Dear President Obama:
What the goddamn hell are you thinking? As a recent addition to the masses of unemployed, please allow me to speak to you clearly: in what alternative reality does it make ANY sense to barter your assent to a temporary extension of the Bush era tax cuts (which, you pandering idiot, are at the heart and soul, along with these two wars and the shenanigans of Wall Street, of the reason are in this shit storm of a recession right now) for a short term extension of unemployment benefits?
You are a community organizer sir. Not only does your history prove that so did your campaign that landed you in the White House. Yes, it will be a shit shame and extremely hard to look people in the eyes that have exhausted their last week of benefits and are now desperate for an answer to their financial hardships. BUT this is the EXACT time for you to grow a fucking pair of balls and tell the honest to GOD truth about the situation in DC. You need to look these largely white and rural families and urban angry hungry poor and tell them that it is the REPUBLICAN SENATE that is holding back an extension of unemployment benefits. INDEED, you need to name names. In fact, you can refer them to the last extension of unemployment benefits in April 2010, and you can go ahead and name the names of every single Republican Senator EXCEPT Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). That leaves 40 people that you can present as concrete impediments to food on their table. These aren't some esoteric public policy concepts that you have to articulate and break down for the working person to understand and then somehow convince matters enough for them to pick up the phone or to march on their senator's office. This is straight forward community organizing 101: Identity your target, identify your allies, identify your goals and objectives, and then MOBILIZE.
Exactly how long do you think that the GOP is going to let people in their state slip into destitution and allow unchecked anger to build to the point of direct action? The last election proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the people could give a shit come election day about political labels. In 2012, the party in power that let them and their children starve is the party that is going to reap the harvest from the shit plantation.
AND HOW DARE YOU ATTEMPT TO PUSH FORWARD YOUR LIMITED SHORT TERM POLITICAL GOALS WITH MY FUTURE! The government stands to lose hundreds of billions in revenue from the WEALTHIEST Americans. Let me state this plainly for my readers: Obama is basically giving a big old multi-billion dollar Christmas present to the wealthiest Americans while, in my case, giving me $405 a week. Let me speak plainly Mr. Obama. I grew up on welfare. My family used the food shelves when we had to do so. I would gladly return to the food shelf ever week for a year if it meant in the end that the government finally stood up to the GOP and the wealthy elite exposing the GOP for what it really is and unequivocally demanding that the overindulgent and undeserving uber-wealthy pay into the system a tiny portion of that which they milked from its now desiccated teats.
I get it Obama. You are panicked. You got a major ass whooping in November. It really wasn't your fault. You were out organized. Not only were you facing anger at a system you inherited but you were also facing the full fury of a racist backlash by uneducated and threatened white folks in this country. TOUGH SHIT OBAMA. It comes with being the first black president. You knew exactly what you were facing when you decided to run. You knew that your life and your family's life would be in danger. You knew you would face hundreds of years of racism and all the historical baggage that entails. And you knew that you would face the full might and fury of a reactionary conservative movement that was going to cast you as the greatest and most terrible of bogeymen.
You may not be judged my history in how you and your policies were shaped, motivated, and resistant to these external forces. But I sure as hell am going to judge you based on that criteria. I was and am proud of you for your election. Though I had different goals for financial and health care reform, I am proud of the tremendous and historical wins that you have had legislatively. But your fight right now is not just about the goings on in Congress. The United States people NEED you. They need you to be the long term visionary that empathetically and strategically centers their hurt, anger, and poverty in a long term vision with short term solutions that do not compromise principles and our well being in order to placate political ambition and the ultra rich. IF YOU FAIL IN THAT, then, sir you fail as my president.
A temporary extension of Bush's tax cuts on the backs of poor folks is really what you are asking. You are once again asking poor people to accept crumbs...a temporary pain reliever that is supposed to replace necessary surgery. Surgery is painful. Recovery from major surgery is slow and also comes with pain and discomfort. But the alternative to avoiding pain and discomfort in the short term often means losing everything in the long term. Do not give us crumbs, Mr. President. I am tired of crumbs. I want a full, organic, multi-course, sustaining all you can eat buffet. If that means that between now and dinner all I can eat is ramen and spam, so be it. It's ok. I can smell the good stuff cooking, and I am willing to make due, to tighten my belt an to share in the labor and preparation if it means that I get to eat my fill with everyone else.
Please don't make of me a server that can only smell the food and eat the scraps of those most privileged that already have more sustenance than they could ever consume in any of a number of lifetimes.