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Do We Really Need Obama 2.0?

4 min read

Yes, we cannot criticize Barack Obama.  Democratic voters simply will not tolerate any dissing of Obama.  I’m in the distinct minority that thinks Obama wasn’t all peaches and cream, but it will be up to history to judge Obama, not some cranky old progressive from Kentucky.  But do Democratic voters want to go back to the way things were and done under Barack Obama?  Do Democratic voters want Obama 2.0?

If you listen to some of the Democratic presidential candidates, the answer is “Yes!”  The best example of this is Biden, who thinks that once Trump is gone that bipartisanship will break out all over.  And Buttigieg is also trying to be above the partisan fray and be a uniter for us all.  Seems I heard that one before somewhere?  Oh yeah.  Obama promised that too.  And while Cory Booker had some criticism of Obama, he quickly decided that wasn’t getting him anywhere, so he pivoted back to his basic campaign of appealing to our better angels, which is Obama 2.0.   And the latest Obama incarnation is Deval Partrick.

Here he is outlining some of the basics of his campaign themes:

However, Patrick wants to be Obama 2.0 without the Obama 2.0 label.  For starters, he criticizes Biden, Warren, and Sanders.  Biden is “nostalgia,” and Warren and Sanders are the “the my way or highway big idea” candidates who are just so off putting.  But the Obama message comes through loud and clear around time 5:20.  Patrick claims that no one candidate or party has the corner on good ideas.

Man.  I’ve heard something like this before.  Something about listening and implementing the good ideas that Republicans have.  

I'm happy to get good ideas from across the political spectrum, from Democrats and Republicans. What I won't do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested, and they have failed. And that's what part of the election in November was all about.
BARACK OBAMA, press conference, Feb. 9, 2009

Oh yeah!  That BS! 

And it is BS.  Does anyone really think that Republicans have GOOD ideas?

Let’s go with an example of Obama taking one of the supposedly good Republican ideas — Romneycare — that became the model of the ACA.

Yes, at one time, I benefited from the ACA when Medicaid was expanded.  And I thanked God at the time.  But while the ACA did manage to help many Americans to obtain some health insurance, there are still many millions who are still uninsured or underinsured.  Obama took Romneycare and said to the Republicans, “OK.  I will take your idea.  How about some help in passing it?”  And Obama even dropped the public option, which he had backed in the campaign.

No fucking Republican voted for the ACA.  And we now have the prospect of it being overturned by the SCOTUS.  

The ACA was the most benign of the Republican “ideas.”  

And what about the other Republican ideas?

  • Tax cuts for the wealthy that contribute to income inequality.
  • Ripping up health, worker safety, environmental, and financial regulations on big business.
  • Rejection of science and scientific facts that has lead to an embrace of global climate change as a hoax.
  • Anti-immigrant policies that have seen kids being placed in cages and abused.
  • The outsourcing of American jobs.
  • Endless wars.

And the list goes on and on.

And it is this BS from politicians that makes me furious.  I’ve heard this pablum from many failed Democrats (the most recent was the failed Senate campaign of Jim Gray against that twit Rand Paul in 2016).  It does not work.  Republicans rarely say that they will take a good idea that Democrats have.  Instead, Republicans push their own ideas as the only viable option for voters.

And Deval Patrick is also pushing the “I have bold ideas” while trashing those who actually have bold ideas.  If you are going to reach across the aisle and take a Republican idea for your campaign, I can guarantee it won’t be bold, unless your definition of bold is returning us to the 19th Century.  And it is cheap talk to say you have bold ideas.  Several of the other centrists or Obama like candidates in the contest have already used that line, and most are not getting anywhere right now or have quit the race (Klobuchar is still not a top tier candidate, Booker is defintely not gaining any traction, Hickenlooper, Ryan, O’Rourke are gone, and I don’t know why Bennet, Bullock, and Delaney are still around).

Basically, if you want “uniters” who will “rise above the divisions in Washington” with “bold ideas,” there are already three guys pushing those campaign themes:  Biden, Booker, and Buttigieg.  All are basically Obama 2.0 IMHO.  

I’m not impressed Deval.

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