I hear the media asking, “If Obama can’t accomplish anything, why did we elect him?” Many of us knew when we voted in 2012 that the Republicans still had control of the House. Most of us knew that the Senate would still use the filibuster. We knew that Obama had little chance of ticking off the items on his (and our) agenda. We elected Obama with the hope that he might be able to make a start on our wish list in 2014 if we are able to change the numbers in Congress. We may have been hopeful that the Republicans would be swayed by knowing that the will of the people is behind a less extreme right agenda, but we suspected that this would not be the case. We knew that we cannot vote for this incarnation of the Republican Party. If we do we won’t get the person we vote for, we will get all those wingnuts who are making us crazy; people like Jim Jordan of Ohio who thinks the US government is buying up all the bullets or Gohmert of Alaska who thinks the elk find the transAlaska pipeline to be an aphrodisiac and a long line of other really odd characters. (Thank you Timothy Egan for these examples.)
We elected Obama because we like Obama, but we, very possibly, elected Obama because, although he had little room to move the nation to the left, he and most of the Democrats would stand with us against the ridiculously outrageous wishes of this GOP that the country finds itself saddled with today. There is no working with this GOP; there is no compromising. They do not want anything that most Americans want. So Obama has agreed to be the people’s linebacker or tackle or to use a basketball analogy, our guard.
A majority of “we the people” want what Obama wants but, given the obstructionism we all face from Congress, we knew he would at least be our bulwark. We hoped it would be “push ‘em back, push ‘em back, way back” but we are happy with “hold the line, hold the line, please hold the line” (which of course is not much of a cheer but in times like these will have to do). In an article in the NYT’s on 5/3/2013, Timothy Egan says that gerrymandering only lasts a decade and that “eventually demography and destiny will catch up with a Congress that refuses to do the people’s bidding. (Really, a decade?) In spite of this rather rare objectivity, sometimes I don’t think the media even lives in the same country that I live in.