7 Feb 2010
Hard of Political Hearing
To Randall Smith, Kenya Daily Nation US correspondent:
"Your Nation piece "Obama Easy Target" (Feb 5th 2010) sounds like a Democrat trying to be neutral and explain the collapse of Obama the way Obama tried to explain those who bitterly clung to "guns and bibles" when he addressed the bewilderati of San Francisco's Nob Hill in 2008: a form of primitive being to be condescended towards.
You describe the protests that emerged over summer as "orchestrated by conservatives or special interests". The "Tea Party" movement and angry town halls were essentially spontaneous, not orchestrated. You "get" this process about as well as Obama "got" the Scott Brown phenom when he said "Anyone can buy a pick-up truck, right?".
Obama thought Brown must have bought his battered truck as a political gimmick, because to a professional politician like him, why else? Brown had owned it for years.
You did not tell your Kenya readers America is a centre-right country, not a centre-left one. In voting for Obama, Americans expected to get a new face who was a centrist who would clean up Washington - not someone who would throw legislation to leftists Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to draft and also show himself, as many think, naive and weak in foreign affairs.
Obama inherited a mess from the Bush administration - indeed the accumulative messes of many previous admins coming home to roost, but the American people perceive his as having recklessly plunged into unprecedented spending sprees.
The question will eternally echo. Why did Obama, on a wave of immense personal goodwill and prestige, so squander his first year by not initiating his own reforms, but leaving it to the hyenas in Congress - whose ratings among the US people are far less than Bush ever plumbed?
Why did Obama play "double or quits" on health care when it became obvious the majority of Americans did not support it?
For what reasons did Obama insist on trying Kahlid Sheik Mohammed in New York and attempt to transfer Guantanamo detainees to US soil when both of which would infuriate most Americans?
If George W. Bush left most Americans angry at a 256 billion $ deficit, what made Obama imagine they would swallow one that will run as high as 10 trillion by the end of his second term?
As climate change", an increasingly debased science, ranks just dead last amongst most Americans concerns, why did Obama try to initiate costly "cap and trade" legislation?
Americans have shown over and again in their history that the really do not trust or want "Big Government" in their lives, starting with 1776. The American system is corrupted and bankrupted by both parties indeed - so why would Obama want to unleash massive government take-overs of huge sections of the US economy?
Obama is also suffering rebound from the almost complete abrogation of journalistic duty by swathes of the US media . They resolutely refused to examine the background of both Presidential candidates and gave Obama an unprecedented media free-ride, leaving the American people to discover they had voted "American Idol"-like for an unknown and inexperienced junior Senator whose major ability seems to be to speak well.
Alexis de Tocqueville said around 1823 that "the American Republic will endure until Congress devises a way to bribe the electorate with their own money". True words but the American people may be wiser than their rulers - it's just that nearly all Democrats and many Republicans simply refuse to believe this. "