe of the G W Bush years. G W got us two "Vietnams" (he got us into and then abandoned Afghanistan for Iraq, and Obama has to find a way out of both without total disaster); ten years of neglect of climate change (maybe it's to late now to avoid appalling consequences); failure to get the US what we all have - universal health care; actual encouragement of the plutocracy and big business now all but all-powerful in US politics; and subservience of US mid East foreign policy to extremist Israeli governments. And the list of these open files goes on and on - and there's only 24 hours in a day. 

Faced with such bitter opposition and a far from effectively Democratic Congress, he has tried to seek some bi-partisanship, but the hard right in the Senate (a most undemocratic institution!) won't yield - the Republicans have their eyes on the mid-term, even the Presidential election. So anything goes to bring down the US president. 

For us in Europe the possibility of a return to Republican rule is a nightmare. American democracy plus the US Supreme Court got us G W Bush. And at one point it looked as if McCain would win in 2008 and quite possibly deliver us President Madame Pailin! 

For heavens sake, you "progressives", recognise your (and our) existential predicament and back Obama! He's your (and our) best hope - at least he understands what needs to be done - and your extremists on left and right are out to ditch him! You too, must learn that compromise is an essential element in democracy - though of course the problem is just how far to compromise, and just what elements of one's own agenda can be postponed in order to get vital things done. Abortion, gay marriage, etc. and quitting wars precipitately alienate maybe half of the US electorate. Do you want to lose control of Congress in this year's elections?

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