Skip to content

This is Obama’s fault — really


While the Republican Party’s strategy — for years — has been hell fire and scorched earth, President Obama persisted in his delusion that Republicans’ destructive, truth-free politics could be cured with “bipartisanship.” This delusion even persisted into Obama’s second term. It was in September 2013 that Obama appointed a Republican, James Comey, as director of the FBI.

We have waited all weekend for some kind of clarification on the meaning of Comey’s letter to the Republican Congress about Hillary Clinton. We’ve gotten no clarification. Until we hear some verifiable facts that might convince us otherwise, the safe assumption would be that Comey was under extreme pressure from Republicans in Congress to do something to swing the election that Republicans were clearly losing, including their Senate majority. How else can the emptiness and innuendo of the letter, and its timing, be explained? E.J. Dionne describes this scenario in a column yesterday in the Washington Post: “The evidence also suggests that he has been intimidated by pressure from Republicans in Congress whose interest is not in justice but in destroying Hillary Clinton… History shows that appeasing bullies never works. Maybe Comey has learned this lesson and will try to make amends in coming days.”

Obama campaigned as a liberal. After Obama took office, Republicans howled about his divisiveness and extreme leftistness, even as Obama governed for the center-right and the establishment and made bad appointment after bad appointment of establishmentarians and the usual suspects — no justice for the bankers who had so recently brought down the economy, no justice for the Republicans who had knowingly lied us into war, no justice for torture and war crimes. And those were just the justice issues. Republicans also had earned political payback, carefully measured out and carefully delivered under the klieg lights, to show that Democrats can play hardball, too, if that’s the game that Republicans insist on playing.

Obama’s cowardliness in responding to Republican bullying with bipartisan delusion was so exasperating that, during Obama’s first term, I actually changed my party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated, as a response to my frustration with the Democratic Party’s refusal to be Democrats. (I changed my affiliation back to Democrat a few years later when I got involved in local politics.) I can acknowledge that Obama’s political course was noble and statesmanlike. But let’s also acknowledge that it didn’t work, that it can’t work with today’s Republican Party, and that we’d be foolish to try it again. In politics, sometimes payback is the only thing that works.

I have a fantasy of having an opportunity to say a few words to President Hillary Clinton. I would ask her to act like a Democrat, even when no one is looking. No more bankers, no more tech billionaires, and no more of any of the “Third Way” Republicans-lite who had a hand in Bill Clinton’s presidency. President Hillary Clinton owes everything — everything — to the Democrats who worked so hard against a tide of ugliness and humiliation to get her elected. To Republicans she owes only payback, and lots of it.

My fantasy continues with walking across the Mall to the Capitol and saying a few words to the Senate Majority Leader, Dianne Feinstein. I want investigations, I’d say. I want never-ending, vigorous, hell-fire and scorched-earth investigations. I want investigations and media grandstanding just like the investigations that Republicans have done, but based on real crimes as opposed to imagined ones. I want to know what kind of communication James Comey had with Republicans before he sent to Congress his letter of Oct. 28, 2016. I want war crimes investigations. I want investigations of war profiteering. I want Dick Cheney prosecuted. I want prison sentences for everyone who was involved in torture, at every level of government, the military, and non-government organizations. I want bankers investigated. I want some bankers and billionaires in jail. I want churches and lots of Republican political outfits fined and taxed for violating IRS rules about tax-free meddling in politics. I want state governments that tried to restrict voting rights returned to federal oversight. I want Medicare expanded to cover all Americans of all ages. I want the Fairness Doctrine reintroduced and applied to cable television, putting an end to the propagandization of the most gullible and regressive elements of the American population. I want Elizabeth Warren to oversee the overhaul of federal taxation and banking. I want Bernie Sanders, not corporate lobbyists, to write the legislation for the 115th Congress, with climate, energy, infrastructure, education, and inequality as the first items on the agenda.

I want eight years of hell-fire, scorched-earth Democratic partisanship. I want no oxygen for the Republican Party, other than the oxygen required to burn it. Then let’s get on with the real work of government.


  1. Candace wrote:

    I wish you could hear me clapping and cheering over here. That was perfect, and perfectly sums up what I want.

    Monday, October 31, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  2. I’m with you too! Especially on the analysis of the timid Obama approach that has fetched us up on this desert island.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink
  3. Henry wrote:

    So, you don’t think his efforts at reaching across the floor was worth it? I say your mind has closed down, and you need to breath some of that fresh air of yours. Remember the nastiness the Democrats used when they were in power, and because of their nastiness they lost big time. We are in the mess we are today because Nancy & the boys lost their way. Not the the President, he tried his best. And recall Mitch the Bitch mantra, “our job is to get rid of him, no matter the consequence!”


    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  4. Dan wrote:

    David, I’m curious as to what your take is on the possible outcome of the election given North Carolina’s position as a swing state that seems to be leaning more in Trump’s favor. It seems like more focus is going to North Carolina than other swing states. Do you feel like that is the case?

    Friday, November 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  5. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Dan… All I can say is that we are working our tails off in North Carolina to get out the vote. Our senate race is extremely important, and the polls put it very close. I’m afraid to venture a prediction.

    Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  6. Henry wrote:

    Good luck today…

    Monday, November 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  7. DCS wrote:

    I woke up at 3:30 this morning, bolt upright, and thought something was wrong. I rushed downstairs and logged on to the computer, and Clinton had just conceded. It has felt like being in a fever dream ever since.

    North Carolina won Trump the election.

    My prediction had been that the Republicans would sweep all three races in North Carolina — president, governor, senator. Although Cooper was ahead of McCrory by 4,500 votes when he *prematurely* declared victory, we won’t know the results until at least 10 days from now, when the recount is done. That’s a long time for things to turn even uglier.

    Last gasp of the 1950s indeed. It ain’t going quietly, that’s for sure.


    Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *