Just about this time last year, most of us thought that by replacing George W. Bush–hell, with just about anybody– and by bringing in big Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, that our beloved country would change. One major candidate, indeed, sprang from obscurity largely on the claim that he would bring major change to the system. Last November, the country voted overwhelming for change: it complete rejected the insipid Republican ideas dating from Reagan that the government was useless and that private enterprise (yes, the same private enterprise that brought on the Great Depression and the current Great Recession) was the only way to go and the way to achieve greatness was to give the rich tax breaks and hope that a few dollars would trickle down to average Americans.
Those crazy ideas were rejected by a resounding majority. Enter a new Democratic president. Enter a Democratically controlled House with an even larger majority (something like 78). Enter a stronger Democratic Senate (now with 60 members if you count Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman).
But lo and behold, the change we were promised and the change we so desperately need in so many areas, has not materialized. I know it’s only been six months; but in the six months we have had to make major changes, we’ve gotten "Bud Lite" and not Sam Adams, Pilsner Urquell, Yuengling, Leinenkugels, or for that matter, anything brewed up by The Great Dane Brewery. Why not aim for something higher, Mr. President? We like you, we like your family, we like your charisma, but for hell’s sake, put a few hops in your beer and don’t drink pisswater.
In so many important areas, we need "more hops" too:
1) REAL healthcare reform (and not healthcare INSURANCE reform that you are talking about). We already have an excellent model that is cheap and that works. It’s simple, dude, extend medicare to every one. Medicare is single payer, something you long ago rejected for unknown reasons.
2) REAL economic reform. Not just bailouts to Goldman Sachs and Wall St. (Anyone notice the headlines today that U.S. banks paid $32.6 billion in bonuses in 2008 while receiving $175 billion in taxpayer funds, according to a report by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.Check it out here at Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHURVoSUqphoWe also have something like 20% of the entire country UNDEREMPLOYED with the highest rates of unemployment in decades. Where are the works programs? Where’s the economic stimulus for average Americans that you so quickly provided to Wall St.? Where’s the help to middle class people losing their houses to foreclosure?
3) REAL change in foreign policy. Yes, some of our troops are coming out of Iraq but our billion dollar embassy remains there and we are building another one in Pakistan! Why? Couldn’t we use those dollars better at home? And some of the troops remaining in Iraq are simply going to get relabeled as something else while a huge military buildup is going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What chance of success does it have when Afghanistan is the "graveyard of empires"? Britain just about today is pulling out of Afghanistan, knowing what is inevitable there. Senator Russ Feingold warns the White House is "whistling past the Afghan graveyard." Feingold continues:
"People have to wake up to what’s going on in Afghanistan, and my vote is a request that people wake up to what’s happening, which is we are getting deeper and deeper into this situation in a way that I don’t think necessarily makes sense at all and may actually be counterproductive."
And why keep on George W’s boys at the Defense Department? Are there no Democrats who can handle those posts?
4) REAL political leadership. Harry Reid? Rahm Emanuel? Tim Geithner? Max Baucus? Joe Biden? Dump these neo-Republicans and bring on people who have some juice in them: Dick Durbin, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark.Mr. President, respectfully we want the REAL CHANGE YOU PROMISED US AND NOT BUD LITE. Waiter, bring me a Peck’s Pilsner!
NOTE: A shorter version of this was posted over at Dailykos.com by the author.