‘Reaching across the aisle’ into the void


Swamp Rabbit was happy for our former president. “That new book he wrote is a bestseller. Most of them critics like it, too.”

I shrugged. “It’s a doorstopper that lists for forty-five dollars. I read an excerpt. I like Barack Obama, but he didn’t really try to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.”

Swamp Rabbit scowled at me. “What were you expecting? Robin Hood? Obama did what he could. He was a real leader, an inspirational type of guy.”

“You’re right,” I said. “Obama was immensely more presidential than the vindictive clown who came next, but let’s not try to canonize him. Don’t forget how foolish he was in trying to reach across the aisle to that gang run by Mitch McConnell, who said that his goal was to make Obama a one-term president.”

I read to him from a long interview with political scientist Thomas Ferguson, who noted the long-term consequences of Obama’s timid reaction to Republican intransigence in 2008, when Democrats had control of both houses of Congress:

There were some efforts to push on Republicans, but Obama mainly didn’t do it… Well, you know, the truth is, [Democrats] blew the first two years and they brought you to 2010. That really stuck gridlock in the system and brought you Trump. They did everything too little, too late. I mean, let’s repeat that: you got Trump because of the Obama administration failures in economic policy.

“That ain’t fair,” the rabbit said. “If Obama had fought harder for poor peeps them Republican uglies would have accused him of being an angry black man with a secret plan to blow up the land of the free.”

“They did accuse him of that, but never mind,” I said. “My point is that Joe Biden is looking like he intends to repeat all of Obama’s mistakes. He’s trying to do business with a bunch of right-wingers who were lackeys for Trump. They’re still lackeys for Trump, even though he lost the election.”

Swamp Rabbit shook his head and snapped open the last beer in his six-pack. “Don’t sell Biden short. He knows them Republicans. He might talk them into compromising.”

“I think Paul Krugman is right,” I said. “Biden should make Mitch and the gang pay a political price for not taking care of anybody but the rich.”

Swamp Rabbit laughed so hard, he almost fell off my porch. “What’s that mean? Voters in dirt-poor Kentucky just elected McConnell to the Senate for the seventh time. Your boy Ferguson is wrong. Elections in them red states ain’t just about economics. They’re about God, guns and gays. And fetuses. And white supremes, too.”

“I guess I don’t get it,” I said, embarrassed by my naivete. “McConnell has power, he could help people who are hurting because of the pandemic. Why does he have to be so evil?”

Swamp Rabbit shrugged. “Hey, if you had to go through life looking like that dude, you’d be evil too.”

This entry was posted in economic collapse, Great Recession, gun nuts, history, humor, mainstream media, Obama, unemployment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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