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You Don't Take Me Seriously When I Make Promises, Do You?
by Sudhama Ranganathan (uconnharassment [at]
Wednesday Oct 3rd, 2012 6:13 AM
Today, politicians making promises isn't something we are deluded enough to think is something we can rely on or believe in one hundred percent with regards to sincerety. Truth is, a fifty percent chance they'll come through is more like it, and that fifty percent chance of follow through has about a weatherman's prediction's chances of actually taking place. With most politicians this has been the case recently. Were we upset about President George W Bush breaking his “no new nation building” pledge? Of course. Were we surprised he broke it? Not really – not most of us.

Smiley face

With President Barack Obama, however, we expected something different. We're beginning to realize he may not have had the scruples and strong ethical foundation we thought he had. Hope and change looks like it may have been about as sincere as Bill Clinton's marriage vows were to him, or telling the truth on the stand during the myriad times he took the stand during his time in office. It's like Mitt Romney saying, “I will never and have never flip flopped … ever.” But with “Burn Whomever” Bill, he disappointed us as a nation over and over, but we didn't have this huge expectation that he would not. His track record of adultery and corruption were listed on his resume coming into the job.

Barack made us believe. The people vouching for him made us believe. He had this great family in his wife and kids that just seemed like the stuff no liar could be borne from. It was Camelot. It seemed as though he was about as likely to let us down as he would them. At that time we could not predict anything different as a reality. But he did. He let us down.

It's true, Republicans put up roadblocks like a bored and drunk small town police department on a Friday night. It was all over the place and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell even said flat out in National Journal magazine that, to him, the single most important goal is to stop a second Obama term from happening. ( ( He repeated this many times unabashedly. Single most important thing.

That means to him, the Senate Republican Leader, it was more important than finding solutions to the economy, than finding ways to end the wars or any of the things taxpayers pay him for. He may be a Republican from Kentucky, but his paychecks don't come simply from those people in Kentucky that voted for him. He is a federal employee, meaning the entire nation pays him to do his job once elected, and he owes that to us all as part of his responsibilities. After election day, that means to legislate. Legislating entails coming together and working out points of departure to arrive at a place of mutual agreement in an effort to serve all those that pay the legislator in question's salary. We don't pay for partisanship to the extent of an elected representative simply crossing their hands, getting all beet colored in the face and whimpering “no.” It was proof the two party system has failed permanently.

If all things were as they typically are and this were going on, as McConnell was not in the minority regarding GOP attitudes towards the president, President Obama would be able to blame Republicans across the board convincingly like the world blames Palestine and Israel for their often childish, selfish behavior that has had such dire consequences for the rest of us on the planet.

The problem for him is that he had a super majority. You can't have a super majority for a year and blame Republicans for all your problems. That too is foolish and childish, as it implies you harbor an attitude that reads the rest of the nation are simply unsophisticated dolts that can't and don't see what you're up to. Believe me, we saw it and still see it. When the opportunities to push many of the first tier promises the president made on the campaign presented themselves, he did the one thing nobody expected. He didn't keep a single one of those promises. He went and spent an entire year on a third tier promise and wasted all that time for promises putting the nation through bitter angry turmoil.

That was his choice. That was bad advice from the people he chose to surround himself with and his choice based on their advice, despite what he said he believed on the road. That is what had people around the nation, that voted for him for every reason but that during a time of the worst recession since the Great Depression, two wars and massive constitutional oversteps regarding civil liberties, scratching their heads and peering at each other like “Waah?” People were wondering what had happened, and why, before addressing that third tier promise, he wasn't pushing through those first tier promises.

He knew the super majority window was tight, as did we all. Health care simply was not the biggest issue facing us at the time and not why he was elected to office. Don't get me wrong, I support universal heath coverage, and know there are many different approaches across the developed world to it. I also understand that at the time we were at the bottom of the list of developed nations with regards to our health care system, no matter what nut bags on certain cable news stations tried to spin – nut bags, some of which are no longer on those stations I might add.

But these were not regular times and people voted Democrats into office, and specifically a super majority, for reasons other than health care. It's always the economy stupid, and we were in the worst recession in decades. Where were the WPA style programs he promised? Guantanamo aside, where was the return to balancing national security with constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties? Where was the end of Afghanistan after finding Bin Laden and drawing down from that money pit in the sand, Iraq, that he himself called a “mistake” sooner than the Bush timeline if possible?

Where was the promise to hold those responsible for the financial crash and handing out of false credit ratings, accountable? Where was the elimination of lobbyists from Washington as much as possible? I mean he cut back, but then appointed lobbyists and special interest people to political and advisory positions installing them right in government, so it just became a situation of six in one hand half a dozen in the other. Where was the immigration reform? Where was the raising of education standards for our children and making sure they were safe on their way to school, in school and on their way home? Where were all those promises he made?

It's like he's surprised we wanted to hold him accountable and at his word. Yes, as surprised as you seem to be by the whole thing, when you promised hope and change, Americans actually believed you. Now what are you going to do about that, Mr. President? (And try not to lie again.)

To read about my inspiration for this article go to