Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Out of the woods and into the fray

I've emerged, for a day or so, from camping in the forest. The Oregon Cascades are amazing and, believe it or not, I actually caught a nice rainbow trout on the Santian River, on a dry fly, no less. The fish was a fifteen incher--I measured it--and I had it for dinner last night broiling it over an open fire. Next step in my evolution: Grizzly Adams.

Meanwhile, with momentary access to the internet this morning in Prineville, Oregon, I couldn't resist sending the SB News-Press a letter, which follows. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

Update: The letter was published in the News-Press on July 19, 2010.

To the editor:

As a progressive, I’m running out of “dis-”adjectives to convey my feelings about Obama. Initially, I was disturbed by his retention of Gates at Defense and his appointments of Summers and Geithner to financial positions. These choices signaled merely a continuation of policies that caused us massive military engagement and economic loss. Thereafter, I became distressed by Obama’s decisions on civil liberties: his maintenance of Bush’s policies of governmental secrecy and restriction of our civil liberties in the name of “fighting terror.”

My distress became disappointment when Obama refused to consider single-payer health care and made backroom deals with Big Pharma, allowing them huge profits in the health care package—a package that is actually a federally-funded windfall for insurance companies. My disappointment turned to disillusionment when Obama sent 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, elevating it to a full-scale military operation. My disillusionment became dismay when his economic plans failed to deal with crushing unemployment of American workers, and avoided confronting fundamental reasons for our financial catastrophe: “Too big to fail” banks and Wall Street’s systemic gambling with security derivatives. Indeed, by now, I’ve come to agree with Anthony Romero, executive director of ACLU, who recently declared his disgust with Obama’s policies.

But I’m not ready to disengage, to sit home on election day 2012. I believe, instead, that we progressives should disassociate from Obama and launch a campaign—as improbable a campaign as was Obama’s in 2008—to elect a true populist/progressive to dispossess him of the White House.