As his rather unaccountably “crucial” Syria vote looms, President Obama finds himself precisely where he’s never been before, begging liberals for support, even politely, almost. Thus, after five years of relentless hippie-punching, he has to walk into the patchouli-scented pot party and try to sell war. Good luck with that, I say.
Even before he was elected, Obama explicitly made the Clinton-honed pivot to the right, and often in the most obnoxious way possible. FISA, EFCA, Geithner, Summers, looking “forward, not back;” hippies were black and blue all over long before January, 2009. But afterward, boy howdy did the Woodstock set get a whupping.
We were denounced by the odious and oily Rahm Emanuel as being “fucking retarded,” told we ought to be drug-tested, dismissed as the “professional left,” and various and sundry insults rained down upon unkempt heads, over every little thing, by an administration that apparently thought it was elected by the other party.
It came to naught, of course. Not only did Republicans vote en masse against bills that were watered down to please them, they rallied their base against the Kenyan usurper and walked away with the 2010 elections and the redistricting that went with them while hippies stayed home with their bongs, and rightly so.
Further affronts followed, natch. There was the John Bolton foreign policy, the Richard Nixon harassment of the press, the Karl Rove-like staged events and planted, flattering leaks, and the silent acquiescence to assaults on public workers by Koch whore Scott Walker in Wisconsin. By the time it became evident that Obama was also, too, going to defy the left, yet again, and put a boorish incompetent like Larry Summers in the Fed chair, you’d think he’d have written off hippies entirely, or certainly would realize that courting us was, well, an uphill battle.
But hope springs eternal when you’re trying to start a stupid war for dubious reasons. As it must, I guess. As Jane pointed out in a post earlier today, it’s somewhat unlikely that the Republicans to whom he has deferred so often in matters of policy would ever succumb to his charms; no matter how appealing they find cruise missiles in general, those things are only any good in the hands of a white Republican, no matter how temptingly brown and Sharia-loving the targets are.
I remain cautiously optimistic that Congress will deliver a close but decisive vote against bombing Syria, leaving our current Unitary Executive to ponder going in with an utterly imaginative coalition of the (s)willing, but his oft-demonstrated cowardice may well mean, happily, that we do still have at least the trappings of democracy, for now.
But this embarrassing fiasco could have been avoided had Obama set out, like even the most craven political hack, to reward his friends and punish his enemies. Not the other way around.
Photo by Joe McCarthy under Creative Commons license