Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dear President Carter Obama:

Please tell me I'm wrong. Convince me that you're playing chess while we're playing checkers and that you're several moves ahead of all of us. I hope so, because from where I'm sitting, you're on the express train to Disasterville.

First of all, obviously, on health care reform. You haven't sold it. Americans haven't heard the health care horror stories set against record insurance company profits and obscene CEO salaries because you haven't told them. Most voters don't know the difference between the Canadian single payer model and the UK single provider approach because you haven't explained it. When you tried to make your case in Arizona, the news wasn't about what you said inside the hall but the rather the armed freakshow milling around outside.

Then when you seemed to retreat from a public plan option, my doubts fears grew. Without this bare minimum, what is the point? Mr. President, you've gone all in on this one in terms of political capital. Why are you passively watching it die from the sidelines?

I applaud your desire for bipartisanship and to build consensus. You have a great love of country and an optimistic faith in its people. However, Republicans on the Hill do not.They don't give a damn about what is good for the country, only what is good for them. They want one thing and one thing only, and that is power. You stand in their way, and they will fight you at each turn. Screw them. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Be a leader. BE PRESIDENT, Sir, and do so NOW. Time is running out before the echoes of "Yes we can" turn bitterly into "No we didn't."

I also can't let you forget about Afghanistan. You seem to have bought into the "good war" myth in this land where empires go to die. The Romans tried, so did the British and the Soviets, and all failed to govern this ungovernable land. We cannot make a nation and we as foreign occupiers cannot defeat an insurgency or unilaterally bring political stability. Define the objectives, Mr. President. Define them not in terms of Bush-like wishful thinking, such as with meaningless "elections" and talk of "democracy" but in real measurable objectives that lead to our departure. Sadly, our concern should not be with the well-being of Afghanistan but with our own national interests. Define those interests and then do it before you end up in a darker place than even your foolish predecessor.

The time is now, Mr. President. The world is watching. Please prove me wrong.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

Double-barrelled thumbs up!