An Open Letter to Barack Obama


Dear Senator Obama –

Couldn’t help but notice that your “I’m already President” act has continued even after your goodwill tour of Europe and the Middle East has wrapped up – by which I mean you seem to have perfected the old Potomac Two-Step.  And at such a young age for a politician!  That’s impressive.  Did you have somebody from Arthur Murray in your entourage?

But hey Stretch, just wanted to say that your post-primary tendency to dance like Fred Astaire on the issues is wearing on those of us who were either going to vote for you or considering voting for you.  Moving to the center is understandable so I can’t say that I really cared when you moderated yourself on gun control.  Stuff like that, it’s expected, right?  Who cares if you said one thing and then something entirely different once you clinched the nomination.  That’s politics as usual, and that’s ok.  It would be nice if someone ran for office who promised to change politics as usual, but that would certainly be a difficult standard to uphold.  Am I right?

Hell, a certain amount of blatant bobbing and weaving actually makes me feel better about you.  When you were running in the primary, you laid all that hope stuff on pretty thick.  “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”  Remember that?  Clearly it grabbed a lot of those stupid college kids who love speeches but not issues (good luck turning them out in the general, by the way!), but to a free-agent Republican like myself, you were giving off a babe-in-the-woods vibe that worried me a little.  In today’s world, I don’t want a President who’s so interested in telling world leaders he wants to “work together” or “cooperate for the good of everyone.”  I want a President who will smile and shake hands with Russians for the cameras and then behind closed doors tell Vladimir Putin (sorry, Dmitiri Medvedev) that we’re going to help Europe build a pipeline that circumvents Russian control and if anything should, ah, happen to it, then we begin bombing in 10 minutes, as your buddy Reagan once said.

So really, it’s nice to see that you can lie and deceive without compunction.  It’s “cagey.”  And we need a  cagey leader to negotiate with the Iranians.  There’s a reason that George Lucas picked the stubbly stereotype of an Arab trader for the scuzzball shopowner/slaveholder for Watto in The Phantom Menace, you know?  A certain amount of shaking hands with your right while you’ve got a stiletto behind your back in your left makes me feel better about voting for you.

But offshore drilling.  I gotta tell you Senator – it’s this kind of thing that makes an observer like myself wonder if you didn’t learn a few lessons in triangulation after running so hot and heavy against a Clinton like you did, or if you’re just another sackless politician who will say anything to get elected.  I know that gas prices are one of the biggest populist issues of the election.  I know you want to look like you’re doing something about it.  And I know that it appears that you have no coherent plan right now – you were against offshore drilling and that stupid gas tax, which were wise positions, but you didn’t really have anything you supported except ethanol, which is just as stupid.  

But offshore drilling has become the issue on which I draw the line.  Not just because I’m an inveterate tree-hugger.  I’m actually putting aside environmental concerns for a minute.  I draw the line on offshore drilling because it’s such a myopic, idiotic, worthless idea that will not work.  It won’t bring gas prices down in the short term, because it will take a decade to get that oil out of the ocean and refine it.  Can you think of any commodity that trades at a reduced price because it is anticipated that there will be slightly more of it on the market in 10 years?  Remember that announcement that McDonald’s made the other day where they said “A couple farmers in Montana said they’re going to start raising more cows, and those babies should be old enough for slaughter in about 10 years.  So we’re going to go ahead and lower our prices on the Big Mac today.”  No?  You don’t remember it?  That’s because McDONALD’S WOULD NEVER DO THAT.  BECAUSE THAT ISN’T HOW THE MARKET WORKS.

You say you’re willing to do this in order to “compromise” with the Republicans.  So you could get an energy bill passed.  Well I don’t know what kind of simplistic chimps you’ve got running your campaign, but they’ve evidently subscribed to the notion that after years of folding up like a card table for the Republican Congressional majority, it’s imperative that once they get that majority for themselves, they take advantage of it by folding up like a card table for the Republican minority.  Way to make yourself look strong, Senator – it’s an idea you oppose, an idea you know would have a nasty effect on the environment and no effect on gas prices, but you’re going to just go along to get along.  I’ll say this for Hillary – she may have been a strident harpy, but sometimes she was strident about the right thing and didn’t seem inclined to back off.  You, sir, are behaving instead like an Ivy League nancy-boy. 

I’ve seen you hoop, and I noticed that you’re not one to bang underneath.  Apparently this holds true for your governing style.


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