This weekend had the annual Netroots Nation meeting in Las Vegas. I wasn’t able to attend in person but some of the programs were streamed on the Internet and I did watch some of the keynote speakers. While I do agree with the direction the Netroots take, I was disappointed in the speech by President Obama and appearance by Senator Harry Reid.
President Obama gave a surprise speech by video to the gathering. He again pointed out the legislative accomplishments and then acknowledge the rocky relationship the left has with him. He told the gathered people to hold him accountable.
The President, suffering among this crowd for not being as progressive as they’d hoped, said that he wants the Netroots to “keep making your voices heard, to keep holding me accountable, to keep up the fight.”
Obama said “change is hard … change is possible,” and ended with, “let’s finish what we’ve started.”
That bothered me because we have been trying to hold him accountable and he has blown us off or worse got his attack dogs like Rahm Emanuel to tell us pretty much to f*ck off.
So which is it. Does he want us to hold him accountable or to f*ck off.
I feel like I’m in a scene from a bad buddy cop movie and the President is playing “Good Cop” and his staff is playing “Bad Cop”. UGH!
The pundits have been complaining the President hasn’t been out banging the pots and pans about his agenda being passed and I think I know why. I think they know the bills – like Health Care reform (HCR) and financial reform – don’t mean anything to regular people outside of DC. HCR won’t really take effect until 2013 (one of the compromises that watered the bill down) and the financial reform didn’t punish the bankers that screwed our economy. You would think that any “victory” would have a ticker tape parade with a band and party favors but nope.
It’s as if the administration wasn’t surprised at getting limpy bills passed.
Then we come to Senator Harry Reid. I really wish he had been challenged and lost his primary because as Senate Leader he has been as effective as a wet sponge. He leads by using the 60 vote threshold even though the Democrats don’t have 60 votes. This makes him kiss the asses of the Blue Dogs (conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson) and allowing the Republicans to pocket filibuster bills and appointments they don’t like.
It seemed that the Netroots crowd treated him like a rock star.
The most cringe worthy moment came when Donald Choi gave Reid his West Point ring as a reminder of the bad “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Reid promised to keep the ring until the policy is removed. Someone should tell Choi not to expect his ring back because you won’t get 60 votes in the Senate to pass any bill removing DADT in 2010 or ever in the near future.
The repeal passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Lawmakers hope to attach it to the Defense Authorization measure likely to be debated this fall, but in an election year where control of Congress is at stake, it’s unclear if the measure will make it.
That’s what’s so sad. The Democrats pissed away their power these past two years. They had such great potential.
I am also mad because I have no alternative. I will have to hold my nose and keep these losers in office because the alternative – the GOP – is much worse. And the White House knows it.
All I can do is only support real Democrats who want to fight for what is right and don’t give a crap about the Republicans or Corporate America.