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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Obama-the presidency in prose

In last few weeks the news of unravelling of Obama presidency has transcended from fringe rabid conservative media to the mainstream news outlets. The transition from a popular to hapless occupant of the most powerful office in the world occurred at a speed that his not getting elected for the second term seems to be a foregone certainty. But regularity with which so-called pundits revel in shooting themselves in the foot leave a provision for being skeptic about their so-called declarations. That, nevertheless, does not answer the enigmatic spiral down of one of the most inspired presidencies in recent times. The phrase ‘You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose’ coined by former New York governor Mario Cuomo, used by the wily Tony Blair in his memoirs is a kind of revelation that daunts people entering the high offices and most of the time come to haunt them through their tenures. True to the last word, Obama’s campaign was sheer poetry that carried presidency for him and now it would seem that the transition to prose got stalled. The circumstances of his election were reactionary; eight years of unbridled policies that included a fraudulent war, exploitation of fear and curtailment of rights, presaging and stretching of economy for the very affluent, neglect of environmental issues and brazen contemptuousness for international organizations and treaties were the rallying points. The fraudulent policies coupled with unbridled corporate greed had much revered capitalism on its knees; with virtual abdication of the predecessor Obama rushed in to save institutions of capitalism to stave off the repeat of great crash and depression. While he averted great crash by lending money to those very institutions that in the first place had run riot with the system; he never followed to salvage miseries of those affected by the fraudulent banking and mortgage outrages. Times when Obama assumed charge of General Motors and Chrysler, the people losing houses and jobs never got any relief. He put himself in realization of grand visions whose benefits would take years, if not life-time to percolate, while dire times demanded immediate relief. And whatever he did it went unarticulated. Paradoxically, those banks that Obama helped, while back in the morass of profit making and distribution of filthy bonuses, are bank rolling Republicans who would guarantee their continuous immorality. The bleakness at the moment is overwhelming and Republican taking over Congress seems to be certain and they never showed any remorse in undermining Obama in any circumstances and in any manner, be it calling him an anti-colonist Kenyan or a socialist. Truth has never been their virtue but being venomous is natural. The rest of his presidency will be shaped by his zeal to take on Republicans. As a matter of fact, their protestations notwithstanding, Republicans have never been paradigm of virtue. During the impeachment of Bill Clinton, they lost two speakers due to their extramarital affairs that included born-again Newt Gingrich. Their ranks shine with the likes of Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon and more recently Sarah Palin, if one doesn’t count Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck and of course Fox News. Those liberal lunatics who think Obama has betrayed them need to realize the fact of having likes of Dick Cheney back in the reckoning. President Obama needed to govern in prose but one needs to comprehend that the transition from poetry is never smooth.         

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