Oct 2012 04

by Greg Palast

What the hell happened? Did Barack have a fight with Michelle? Was it nicotine withdrawal? Do really rich guys just scare you, Mr. Obama?

Dear Mr. President: As a journalist I don’t take partisan sides, but I do take America’s side. And as Commander-in-Chief, you simply cannot fall asleep in the saddle.

I mean Commander-in-Chief in the Class War. The war of the billionaires against the rest of us.

You were asked, “What is the role of government?”

You seemed stumped. Lost…

When Mr. PBS Bumblebrain asked you the difference between your views and Gov. Romney’s on Social Security, you said, “You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position.”

Really, Mr. President, REALLY?

Romney says that if you’re 38 or 54, it doesn’t matter that you’ve paid into Medicare and Social Security all your life, you don’t get the insurance you paid for. You get some stinking voucher, some coupon that says, “Here’s a hundred bucks kid, go buy a gold watch.”

Who exactly is going to take a voucher to provide health insurance to a 72-year-old with asthma, in a walker and prostate problems?

Governor Romney said, with that smirky, smarmy grin, “I’d assume I’d rather have a private [health] plan.” Gee, Mr. Romney, could you give me the number of your insurance company and tell them to take my “voucher”?

Mr. President, you gabbled on about the Cleveland Medical Clinic and its “best practices.” Who the hell cares, Mr. President? There are people bleeding out here, LITERALLY BLEEDING, who now can get health coverage because of ObamaCare. For all its failings, it saves lives, saves homes from foreclosure caused by insane medical bills – only recently, the number one cause of foreclosures in America.

Can’t you even defend the one thing that’s worth a damn and has your name on it?

Romney’s wife has MS. That’s sad. But what’s tragic is that there are millions in America with MS who couldn’t get insurance because they have this prior condition—and are not married to an investment banker demi-billionaire.

I don’t care that you couldn’t seem to defend yourself tonight, Mr. President. That’s a Democratic Party headache. What I resent, what gets me furious and angry, is that you didn’t defend ME. Me and my family.

When Romney says he defends small business, let me tell you, I have a small business. I don’t need a tax break – hell, like most small businesses, we don’t make money. We need health insurance. We need government loans.

When Romney says government never does anything cheaper than the private sector, Mr. President, don’t you know that it was government mortgage agencies that funded America’s middle class homeownership? That’s what government did – and licked Hitler to boot.

When mortgages were privatized, we were thrown at the mercy of the Banksters.

(And why the hell did you, Mr. Obama, bring up that right-wing canard that banks just gave out mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them – blaming sub-prime predatory mortgage crimes on the victims. Sounds like you agree that 47% of Americans are leeches.)

Maybe it’s true that you, Mr. President, are actually just a hollow man, a creation of PR consultants and rich donors, a Ken-doll of repeating lines about “Hope,” “change” and “this country thrives when the middle class thrives.”

The truth is, you were ready to raise the retirement age for Social Security and cut back-room deals with drug companies. Maybe in the end, progressive policies are just a marketing niche you’ve found to cover aimless ambition and a yearning to compromise.

If someone drilled a hole in you, could we blow in and play you like a flute? Or is there some substance, some hard core of principal that couldn’t break out tonight because it was imprisoned by advisors who told you to play it safe, play it in a coma?

Mr. President, if you can’t explain why you are the Commander-in-Chief in this class war against the billionaire bandits attempting to seize our government, then get off the horse and let someone in the saddle who can ride.


A version of this story originally appeared on the The Mudflats.

Greg Palast is the author of the recently published New York Times Top 10 Bestseller Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, which is available via Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Indie Bound. Author’s proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

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