Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Statesman ... I Hope

One of my favorite movies is “A Very British Coup” which adapted Chris Mullin’s 1982 novel for television. The story takes place during the Cold War, as left wing working class politician Harry Perkins becomes Prime Minister. Perkins does well for a while but the entrenched forces of the status quo conspire against him. One scene to me that summed up the entire movie is when Perkins asks one of his conservative antagonists why he’s so feared. And the rather dry response Perkins received was and I am quoting from memory here, “You’re showing an alarming trend of becoming a statesman.” Hence, Mr. Perkins had to be taken down.

President Obama’s support remains high and his performance on the international stage is cementing his image as a statesman. I was enormously proud of my President yesterday when he spoke before the Turkish parliament and said,
“America’s relationship with the Muslim community, the Muslim World, cannot and will not just be based upon opposition to terrorism. We seek broader engagement based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.”
After eight years of George W. Bush’s insipid indecency combined with the sophomoric Republican opposition, Obama’s stature is on steroids. I disagree strongly with his endorsement of the Larry Summers/Timothy Geithner approach to the banking crisis and also believe his foreign policy is overly hawkish. Yet I remain an enthusiastic supporter of Obama’s otherwise liberal initiatives as outlined in his budget proposal that the Blue Dog status quo forces are carving up. Obama is also the first President in my lifetime that I genuinely like from either party. The country and the world need Obama’s presidency to be successful.

Alas, I can’t help but worry. First and foremost is that pesky thing called reality If America has learned anything from the George W. Bush era is that we ignore reality at our peril. Eventually, it catches up and closes in. Obama’s fraudulent handling of the banking crisis (see my “Placebo Economics” post) is a ticking time bomb. I hope the plutocratic dynamic duo of Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner knows what they’re doing. I suspect however, that their criminal complicity with the A.I.G. bailouts and fetish like devotion to hyper-sized financial institutions will doom Obama’s otherwise good intentions.

My other concern is that predatory conservatives and Blue Dog Democrats like Evan Bayh regard Obama’s support the same way British Tories perceived Harry Perkins popularity. They never believed Perkins to be legitimate and determined he should not be allowed to become a statesman. Perkins lost his day of reckoning. Obama’s day of reckoning with those forces opposed to his good intentions is fast approaching. I hope to hell he wins.

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